me and my dog with an oura ring-min
  • I began experiencing sleep maintenance insomnia after a stressful period in my business in 2019
  • It ruined my life- I was exhausted during the day and wired at night, unable to function socially or professionally
  • I spent a lot of time researching solutions on Reddit, experimenting with sleep aids and techniques
  • I used a Google Sheet ‘sleep diary’ in conjunction with an Oura ring to track my sleep and begin gathering data
  • I finally found a combination of sleep hygiene practices, products and supplementation that worked to boost my sleep efficiency to 94% on most nights!
  • I believe you can achieve the same results if you follow my method- just sign up and I’ll show you how!

How It All Started

Me with my Poodle, Gabe

Once a successful New York City-based entrepreneur, I started to develop sleep problems in 2019 after a particularly stressful period in my business.

This sudden stress seemed to trigger a biological response that upset my internal circadian rhythms.

Prior to this, I had never really thought much about my sleep. I would simply go to bed, sleep, and wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead.

I found myself constantly waking up soon after falling asleep, leaving me feeling tired and groggy throughout the day.

Even worse, I would often find myself wide awake at night, staring at the ceiling at 2 AM when I should have been fast asleep.

What My Insomnia Looked Like

my oura ring results
My Oura sleep tracking ring results from the early days of my insomnia. The white spikes are wake-up events.

(*Above, you can see a screenshot from my Oura app from Friday April 24th, 2020, the white spikes are all wake up events. This was a typical night’s sleep for me, waking up routinely and never staying asleep long enough to wake up feeling rested and energized.)

But suddenly, I found myself lying in bed wide awake, feeling wired and unable to fall asleep. I would wake up multiple times throughout the night, leaving me feeling exhausted and groggy in the morning.

It was at this point that I began researching my symptoms and discovered that what I was experiencing was a type of circadian sleep rhythm disorder. This was a new and unfamiliar concept to me, but I was determined to learn all I could about it and find a way to regain control over my sleep patterns.

The Effects Of My Miserable Sleep

I remember all too well the frustration of struggling with poor sleep day after day. It was incredibly frustrating and seemed to have a domino effect on other areas of my life.

One of the things I was most sad to give up was my salsa class, which I had loved so much. However, due to my lack of sleep and difficulty remembering things, I found it increasingly hard to keep up with the dance steps.

My work suffered

Not only was I struggling to remember the routines, but my work performance also suffered as a result of my constant exhaustion. I found it difficult to focus and be productive, which was a major source of stress and frustration.

I Sucked Socially

The fatigue I was experiencing also took a toll on my personal relationships. I became irritable and easily frustrated, making me difficult to be around. The poor sleep just seemed to compound day after day, leaving me feeling absolutely shattered and drained of energy.

Alcohol? Yes…

chopin vodka

The exhaustion and grogginess I felt during the day negatively affected my work performance and relationships with others.

It became increasingly tempting to rely on alcohol or caffeine just to get through the day and mask the fatigue I felt.

Benzos?

At times, I turned to prescribed benzodiazepines and other sleep medications to help me fall asleep. However, these drugs ultimately proved to be very dangerous and unhealthy, as they don’t address the root cause of my poor sleep.

They only provided temporary relief and made the problem worse in the long run, leading to even more disrupted sleep and an endless cycle of fatigue and frustration.

I knew I needed to find a better solution, one that would help me achieve truly restful, rejuvenating sleep and improve my overall well-being. Through my research and experimentation, I was able to find the right combination of sleep hygiene practices and targeted supplementation that worked for me, and I’m passionate about sharing my story and helping others find the same success.

Good sleep is within reach, and I’m here to help make it a reality, without relying on dangerous and unhealthy sleep medications.

Searching For Solutions

As I struggled with sleep problems, I became determined to find a solution. I started by researching the science of sleep and carefully documenting my own sleep habits using a Google Sheet. I recorded the time I went to bed, the time I fell asleep, and any waking moments throughout the night.

This data allowed me to see patterns in my sleep and identify potential causes of my sleep problems. I also purchased an Oura ring to help track my sleep and monitor changes in my sleep habits over time.

The Fallacy of ScIeNcE!

drooling idiot

During my struggle with insomnia, I found myself seeking answers on online platforms like Reddit and Oura ring Groups on Facebook.

I would troll r/insomnia and r/oura over on Reddit, searching out new things to try because ‘traditional’, mainstream health websites recycled the same garbage recommendations over and over.

While ultimately, some of the sleep hygiene stuff did help me, none of the WebMD type websites would have recommended that I experiment with the Adrenal Optimizer supplement that dramatically improved my sleep.

I had discovered that many of the so-called “science-approved” solutions were repetitive and ineffective for my situation.

In my quest for better sleep, I realized that there is often an inclination to rely solely on “science-approved” solutions, dismissing the wealth of anecdotal evidence from real people.

Seeking to connect with real people who were going through similar experiences, I sought practical and tactical solutions that they had personally discovered and found effective in managing their sleep issues.

Instead of waiting for a scientific study to validate every potential solution, I decided to take matters into my own hands and become my own sleep scientist.

I embraced the idea of exploring alternative approaches and experimenting with different techniques, recognizing that trying something new, even if it lacked scientific backing, could lead me to the solution I had been desperately seeking.

