Gain more restorative sleep in our Modern Society that is chronically stressed, sleep deprived, and obsessed with artificial light.
I believe if your reading this its because you are determined to getting better quality sleep.
NOW lets begin!
Human beings seem to be the only species that will deliberately deprive themselves of sleep. In the United States some people live in cities that NEVER sleep and the sayings “you snooze you lose”,”Sleep is for the weak”, Ill sleep when Im dead” has been deeply engrained for us to NOT fear a lack of sleep. It has also elevated our stress while increasing our guilt about going to sleep. Even though, we feel drained we continue trudging through maybe due to this sleep machismo where you brag about getting insufficient sleep and feel proud to say I only slept 4 to 5 hours and believe that you are immune to the effects of insufficient sleep. Adding to how our society has less access to natural light during the day and is DARK DEPRIVED at night by artificial light. This 24/7 entertainment cycle of bright light exposure at night inhibits our sleep causing what is now labeled as digital jetlag.
In developed nations there seems to be an unspoken truth of a Global Sleep Loss Epidemic. In the United States during the 1940s people would sleep 7.9 hours a night. Now, its on average of 6.5 hours a night. In Japan is 6.22 hours a night.Sleep is the beginning of our biological day and to gain GREAT sleep we require cycles of QUIET SLEEP and ACTIVE SLEEP to perform better the next day.
QUIET SLEEP? ACTIVE SLEEP?
Quiet Sleep has 3 Stages :
(N2) LIGHT SLEEP
(N3) DEEP SLEEP
Stage N1 You begin to lose awareness, but can easily be woken up.
Stage N2Your heart rate and breathing slow down and youreyes become still.
Stage N3 Brain becomes less aware of what is going on around you making it harder to wake up and breathing becomes steady blood pressure falls and pulse rate slows.
These 3 stages of QUIET SLEEPalternate between periods of ACTIVE SLEEP which is also called REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement) Sleep. In this stage the body is still but the mind and eyes are very active while blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing become similar to daytime. In this stage your able to dream.
How to get better Sleep then?
No Phone. No book. No light. No Food. No Stress.
Timing of Caffeine intake during the day: Reduce caffeine after midday.
The time you go to Sleep:This matters for recovery or if you need to wake up early.
Eating Late at NIGHT : keeps core body temperature too high for sleep because blood rushed to the core to digest and absorb nutrients thus interferes with falling and maintaining deep sleep and its also bad for metabolism.
Bright light Exposure: Shuts off the production of the sleep hormone MELATONIN. Keeps you up increases hunger and damages sleep quality. (Melatonin is important for longevity and reducing cancer risk.)
Worry:Increases the Stress hormone CORTISOLwhich is designed to keep you awake.
Digestive Issues: I was constipated daily and it made me frustrated and unable to sleep the entire night. I would wake up 2-3 times a night to use the bathroom with very little success and daytime performance reflected my poor sleep quality and my grumpy behavior. Diarrhea, acid reflux, bloating, and constipation are very common digestive issues which people dont report to their doctors. Quality digestion CAN NOT be overrated.
Little Physical activity in the day:reduces the production of the muscle hormone that promotes sleep. (Exercise 2- 3 hours before sleep)
The changes that happen at night are critical to how you feel in the day.
What are the important process that occur in the body during sleep?
Sleep services every biological operation in the body. During sleep the body performance a broad range of functions
Restoration and rebuilding of metabolic pathways, replenishment of neurotransmitter reserves in the nervous system are turned on during sleep, toxins that build up as a byproduct of activity during wakefulness are processed and made ready to be disposed of.
What has been discover in the Brain is the glymphatic system (a macroscopic waste clearance system) when you go into deep sleep this sanitation system goes on high gear by pumping cerebral spinal fluid into the brain to wash out toxins that build up as a byproduct of wakefulness activity. If your not getting your sleep at night your NOT preforming this‘housekeeping’your NOT washing away the toxins which are then building up in health and our performance will deteriorate rapidly.
