Sleep can make up 1/3 of our lives as the average adult needs 7-8 hours a night and teens 8-10 hours. This rather large component is needed for recovery both physically, mentally, emotionally, and biologically.
Sleep can help prevent illness, help with weight loss and exercise, improve your mood and mental state, and help with your sex life. While sleep has a variety of benefits most people do not plan their evening or habits around making sure they maximize the benefits that sleep provides.
Consistent Sleep Schedule
Setting yourself up for success can start by just waking up and going to bed at the same time each day. This helps your body establish a consistent pattern with releasing hormones and ensures you are getting the same night sleep every night.
Turn down the thermostat
Adjusting the temperature of the room can help increase the quality of your sleep. While everyone may have different preferences the sleep foundation recommends sleep around approximately 65 degrees Fahrenheit or 18.3 degrees Celsius.
This is because our sleep cycle is controlled by our circadian rhythm which is based on the light-and-dark cycle of the sun. Naturally when the sun goes down so does a the temperature decrease. Our hypothalamus which is the “master clock” of the body registers these changes in light and temperature and helps signal the release of the sleep hormone melatonin.
Don’t over-water yourself
Drinking too much water before bed can cause excess urination in the evening causing you to wake up more often. Consuming caffeine, alcohol or other bladder irritants within 2-4hrs before bed can also lead to waking up more often to use the bathroom.
Increase morning light exposure
By increasing your light exposure in the morning you can better set your body’s internal clock. This is measured by Lux. This signals to your brain that it’s time to be awake and sets you up for an earlier bedtime in the evening. The best light by far is natural sunlight even if its on a cloudy day. Artificial lights can also provide Lux, but not as much as natural sunlight. Dr. Andrew Huberman recommends reaching 100,000 Lux before 9am.
Dim the Lights and turn off devices
Just like exposing yourself to more light in the morning it is also important to decrease light exposure before bedtime. Starting to turn off lights in the house or use dimmer switches is a great way to decrease your light exposure while simulating the sun going down. One of the most important things is removing blue light exposure. This is the kind of light we receive from electronic devices like cell phones and can inhibit the release of melatonin.
Declutter sleep space
Keeping a messy sleeping space can have a correlating effect on your sleep quality. By cleaning your sleeping space and organizing it, the effect can have a decluterating effect on your brain as well. “It subconsciously helps get rid of the anxiety and stress swirling in your mind that can keep you up when it’s time to sleep,” says Dr. Steve Orma.
Turn away alarm clock
Nothing causes anxiety like watching the minutes pass away and thinking about how you’re not falling asleep. Turning the clock away can help you transition to sleep. Another component of alarm clocks is the LED lights which can decrease the release of melatonin.