How to Sleep Well
Did you know that sleeping well is a skill? Join Wana + Sleep expert, Mollie McGlocklin to learn about the healing powers of peaceful zzz’s.
1. How did you get into the world of “sleep”?
For most of my life, I thought of myself as not that great of a sleeper...a night owl. It wasn’t until I experienced my own personal sleep breakdown, in which I couldn’t sleep for days while traveling that I knew I had a problem. I went to the doctors and was quickly given pill after pill to encourage sleep to come. What truly terrified me the most was the idea that for the rest of my life, I would be the kind of person that was incapable of naturally doing what “should” arguably be one of the most fundamental biological processes: sleep. I felt like I had officially lost control, and I didn’t see a way out.
Thankfully, my obsessive nature (which was partly to blame for my sleep disturbances!) - became my saving grace!! I shifted from powerless to learning EVERYTHING that there was to know about sleep. I put everything that I had into regaining my power around it and sharing what I learned with others.
2. Why is sleep so important? Why is sleep a skill?
In our modern-day society, Sleep Has Become A Skillset. If you could get into a time machine and transport yourself back in time and ask our hunter-gatherer ancestors, if this were true, they would likely think you were crazy. But today, in a busy, distracted, LED-filled world, more people than ever struggle with sleep. Why is that? I am making the argument that somewhere along the lines, the scales tipped and something so primal as sleep has shifted over to the realm of a skill. And, if I’m right, like any great skill, we have to put in the time to learn, experiment, implement, test, discuss, and ultimately master.
3. What are your top 3 sleep hygiene/ hacks tips?
- Get outside and get LOTS of sunlight first thing in the morning. Not from behind a window but outdoors. This will anchor your circadian rhythm and help you produce vitamin D, which is crucial to later producing melatonin in the evening.
- Practice Circadian Rhythm Intermittent Fasting. This simply means that you aim to eat your food within sunrise and sunset.
- Cultivate literal darkness. We are living in a dark deprived society. Set up your environment to ensure that you get ample doses of the dark each night. Melatonin is known as the hormone of darkness, so help facilitate its production in the settings that it requires.
4. What is your personal sleep routine?
Because we are diurnal creatures, our design is mostly to be active during the daylight hours and at rest during the evening hours. In alignment with this, post-sunset, I switch over to lighter, more relaxing activities. I put on blue-blockers and shift the lighting to red/warm lights and candlelights...including turning on a red filter on my phone. I don’t eat after sunset when I can avoid it and often opt for a nighttime tea. I love to do a hot Epsom salt bath, shower, or a sauna. I write a nightly gratitude email to friends and family, which keeps me accountable. Once in bed, my boyfriend and I say our top 3 nightly gratefuls to each other. It’s also important to note what we aim not to do, which is cultivating the habit to avoid discussing or engaging with charged or activating topics during this part of the night. If I have trouble sleeping, I will write out what is in my head with the resolve to handle it in the light of the day.
5. How has incorporating sleep as a skill improved your own life?
What I learned AFTER my sleep breakdown changed my life and the lives of countless people that I’ve had the honor of working with on their sleep. Now, I consistently wake up feeling rejuvenated with sustainable energy (and actual positive sleep stats to boot!), all of which leave me READY to take on my days. I effortlessly go to bed naturally around the same time every evening, regardless of where I am in the world. Now, what lights me up and makes me feel so incredibly thankful is that I have channeled my passion and sense of mission on this topic to be able to impact so many other lives in the same way.
About Mollie McGlocklin
Mollie McGlocklin is on a mission to change the conversation around sleep.
"My road to recovery did not have to be so hard, lonely, shameful, and confusing. And now that I'm not only surviving but thriving with my sleep, I'm committed that others get to experience that feeling too. It doesn't have to be so hard. I am living proof that if a chronically sleep deprived night owl can transform their habits and sleep without pills...anyone can do it!"
Sleep Is A Skill helps to optimize sleep through technology, accountability, and behavioral change.
Wana does not directly support any claims made within this content. These are the views of the individual/organization represented.