Exclusive Content About Sleep
Think of sleep as the shampoo for your brain and cleaning crew for the insides. We simply can’t function metabolically, psychologically, or physically when we’re sleep deprived. Sleep deprivation is linked to a host of problems, cancer, diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and dementia just to name a few. It’s simply the best thing we can do for ourselves.
Top 3 Tips for Better Sleep
The bedroom is for two things only! Sleep and sex!
- Remove the electronics. TVs, phones, tablets, and computers have two strikes against them. They stimulate you and they put off artificial light (ALAN, artificial light at night). Electronics also tend to put out blue light that stimulates you further. Look for night settings on all your devices (computer, phone, tablets, etc.) that start to dim your screens and shift colors to warmer tones at sunset. Don’t use any electronics 3 hours before bed. Charge your phone outside of the bedroom. Get an alarm clock.
- Minimize all light in the room. The darker the room, the sounder you’ll sleep.
- Minimize noise. The quieter the room, the deeper the sleep. If you’re in a particularly noisy place, get earplugs or try white noise generators to mask other sounds.
Four Tips to Sleep Like A Pro
- Cool. Keep your bedroom below 70 degrees.
- Avoid stimulants in the afternoon and evening. Caffeine has a half-life in the body of 5-6 hours.
- Don’t eat within two hours of bed: breaking down food is complicated. It takes a lot of energy to do it well. Eating right before bed tends to disrupt your sleep patterns and doesn’t do a lot for breaking down food either!
- Comfortable: Invest in a good, comfortable bed. You spend 1/3rd of your life in your bed, more than you spend in your car. Make sure it’s 100% comfortable.
Advanced Sleep Levels
- Exercise in the morning. If you exercise at night, then try mornings and see if it improves your sleep.
- Have regular sleep patterns. Consistent bedtime and wake times go a long way to improving sleep. Trying to “catch up” on weekends doesn’t work.
- Remove emotionally charged things from your bedroom. Seeing and being around emotionally charge things stimulates us. Take the photos, knickknacks, pictures and thing that has a strong memory and put it someplace else. If you can’t live without the photo of great aunt Suzie, then try it for a few days and see how it goes.
- Pets are great -- just not in the bedroom.
Extra Tips to Sleep Like You Invented It!
- Have bedtime rituals for transition: breathing, meditation or reading. Listen to soothing music. Warm herbal tea an hour before bed. Stretch.
- Expose yourself to bright light during the day. It’ll improve your mood and your sleep at night.
- If you sleep fewer than 7 hours, take a 20-30 minute nap. If you sleep more than 8.5 hours, set an alarm.
- Wear amber colored glasses at night. It blocks blue light, produces more helpful melatonin.
Special note: New parents are often sleep deprived. Having a regular meditative practice can help regulate some of the restorative functions found in sleep. It’s not a substitute, but it’s something!