For every human, sleep is very important to all of us. Do you want to know how to get better sleep? As a pretty ambitious guy with a lot of ideas and a to-do list about a million miles long and nowhere near a thousand hours in Over watch yet, I get pretty frustrated every time I realize that I have to spend a third of every single day asleep.
But, just like a car needs regular oil changes to keep running smoothly, our bodies need lots of good, high quality sleep to function properly.
Getting good sleep not only rebuilds muscle, regulates metabolism, and helps you keep focused, but it’s also an integral part of the learning process.
So with that in mind today I want to give you some tips that can help to improve the quality of your sleep and how to get better sleep.
Tip 1: Drink Coffee and Tea in the Morning
To start out we have to talk about one of my absolute favorite substances in the world, which is coffee, or more particularly the caffeine in that coffee, because caffeine can actually disrupt your sleep quite a bit.
And the important thing to note here is that caffeine doesn’t just disrupt your sleep if you take it right before bed.
In fact, a 2013 study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that caffeine can actually disrupt your sleep even if it’s taken six hours before bed.
So the take away here is ifyou’re gonna drink caffeine, whether it’s coffee or whether it’s tea, if you drink those monster energy drinks you should probably just quit those altogether, but with coffee and tea,take those in the morning, let them give you a little brain boost, but then cut the caffeine well before your bedtime if you want to sleep well.
Tip 2: Do your Exercising a Little Earlier in the Day
The reason you should do this is that exercise both raises your core body temperature and it places a mild amount of stress on your central nervous system, and both of these things can make it a little more difficult to get to sleep.
So if you feel like it’s taking you longer to get to sleep at night than it should and you happen to do your workouts or some form of exercise near bedtime, try shifting that to earlier in the day.
Tip 3: Turn off Your Phone Another Way on How to Get Better Sleep.
Here we’re gonna talk about your phone and more specifically the light that your phone emits.
Smartphone screens, computer screens, TV screens, all these different screens that we spend all hours of the day staring at, all emit high concentrations of what’s called short wavelength enriched light, aka blue light.
And that can be a problem because that blue light can actually play havoc with your sleep schedule if you’re seeing it late at night, not during daylight hours.
And that is because your eyes contain what are called, and brace yourself because this is a bit of a mouthful, photosensitive retinal ganglion cells, and when light hits these cells your body clamps down on the secretion of ahormone called melatonin, which is helpful in inducing sleep.
Now, this biological mechanism works great during the daylight hours because it keeps your sleep schedule in sync with the day-night cycle.
But once the sun goes downand then you go inside and keep looking at all these screens and keep throwing tons oflight in your face all night, it can screw up your sleep cycle.
And blue light, in particular, has an especially powerful effect at clamping down on your body’s melatonin secretion.
So what can you do about this problem?
Number one, the simplest solution is to turn your screens off.
And this is something that I’ve been adopting in my own life because at 9 P.M. every single night I make sure that this computer behind me is turned off for the night, and that’s about an hour and a half before bed.
Now, if you just don’t want to turn your screens off or if you quite reasonably want to watch a TV show before going to bed, you want to check your phone, there’re some apps you can use to cut down on that amount of blue light.
For both Mac and PC, as well as you Linux users, there’s an app called flux that I’ve been using for quite a long time, which basically just alters the color profile of your computer screen to make it a lot warmer and it makes it cut down a lot of that blue light.
If you have an iPhone there’s actually a built-in feature called Night Shift that does this exact same thing and you can set it to turn on at a specific time at night and then turn back off in the morning.
If you’re an Android user you don’t benefit from having that built into the OS but there is an app called Twilight that basically does the exact same thing.
The other solution which I haven’t personally tried myself, but when I think about it, it seems like it would be the best one, is to buy yourself a pair of blue light blocking glasses.
Now, these look basically like your average safety glasses, you can get them off Amazon for about eight bucks, but the benefit would be is that they block all blue light, not just the blue light from your screens, which is beneficial when you’re looking at lots of artificial lighting in your house at night.
Tip 4: Turn those Alarm Clocks Away from Yourself so You can’t See the Time
One of the weird kinda counter intuitive facts about sleep is that we actually wake up several times during the night, at least to a degree.
Due to the nature of how the sleep cycle works we go through different stages of deep and shallow sleep and at that first stage,a lot of us actually briefly wake up or are in a semi-awoken state, but some people wake up fully.
And if you’re one of those people who finds themselves awake in the middle of the night and having trouble getting back to sleep, seeing the time you have remaining before you actually have to wake up for work or class or whatever can cause a lot of stress which makes it even harder to go back to sleep.
Tip 5: Improving Your Sleep Environment
That involves your bed itself, the amount of light in your room, the sounds, the odors, the temperature, a lot of different factors.
So we’re gonna briefly go through a few of them here and while we do that for each one ask yourself if you could be making any improvements.
So first up let’s talk about your pillow.
A couple of things about pillows.
- You want to replace yours every couple of years, both because it breaks down overtime and gets less supportive,but also because every night you’re sleeping on it you’re kind of injecting that pillow with lots of dirt and germs and body odor and stuff that makes it gross, which can make it hard to fall asleep.
- Secondly, and this was news to me until just recently, there’re different kinds of pillows for different kinds of sleepers.
For example, I am a side sleeper and for years I was just using like the most non-supportive awful pillows until I learned that a side sleeper probably is gonna need a firmer pillow that has these gussets on the side of it instead of just the two pieces of fabric that are stapled directly together.
And after sleeping on this thing for about a week now I can tell you it is a lot better than the stuff I was using before.
When it comes to the temperature in your room cooler is better, and according to the National Sleep Foundation, the optimal temperature range for sleeping is somewhere between 60 degrees Fahrenheit and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
The amount of light in your room, or should I say lack of light,plays a big role as well because pitch darkness actually plays a big role in melaton in secretion.
So, if you have a lot of ambient light coming into your room from like a street light outside your apartment, you can pick up a blackout curtain which will basically eliminate that light altogether.
I’ve actually got one there that I use for filming.
Also, if you happen to fall asleep with the TV on, you should probably try to break that habit because well, blue light.
Now, if you’re one of those people who thinks that the TV is soothing and they just can’tfall asleep without it, there’re some sound-based alternatives.
And actually silence really isn’t the optimal solution for all people because silence is so often inconsistent.
There’s a bump in the night, there’s a voice in the other room, or there’s somebody snoring in the same room as you, so having some sound that can block out those inconsistencies can really help you fall asleep.
One option you can check out is ambient noise generators which can generate both white noise, which is basically just consistent noise that sounds a little bit like an air-conditioner, and ambient noises, like rain and thunder, and for me, my favorite one is Noisli, because you can add as many as you want, you can change the volume of each one and basically create the perfect mix for you.
There’s also lots of music out there that’s good for falling asleep too. I hope these 5 tips on how to get better sleep will help you.