Episode 18

habits sleep hygiene Dec 01, 2020

Building Sleep Habits

What’s the best way to get a good night of sleep every night? Make it a habit!

In this episode, I review some of the background into forming new habits (which can be put to good use, or bad). There has been a lot of discussion so far on this podcast about good sleep habits to have, but sometimes making a new behavior into a habit, can be rather daunting.

The habit loop: cue, behavior, result. One of the first ways to deconstruct why you behave the way you do, is to identify the cues to your behavior. Then it becomes easier to hijack an existing cue, and use it to insert a new desired behavior - it is far easier to exchange habits than it is to eliminate a habit or start a new habit from scratch. Sometimes a result is immediate (like alleviation of an anxiety), sometimes it's a reward (a handful of chocolate chips for going to the gym this morning), or sometimes its a delayed gratification (like retirement savings or getting to the point of getting great sleep each night). 

For example, cue: sunset; behavior: lower light levels and turn off back-lit screens; result: fall asleep faster, achieve more sleep overall, wake easier in the morning feeling well rested. 

What are some sleep habits you are trying to build?

For much more on habit formation, check out Atomic Habits by James Clear, The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, and The Power of Daily Practice by Eric Maisel. 


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