7 Secret Sleeping Tips: How to Get a Good Rest Every Day
Written by: Jon Mitchell, PA-C
Sleep is one of the cornerstones of a healthy life.
And your quality of shut-eye can be the difference between achieving your health goals... or missing them completely.
Optimizing your sleep has been shown to improve a whole host of health metrics — including immune function, heart health, weight, energy, focus, mood, and memory.
Unfortunately, the opposite could be true when you continually get poor sleep.
Deep down, you probably already know this:
We’ve all had a bad night's sleep and know what it feels like…
Your brain moves slower, you crave unhealthy foods, you’re quicker to anger & frustration, and your personal motivation plummets.
And this is just the short-term side effects of a bad night's sleep!
The long-term consequences are disastrous...
They can include significantly increased risk for heart attacks, strokes, cancer, and obesity.
So, it's important to do everything you can to optimize your nightly rest.
With that said...
Here’s 7 secrets to optimize your sleep:
1. Get outside in the sun for 5-10 minutes as soon as you wake up.
Sunlight helps entrain your circadian rhythm, which is your body's internal sleep/wake cycle.
By getting early morning sunlight, you are letting your body know that it's day time.
2. Spend at least 20-30 minutes outside in the afternoon.
The sun's rays help produce melatonin during the day.
The melatonin hormone tells our bodies it is time to sleep, so it makes sense that we should encourage our melatonin production during the day.
3. Cut out all caffeine by 2 pm at the VERY latest.
One of caffeine’s functions is as an adenosine-receptor antagonist.
Here's what that means:
The longer you stay up, the more a molecule called adenosine builds up in the body.
The more adenosine there is, the more tired you become. This is called sleep pressure.
So, when caffeine helps BLOCK adenosine from binding to receptors in the brain that make you tired...
It can keep you from getting to bed at a reasonable time.
4. Wear blue light blocking glasses 3 hours before bed.
Blue/green spectrum light is found in nearly all of our TV’s, cell phones, computers, and, even, our light bulbs.
These rays suppress the release of melatonin at night.
So, by wearing special glasses — which usually have a yellow or orange tint — to block these rays... you can make it easier to fall asleep.
5. Drop the temperature to 65-68°F (18-20°C).
Studies from primitive groups have shown that the drop in temperature in the evening is an even bigger physiological signal that it is time for sleep than the sun setting.
So, in order to use this phenomenon... it's important to simulate those conditions by using A/C to drop the temperature in your home, or bedroom.
6. Make sure your room is dark and quiet.
Melatonin is released when it is dark, so it is imperative that your room be as dark as possible.
And we all know how too much noise can keep us awake.
Some ambient noise can be okay, but anything beyond that should be removed.
7. Your room is for the 2 S’s – Sleep and Sex.
That means: No TV, no gadgets, no work, and no food.
This helps train your brain and body to know that the bedroom is a place for sleeping, not anything else.
—So, there you have it.
None of the 7 tips above are overly sophisticated, but they could be extremely effective if you do them consistently.
Your body loves routine, so the more you can stick with good sleep habits, the more likely you are to catch some Z's, every night...
And experience all the resulting benefits of a good sleep health.
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