The last email we sent out generated great responses from you all! I couldn’t believe how many of you responded, and I am still a bit stunned that my wife’s email was read well over 1,000 times…much more than anything I have ever written.
So naturally, my competitive nature takes over, and I am compelled to write this email in efforts to beat her 🙂
Here is what I am focusing on this summer to better myself and improve my overall health. Let me know your thoughts (really! I want to know!), what you are learning, and what you have found works best for you.
As many of you may know from chatting at the office, I have been working on tracking and improving my sleep. We all know how important sleep is, but rarely I have prioritized it in the past as much as I have lately. Each night I track my sleep with an Oura Ring, a wearable technology that tracks multiple parameters (like HRV, resting heart rate, REM sleep, deep sleep, etc) and puts them together to give you an overall snapshot or “sleep score” as well as a “readiness score” to depict how ready you are for your day ahead. I like to quantify things, and this ring helps me see what directly effects my sleep so I can tweak my lifestyle to improve (or be prepared and know ahead of time my sleep will be hindered). For example, I have been able to see my sleep score drop when I eat a late dinner or drink too many glasses of wine before bed (this can be seen then in my HRV lowering and my resting heart rate increasing). Another bonus: the Oura Ring can be put in airplane mode to avoid EMFs…maybe this is a topic for a future email…
In step with improving my sleep, I have invested in a few pairs of blue light blocking glasses. Blue wavelengths are are great thought the day, as they boost mood, reaction time, and attention. However, they can be pretty disruptive at night. With all of the screens we are exposed to as well as energy-efficient lighting, our exposure to blue wavelengths is through the roof, especially at night. This night time exposure to light has been shown to suppress our body’s ability to secrete melatonin and, thus, wreak havoc on our circadian rhythm. After chatting with my optometrist and great friend Dr. Sheri Roggy about the topic, I invested in some blue light blocking glasses that I wear at night to effectively block those blue wavelengths and support my body’s natural pre-bed cycles. The best part: I was able to see an improvement in my sleep score via my Oura Ring. The hard part: my wife told me I looked like Elton John and wasn’t allowed in our bed…but after a while she gave in too and is benefitting as well!!!
Preparing meals for my week has been something I have done off/on in the past, and has worked well for me when I do it. Recently, I have resorted (as many of us do) to things I can eat quickly and easily such as jerky or protein bars. These things may work here and there, but are not sustainable and I felt I could do better. I have taken the mindset I take with surgeries and the like to heart…preparation is key! With good, clean food in mind, a few inexpensive glass containers, and some intention I started to prep my fuel for the week on Sundays after church. After about 45 mins and some time with my kids teaching them about good food and why it is important…BOOM. All meals for the week (including breakfast prep) are finished and ready to go. No surprises throughout the week, no mental energy wasted, stressful situations avoided, and my kids are learning the importance of good food! Talk about a win-win right? Do you meal prep…care to share any ideas?