A Formula for Your Best Day Ever Pt. I
A lousy day begins:
- Tired. “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” Vince Lombardi/George Patton
- Unfocused – scattered.
- Filled with recurring frustrations and disappointments.
Wouldn’t you love to wake up eager for the challenges and opportunities of a new day?
Your best day begins in the evening.
Rest is the foundation for success. I woke up this morning at 4 a.m. rested and ready to go. But that’s not always true.
Fatigue corrodes potential.
Lack of sleep results in forgetfulness, accidents, lack of concentration, bad mood, weakened immune systems, weight gain, dementia, and worse.
“Death is nature’s way of telling you to slow down.” Anonymous
Those who sleep less than 5 hours a night have a 12% higher risk of mortality than those who sleep 7-8 hours a night. (That research is enough to keep me up at night.)
Commit to sleep.
- Go to bed early if you want to get up early.
- If you wake up in the night, do something relaxing, but don’t worry about not sleeping. That keeps you up. A boring audio book works for me sometimes.
- Use a flashlight when you get up in the night. Don’t turn on lights.
- Try white, pink, or brown noise.
- Tap into relaxation during the day. Close your office door and breathe deep. Go for short walks. Practice gratitude. Phone a friend to catch up. Divide work into manageable chunks.
- Let your brain relax by recording your worries and frustrations in a notebook.
- Use blue light blocking glasses. I have a friend who increased his sleep time by 10% with blue light blocking glasses.
Anyone seriously interested in flourishing is deeply committed to rest.
What is your best sleep tip?
What suggestions do you have for creating the best day ever?
Great counsel and 100% true. I say this as I woke up at midnight, couldn’t sleep, and went to work about 6 hours earlier than I should have! Thanks for the refocus…your timing is impeccable!
Thanks Jeremy. Sadly, I’ve done the same thing. Good sleeping tonight!
My best tip for creating a great day is to have a solid morning routine. Mine is:
– Alarm at 4:35
– Coffee at 4:45
– Exercise at 5
– Clean up work email and make a to-do list at 6
– In the office at 7
Thanks Josh. The morning routine has become a staple in my world as well. A routine is predictable and predictability adds stability. A great start makes for a better day.
My suggestion for creating the best day ever is to do your home work. Regularly staying on top of your challenges along with thorough preparation for the following day is stress reducing, confidence enhancing and the key to the having best day ever.
Thanks Roger. Lowering stress makes a huge difference to our ability to sleep and preparing for upcoming challenges is crucial. I can’t sleep when I’m unprepared for the next day’s challenges.
I think mindset during the day helps as well. Reject the idea that you need to have all the answers is useful. We’ll find the answers when we don’t have them at the moment.
Dan, so true, I run a white noise machine by my bedside and a fan away from the bed, a night lights low wattage night light down low in receptacle helps the night time get ups to keep from turning lights on. I have found being consistent with your bed times and wake up times helps a lot during the schedule work times. Outside of work schedule make an effort to keep the same sleep pattern depending on ages the older we get the more sleep we should get. Surely some other habits need addressed as well such as no liquids after Supper, helps with preventing the night time “water the lilies call”, outside of consulting a sleep expert may be an option. There are of course OTC medicines may help with shutting the brain down, although the meditation concept surely is preferable. Exercises such as Yoga, or simply walking a specific distance after meals tends to help. Many cell phones have health APP programs, track your steps, diet, stress, etc. a tool that I have started using 3 months ago, dropped 12 pounds so far monitoring calories, steps and exercise. (Sorry if I babbled)
Thanks Tim. Very encouraging. Experts agree with your suggestion to have a sleep schedule. Congrats on losing 12 pounds!
+1 regarding the Blue Light Blocking Glasses. I’ve introduced them into my life a few months ago and can’t go back. They’re perfect for sessions in front of the computer, meetings in rooms with bright fluorescent lights, or enhancing your e-reader’s “red screen” effect.
Thanks Adam. I haven’t used them yet. Frankly, I was surprised by my friends experience. He’s very health conscious and monitors food, exercise, and sleep so I was glad to share his experience. So glad they work for you!
I Listen to relaxing music on a timer as I’m falling asleep. I usually am asleep by the third song.
I also quit the computer within an hour of my normal bed time routine.
Thanks AZ. Your use of a timer is helpful. I usually find that I go to sleep before mine turns off the book I’m listening to. Sometimes I go to sleep and can’t remember hearing it at all. Experts support your suggestion of no computer time before bed. They also suggest no TV time.
I’m with you on that research about increased risk of mortality with less than 5 hours of sleep. Scary! Today I learned something new which was pink and brown noise. Did not know there was anything other that white. I do my best to write down my thoughts and priorities before I get in the bed. Thanks for always teaching us something helpful!
Thanks Becky. I’m with you on writing things down. And for me, it’s literally using pen and paper.
I do not understand the 12% increase in mortality rate. In fact I never understand increases of mortality rates without further contexts of timing. And I can not recall ever seeing: “XY% increase over X period of time for Z age group as compared to ABC.”
Of course, I do have a conviction that there is a pre-existing, immutable mortality rate of 100%.
Thanks Craig. The statistics on death are 100%. I’ll leave it to you to evaluate the paper on mortality that I quoted. Cheers.
I’ve found my best sleep comes on the days I had some form of good exercise. I need to wear my body out to feel the need to reenergize at night.
Thanks Christopher. Same here. For me it’s getting outside. Taking a walk or doing some chores in the open air.
Thank you Dan. This is a great post. One thing I have incorporated into my “habits” is starting the day the night before. This helps eliminate mundane decisions in the morning such as which tie should I wear. Yes, I lay my clothes out the night before (workout and work). The last thing I do is write down my top two or three priorities for the next day so that I can get to sleep without thinking. I also keep a notebook on my night stand for the evenings where I wake up. I may jot down a thought or two to help me get back to thoughtless thinking.
Thanks Joseph. Your insight is very useful. I read somewhere that Hemingway wrote the first paragraph of his next chapter at the end of the day. Perhaps the most important aspect of your practice is manually writing things down. Somehow our brains relax when they don’t have to remember everything.
Good read. I do #2 & 6 often.
Me sleep tips. I do a repetitive prayer at night such as saying the Rosary with an audio file. I am asleep before it completes.
When I wake in the morning, I stretch in bed before rising. I think of something that I am looking forward to in the day. Then when ready to get up, I do Mel Robbins’ 54321 up.
This 10-minute deep sleep relaxation guided meditation is such a nice way to end the day. I swear it helps me fall asleep faster: https://insighttimer.com/chelseapottenger/guided-meditations/deep-sleep-relax-meditation Gentle, evening yoga is also very helpful.
Some time each day (I prefer early evening but “each” is the important qualifier), list the positive / good things that happened that day. Journaling them is best, though I confess my list is only in my thoughts at this point.
The important thing is that no matter how bad the day has been overall, there will be some positive things that did happen – things you can build on in the future (starting the next day)!
Doing this will change ourfocus, change our mindset – improving our sleep!