Do you want more energy? Then the simplest and most powerful way to achieve this is to get a better quality night’s sleep. This can be somewhat easier said than done of course. Are you somebody who struggles with their bedtime routine? Or your sleep hasn’t been as deep and satisfying as it could be?
Sleep is one of the fundamental pillars of the vital life force that makes us tick. The others being – Air, Water, and Food. Sleep deprivation is detrimental to your overall health and wellbeing, it’s a necessity for your survival and longevity.
- Poor sleep is linked to higher body weight
- Good sleepers tend to eat fewer calories
- Sleep affects glucose metabolism and type 2 diabetes risk
- Poor sleepers have a greater risk of heart disease and stroke
- Good sleepers can improve concentration and productivity
- Sleep improves your immune functions
- Poor sleep is linked to depression
- Good sleep can maximise athletic performance
- Sleep affects emotions and social interactions
- Poor sleep is linked to increased inflammation
Poor bedtime patterns can drastically affect your ability to function on almost every level. Lack of restorative sleep can cause problems like cognitive impairment and hallucinations. Long term effects can put the body in danger of chronic illnesses like depression and has also been known to speed up the aging process.
If you discover yourself in any of these situations – you have had trouble falling asleep, suffer from restless sleep or awoken often during the night. Try these amazing biohacking tips which will assist you considerably to improve the quality and quantity of your restful night.
Avoid blue light in the evening
There is a growing concern about the consequences of blue light on human health. Blue light is emitted from TV screens, computers, tablets, smartphones and similar devices. Excessive exposure to display screens is a huge cause of stress and tension.
You can get blue-light filters for your computers and mobile devices, some even come with a night mode option. If you retain any blue-light emitting gadgets in your bedroom, make an attempt to keep them out of sight of your body.
Another way to avoid blue light within the evenings is to wear blue-light blocking glasses or orange-tinted glasses. They may look funky, but can reduce eye fatigue and strain from display screen exposure.
Of course, not all blue light exposure is bad, just within the evening when we are heading to bed. Getting in some daylight hours will help towards accomplishing that incredible night’s sleep. 20 minutes of the morning sun will improve your biological clock and aid in making you feel fresh and alert for the day ahead.
Use a sleep induction mat
Lay on a bed of nails? No, it’s just an acupressure mat. This is a specifically designed mat covered with tiny plastic points, a little bit like spikes. The concept is that lying on this mat will stimulate acupressure points in your body called meridians. Similar to an acupuncture or massage session, both are great for insomnia.
It may feel quite uncomfortable when you first try but it is absolutely safe. People who have used it say that after the first few minutes, it’s pure joy. They also report that they see an instantaneous improvement in sleep quality, especially when utilised in the evening.
Meditate on it: combine the advantages of acupressure and meditation into one
Experiment with time: choose from 15 to 40 minutes depending on how you feel
Try different sensations: position the mat higher or lower along your back
Plan a tranquil bedtime routine
Whether it’s half an hour or an hour, choose a relaxing activity that helps you unwind. This does eliminate TV, computers and smart devices from the equation. Any exposure to blue light will only defeat the purpose as the lack of bright screens will assist you to avoid stimulating the production of cortisol.
Make a conscious effort to unwind and to do something that you will enjoy, this will help you in abandoning the stresses of the day. If you are used to having a light snack before bedtime, avoid sugary foods as they will raise your blood sugar levels. This will cause difficulties falling asleep as well as lead to an interrupted sleep cycle.
Some peaceful options to try:
- Practice Meditation
- Read a light-hearted book
- Write in your journal
- Listen to soft music
- Peaceful conversation
Remember these are the last moments before you go to sleep, you want to prepare your brain for a soothing state. Whatever your routine is try to stick to it and your body will know that it is time for rest.
Keep your bedroom cool
Generally, people have the expectation that they will get a better night’s sleep if they are warm. Though you would like your core body temperature to be warm, the optimal surroundings should be slightly cool.
The ideal temperature for optimal sleep is between 15 – 20 degrees Celsius (60 – 68 degrees Fahrenheit).
You can achieve this by leaving your window open, or by using a regular/ceiling fan, the white noise can also be a great sleep inducer. It’s believed the rationale is that this mirrors the drop in body temperature during sleep. This emulates how we might have slept in the wild and allows us to better regulate our temperature.
Though if this is too cold for you, use an additional blanket, wear some socks or use a hot-water bottle. This will enable you to remain warm enough throughout the night in an optimal sleep-inducing environment.
Helpful hacks for you to undertake
Go for a run
Do this early in the day, not when you’re about to go to bed. Running helps you burn off energy making you tired when you hit the hay. If you take your run outside, then you’ll get the combination of fresh air and sunlight to improve the regulation of your internal clock.
Soak in a warm bath
Taking a warm bath an hour before bed will help your muscles to relax and at the same time will stimulate the release of sleep hormones like melatonin. It also increases the production of growth hormones, identified with better sleep and recovery.
Sleep in a completely dark room
Any light filtering into your room, even from a street light, may disrupt the pineal gland’s ability to produce melatonin and serotonin. These are two vital hormones that balance the body’s sleep-wake cycle, or circadian rhythm. You could try a sleep mask, but for better results, invest in a good pair of blackout curtains.
Take ZMA supplements
The ZMA supplement contains zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6. These give it the impact of encouraging a deeper and more restful sleep. It can also increase testosterone levels to reinforce muscle building and recovery. Take it before you go to sleep and keep track of the improvements.
Try red light colour therapy
Each colour of the spectrum vibrates to a specific frequency with corresponding therapeutic properties. Red light has calming, stress-relieving and regenerative properties and promotes relaxation and sleep. You could seek a specialised colour light therapist for a few sessions. Alternatively you can invest in some red-light systems or devices for your home.
No alcohol before bed
I know a number of you will hate me for this tip. There’s a well-liked misconception that alcohol helps you sleep better. Alcohol makes you drowsy but prevents you from entering the REM level of deep, uninterrupted sleep. Research shows that a nightcap may initially cause you to doze off, but you’ll awaken during the night having trouble drifting back to sleep and feel unrested the next morning. The more alcohol you consume, the poorer the standard your sleep will be.
Putting it all together
Sleep deprivation is a problem that can bring your life to a standstill. It can seriously affect your mental and physical health and will hinder you from functioning at your peak. Lack of proper rest will prevent you from getting the most out of life.
- Start with one or two of these suggestions that resonate with you the most
- Experiment with what works best for your anatomy
- Practice them until they become a habit in your daily routine
- Once adapted incorporate another hack into your lifestyle
So what have you got to lose? If the proverbial warm glass of milk isn’t working for you, try some of these proven Biohacks and see what happens. A number of them will work right away, others may require longer for your body to get used to. In the highly unlikely event that they do not work, you’ll have made some healthier lifestyle changes in the process!
Do you implement any of these techniques already? If so, how has your life improved from gaining a higher quality night’s sleep?
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