Original question from Quora:

What are the best one-minute life hacks?

My Answer:

There is one hack that takes about a minute, and will impact an entire day at a time. If you don’t do this well, you can screw up an entire day…

You know, being tired is a funny thing. If you talk to people enough you will see that people on any given day tend to divide into two groups - those who got enough sleep and those who didn’t.

The ones who get enough sleep are sort of obvious. They are friendly. They don’t seem to run their life fueled by coffee and energy shots.

In general, those who sleep enough seem to do better in life.

Those who don’t get enough sleep live on stimulants. They are grouchy and unpleasant to be around. Oh, and they probably eat too much because they don’t have enough energy.

In a way, people aren’t very smart when it comes to sleep because we treat it as sort of optional and less important than everything else our life’s little todo list.

But here’s the thing. Getting enough sleep will do more for your health and happiness than anything else you can do on a daily basis.

So here is the amazing one minute life hack that will improve your day so much you wont’ believe it.

At 9:00 at night, go to every room in your house and turn off the lights, the television, the computer, phones, radios, or anything else that emits light or makes noise. Now you start your sleep ritual. That should take a minute or less depending on the size of your house.

That means your house should be basically dark and silent, depending on the time of year.

Now, go to the bathroom, brush your teeth, put on your pajamas, tuck your kids into bed if you have them, and go lay down in bed. You should be laying down by 9:30. Ideally, you’ll be asleep by 10:00.

This gives you a solid 8 hours of sleep between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am. Depending on your job situation you might even be able to sleep a little later, but this gives you a solid 8 hours, which is a pretty good baseline of sleep for most people. If you need more, adjust accordingly. If you think you need less, try 8 hours of sleep for a couple weeks just to see how you feel.

The key is, you need to shut everything off in advance so you have plenty of time to drift off to sleep and get your 8 hours of sleep each night. Most people mess up that part, but it’s vital and only takes a minute.

Also, don’t change the routine on weekends just because you want to go have fun. Going out with friends, staying out late, and possibly getting drunk won’t feel good the next day. It never does.

If you use this trick enough times, it becomes routine and it will start to make you tired out of habit. It will be easier to fall asleep and get your 8 hours of rest.

When you get enough sleep, you’ll have lots of energy and that will serve to help you in every other area of life.

Just remember, we spend about 1/3 of our lives sleeping. Spending one minute to improve 1/3 of your day seems like a pretty good trade doesn’t it?

-Brian

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