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The Science of Sleep: A Brief Guide on How to Sleep Better Every Night

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https://jamesclear.com/sleep

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The Science of Sleep: A Brief Guide on How to Sleep Better Every Night
If you want to learn how to sleep better, then you're in the right place. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know if you want to get better sleep. I'll explain the science of sleep and how it works, discuss why many people suffer from sleep deprivation without knowing it, and offer practical tips for getting better sleep and having more energy.

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The Science of Sleep

The average adult spends 36 % (or about one-third) of his or her life asleep.

Purpose of Sleep:

  • Restoration
  • Memory Consolidation
  • Metabolic Health

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Restoration

The first purpose of sleep is restoration.

Every day, your brain accumulates metabolic waste as it goes about its normal neural activities. Sleeping restores the brains healthy condition by r...

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Memory Consolidation

The second purpose of sleep is memory consolidation.

Sleep is crucial for memory consolidation, which is responsible for your long term memories. Insufficient or fragmented sleep can ham...

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Metabolical Health

When we sleep 5.5 hours per night instead of 8.5 hours per night (recommended is 8 hours), we tend to burn more energy using carbs and protein, instead of fat. This can result in fat gain and muscl...

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Cumulative Stress

Cumulative stress takes place when the inputs in our body like nutrition, sleep and other forms of recovery are not able to fulfill the drainers, like exercise, stress, and other forms of things th...

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Keep your Bucket of Energy Full

  1. Refill your bucket on a regular basis. That means making time for sleep and recovery.
  2. Let the draining tasks in your life accumulate and drain your bucket. Once you hit empty, your bod...

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The Sleep-Wake Cycle

The quality of your sleep is determined by a process called the sleep-wake cycle. This cycle is dictated by your circadian rhythm.

There are two important parts of the sleep-wake cycle:

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How to Sleep Better

  • Develop a “power down” ritual before bed, limiting the use of technology and bright lights.
  • Use Relaxation Techniques like yoga or meditation.

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The Circadian Rhythm

It is impacted by three main factors: 

  • Light: probably the most significant pace setter of the circadian rhythm. Staring into a bright light for 30 minutes or so can often re...

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How to Fall Asleep Fast

  • Develop a “power down” ritual before bed: shut off all electronics an hour or two before sleep and resume all work early in the day, t calm your mind.
  • Use relaxation techniques: proven...

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Daily Habits for Better Sleep

  • Get outside. Aim for at least 30 minutes of sun exposure each day.
  • Turn out the lights. When it gets dark outside, dim the lights in your house and reduce blue or full-spectrum light i...

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When choosing your bedtime, try not to fight your physiology. The best bedtime will differ a little bit for everyone, but it's crucial that you pay close attention to your internal clock and what y...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Sleep deprivation

Sleep deprivation

Willpower, memory, judgement, and attention all suffer when you are sleep deprived.

You drop things, crave junk food sugar, overeat, gain weight. You’re more irritable, negative, emotio...

Get through sleep deprivation:

  • Stabilize your blood sugar, by eating hearty food (protein and fat) more often.
  • Reduce refined carbs and increase fats and proteins.
  • B-complex vitamin supplements can give you an immediate boost in alertness and mental clarity.
  • Soak in an Epsom salt bath - might even help you get enough energy to exercise the next day.
  • Drink more water than you usually do to help compensate.
  • Exercise is the single best way to “take out the trash” in your body, and after staying up more hours than you should.

Keep in sync with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle

  • Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day;
  • Avoid sleeping in, even on weekends;
  • Limit naps to 15 to 20 minutes in the early afternoon;

Melatonin

Is a naturally occurring hormone controlled by light exposure that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. 

Your brain secretes more melatonin when it’s dark, making you sleepy, and less when it’s light, making you more alert. 

However, many aspects of modern life can alter your body’s production of melatonin and shift your circadian rhythm

Influence exposure to ligh

During the day:

  • Expose yourself to bright sunlight in the morning. 
  • Spend more time outside during daylight. 
  • Let as much natural light into your home or workspace as possible.

At night:

  • Avoid bright screens within 1-2 hours of your bedtime.
  • Say no to late-night television.
  • Don’t read with backlit devices. 
  • When it’s time to sleep, make sure the room is dark.
  • Keep the lights down if you get up during the night.

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Your Relationship With Sleep

Your Relationship With Sleep

Many of us have a broken relationship with sleep. It’s rare for most people to wake up refreshed, rejuvenated, and full of energy.

We need to look into something we always overlooked or neg...

Basics Of Sleep

A night of sleep is made of five cycles, making us go through various sleep stages. This can be light sleep, deep sleep and REM stage of sleep when we dream and have eye movement.

During sleep, our body produces Melatonin and Growth Hormones, which are required by your bodies for regulating our internal clock and to restore our muscles, bone and metabolism.

Sleep Myths Busted

  1. We all don’t need a standard eight hours of sleep, as it varies according to our age, genetics and level of activity.
  2. Insomnia is actually of various types, from Onset (unable to fall asleep) to Maintenance(struggling to stay asleep) and other types like chronic and acute insomnia.
  3. We all do not have to wake up at 5 a.m., and the wake up time depends on our chronotype.
  4. Sleeping pills, like the types of insomnia, are different too. Benadryl helps you fall asleep, while melatonin pills regulate our internal clock.

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