With my newfound knowledge, I began experimenting with different sleep aids and practices, such as supplements and sleep hygiene techniques. I tried different strategies, taking notes on what worked and what didn’t, and adjusting my approach as needed.

How I Fixed My Insomnia

  • I started systematically introducing sleep hygiene interventions
  • I began tracking how my sleep responded to these interventions in a Google Sheet
  • I purchased an Oura ring to biometrically track my sleep
  • I began to realize small, incremental wins that I could ‘see’ in my Oura and Google Sheet data

What worked for me might not work for you, but I did make an effort to incorporate some common-sense sleep hygiene practices.

I know, I know… If you’re reading this, you’ve probably read the WebMD and Healthline sleep solutions before and might be frustrated that they don’t work for you.

I remember my fatigue-addled rage reading and re-reading all of the recycled content on the internet, suggesting I turn off my phone a couple of hours before sleep, try meditating, or cutting out alcohol before bedtime (duh!).

However, I found that integrating more and more sleep hygiene practices (alongside some super-customized, non-science-approved supplements like the aforementioned Adrenal Optimizer) has had incremental benefits, helping improve the quality and duration of my sleep over time.

And it was only through systematic sleep-tracking that I was able to make sense of which sleep interventions worked and which didn’t.

*One of the best things you can do is get a sleep study done. It’s something I never did, because I managed to find a solution for myself. Another option is to try Sleep Restriction therapy.

Sleep restriction therapy is a treatment method for insomnia that aims to improve sleep by restricting the amount of time spent in bed to match the actual amount of time slept.

The goal of this therapy is to increase the pressure to sleep by reducing the opportunity for tossing and turning in bed.

Luckily, I didn’t need to resort to restriction therapy or a sleep study.

In order of importance, here are the things that I have introduced to my sleep regimen and a handy TikTok video of my approach):

@solarslumber How I fixed my insomnia with #sleephygiene #sleephygienetips #sleepingproblems #sleepingproblemsolved ♬ original sound – Ryan

  • An adrenal support supplement called Adrenal Optimizer (this says helped reduce the ‘wired’ feeling that made it hard to fall and stay asleep
  • My Oura ring (helps to track my sleep quality and assess the impact of various interventions)
  • Blackout curtains
  • A blackout sleep mask
  • Blue light blocking glasses
  • Magnesium and melatonin an hour before sleeping
  • A sun lamp to get light in the morning
  • My ChiliSleep Cube Sleep System (I love sleeping in the cold)
  • Reducing coffee to one relatively weak cup a day
  • Tracking my sleep using a Google Sheet: I tracked my alcohol usage, the supplements I took, and my Oura sleep score

In essence, it’s been sleep hygiene best practices + the adrenal support supplement that has had a dramatically positive impact on my sleep quality.

Measurement is also incredibly important. Whether you use an Apple watch or an Oura ring, measuring your sleep quality is vitally important. It will help you measure your baseline sleep quality and assess the impact of various interventions- whether it’s taking Magnesium or wearing a pair of blue light blocking glasses.

My Approach

chili sleep system
My ChiliPAD. It keeps my bed nice and cold- creating PERFECT sleeping conditions.

I understand that sleep problems can be caused by many different factors, and that each person’s experience is unique. Some people have trouble getting to sleep, while others struggle to stay asleep, and still others may have difficulty achieving deep, restful sleep.

For me, a combination of sleep hygiene practices and targeted supplementation were key in helping me improve my sleep. I started by investing in blackout curtains and a sleep mask to create a dark and quiet sleeping environment. I also wore blue light blocking glasses in the evenings and used a sun lamp to get some light exposure in the morning.

I also made changes to my diet and lifestyle to support my sleep. I reduced my caffeine intake and stopped taking cold showers. I supplemented with small amounts of melatonin, magnesium, and started taking an adrenal support supplement called Adrenal Optimizer.

I purchased the ChiliSleep system- basically a mattress topper that uses circulated water to either cool or warm your bed. I love sleeping in the cold and piling tons of blankets on top of me.

Through these changes, I was able to achieve more restful, rejuvenating sleep and saw a significant improvement in my energy levels and overall well-being. I’m passionate about helping others find the same success and believe that the right combination of sleep hygiene practices and targeted supplementation can make a big difference.

And so, my sleep e-commerce site was born. I now offer a curated selection of the best sleep products and resources, all designed to help people get the restful, rejuvenating sleep they deserve. Whether you’re a busy entrepreneur like me, or just someone looking to improve your sleep, I’m here to help. Sweet dreams!

How Things Are Today

After months, maybe even a year, of trial and error, I was thrilled to find that my sleep quality had improved dramatically. I felt more rested in the morning and had more energy throughout the day. The adrenal supplement, the morning sunlamp, and all the sleep hygiene interventions I had introduced, had made a huge difference.

However, it wasn’t always perfect. Some nights I still don’t sleep *perfectly*, but I’m much better adapted to dealing with it…though a few glasses of wine in the afternoon do help😲.

I realized that sleep optimization is an ongoing process. It wasn’t something that I could achieve overnight and then maintain effortlessly. I needed to continue to invest time and effort into maintaining and enhancing my sleep hygiene practices. I would sometimes try new sleep aids or routines and track their effectiveness, and make adjustments as needed.

I was confident that I could keep improving my sleep quality, as I knew how to identify and address any sleep issues that arose. I was proud of the progress I had made, and I was grateful for the many tools and resources that were available to help me along the way.

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