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Simple changes make a big difference in your sleep and effectiveness

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Could sleep be the key to gaining more control over your days and your life? According to a popular book, the things you do, or don’t do, before bedtime can make a big difference. In The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life, author Craig Ballantyne introduces the 10-3-2-1-0 Goodnight Formula. By applying a simple formula, the author asserts that you will get to bed on time, sleep better and wake up each morning ready to take on your day.

The 10-3-2-1-0 formula stands for:

  • 10 hours before bed – no more caffeine
  • 3 hours before bed – no more food or alcohol
  • 2 hours before bed – no more work
  • 1 hour before bed – no more screen time
  • 0 – the number of times you hit the snooze button on your alarm clock.

How can such simple changes make a big difference in your sleep and effectiveness?

Ten hours is the time that it generally takes for the body to clear caffeine from your body and eliminate its stimulating effects. By stopping caffeine consumption 10 hours before bed time, your sleep should improve.

Digesting a large meal can cause heartburn and interrupt your sleep. Although alcohol might make you feel sleepy, it can hinder your natural sleep cycle and interrupt deep sleep. You can prevent these problems by avoiding food and alcohol three hours before you plan to sleep.

For many of us, work can be a source of stress. Taking work-related phone calls, checking your email, thinking about the next day’s challenges and reading business documents in the evening can raise stress levels and impair your sleep. For this reason, stop all work-related activities at least two hours before bed time.

In our information age, it can be difficult to switch off our screens — including iPads, smart phones, computers and TVs. But research has shown that the blue light emitted from screens can diminish the quality of our sleep. So avoid using screens at least one hour before bed time and get back to traditional forms of entertainment and interaction, such as reading a book, having a conversation with a family member or meditating.

The zero in the formula stands for the number of times you hit the snooze button on your alarm clock. Craig Ballantyne recommends you place your alarm clock in a place where you have to get up to turn it off. By doing this you will feel more awake and avoid the temptation of going back to sleep. Besides, if you have followed the other parts of the formula, you shouldn’t need extra sleep. As a result of feeling rested and getting up earlier, you will be able to start taking control of your days and your life.




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