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 in your environment.
  • Avoid caffeine and stop smoking or chewing tobacco. 
  • Use the bedroom for sleep and sex only. 

Also, consider these sleep aids: exercise (it will make it easier for your brain and body to power down at night), temperature (the ideal range is usually between 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit/18 to 21 degrees Celsius) and sound (a quiet space is key for good sleep).

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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 muscle loss. Also, insufficient sleep or abnormal sleep cycles can increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

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 hamper your ability to remember facts and feelings/emotions.

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 your body is telling you. As long as you're getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep, just focus on finding the time that works best for you.

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.
  • Get some sun exposure every day.
  • Avoid Caffeine.
  • Stop smoking or chewing tobacco.
  • Use the Bedroom for sleep-related activities only, keeping it uncluttered and inducive to sleep.
  • Get some exercise in the day.
  • Keep room temperature ideal for sleep.
  • Avoid excessive alcohol.
  • Avoid noisy surroundings and conditions.
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 reset your circadian rhythm regardless of what time of day it is.
  • The time of day, your daily schedule, and the order in which you perform tasks can all impact your sleep-wake cycle.
  • Melatonin: this is the hormone that causes drowsiness and controls body temperature. It increases after dark and decreases before dawn.
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 methods include daily journaling, deep breathing exercises, meditation, exercise, and keeping a gratitude journal.

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

Purpose of Sleep:

  • Restoration
  • Memory Consolidation
  • Metabolic Health
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 body will force you to rest through injury and illness.
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 that take away our energy.

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 removing these waste products. Accumulation of these waste products has been linked to many brain-related disorders.

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:

  1. Slow-wave sleep (also known as deep sleep)
  2. REM sleep (REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement)

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Taking A Nap: Sleep Debt

When we constantly get less sleep (even 1 hour less) than we need each night, it is called sleep debt. We may pay for it in daytime drowsiness, trouble concentrating, moodiness, lower productivity and increased risk of falls and accidents.

Although a daytime nap cannot replace a good night’s sleep, it can help make up for some of the harm done as a result of sleep debt.

  • But avoid taking a nap after 3 pm as late naps may stop us getting to sleep at night.
  • And avoid napping for longer than 30 minutes as longer naps will make it harder to wake up and get back into the swing of things.
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;
  • Fight after-dinner drowsiness. If you get sleepy way before your bedtime, get off the couch and do something mildly stimulating.
Why We Sleep

While even experts haven’t reached a consensus explanation for why we sleep, numerous indicators support the view that it serves an essential biological function.

In adults, a lack of sleep has been associated with a wide range of negative health consequences including cardiovascular problems, a weakened immune system, higher risk of obesity and type II diabetes, impaired thinking and memory, and mental health problems like depression and anxiety.

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