It is a commonly delivered phrase in our business that you should invest in accordance with a risk tolerance and your financial objectives. We just finished a book, “Why We Sleep” by Mathew Walker. Ironically, nowhere in it did it refer to asset allocation, risk level or a diversified portfolio!
All kidding aside, the author proposes that most insomnia is caused by anxiety and cognitive behavioral therapy is the antidote to insomnia; in lieu of sleeping pills and other pharmaceutical solutions. There is little doubt that money and investing issues can contribute significantly to anxiety. We have done and will continue to do everything in our power to help minimize the anxiety associated with financial planning and investing. We have often said we are as much in the ‘behavioral management’ business as we are in the investment business.
The 2017 markets could have put you to sleep with their lack of volatility. This year has started with more market turbulence and could provide more opportunities for anxious moments. Though we believe both our financial and investment planning will help mitigate some of the anxiousness caused by the ups and downs of the financial markets, we are always looking for ways to improve ours and your confidence.
In conversations regarding “Why We Sleep” with family and friends, we were enlightened by the number of people who have trouble sleeping. With that in mind, we are going to share from “Why We Sleep” the 13 most important things to help you sleep better. Combined with our financial stewardship these are sure to help you feel more balanced!
1. Stick to a sleep schedule. Go to bed and get up at the same time. If you take only one piece of advice, this is it.
2. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, but not 2 to 3 hours before you go to bed.
3. Avoid nicotine and caffeine. The half-life of caffeine is 7-8 hours. It should be eaten or drank in the early afternoon at the latest. Nicotine promotes a light sleep and early wake up due to withdrawals.
4. Avoid alcohol before bed. Heavy use robs you of deep sleep and an impairment of proper breathing.
5. Avoid large meals and beverages at night. Large meals can cause indigestion and too many fluids may enhance nighttime trips to the bathroom.
6. Avoid medications that delay or disrupt sleep; e.g. some heart, blood pressure, asthma and over the counter cold and allergy medicines. Consult a doctor or pharmacists for insights into the medication you are taking.
7. Naps can be good, but take them before 3:00 pm.
8. Relax before bed; reading, listening to music, meditation, breathing exercises can be part of nighttime rituals.
9. Take a hot bath. The drop in body temperature after the bath promotes sleepiness and it can help you relax.
10. Your bedroom should be dark, cool and gadget-free. Don’t spend time on your phone or look at the clock through the night.
11. Sunlight/light exposure; try to get 30 minutes of sunlight daily. Start your day with bright lights and turn down the lights throughout the evening.
12. Don’t lie in bed awake. If you find yourself lying awake for more than 20 minutes, get up and try a relaxing activity. The anxiety of not sleeping makes it harder to fall asleep.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Raymond James. All opinions are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Diversification and asset allocation do not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Investing involves risk and investors may incur a profit or a loss.
Raymond James is not affiliated with Matt Walker and does not endorse the opinions or services of any of the quoted professionals/authors or their respective firms/publications.