The Desert Island Edition [Mollie’s Monday Obsessions v.102]
“Simplify, Simplify, Simplify” - Henry David Thoreau
Don’t let this be you when it comes to acquiring more sleep optimization gadgets and gizmos! :) 🧜♀️🧜
When I was at my worst with my sleep, I was beholden to a carefully crafted assortment of sleeping pills and a nighttime arsenal of THINGS to get me to sleep. Having that external locus of control was incredibly disempowering and a LOT of problems while on the road. The very nature of travel makes having access to many of those things reliably - unpredictable. That experience taught me that I didn’t want to live in fear of being without my lotions and potions across the oceans. ;)
A bit of irony from the girl who owns just about every piece of sleep tech on the market. While I can’t deny my undying love for my gadgets (I literally sleep with them after all), the digital nomad and minimalist ultimately subscribe to The Desert Island Approach.
The Desert Island Approach is the ability to land anywhere, alone (with nothing but the clothes on your back), and know yourself as someone who can reliably get great sleep — without all the bells and whistles. I discovered this at my lowest of lows of sleep deprivation while traveling around the world. More about that in the next newsletter!
There’s no shortage of biohackers recommending an endless loop of supplements, powders, and tinctures for sleep. While that may all have a time and a place, I genuinely believe that the psychological and behavioral change component is the forgotten link and highly underutilized. I also think that an unhealthy reliance on THINGS to sleep can create its problems.
Now that I haven’t been traveling as much with COVID, I’ve had the opportunity to test out LOTS of sleep gadgets and gizmos, which has been remarkable. And some of these items can genuinely support exceptional sleep.
But the actual work is building a mindset of curiosity & non-attachment. To experiment with these items, learn from them - without becoming attached to a single one.
If you’re using them on top of a foundation of stress, there’s only so far they’ll take you. The most critical thing I practiced was trust and surrender. For this stats-driven nerd, it took something for me to let go of the data and the numbers and the obsession with “fixing”.
Ultimately, the mind is the greatest tool of all.
Here are some resources to support that process (which is way less sexy than the latest piece of tech, but can help ensure that we are addressing the mindset that will make mentally sound related to our sleep results!).
️♀️Resource: Book, Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender This was THE book that I finally began to fall asleep without sleeping pills after months and months of suffering. I would open the Audible app, turn on a red travel light, and take notes on exactly HOW to Let Go in bed until I fell asleep. It was a gloriously empowering experience! This practice is one that I’ll come back to if I have something on my mind, and it’s impacting my sleep. Learning the art of letting go is everything and takes something!
️♀️Resource: Framework, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs There’s a reason this framework has been kicking around for 66 years. It is not groundbreaking, but truly living a life like this is and is key to creating the peace of mind required to sleep fully at night.
SLEEP SCHOLARS (These are from you guys!)
Resource: Article, The Energy Blueprint, Science Says: Coffee Is Secretly Sabotaging Your Energy Levels │ (Why Does Coffee Make Me Tired?) The real question you should ask is: how can you get the benefits without lowering your baseline mood performance and energy and while even getting a real boost from your coffee? Luckily, the answer is simple, cycle on and off caffeine. Use it for one or two days, and then take two to three days off of it. Or use it for two weeks and then go off for two weeks. However, in the beginning, it is not quite that simple. First, you need to clean out your system and reset your entire neurotransmitter system in your brain if you have been a chronic caffeine consumer.