10 "Tricks" For A Better Night's Sleep
1. Temperature is everything. Something called thermoregulation strongly influences your body’s sleep cycles. When it’s time for your body to rest, there is an automatic drop in your core body temperature to help initiate sleep. If the temperature in your environment stays too high, then it can be a bit of a physiological challenge for your body to get into the ideal state for restful sleep. Studies have found that the ideal room temperature for sleep is around 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything above 75 or below 54 will likely cause some difficulty sleeping.
2. Don't Fear the Sun. One of the most vital things that induces great sleep is your body’s natural secretion of a hormone called melatonin. Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland in your brain and sends a signal to regulate the sleep-wake cycle in your body.
The production and secretion of melatonin is powerfully affected by light exposure. Sunlight provides the natural spectrum of light that we need to help coordinate the cycle of melatonin production. Get more light during the day, less light at night, and you’re on your way to having a magic sleep formula.
3. Implement an electronic curfew. This is likely the #1 thing you can do to improve your sleep quality immediately. The artificial “blue” light emitted by electronic screens trigger your body to produce more daytime hormones (like cortisol) and disorient your body’s natural preparation for sleep.
Computers, iPads, televisions, smartphones, etc are kicking out a sleep-sucking blue spectrum of light that can give you major sleep problems. If you want to give your body the deep sleep it needs, make it a mandate to turn off all screens a full hour before bedtime.
4. Caffeine only in the morning. Caffeine is a powerful nervous system stimulant. If your nervous system is lit up, you can forget about getting high quality sleep. Set an unbreakable stop time to make sure that your body has time to remove it from your system. Caffeine has a half-life of at least 6 hours which means you have half the caffeine content still in your system six hours after consuming it. If you’re really sensitive to caffeine, then you might want to avoid caffeine altogether.
5. Timing is EVERYTHING. This is key! You can literally get amplified benefits of sleep by sleeping at the right hours. It’s been shown that humans get the most significant hormonal secretions and recovery by sleeping during the hours of 10 pm and 2 am.
You get the most rejuvenating effects during this time, and any sleep that you get in addition is a bonus. This is based on the seemingly lost realization that we humans are a part of nature, and when the lights go out on the planet, that’s a que from the universe that it’s time for us to turn down too.
Today, however, we can trump nature and light up our house like the Vegas strip. Its not uncommon for many of us to be checking popular social media sites at 3 am.
6. Black it out. It’s a well established fact that we sleep better in a dark environment. But yet, so many people aren’t taking full advantage of this.
Having light sources of any type in your bedroom can disrupt your sleep patterns. And even using an eye mask is not going to be 100% effective for most people.
Did you know that your skin actually has receptors that can pick up light? If there’s light in your bedroom, your body is picking it up and sending messages to your brain and organs that can interfere with your sleep. The best solution is: Black it out!
Get some of the now popular “blackout” curtains that are available from most retailers. And get any other sources of non-stop light out of your room too. Do this one thing tonight, and I promise you that you’ll thank me for it tomorrow. Sleep experts suggest that your room be so dark that you can’t see your hand in front of your face.
Personally, this is the one thing that INSTANTLY had a beneficial impact on my sleep. I blacked out my bedroom and have been getting the best sleep of my life ever since.
7. You booze, you lose – Did you know that you actually get smarter while you sleep? One of the most valuable, and overlooked aspects of sleep is a process called memory processing. This is basically where short-term memories and experiences get converted into long-term memories.
Memory processing is predominantly affected by different stages of REM sleep. Studies have proven the good news about drinking alcohol late in the evening is that you do, indeed, fall asleep faster. But the bad news is that REM sleep is significantly disrupted by alcohol being in your system. You won’t be able to fall into deeper levels of sleep, and your brain and body won’t be able to fully rejuvenate. This is why people generally don’t feel that great after waking up from an alcohol-laced sleep.
If you want to be a champ at this rejuvenating sleep thing, consider having a booze curfew so that your body can have a couple hours to get it out of your system.
8. Wake up earlier – Ironically, one of the best things you can do to improve your sleep is to get up early. This goes back to the fact that humans have had certain patterns of sleep and wakefulness that we’ve only (within the last hundred years) found a way to override.
By waking up early you start the process of helping your endocrine system link up with the diurnal patterns of the earth. Get up when the sun rises. You might start off having a challenging time, but after less than a couple of weeks, your body will adapt to that pattern and have you feeling more rested and refreshed when you wake up. You can get out of the old pattern of being up at night “tired and wired” by being early to rise and having a natural release of cortisol and going to bed earlier and taking advantage of the natural release of melatonin.
9. Write it down - There is a great quote that says, “My bed is a magical place where I suddenly remember everything I was supposed to do.”
People hop into bed, and then proceed to think about the when, where, who, why, what, and hows of their life… all while they’re supposed to be sleeping. If this sounds familiar to you, then you have a serious issue with something we call “inner chatter”. But don’t worry, there is a cure.
By keeping a journal near your bed and simply writing down all of your thoughts, worries, and "to do's" you will empty your mind of all of that chatter. Something magical happens when you transfer all of those thoughts from your head to the paper...it's called sleep!
10. Read a "Good" book - One of the most effective ways of powering down your mind and body is to read a good book. Note: don't read a "great" book or one that is too intriguing, for that may actually keep you up. Reading a book that is enjoyable is a great distraction from that "inner chatter" and is often the key to helping me fall asleep. You will need to read a "real" book or on a device like a Kindle reader that doesn't emit the blue screen.
Want more helpful tips to keep you healthy?....
We invite you and a guest to join us for our NEXT FREE DINNER event!