Sleepy Sunday Newsletter - Chapter 4 (April 2023): Do's & Don't on Supplements, The Golden Ratio of Wellbeing and what happens if you dial it in for 3 months

Sleepy Sunday Newsletter - Chapter 4 (April 2023): Do's & Don't on Supplements, The Golden Ratio of Wellbeing and what happens if you dial it in for 3 months

leepy Sunday Newsletter

by 8hrS
Chapter 4 - April

Selfcare Tip of the Month.

👆 Don't touch your phone the first and last hour of your day. If you immediately reach for your phone (and all the quick, useless dopamine hits it contains on apps such as Tiktok, Instagram or even your mails), you immediately overload your brain with this information and break your 'armour of willpower' to start the day. Do something for yourself first: could be a chill breakfast, meditation, exercise, a brisk walk or some morning stretching. It will set your brain correctly for the day.
And do we need to repeat why to stay of that screen at least 1 hour before bedtime? Circadian rhythm, blue light suppressing melatonin, active brain stimulation etc etc. You know the drill. 

Sleep Tip of the Month

😴 Have a physical transition or cue when trying to get in the mood for bed. Definitely if you've just had a long working day or something, you can't just expect your brain to shut off. Small cues like a certain scent (essential oils), changing clothes or a walk/light exercise to change your headspace can do wonders.
Only use that certain scent/thee/outfit for that specific purpose and your brain will get acquainted with the correlation between that cue and shifting down to sleep soon.

Media tips of the Month.

👂 Listen: Might sound like a paradox, but we're actually recommending the 'I can't Sleep' podcast by Benjamin Boster. It's not so much about the content, but more so about the extremely soothing sound of Benjamin's voice reading a random wikipedia article sending you off for a good night. For all our ASMR/Sleep story fans: give this a listen!

📚 Read: Not (entirely) linked with Sleep, but 'Breath - the Science of A Lost Art' by James Nestor was a true eye-opener (and mouth-shutter). It basically delves into the difference between mouth & nasal breathing and all its impacts. We won't spoil more, but let us just say we've been diligently mouth-taping at night... 

👀 Watch: We mentioned Brian Johnson (tech billionaire gone Benjamin Button) in the 'Listen' section last month, but to actually grasp the extent of this man's dedication to slow down or reverse ageing, you've just got to see it with your own eyes. Hence this video in collaboration with fitness youtuber and all-around great guy Will Tennyson, where Mr. Johnson takes us through his daily routine. In all fairness: not sure we would be wanting to lengthen our lives if this is all it would encompass, but we must respect the lengths Brian Johnson goes to test this science. Undoubtedly this will have spill-overs in the (more maintainable) health  and wellbeing industry. And the one thing we certainly agree on: the negligence of Sleep is just detrimental! 


What we want to tell you.

Subject of this month is a tricky one: supplements.
Many blogposts have been written on what (not) to take and opinions vary going from an absolute necessity to pure waste. We're not here to claim we know best, we'll be the first to admit that different things work for different people and there's no way we can comprehensively cover supplementation in a couple of lines here. Yet, it's probably one of the most common questions we get 'what supplements should we take', so here's our (personal) 2 cents.
First and foremost: a healthy, balanced and protein-rich (1 to 2g/kg of bodyweight depending on your exercise routine) diet is your very best bet at getting your necessary macro's, micro's and nutrients. That being said, here's some stuff that has worked for our team (per objective).
1. Overall health: omega 3 fish-oil; vitamin D3; magnesium complex
2. Physical performance: creatine; any electrolyte tabs for endurance sports
3. Focus: Rhodiola Rosea; L-Tyrosine; Caffeine
4. Sleep: 5-HTP/L-Tryptophan; Apigenin; Magnesium (biglycinate or threonate); L-theanine; Myo-Inositol
5. Mood: 5-HTP; Ashwaganda; Mucuna Pruriens (L-Dopa)

So do you need (all of) these? No.
Can they help? Yes.
How do I know if it works for me? Trial and error! Don't mix too much, try 1 supplement at a time for at least 2-3 weeks and then 1-2 weeks off, making sure you know exactly what causes the good/bad effects.

