How to sleep better?
Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom.
Desperate to enjoy a better rest, yet keen to reduce the number of hours you sleep?
When it comes to sleep, we’re own worst enemy. There’s always something that ranks higher on the scale than sleep. But the truth is, our choices are killing us. From long-term health to daily bodily functions to simple happiness, how much sleep we get (or don’t get) every night affects us innumerable ways. We can’t cut corners on sleep and not have it affect us.
When your mom told you to “sleep on it,” or to “get your beauty sleep,” she wasn’t kidding. A lot of what we know about the basics of sleep is common sense – but is it possible to hack a good night’s sleep? To fool your body into feeling better when the night before was less than stellar?
If you’re struggling through your day, sleep-deprived and grumpy, try these sleep hacks to navigate your way through your day. And then plan to get to bed early tonight!
We sleep for 26 years in total, so the ultimate productivity hack is undeniably improving our quality of sleep. Imagine if all your life, you thought breathing was best accomplished by inhaling through a straw. Improve your waking life by invalidating misconceptions; it’s that simple.
You’ll relate to this: You look at your alarm clock. It says 4:36AM. You’ve been trying to go to bed for the past 2 hours, and the longer you’re awake, the more you worry about having to properly “wake up” at 6:00AM. You can’t sleep because you’re stressed from being awake, and you can’t wake because you’re stressed from lack of sleep. We’ve all had nights like this.
it’s almost a competition to see who can function the best with as little sleep as possible. Information overload is a very real problem in the 21st century. Sleep debt is getting even worse among the Millennial generation, and the alarm function on most smartphones is an inadequate solution.
Many studies have emerged that show the harmful effects of not getting a good night’s rest. Our bedtime is now measured by how long it takes us to get bored of browsing the internet. Side effects include anxiety, depression, irritability, poor health, and arguing over who snores the loudest.
So in an ever-connected world, how can we get a good night’s rest consistently?
How can we minimize the number of hours we sleep and get a better quality of sleep?
What are some different sleeping techniques? What if I can’t sleep?
The key to sleeping is to aim for quality, not quantity.
This is the easiest modifier and can have the greatest impact on the sleep-wake cycle. My bedroom, unfortunately, faces south, so every morning, I wake up to the sun glaring through my shades. We’re naturally meant to wake with the sun hitting our faces. It sets our internal clock and prepares us for the day as nature intended.
This is why we’ve seen an appearance of specialized dawn simulators that exploit the role of the sun in circadian rhythm regulation. These clocks work by emitting a bright light in excess of 200 lux, which tricks us into thinking it is morning. Within a few days to a week, your body will start to wake up before the alarm itself actually goes off.
Just as there is artificial light, logically, there is artificial dark. If your sleep schedule has you waking up after the sun rises—delayed sleep phase disorder—then consider wearing a sleeping mask.
Wavelength of Light
Finally, the Psychology of light can be boiled down to its wavelength (color).
Blue is a terrible wavelength to be absorbing during the day; it’s just too calming. Likewise, warmer colors in the red spectrum are terrible for night-time browsing (unless you’re trying to stay awake).
This hack can be common sense, i.e., don’t paint your bedroom red, but this approach is a little more comprehensive than that. The color temperature of your backlit monitor affects your circadian rhythm. As you browse Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, and Tumblr, all you see is blue!
Apart from light, one might consider the humidity in the ambient air temperature. Remember how mom would always bring the Humidifier out of the closet whenever you were sick as a child? Well, why only use it when we’re sick? Especially in the winter time when you’re running the heater quite a bit, it tends to zap the humidity out of the air. This means your nostrils might become dry thus effectively making your body more susceptible to inhaling a virus. This is because the tiny hair follicles in our nose need to be wet in order to catch the viruses/bacteria we might inhale.
If you’re breathing in air with moisture, it helps your lungs and your breathing throughout the night.
There is only so much we can modify in our environment to make our sleep a little better. The largest part has to do with ourselves and the things we do leading up to sleep. We need to make quality sleep hygiene just as routine as brushing our teeth before bed
DO Figure out how to Stop Your Mind from Racing
This is one of the biggest drivers to people staying up at night. Ever go to bed and you can’t stop thinking? You can’t stop worrying or wondering what is going to happen tomorrow?
This is a form of anxiety that we all have but very few seem to recognize. This is partly why meditation is so important because it teaches you not only the awareness factor that this is occurring but also the tools you need to be able to tell yourself “NO.”
Make a conscious effort to stop your mind from racing and focus on a single thing, whether that is counting your breaths or the number of sheep in the sky.
Now, I could call these supplements, but it’s important to recognize that these so-called supplements are just as many drugs as any other traditional kind of pharmaceutical and should be used with caution.