The #1 Secret To a More Inspired, Enjoyable & Productive Life

Quality Retirement Planning, Calgary

What is the secret to a more inspired, enjoyable, productive life?

No, it's not working harder. I tried that and failed. Some years ago I worked for 70 straight days without a day off. I was putting in 14-16 hours a day, straight through. I was a real joy to be around. Just ask my wife. I was irritable. I was short on patience.

According to Dr. Samuels of "The Centre for Sleep and Human Performance", the most significant symptom of sleep deprivation is mood change. I also turned into a klutz, which is another symptom of sleep deprivation - decreased performance. I stubbed my toe, hit my head, and had bandages on every finger. I was incredibly active, but not productive. Kind of like what you see behind the counter at a fast food joint.

I'm not proud of it. It was stupid and I regret it!

It took me about a year to recover physically, emotionally and psychologically.

What is the secret?

It's not about making more money. That usually leads to more work. Without a day off or a vacation - how do you ever enjoy the fruits of your labour? 

The secret is more sleep. Yeah, sleep your way to greater productivity, joy and inspiration.

Go ahead and google it - the science is overwhelming that sleep is a direct contributor to our success. Success in business. Success in achieving our health goals. Success with weight loss. Yeah, you can even sleep yourself skinny. Sleep has many healing qualities for our mind, body and souls and is one of the biggest contributors to mood.

Check out this Ted Talk with Ariana Huffington. She fainted at work and hit her head on her desk and ended up with 5 stitches and a broken cheekbone.

Why is it we sacrifice sleep for success? 

It's like sacrificing oxygen for life or love from marriage. We suffocate without it. The very thing we need most in order to succeed we are willing to jeopardize with the notion that we can somehow survive better without it. It's ridiculous really. 

I'm no expert when it comes to sleep. I have struggled with sleep for many years - surviving on the bare minimum and napping whenever and wherever I can. One sign of sleep deprivation is falling asleep whenever we sit down. Have a look around the next time you are on transit.

Sleep deprivation and overworking will lead to reduced levels of serotonin which is a necessary and natural feel-good hormone required to help us work. When we work too much and don't get enough sleep our bodies turn to another chemical called adrenaline - which is more for emergency use. Dr. Archibald D. Hart says, "Adrenaline arousal can be compared to revving up a car engine, then leaving it to idle at high speed." If we continue to function on adrenaline we will burn out sooner than later. I confess that I have been an "Adrenaline Junkie".

Dr. Charles Samuels has dedicated his life to helping people sleep better. He is the director at Calgary's "Clinic for Sleep and Human Performance". He and his colleagues have done research with some of Calgary's finest from the Calgary Police Service. They also work with the Canadian Olympic Team. We were honoured to have Dr. Samuels speak at one of our events (Sleep Your Way To Financial Success). We learned some valuable tips about getting better sleep. Here's a breakdown by Dr. Katherine Rasmussen, ND, B.Ed., BA. Clinical Sleep Educator at the Centre for Sleep & Human Performance: 

Routine is the foundation of health, rejuvenation, sleep and digestion. 

 Rise at the same time daily. This strengthens and anchors your circadian sleep process and is the best way to reset your biological clock for establishing a healthy sleep pattern. On weekends, stay within one hour of your wake time. 

 Arrange mealtimes and physical activity at consistent times. 

Morning light. 

 Light is the strongest cue for our circadian rhythms as it suppresses melatonin production during the day. Go outside for a few minutes in the morning and turn your face to the sun. 

Wind down with a pre-sleep routine 2 hours before bedtime. 

 Engage in calming activities in DIM LIGHTING. This primes the body for sleep. For example, listen to relaxing music, watch light TV or read a magazine, take a bath, put on your PJs, practice diaphragmatic breathing or do gentle stretching. 

Unplug from technology at least 2 hours before bedtime. 

o Cellphones, tablets, and computer screens emit a blue-green light which stimulates your brain and interferes with your internal body clock. 

o Technology can be addictive and encroach on your sleep time. 

o Checking work emails at night can create worry and stress. 

Never “try” to sleep. 

 This will only produce performance anxiety. Sleep is the passive process of letting go of the awakened state. 

Think you may have sleep apnea?

-You can submit a request to have a first appointment with the clinic and get tested. There is a self-referral form on their website.

-This first appointment is covered by Alberta Health

  • Are there behavioural changes I can make to improve my sleep?

-Dr. Samuels says that most of our sleep issues are behaviour related. Too much screen time (Technology) is the worst culprit. Trying to self-medicate is the second worse thing we can do.

The bottom line: Sleep is crucial to our success. You can have better sleep with some behaviour changes. Take advantage of the help that's available to you.


Our business is all about helping clients declutter their lives by first getting their total financial house in order and providing the clarity and confidence to retire sooner than later. You can learn more about our process by clicking here.


Fee-only Retirement Income Planning

Willis Langford BA, MA, CFP

Nancy Langford CRS

Check out this recent blog, "Live Your Ideal Lifestyle Now - What Are You Waiting For?"



"Retire confidently with a purpose to wake up to & enough money to sleep at night"


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