We once asked Howard Tullman — legendary Chicago entrepreneur and CEO of the tech incubator 1871 — the secret to being more productive.
His reply: “Sleep faster.”
Even if we could, indeed, cheat sleep, how goes it when a man loses an hour of it? Like, say, last night?
Our answer: sleep better.
So in honor of lost time, we’ve rounded up a few ideas that may not help you sleep "faster," but will help you get a better night's sleep nonetheless.
Create an altar to the Almighty Z. And pray to it every night. It’s easy to overlook the importance of setting the scene, but set the scene you must. The right cues let your body know it's time to wind down, and establishing an environment that promotes sleep is the best way to do that.
- Take a long hard look at your at your mattress. Chances are, you need a new one. Luckily, "sleep startups" are now a thing. For a local fix, hit up Sleep6.
- Sexy new mattress or not, do not neglect the sheets. Our top picks: Brooklinen and Matteo. More affordable but just as worthy options can be found at L.L. Bean. Here in Chicago, stylish sleep-deprived fellas can do well by Unison Home and their modern, high-quality linens.
- Pillows are just as important. Go with HIBR, a modish memory foam pillow that breathes better than the competition and comes with a signature temperature-regulating technology. They've basically patented the proverbial "cooler side of the pillow."
- Other ideas: A nightstand with a few air-purifying plants. GE's new bluetooth-enabled, sleep-friendly line of light bulbs. And for easy temp control, a Nest Thermostat.
Hush, available for pre-order now
Ground yourself. Much can said about developing a habitual pre-sleep routine, the goal being to de-stress, calm your inner dialogue and break the cycle of sleep-sucking screen time. Ambient white noise machines help, especially when they’re portable hi-tech earplugs. Apps like Pzizz and Headspace offer sleep prep in form of audio relaxation. Alternatively, there's always the whispered sweet nothings of Jeff Bridges.
Get some exercise. Say it with us: overall activity impacts overall sleep quality. So if you're tired of being tired, the best solution is more fatigue — which is to say, lots of energy-boosting workouts during the day. 'Tis science. It'll only take 20 minutes per day, tops. And it’ll pay dividends, trust. Think of it as 20 minutes you’ll get back with a more restful night's sleep.