20 Tips for improved sleep hygiene / habits
Having a quality sleep is the foundation of youth and optimal health.
Every word in this book is designed to help you sleep well.It is only when we sleep that we replace old or damaged mitochondria (autophagy). You could also say that we only fight disease when sleeping well because disease is the accumulation of damaged mitochondria (cells’ energy factories). Other benefits of autophagy include increasing lifespan, protecting against excessive reactive oxygen species and improved immune system functioning.
Being sleep deprived impairs glucose (bloood sugar) metabolsim. Sleep deprivation also reduces your leptin stores (eat more due to less satiety signalling) and increases your ghrelin which makes you hungrier so you eat more.
It is important to note that a builder cannot repair your house without equipment or raw materials.
This is the reason we want to maximize our energy inputs (sun, grounding, food, thoughts) and minimize energy thieves (fake light, gadgets, food, people etc.) so our bodies have what they need for this critical regeneration and repair period we need daily.
- Understanding the critical nature of sleep and its value is very important.
- Prioritize your sleep and make plans to ensure you get great restorative and regenerative sleep every night. An example might be to schedule morning and lunch meetings instead of dinner meetings.
- Have a set bedtime ideally at around a 9:30pm to 10:30pm window. Our most restorative sleep window is when we get into REM sleep between 11:00pm and 2:00am (approximately).
- Have a regular wake up time coinciding with the sun rising.
- Have a wind down period before bed without gadgets or too much scensory stimulation. Reading a nice hard cover book is a good way to do this. Or listening to relaxing music.
- Have a nice warm / hot bath with epsom salts is a great way to get magnesium into your body through your skin as this helps southe you.
- Have less fake lights on and use candles where possible.
- Use blue light blocking glasses over your eyes if using a computer, cell phone or in a fake light environment. Also cover your skin from this fake light at night.
- Have a gadget curfew at least 1 hour before bed where phones are put away, wi-fi is turned off and TV also turned off.
- Ensure all electrical devices in your bedroom are unplugged. We even turn off all electricity to our bedroom via our fuse box. The exception is our air-conditioning which is on a separate fuse.
- Ensure your bedroom is totally dark and cold. No electrical devices plugged in and cell phones far away from you.
- For optimal energy use directed to regeneration do not eat 3 to 4 hours before bed. This will ensure energy is directed towards regeneration and repair and not digestion. My general rule is to not eat after sun down.
- Ensure you saw sunlight as much as possible throughout your day with morning sun the most critical. This sets your circadian sleep cycle and hormonal cascade for the day.
- Ensure you move more throughout your day by walking a lot, doing a fun nitric oxide release exercise, using a stand-up desk etc. This helps ensure you will be sleepy and ready to rest and repair.
- Use a sleep mask and ear plugs if applicable in your environment.
- Try journaling at the end of your day. Maybe meditate or do a calming activity. Review and add to your morning gratitude journal to round out your day.
- Use iris or f.lux on your computer screens to limit the fake light emitting which affects your sleep.
- Get or give a massage to your loved ones. The release oxytocin helps you feel good and aids relaxation so you can sleep.
- Try the 4 – 7 – 8 breathing activity. This is 4 seconds of breathing in through your nose. Holding for 7 seconds and then breathing out through your mouth for 8 seconds. This calms you and gets you ready for a deep sleep. Be conscious to breath only through your nose if possible with a closed mouth whilst sleeping.
- Try and avoid exercising 3 hours before bed as this can raise your cortisol. Try CT 2 hours before bed and see how it is for you. You could add epsom salts into this cold bath. Or have a cold shower. Maybe alternate between warm and cold shower. Try a warm epsom salt bath. See what works best for you.