Sleep optimizes our BRAIN’S
Ability to learn
Recalibrate our emotional brain circuits
Sleep Optimizes our BODY :
To replenish our immune system to fight and prevent sickness.
Actionable steps you can do NOW to gain more restorative sleep.
A good night’s sleep begins with a ROUTINE
DEVELOP A BED TIME ROUTINE
- Have food 2 to 4 hours before going to bed to allow core body temperature to cool down. Also look into (TRE) Time Restricted Eating. Just as a rough example You allow yourself 8-9 hours to eat food in the day. Once you eat your first meal let say it is at 7am this begins your eating window you would be able to eat until 3pm or 4pm.
- REDUCE exposure to BRIGHT BLUE LIGHT before bed. ( Your bright phone screen) Be aware of the type of light your exposed to in the evening. Orange and red light are less effective at suppressing sleep.( consider a red or orange night light)Importance of DARKNESS AND SLEEP. If necessary, to use your laptop or phone. Use NIGHTSHIFT mode on your iPhone or download a blue light filter for your Android. Also look into F.lux it’s an app that adjusts the color temperature of your screen depending on time of day.
- Home LIGHTING now with the need to lower energy consumption many are transitioning their homes to use LED lights. However, LED light produces much more blue light which disrupts your sleep if you are exposed to this type of light in the evening. Affordable solutions to this are buying dimmer switches to darken the rooms towards the evening. A more interesting option is something called Circadian Lighting. Which gradually changes color to match with the time of day.
- ROOM as DARK as possible. Consider BLACKOUT (I have 2 of these and travel with them wherever I go) The darkness transformed my sleep. All small lights for example from tv that shines at night COVER it up with some electrical tape. Look into the company TRUE DARK that created blue light blocking glasses.
- Some people can only sleep with complete silence others like myself I need something humming in the background which drowns our any background noise of people talking car or creaks in a house. I have a humidifier and sometimes a fan in the room. It also provides me with comfort. There is also WHITE NOISE Apps I’ve never used but could be useful to experiment and see if it helps you.
- TURN down the TEMPERATURE. The body cools down in order to fall asleep having cooler temperature cools the skin causing blood to flow away from your core to you skin to keep it warm. Once the core body temp. falls it will be much easier to sleep.
- Your BED. The type of mattress or surface you sleep on soft or hard mattress the material its made of if it keeps heat or expels heat to keep you cool. There are sheets that exist that can help control the micro climate of your bed. To help absorb and release heat. The mattress depends on you preference. I sleep well on a hard mattress but since I travel very often It hard because many hotels usually have soft mattresses so the best thing is I sleep on the floor with some blankets. Thats just my preference however you feel most comfortable that is key.
- Meditation has incredible benefits its a stress relieving tool that relaxes you before sleep.
- Sleep at the RIGHT TIME for you. Know your BIOLOGICAL CHRONOTYPE. Your body has been programmed to preform optimally at different times of the day. Depending on this biological clock you will fall into a different chronotype. There are 4 types Dolphin, Lion, Bear, and Wolf. According to Dr. Michael Breus who wrote the book The POWER Of WHEN.
- Monitor your sleep. I want to share with you guys my favorite app for waking up its called SLEEP CYCLE. First , you set a wake up window mine is 5:00-5:20am. Then lay the phone next to you (on Airplane mode) and throughout the night the app will measure your sleep using the microphone on you phone to detect your movement to record your sleeping data and the app will play a gentle alarm that helps wake you up when your already the most fawake. Tracking your daily routines can make things clearer on patterns and the timing of activates and how they influence our sleep for better or worse.
- EMF FILTERS not many are aware of Electro Magnetic Pollution or Dirty Electricity and how it can disturb our sleep.
- BLUELIGHT BLOCKING/Filtering Glasses.
This information will continuously be updated.