8hrS January update in 8 Short lines.

We want to share updates on what's happening, what we're working on or what's going on in the 8hrS' team minds in 8 short snippets per month. See it as a teaser for you and an accountability tracker for us.
This month, no real updates, but we're keeping it real: here's some 'fuckups' we've done while trying to build our brand, community and product line. We're far from perfect and these are all learning opportunities hence we're actually grateful to go through these (although that gratefulness is very much an afterthought to be honest). We've learned to let it go, modify where possible and not loose too much sleep over mistakes in the past (wouldn't be very on brand). 
Without further ado, here's some recent and less recent 'learning opportunities' (aka fuck-ups) 
  • Bad supply chain management: being overly optimistic that suppliers will actually respect lead times, that logistics will go smooth and production will be without any hiccups. It. Never. Happens. Suppliers have capacity issues, products need last minute altering, boats/trains/airplanes get stuck and customs decide to pick apart your full shipment. Learning: be diligent with restocking and never let stock go below 2 months of inventory...
  • Not all logistics partners are the same: having a great door to door logistics partner is crucial in e-commerce. We've learned the hard way that it's not just about the most competitive quote, it's also about the (respect for) service level and partnership. We won't name names, but we recently stopped collaborating with one of our logistical partners due to an array of issues: from the most random hidden costs to orders disappearing or ending up in Poland instead of Germany or 7 day delivery times, we've seen it all. All sorted now though! Learning: pick a partner that wants to grow together and pay extra $ for the service level. 
  • There's a lot of 'fake' influencers out there that are just in it for a quick buck/free products: we've become way more diligent in our selection of who we partnered with. All too often influencers 'super excited about the brand' just disappear with free products or they portray the products in completely the opposite way as we want our value proposition to be. It's the wild west on Instagram. Learning: treat influencers/brand ambassadors just like employees => have interviews and an actual contract with expectations.
  • Take time to actually sit back & brainstorm: once the operational hassle starts to take over (order management, after-sales services, accounting, internal processes etc.) it's really easy to get consumed by it while losing what made this business special: a clear vision and mission to help people become the best version of themselves. To attain that vision needs to be a constant force driving NEW things. Learning: schedule random brainstorming, moodboarding, philosophising or deep talks that don't seem to have an immediate return on investment. It pays off in the long term (we hope...).   
Simple, but definitely not Easy...
The elixir of life. Simple parameters that will improve every and any aspect of your general wellbeing and life. 
But it's not easy, there's a lot of variables impacting these 'KPI's of wellbeing' and the balanced intersection is about as rare as Michelangelo's Golden Ratio. Play around with it, find what works for you and reap the benefits.
A note from the Founder.
I dialed it all in for 3 months. 
From the first of January 2023 to the 2nd of April 2023 I did an 'experiment'. The background of the experiment was running the Paris marathon 2023, but it was about more than just that. I wanted to see what actually dialling in a strict (but pretty sustainable) routine would do to me. Although I tend to live a pretty 'healthy' live anyways, I decided to take it up a notch. For three months I didn't touch a drink, barely ate out and focused solely on work, exercise, sleep and general health. I threw in a couple of social gatherings to not go crazy (mental health = health), but pretty much stuck to it. Although the excessive amount of training took away some working hours, I'd argue I was very productive and motivated throughout this period, I was generally in a great mood and slept like a baby. 
Also crossed the line in Paris at 3hrs 12min so there's that. 
So will I continue down this road? Not fully. There's something to be said for letting go a bit and I'm definitely going to enjoy my summer, which means a couple of drinks (too many) and replacing some sleeping hours by dancing hours. And that's completely fine! However I still focus 90% of my time on my mission: helping people become the best version of themselves while maintaining the curious mind of a philosopher in the functional body of an athlete.
Call it cringe, call it unsustainable, call it boring: it's what works for me and genuinely makes me happy. It's not a template for everyone (that just doesn't exist), although I would argue that playing around with variables such as purpose, exercise, sleep and nutrition can make you find out what works for you as well.
Next cycle of 'experiment': focus and productivity! Will report back in 3 months. 

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