Health+Wellness

11 Tips to Get a Perfect Night’s Sleep

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“Sleep is more important than food” says Tony Schwartz, best-selling author and “Energy Expert“.

A Harvard study shows 75% of us have sleep difficulties at least a few nights per week. Furthermore the study says hat sleep deprivation affects your weight loss, mood, immune function, memory, safety and health in general.

Here are our 11 tips for falling asleep faster, getting quality rest, and waking up refreshed in the morning.

11. Get exactly the right amount of sleep

How much sleep do you really need? Check out the following video discussing this question:

Important tip: Set an alarm clock that in multiples of 90 minutes. What this means is if you go to bed at midnight, you want to wake up in multiples of 90 minutes. So this means that either at 1:30 or 3:00 or 4:30 or 6:00, or 7:30. So if you know that you’re going to bed at a certain time, then you want to calculate what time you want to wake up. That way you wake up at the right timing and feel better in the morning.

10. Have a regular Wakeup & Sleep Schedule

This video shows why it is so important that you get up at the same time every day:

“Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends, holidays and days off. Being consistent reinforces your body’s sleep-wake cycle and helps promote better sleep at night. There’s a caveat, though. If you don’t fall asleep within about 15 minutes, get up and do something relaxing. Go back to bed when you’re tired. If you agonize over falling asleep, you might find it even tougher to nod off.” (source)

9. Choose the right room temperature

Against popular belief the right room temperature is 67-70-degrees Fahrenheit. See here that room temperature is one of the top 5 issues that people have when it comes to sleeping:

“Specifically, using a single bed sheet, 67-70-degrees Fahrenheit produced the fastest time to sleep. Warmer temperatures never worked, but as low as 65 would work equally well if I wore socks to keep my feet warm. If you can’t control the ambient temperature, testing socks of different thicknesses is the easiest variable to change for tweaking heat loss. No joke.” (source)

8. Exercise in the morning

If you exercise too late in the day it might be keeping you awake at night:

In general exercise is very good to improve your sleep quality. With fitness, comes an increased rate of recovery. So if sleep is recovery, what happens is the more you exercise and the fitter you become, the less sleep and less recovery time you actually need, which is counter-intuitive if you think about it, but anyone who exercises on a regular basis will tell you that they fall asleep without problems and that they get better nights of sleep all the time. Just make sure you don’t exercise too late in the day.

7. Don’t let Alcohol & Coffee ruin your sleep

Alcohol and caffeine can affect your sleep negatively:

Alcohol:

Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed. Having a “nightcap” or alcoholic beverage before sleep may help you relax, but heavy use robs you of deep sleep and REM sleep, keeping you in the lighter stages of sleep. Heavy alcohol ingestion also may contribute to impairment in breathing at night. You also tend to wake up in the middle of the night when the effects of the alcohol have worn off. (source)

Caffeine:

Caffeine is also a stimulant and is present in coffee (100-200 mg), soda (50-75 mg), tea (50-75 mg), and various over-the-counter medications. Caffeine should be discontinued at least four to six hours before bedtime. If you consume large amounts of caffeine and you cut your self off too quickly, beware; you may get headaches that could keep you awake. (source)

6. Create a Bed time Ritual

It’s important that you create an evening ritual that you do every night before bed:

“Do the same things each night to tell your body it’s time to wind down. This might include taking a warm bath or shower, reading a book, or listening to soothing music — preferably with the lights dimmed. Relaxing activities can promote better sleep by easing the transition between wakefulness and drowsiness.” (source)

5. Use Ice Baths to provoke sleep (and lose weight)

This tip is a bit weird and counter-intuitive. Use ice baths to provoke sleep. People not only use it to sleep better, but it’s supposed to help you lose fat:

Please be careful if you want to try it on your own. What they don’t talk about in the video that it can help you sleep better.

“Japanese have longer lifespans that do most other ethnicities. One theory has been that regular ofuro or hot baths at bedtime increase melatonin release, which extends lifespan. Paradoxically, according to the Stanford professors who taught Bio 50, cold is actually a more effective signaller for sleep onset, but it could have no relation to melatonin production.” (source)

4. Manage Stress by writing down your thoughts on paper

I’m sure you’ve experienced it that you just can’t fall asleep because you are worrying about something. This video goes in detail about this:

“One method of preventing worries from keeping you awake is to keep a journal before going to bed. List all issues that worry you. By this method you transfer your worries from your thoughts to paper, leaving your mind quieter and more ready to fall asleep.” (source)

3. Sleep in a pitch-black dark room

Your room has to be dark. Like really, really dark. when sunlight starts to come into your room, what that does is it triggers your brain to stop producing melatonin, which will eventually wake you up. Because melatonin is the hormone that puts you back to sleep.

So the darker your room the better, and the more sleep you will get. It’s a good idea to get really thick curtains that don’t allow any sunlight to go through. You can buy them almost everywhere. They’re not too expensive, and they’re a very good investment.

Something else to consider are electronic devices in your room, whether that’s even just the standby light from your television, the on light from your laptop or from your charger or whatever it is. Try to remove all sources of visual light, or make sure that they’re off at least before you go to sleep. Now you may to get a bit creative with some duct tape, it’s worth it for a better night’s sleep.

In addition to thick curtains I’m using a sleeping mask and earplugs. The best sleeping mask I’ve found is the one of Tempur (which is pretty expensive), Sleepmaster is decent too.

2. Ban Electronic Devices from your Bed

Do you know how electronic devices can manipulate your sleep quality? Watch this video now:

You want to avoid is having harsh or bright lighting in your bedroom. Especially in the couple of hours leading up to you going to sleep. So if you have a dimmer switch that lets you control the intensity of light that’s great, if you have the option to install softer lighting, so warmer, candescent lighting rather than harsh, office-style fluorescent lighting that’s also great.

There is this nice little software called fl.ux, it will dim your screen, make it warmer and make it more conducive to falling asleep a bit later on.

“Be wary of using the TV or other electronic devices as part of your bedtime ritual. Some research suggests that screen time or other media use before bedtime interferes with sleep.” (source)

1. Eat the right bed-time snack to not feel tired in the morning.

At minute 3:00 Tim Ferriss, author of the book “4-Hour Body”, talks about what to eat before bed (he talks about it after the initial part about female orgasm):

“Consume 150-250 calories of low-glycemic index foods in small quantities (low glycemic load) prior to bed” (source)

Ever wonder how you can sleep 8-10 hours and feel tired? Eat a small snack like this to wake up more refreshed:

  • a few sticks of celery with almond butter
  • a mandarin orange and 5-8 almonds
  • plain full-fat (not low-fat or fat-free) yoghurt and an apple

“1-2 tablespoons of flaxseed oil (120-240 calories) can be used in combination with the above to further increase cell repair during sleep and thus decrease fatigue. It tastes like a mixture of cat urine and asparagus, so I recommend pinching your nose while consuming it — thanks Seth Roberts, PhD. for this tip — or using capsules.”(source)

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