How to Level-Up Your Sleep
Sleep is gaining popularity in the self-improvement space. It is essential for maintaining overall health and well-being, and is often considered to be more important than diet and exercise to mental health (Li et al., 2016). Sleep deficits can lead to a wide array of health problems, including a weakened immune system, increased risk of metabolic diseases, poor cognitive function, and increased risk of dementia (Wong & Lovier, 2023). To get optimal sleep, here are some tips you can follow.
- Stick to a consistent sleep schedule: Aim to go to bed and wake up around the same time—every day is best, but life can be hard to predict, and staying on track for most days is much better than being all over the board. Your body craves regularity, and this helps regulate your body’s internal clock, making it easier to fall asleep at night and wake up energized.
- View bright light early, avoid bright light around bedtime.
- In the morning: Viewing light, preferably viewing sunlight while outdoors (preferably without sunglasses), as soon as possible after waking sets a cascade of neurological and hormonal effects into rhythm that promote wakefulness during the day, and sleepiness about 16 hours later. Light spectrum devices can be helpful but are not as ideal as going outside for sunlight, even on an overcast day. A few minutes on a sunny morning is sufficient, and on an overcast day, it will take a few more minutes of exposure to achieve the optimal effect.
- At night: Close to bedtime, limit/avoid bright light, especially blue lights. Many electronics have screen setting options optimized for nighttime (dark mode, night shift, etc). It doesn’t take much light exposure to create negative effects in sleep. Red lights tend to be the safest for illuminating your environment when needed at night.
- Create a cool, comfortable sleep environment: Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and at a cool, comfortable temperature. The ideal ambient temperature for sleeping is about 60-69 degrees Fahrenheit. At night your core body temperature needs to lower slightly from the daytime, so creating a suitable environment for this is best. Also, invest in a good mattress and pillows for added comfort. Our office sells Chiroflow pillows; pillows with customizable firmness via Clinically Proven Waterbase technology. Ask us about our Chiroflow pillows!
- Relax before bedtime: Try to relax your mind and body well before going to bed. This can be done by reading a book, taking a warm bath, or practicing a relaxation technique such as meditation, prayer, yoga, yoga nidra, etc. Many find it helpful to have a bedtime routine. Warm baths or showers are relaxing, and in response to the warm temperature, after the bath/shower your body proceeds to cool down in response, which is desirable for going to sleep.
- Improve diet and exercise habits:
- Avoid eating heavy meals close to bedtime so your body can focus on restoration, rather than digestion. Limiting water intake before bed can also be helpful, as less trips to the bathroom means less interruptions to sleep.
- Eating a healthy, balanced diet during the day can also help improve sleep at night. Nutrients to highlight related to sleep are: Magnesium, zinc, L-theanine are known to be helpful taken in the evening or before bedtime.
- Our favorite product to recommend for sleep contains Magnesium, zinc, L-theanine, and more night-specific nutrients in science-backed amounts. It is LifeVantage’s product, Reset PM and we have it available to buy in the office or we can help you obtain it online. Ask us more about this, we’re happy to help!
- Regular exercise during the day can help improve the quality of your sleep. However, it is best to finish your workout at least 3 hours before bedtime. Limit or avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol: Consuming these substances can disrupt your sleep, so it’s best to limit or avoid them, especially close to bedtime.
Theme: quality sleep, good diet, regular physical activity, stress management and meaningful social interactions tend to be good for just about everything related to your health and wellbeing.
By implementing these tips, you can improve the quality of your sleep and wake up feeling more energized. Remember, sleep is an essential component of overall health, and it’s important to make it a priority. If you need individual help troubleshooting your sleep, consult your trusted healthcare professional.
- Li, L., Wu, C., Gan, Y., Qu, X., & Lu, Z. (2016). Insomnia and the risk of depression: A meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. BMC Psychiatry, 16(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-016-1075-3
- Wong, R., & Lovier, M. A. (2023). Sleep disturbances and dementia risk in older adults: Findings from 10 years of national U.S. Prospective Data. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2023.01.008