How I Mastered Sleep after 20 years of Struggle

Photo by Albert S on Unsplash

To sleep well, every day, you will need to change … to change your lifestyle completely, what you eat, your bad habits, your environment, your mental & physical health and many more, you will need so much discipline and persistence. Sleep is not easy, there is no shortcuts or free lunch here, but waking up fresh and recovered every day is so damn worth it and will affect your life in many different ways

Your bad habits

Everyone has a set of bad habits that affects sleep and are usually hard to quit or handle, below I am listing mine and how I handled them

  • I don’t work, open my laptop or check my cell phone after 10 PM
  • I canceled Netflix completely since I had the habit of watching Netflix every day before I sleep
  • I don’t eat any heavy meal after 8 PM — only hot drinks and fruits (bananas)
  • I try to avoid extreme foods that cause bloating or dehydration, also food that contains Caffeine (for example: dark chocolate)
  • Alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Laziness (not being physically active)

Build good habits

Here are some of the good habits I adopted to help me sleep better

  • I play 20 minutes of sport in-house every day (morning and before the last meal)
  • I try to get exposed to the Sun and have long walks whenever possible
  • I “try” to sleep and wake up at consistent times both on weekends and weekdays
  • I try to remind myself before sleep “why I should wake up early and what do I lose when I over/under-sleep”
  • I always try to make sure I am not anxious or have unfinished business inside my head before I sleep. Try to pray, meditate or do breathing exercises, just do your best not to be in a bad mood before sleep

Improve your Environment

I have found sleep to be directly affected by the environment we are in, think about times when you were camping, how easy was it to sleep in nature ?

  • I try to turn off/dim all the lights from 10 to 11 PM which I call the cool-down period, a period to give a clear message to my body that it is sleeping time
  • I make sure the room is dark, not very warm (around 21c) and not very dry (40+ I bought a humidifier for that)

Physical health

  • I take multivitamins (including Vitamin D) daily
  • I started cooking and eating healthy in 2020
  • I tried to find if I have any physical issues affecting my sleep (for example sleep apnea) but luckily I only found that I suffer from light snoring (try SnoreLab App) which sometimes reduces sleep quality. Before I sleep I make sure my airways are clear using many techniques (like mint drinks or nasal wash)

Controlling deviations

Doing all the above improved my sleep significantly, now the norm is “I sleep well”, only in rare cases I deviate and have a bad day, and for that I have my controlling mechanism in place: I use a 1mg Melatonin pill to help me sleep early and well on bad days. It helps me avoid ruining the next day and getting into that vicious cycle

That’s it, HTH & I wish you great sleep and a relaxed body when you wake up everyday



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Karim Ouda

Karim Ouda


Freelance Consultant — Data & Product. Writing about Data, Entrepreneurship and Life.