😴Sleep is the most important factor for brain performance! With all the sleep hacks THESE 3 are truly game-changers!
It’s based on the best science from researchers like Matt Walker and other sleep and neuroscience labs. These are foundational habits for great sleep (plus the light exposure that I covered HERE). Struggling to have a great night of sleep?
Waking up not feeling fresh with a smile on your face ready to seize the day?
Nail these first before trying fancy supplements, self-diagnosing with some sleep disorder.
There are 3 major events that affect the timing and quality of our sleep. Each tell our brain what time we are active, what time we need to sleep, and when our brain needs to start preparing us for sleep with changed hormones and biochemistry. Events are: light exposure, meals and our regular waking/going to bed sleep. Our brain is an optimization machine. It’s always trying to figure out the most efficient way to exist. It's always trying to optimize sleep as well. Sleep is one of our major survival routines. If you always go to bed and wake up at different times, guess what - your brain will have no idea when to start getting you ready for sleep with things like melatonin, decreased cortisol etc. The more regular we are with our sleep times - the better the brain can optimize for sleep. We start waking up on time and falling asleep very fast, waking up as fresh as a proverbial daisy. Try sleeping on schedule- you’ll be surprised how your sleep experience improves from that alone. Late weekend night? It’ll shift your sleep efficiency for the next 2-3 days.
2. 🌡️DARK, COOL AND QUIET
Research shows these are necessary conditions to give ourselves the best chance to have the best sleep.
Dark: as dark as it possibly can be. Use blackout curtains or at the very least a VERY good eye mask. If you sleep with lights on - it has measurable negative effects on sleep quality and recovery, cognitive performance the next day.
Cool: 65-68F or 18-20C. It’s much better to be slightly cold and use blankets than be slightly hot. The effect on sleep quality and depth is very substantial. You might have noticed that. When it’s hot you keep waking up - I surely do. If my aircon in Mexico is off - no way I’m getting good sleep that night.
Quiet: I always sleep with earplugs. Always. We might not be aware of micro wakeups because of some noise in our environment - that makes sleep more fragmented. So just to be safe, even when I’m in a quiet city - I would still use my earplugs. Now, they are more like a placebo for me - I put them in and I’m asleep 😊
3. 🍷FOOD, COFFEE AND ALCOHOL
The timing of 3 affects sleep quality a lot!
Food: 3 hours before bed is recommended by all experts. Earlier is fine, later - not recommended. I’m thinking it also depends on the amount and the food itself. Probably one apple an hour before bed won’t do much difference. I don’t think they have very specific data on that. But what’s certain - a big meal right before bed is a guarantee of a very fragmented sleep experience.
Coffee: I covered it HERE in detail. No caffeine is the best for sleep. No caffeine 8-12 hours before bed is what’s recommended. You might be able to fall asleep, but when they measured the quality of that sleep - it was different for absolutely everyone. PS Energy drinks, preworkouts, teas, chocolate and cacao - all have caffeine as well.
Alcohol: None is best. Earlier is better. 3 hours before bed at the very least. The amount and kind make a difference but a 3-hour rule still applies. Alcohol: seems to be destroying REM sleep, the foundation of great mental health. Some people say, but alcohol helps me fall asleep! - Sedation isn’t sleeping. Alcohol makes one unconscious, but the experience isn’t the same as sleep as far as your brain is concerned.
What would you say is the one that you tend to have all over the place?
Do an experiment for a week - follow these, see what happens! And tell me!