Here are Alex Shannon’s top five recommendations for a better night’s sleep along with his sleep essentials.
Whether he’s heading back to his homeland of England or to a completely new locale, when Alex is flying to a different time zone he begins his body’s acclimation to the new time zone the second he boards that flight. “What I try and do is to get onto [the destination’s] time zone faster, whether that means waiting to eat my meal later, or putting my eye mask on and earbuds in and trying to sleep when you’re supposed to be asleep [in the destination’s] time zone,” he says. “It isn’t always the easiest, but that’s what I found works the best for me.”
Even for a professional sleeper like Alex, getting a good night’s sleep is just as much about being willing to try new things as it is about following your routine. Whether it’s a different soundscape, a new sleep mask, or a new set of sheets, there’s so much to explore on the pathway to better sleep.
“Think about all of your senses when you’re falling asleep—the type of clothes you’re wearing in terms of touch, what your room smells like, and if there’s any particular sounds that help you fall asleep.” Essential oils or a diffuser are his favorite tools for scent, and a white noise machine like the Dream Egg helps to create a relaxing soundscape.
“A lot of people think that needing more than seven or eight hours of sleep, or needing to nap during the day, or really taking the time to enjoy your downtime and just lounge around is just being lazy. To me it’s the complete opposite,” Alex explains. “If I don’t do that, I can’t continue to be productive. It’s like investing in yourself by doing those things.”
Instead of getting caught up in the one thing people swear by, Alex recommends indulging in whatever works best for you, even if it seems to go against conventional wisdom. Even if others insist on a quiet room, blast TV all night if it works for you! Sleep is a personal thing that takes up such a large part of our lives, there’s no use in not catering it to your own needs.
“I’ve partnered with Lahgo before but these are genuinely, hands down, my fave PJs of any I’ve tried—especially the quality for the price,” says Alex. He also notes that they’re “perfect for travel and I have every color!”
If you’re looking for a better read on your sleep patterns, or if you’re simply a data obsessive, the Oura ring is just the thing. An absolute staple for Alex, the ring gives insight into your nightly sleep, along with recognizing when you’re stressed out and tracking your physical activity, giving you a truly holistic understanding of your rest and need for it.
Alex recommends using this diffuser set whether you’re at home on the go. On a plane, try applying a drop of essential oil to your neck to help you relax.
According to Alex, these earbuds “actively block out annoying background noise.” As he further explains, “Snoring kills me so I always have these with me.”