Getting a good night of sleep is of major important for any human being. When we're talking about sleep, there is a common factor for every person, whether you're an athlete or a programmer, and this is quality.
In the short term, a lack of adequate sleep can affect judgment, mood, ability to learn and retain information, and may increase the risk of serious accidents and injury. In the long term, chronic sleep deprivation may lead to a host of health problems including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even early mortality.
We live in a society that, more and more, neglects sleep and people are having more and more trouble in getting a good night of sleep.
So… How do you get a good night of sleep? Watch this video and find out!
Transcript Of The Video
John Sonmez: Hey, what's up? John Sonmez here from simpleprogrammer.com. I'm going to be talking about sleep today. This is such a popular topic. I get so many questions on sleep. I've done videos on sleep, but I figured out I'd answer this particular question because this is kind of interesting. He says here, “How to sleep better? Hi John, Thanks for answering my video on working for free. I am now building a personal site and definitely enjoying it. Anyways, I think I found the bug in my body that hinders productivity. At first, I thought it was it was due to lack of exercise and started to exercise about 3 times a week for the past couple of months, but then I soon realized SLEEP is my number one enemy. Without a good night's sleep, it is 2 to 3 times harder to start the morning right as I usually go to the gym in the morning. Now, I'm trying to form the habit of sleep at 11 PM but it's so hard due to the temptation of FREEDOM. By all means, I got a full-time job plus 2 kids. I generally get maybe 1 hour to myself per day and sleeping at 11 PM is too difficult. I don't mean wasting time, I'm either learning something or coding for my project. About 9 out of 10 times I would sacrifice my sleep for another hour or two doing things I want and sleep at 1 or 2 AM. I've tried sleeping at 11 PM but my brain is too alertive to even sleep…so I code away until exhaustion and wake up to a pretty crappy morning yet again. Got any advice on how I can build a habit to sleep consistently?
Kevin, I'll tell you—here's one thing that will help you to sleep consistently and this is what you might do with a young child who doesn't go to sleep. Make him wake up damn early. I guarantee you if you start setting the alarm for earlier you're going to go to bed sooner because you're going to be tired. If you're having a problem with being too alert at 11 PM I got a solution for you buddy. All you've got to do is wake up earlier. If you wake up earlier you'll be so damn tired at 11 PM that you'll go to sleep.
Just keep on setting your clock back earlier giving yourself less and less sleep until you're tired enough to go to sleep at 11 PM. That's how you start the habit. Instead of starting the habit of what time that you go to bed, start the habit by what time that you wake up and that's going to get you—trust me. It's going to hurt at first and it's going to make things worse at first, but it's always good to learn some lessons the hard way, through pain, and that one you will learn through pain as you force yourself not to take a nap and to make it through the day and by 11 PM your head should hit the pillow and you will go to sleep.
On top of that, one thing I could recommend is that about an hour before sleep time, about 10 PM, you turn off all electronic devices. You've probably seen the studies on the whole spectrum of light and the daylight, you want to avoid electronic devices, except for maybe a Kindle that is backlit or you can use an application like f.lux if you think that helps. I would say just avoid them as much as possible. Melatonin is something that I take from time to time that helps me to sleep. You might try experimenting with different dosages. I found that a very, very small dosage actually is more effective for me and I'll take that and that will get me into a pretty good deep sleep.
But you're just going to have to be disciplined about this. Your sleep is going to be really important especially if you're working out. I found that when I'm not lifting weights, when I'm not doing—well, I'm not doing intense workouts, I'm always doing some kind of workout, but if I'm not doing the intense kind of stuff I'm doing now that I can get by on 7 or 6 hours of sleep and be fine and function. But when I am working out heavy and I'm running 40 miles a week and doing all that I've got to sleep 8 to 9 hours, otherwise I will not be very functional, I will not be effective.
Just remember this, I mean this is kind of one of those things as well. Just remember that you want to stay up those extra 1 or 2 hours in order to get more work done but you're just borrowing from tomorrow. You're not helping yourself. If you're in a sleep deprived state you might be able to get 1/5 of the work done, you might be 1/5 as effective over time and so it's going to take you 5 times as long to do things. You're maybe trading an hour or 2 that you think you're getting a bonus hour, but it's costing you 5 in productivity because you're not going to be as effective the next day. You've got to make sleep a priority. I would say, again, I think that if you just start waking up earlier that's going to jumpstart it. It doesn't mean that you have to stay at that early wake-up time, but if you're having trouble going to sleep, make it so that you're really damn tired at 11 PM instead of 1 AM. You've got to retrain yourself. Once you're used to going to bed at 11 PM then you can actually get more sleep and move your wake-up time to a little bit later so that you get more sleep.
That's really the best advice that I could give you on that. You can Google—Tim Ferriss has a lot of good advice on sleep techniques. He uses a bunch of things including blackout shades and keeping the room extremely dark. You might use a white noise thing if you're having trouble. It sounds like you just have a discipline problem though. It's not an issue of not being able to go to sleep.
I'll say one other thing here which is that you can get away with being sleep deprived for some period of time. There are times that I'll go through and I'm like I—I'm working on some project or I'm working on something and I'm allowing myself to only get 4 or 5 hours of sleep at night and I can keep that up for maybe like a couple of weeks, but then the crash is going to happen. There may be periods of time where you can borrow, but you're eventually going to have to pay that back, at least that's what I found.
That's my advice on it. If you've got some comments, if you've got some advice of your own, leave a comment below. I'm curious to hear what your thoughts are on this. I'll talk to you next time. Take care.