better sleep

The Wild Gym Guide to Improving Sleep Quality

The Wild Gym Guide to Improving Sleep Quality

League of Wildness,

How is your nightly slumber?  

If your struggling - I've got something for you to try.

It's simple: spend more time outside.

For the past several months I've made it a non-negotiable habit to get outside first thing in the morning. I wake up, get out of bed, open the bedroom door, turn right, open the front door, and step outside. Our home faces east so I'm immediately greeted with bright, warm, invigorating sunshine. I spend a few minutes gazing into the distance and enjoying the calm-potential of the early morning.

This is a more effective wake up than coffee. Change my mind.

After the initial outdoor session, I'll go boil some water and make coffee.

Here's another secret: I drink decaf. Yes, I get made fun of at coffee shops by baristas and patrons who over hear my order as I try to whisper!

I used to drink the real stuff, but it got to a point where I didn't like the disposition I was finding myself in from the effects of caffeine.

Then there is the sleep side of things. I noticed a correlation, especially when I would drink regular coffee later in the day - I did not sleep well.

Don't get me wrong - I definitely enjoy a regular cup of coffee from time to time. It's just not a regular habit and I do believe it has helped to improve my sleep.

Back to outside -

In addition to the initial post-wakeup time outside, I try and get back out there as much as possible. I'll take my decaf outside, drop into a Squat and perform the ancient ritual known as, "Squoffee" (for the tea drinkers out there, try "Squat-tea").

Additionally, almost every morning I go for some sort of walk/run/ruck in the morning. I try and expose as much skin as local laws and weather will allow.

The post-wakeup outdoor moment paired with the morning walk/run/ruck has become such a habit that is feels normal. However, if I do not get out I just don't feel right. It's like the program that operates my mind does not start up correctly.

I hear you - you're busy.

Try this:

  • Get outside for 1-minute immediately after you wake up.
  • For the remainder of the day, get in 3-6 more sessions of micro-wildness where you simply step outside for 5-10 minutes.
  • Even better, go for a 5-10 minute walk as your outdoor time.
  • Six, 10-minute walks could easily turn into 2-3 miles total per day.
  • Throw in a few sessions on pocket monkii 2 (or grab a rock and press it overhead) and you've got a pretty solid foundation being built.

I've heard someone describe time outside as, "tuning into the rhythm of the wild". I loved this concept and believe that this "tuning in" can drastically help to improve sleep. We all know that sleep has many downstream effects that precipitate ubiquitously into our lives. Find your rhythm and start to really sleep.

Be creative and think about how you can include more movement-time outside. 

View yourself as you would someone you admire - take action.

You don't have to be extreme - just consistent.

I hope to see you out there,

-Wildman Dan

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