If you have been a long-time reader of Menprovement, then you have inevitably come across a plethora of content regarding the importance of sleep.
It seems in recent years, popular science has finally acknowledged that the age-old adage “You can sleep when your dead” should actually be rewritten as “If you don’t sleep you are dead”.
And this is a great thing.
Because sleep is crucial to optimize every area of your life.
From your increasing your testosterone levels to decreasing your cortisol levels, boosting your sex drive, to helping you lose weight, recovering from your training to protecting your cognitive health…. Sleep helps facilitate it all.
So with this in mind, it should be apparent that maximizing the quality and quantity of your sleep should be a top priority.
My goal in writing this article is to help you find simple but effective ways that you can quickly reclaim your sleep, show up more powerfully in your everyday life, and start excelling in everything you do.
So whether you have struggled with insomnia for years, or you are a sound sleeper who wants to take things to the next level, sit back and relax, because I am about to spill the beans on catching your “zzz’s”.
1. Invest in a High-Quality Mattress
Guess how many years the average man will spend sleeping over the course of his life?
You read that correctly, 24 years of your life will be dedicated to rest, recovery, and sleep.
If you are going to spend that many years of your life doing something, then it only makes sense that you should take that time seriously and invest in the time you will be spending in the sack.
In decades gone by, investing in a decent mattress meant spending weeks testing out different mattresses, haggling with the retail store owner, taking out a loan big enough to fund a down payment on your new home, and then waiting for weeks for your mattress to be delivered.
Leaving most of you sleeping on something like this…
Luckily, this is no longer the case.
Revolutionary companies like Leesa Mattresses (the sponsor of this article) have changed the face of the mattress industry forever.
Now, for less than $1,000 you can completely transform how you sleep.
Their mattresses are made from the highest quality materials ensuring maximal comfort.
Delivery time takes about one week, and once you have the mattress, you have 100 days to decide whether or not the Leesa experience is right for you.
Before I move on to discuss the rest of our sleep hacks, I wanted to take a moment and give a personal shoutout to Leesa’s company and the stellar work they have done crafting the perfect night sleep.
I have been an insomniac my entire life, and when I was put in touch with the marketing manager over at Leesa and asked to review their mattress, I was kind of hesitant.
Afterall… How good can it be if it comes in a box smaller than my kid brother?
The answer? Pretty damn amazing.
My Leesa mattress has revolutionized the way that I sleep each night and helped me achieve a quality of sleep that I didn’t even know was possible.
About a month since receiving the mattress and it is still holding up beautifully even under the weight of two people.
To get your own Leesa mattress for $75 off TODAY, head over to leesa.com and type in the code “Menprovement” at checkout.
If you don’t love it, you can send it back.
But I can promise you that after one night on your new Leesa, you will be sold for life.
2. Black Out Your Room
Numerous studies have shown that individuals who sleep in a totally blacked out room experience deeper sleep cycles with fewer interruptions than those who allow even a little light to creep into their “Sleep Cave”.
This is one of the quickest hacks that I have found for almost instantly boosting the quality of sleep your experience on a regular basis.
Here’s a picture of my room at night.
Black out the windows in your room, cover up any LEDs or lights in your room (especially blue LEDs) and try to eliminate any light that might creep in from other rooms in the house, e.g. if you live with roommates and they regularly leave the bathroom light on.
Studies have found that even a small amount of man-made light can drastically affect the quality of your sleep so take this hack seriously.
3. Avoid Caffeine After 2 p.m.
Caffeine, a stimulant, and one of the most popular drugs on the planet is a likely culprit for those of you suffering from onset insomnia (the inability to actually fall asleep at night).
With a half-life of 5.7 hours, you should try and eliminate all coffee and caffeine consumption after 2 p.m.
This will ensure that your body is no longer being stimulated and kept awake by that afternoon Cup of Joe.
4. Stick to a Schedule
If you really want to optimize your sleep, then you need to stick to a sleep schedule.
Constantly varying when you go to bed and when you wake up makes it difficult for your body to adjust and throws your circadian rhythm for a crazy loop.
Ideally, you should go to bed at or before 11 p.m. every night and rise between 6:30 and 7 a.m. each morning.
For those of you who are unable to stick to this sleep schedule, I recommend using blue light therapy (check out Ben Greenfield’s article on the subject here) to train your mind and body to adopt your new schedule.
5. Eat a Meal High in Fat 3 Hours Before Bed
While I won’t dive into all of the nitty-gritty science behind this particular tip, suffice it to say that I have tried it for myself and it works!
Roughly 3 hours before bed (which should be around 8 p.m. if you took our previous advice) consume a few hundred calories of high-quality saturated fats.
My go to “Bedtime knockout” meal is 3 eggs fried in coconut oil with a few macadamia or Brazil nuts.
You can read more about this particular hack in Tim Ferriss’s Four Hour Body.
6. Use Ice Baths to Initiate Sleep
If you are willing to brave the wintery, testical shrinking cold of ice baths, then get ready to sleep like a baby.
This is one of the most effective sleep hacks I have found to date and in the words of Tim Ferriss, “It’s like getting hit with an elephant tranquilizer”.
Grab a few $2 ice bags the next time you are at the grocery store and fill your tub up with cold water.
I recommend that you gradually submerge yourself in the icey mix a few minutes at a time (unless you are a total masochist).
Start with just your lower body, then your torso, and for the final few minutes, your entire body (with the exception of your head).
You will feel the effects of this trick with an ice bath that is as short as 10 minutes, but if you really want to go for the knockout, I recommend a full 20.
7. Chill Out
Seriously, as simple as this sounds, it’s one of the most effective sleep hacks known to man.
Before I started taking my sleep seriously, I would regularly lay in bed with my laptop open, working on projects until 2 or 3 in the morning.
This created terrible mental associations with lying in bed and caused my mind to keep me awake even when I wasn’t working.
So just relax.
Turn off the computer, take a salt (or ice) bath, read a book or, if you have f.lux installed on your computer, then feel free to watch some relaxing TV.
Relax and unwind. Give yourself and your brain permission to chill out and you will be amazed at how much your sleep improves.
Equipped with these 7 tips, you are now ready to transform your sleep and live a more optimal lifestyle.
If you take these tactics seriously and begin implementing them today, then I can promise that your sleep and your life will never be the same.
Do you have any questions about sleep hacking? Any tactics you have used that worked out for you? Let me know in the comments below!