13 tactical tips to improve your sleep without buying a brand new $5k mattress: A thread:
Brief note… This is not medical advice. These tips are comprised of personal experience and curated content from various Ted Talks, podcasts, and articles. So, take them for what they are… tips.
1/ Manage light/dark exposure Light: Get 30+ minutes of sunlight exposure in the early hours of the day. Can increase sleep quality by 5-10% and quantity by ~30 minutes. Darkness: Dim lights the hour before you go to bed. This helps your body produce melatonin.
2/ Don’t stay in bed If you’ve been laying in bed for over 20 minutes and can’t sleep, get out of bed and do something else. Your body associates objects with behaviors. Let your bed be associated with sleep.
3/ Bad night’s sleep If you have a bad night’s sleep, don’t (1) take a nap, (2) have extra caffeine, or (3) go to bed extra early. The best thing you can do is stick to your routine, even if you’re a little extra tired. Humans are creatures of routine.
4/ Lower the temperature As you fall asleep, your body temperature drops by several degrees. You can help your body by lowering the bedroom temperature (65d Fahrenheit/18d Celsius). Another trick: hot bath. Your body will begin reducing its temperature (making you sleepy).
5/ Mind running wild? Write down tasks, thoughts, etc. on a piece of paper or your phone. It’s like shutting all the tabs on your computer. If you can develop a wind-down routine (ranging from 10-30 minutes before bed), it’ll also help you fall asleep faster.
6/ Track your sleep Use an Aura ring, Apple watch, Whoop device, etc. to track your sleep. Everyone is different and you’ll notice trends.
7/ Diet – 1 Don’t eat within 3 hours of your bed time. If you want to experiment with this, use a tracker and eat right before bed. Then on another night, eat 3-5 hours before bed. Measure quality. You’ll be able to actually see how this impacts your sleep.
8/ Diet – 2 Don’t have alcohol or caffeine at night. Your sleep quality will drop. Two food sources that might help with sleep: tart cherry juice and kiwi. Both have preliminary studies (note preliminary) showing significant sleep quantity improvements – you sleep longer.
9/ Don’t look at clocks at night If you wake up in the middle of the night and check your clock, you’ll only stress yourself out. Just go back to sleep.
10/ Weighted blankets Weighted blankets help reduce cortisol (the stress hormone) and increase seratonin (mood-boosting hormone). It’s like your parent tucking you in bed as a child – you feel safe.
11/ Get a foot massage No science here, personal experience only. But I’m telling you, you’ll sleep like a rock after a foot massage.
12/ Watch this Ted Talk – TRUST ME… even the first 60 seconds will make you want to sleep more (and sleep better). Search “Matt Walker sleep is your superpower” (link at the bottom of the thread)
13/ Sleep enough REM sleep happens during the latter part of the night. That’s the time when you dream. Lack of REM sleep = lack of emotional control. Also, REM sleep has a linear correlation with longevity. Just sayin’.