According to the National Sleep Foundation, a healthy adult needs 7-9 hours of quality sleep. (If you’re aged over 65, you can get away with an hour less.)
The keyword here is “quality”.
This means 7-9 hours of deep, restorative sleep – so that your body and mind can untangle itself, and you start the next day feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
Here’s the thing, though:
If you’re anything like me about a year ago, you probably wanted to roll your eyes as you read this tremendously helpful advice above. Because, frankly, the idea of getting 7 hours of deep, restorative sleep sounds like a bad joke.
I mean, if you were able to get just 3 or 4 hours of shut-eye without having to toss and turn, wake up in pain, or even get out of your bed in the middle of the night, you’d be walking on sunshine, right?
Well, I’m here to tell you:
You CAN get a good night’s sleep.
It is possible for you to fall asleep again effortlessly, just like when you were a teenager, and get the recommended 7-9 hours of deep, restorative sleep.
And you can even make it your new “normal”.
How do I know this?
Because about a year ago, after a particularly bad day (which started the moment I got out of bed feeling like crap), I decided that enough was enough.
Over the next six months, I made it my mission to learn about sleep. I wanted to discover why some people can sleep like babies while other folks, like us, struggle.
This “project” became a full-blown obsession. I read books, journals, and papers. I attended seminars. I even sought out and interviewed recognized sleep experts. I asked them: “Why can’t I sleep through the night, like everyone else?”
Do you want to know what I discovered?
There is no one reason – there are actually five!
In other words, being able to fall asleep peacefully, and then stay asleep all through the night, comes down to five factors. Five things you have to get right.
We now call these the 5 Pillars of Sleep.
Because, together, they are what support a good night’s sleep.
What’s more, if one or two of these pillars are not so strong right now, the other three pillars can take the strain and support your sleep temple.
So, you don’t have to get all of these factors perfect.
Now, as you might expect, one of the five pillars is your bedding, especially your pillow. Your pillow is a really important part of the equation, for sure.
However, it’s not the ONLY part.
Your sleep environment is important too. A lot of folks can improve the quality and quantity of their sleep just by making a few changes to their bedroom.
Your daily routine plays a role also. There are certain things you want to avoid, and certain things you want to do more of, that prepare your body for better sleep.
Your mental state is also important. For example, I discovered an exercise that helps relax your mind, so that you drift into peaceful sleep faster.
Over the longer term, optimizing your overall health can do wonders for improving your sleep. You already know this. However, I want to help you narrow down your focus on the optimizations that can most help with your sleep.
So, over the next week or so, we’re going to talk more about each of these five pillars in turn. I’ve got some specific, actionable advice to share with you.
That is, simple changes you can make in your life and around your home, simple changes that will help you finally get the good night’s sleep you deserve.
Not just once in a blue moon, but as often as humanly possible.