How to Hack your Sleep
It’s been shown that quality of sleep matters more than the amount of sleep you get, but what are the best ways to perfect your sleep? This post explains all of the hacks you can do to get the most out of your sleep, such as:
- Track your sleep. There are apps that track your sleep quality based on how much you move during the night, and these apps will help you discover what works – and what doesn’t – so you can optimize your sleep patterns.
- Make your room as dark as possible. Unplug everything that glows, cover your windows with black curtains. Your bedroom may look like it belongs to the Unabomber, but you’ll sleep like a baby.
- Develop a bedtime routine that starts about 2 hours before bed, and start eliminating glowing screens then.
- As much as you love your energy jolt from coffee, stop drinking it around 2 p.m.
- Make sure you go to bed before 11 pm.
- Don’t exercise within 2 hours before you go to bed.
- Consider taking supplements like Magnesium, Collagen and Krill Oil, all of which can improve your sleep in different ways.
Getting good sleep is both an art and a science – yet the overwhelming majority of people have trouble sleeping, even the very high performance people who come to me for Bulletproof coaching. Even if you had time to sleep an entire 8 hours a night, would it be optimal, uninterrupted sleep? Would you awake feeling 100% refreshed? Either you don’t get enough hours of quality sleep, or you get too much sleep and still wake up feeling groggy and unrested. Indeed, research shows it’s not the number of hours of sleep you get that matters the most – it’s the quality of the hours you are getting. The largest sleep study ever conducted on 1.1 million people shows that it’s quality not quantity that matters most!
The Basics of Sleep That Don’t Cost Anything
Whether or not you currently have trouble sleeping, there are several key things you can easily do to improve your current sleep. These are the most basic yet most critical hacks that will help you upgrade both the quality and quantity of sleep so you can optimize your rest every night.
- First, sleep in a pitch-black room. Make it as dark as you can possibly make it. Block all the light sources you can, whether it’s a curtain or just pinning up fabric as needed. Seriously, if you live in a city, you need blackout curtains that don’t allow in all the light pollution. Cover LEDs with black electrical tape.
- Start winding down at least two hours before bed. This means less bright lighting at night, as well eliminating, or at least dimming, computer screens and TVs.
- Third, though it may seem obvious, caffeine is not a sleep aid – stop drinking it by 2:00 p.m. each day, or at least 8 hours prior to bedtime (earlier if you’re sensitive to it).
- Go to bed by 11:00 p.m. when possible because your body creates a cortisol surge after 11 p.m. to keep you awake.
- Don’t exercise within 2 hours of bedtime, unless it’s relaxing yoga or something similar.
These are basics that are easy to implement immediately at zero cost, and they ensure you’re starting off on the right foot – or right side of the bed, rather…
How to Track – then Hack – Your Sleep
Download an app in order to track your regular sleep patterns. You just put your phone on your mattress, under your top sheet, and set the alarm. It will track your sleep quality using the microphone on your phone, and wake you feeling more refreshed at the top of a sleep cycle.. Do it for at least a week, so you get a sense of your baseline sleep quality.
Once you’ve tracked your sleep, you’ll have the data ready to hack your sleep – this ensures you know what you’re doing is actually working, and you can make adjustments along the way based on both how you’re feeling when you wake up, as well as what the numbers are telling you. Once you have your baseline, you can experiment with different methods to help you get to sleep.
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