A year ago exactly, I slept for 8 hours and 2 minutes, and within that, I had 2 hours and 39 minutes of restorative sleep.
Last night I slept for 7 hours and 23 minutes.
Within that, I had a record of 5 hours and 46 minutes of restorative sleep.
I’ve literally DOUBLED my restorative sleep, with less time in bed.
Consistency with bedtime and wake time
I go to bed between 8:30pm and 9pm probably 95% of the time, with the other 5% being between 9 and 9:30pm.
I wake up between 4:45 and 5:15am probably 99% of the time.
Your body needs regularity in order for hormone production and cycle time to help you fall asleep.
If you go to bed at 9pm weeknights and 11pm on weekends, you’re doing your body a big disservice and making quality sleep harder to achieve. Same goes for wakeup time. If you are up at 5am on weekdays but 7am weekends, that’s causing trouble.
These hormones are slow to adjust, so once you set your new schedule you need to be consistent with it.
Blue Light Blocking Glasses
I wear these in the morning before the sun rises, and at night starting whenever the sun goes down until my head hits the pillow.
Why? Blue light is emitted from our electronics – tv’s, phones, computers – and it interferes with our hormones. It tricks our body into thinking its daytime and the sun is up, which means the body doesn’t start the sleep hormones on time, which means its harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
I take about 400mg of Thorne Magnesium Bisglycinate an hour before bed. (Keep in mind I’m a 200lb male) It acts as a neurotransmitter to promote relaxation and stress reduction.
The mineral magnesium is crucial for the body to function properly because magnesium is involved in more than 600 of the body’s enzymatic reactions.
According to World Health Organization statistics, as many as 75 percent of U.S. adults do not meet the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Recommended Daily Intake of 420 mg of magnesium. Magnesium deficiency can manifest in many ways, such as inefficient blood sugar metabolism, muscle cramps or soreness, eyelid twitching, fatigue, and poor sleep. *From Thornes website
Viewing The Sunrise
Exposure to sunlight in the morning can help regulate the hormones cortisol and melatonin, which play a role in sleep patterns. It is best to go outside without sunglasses to receive the full benefits of the sunlight, as glass and sunglasses can filter out some of the ultraviolet light that is important for setting the body’s internal clock. Artificial light from electronic devices is not as effective and should not be relied upon as a replacement for sunlight.
Best to try and do this a few days a week. The more the better. When able, I try to combine viewing the morning sunrise with my run!
And you may be wondering, what about cloudy and rainy days? Good question – still beneficial to get outside!
Your bedroom should be completely dark, no light whatsoever. No TV, no visible alarm clock, no decorative lights, nothing. This goes back to lights affecting our hormone production.
Your bedroom should also be cold, between 60 and 65 is ideal! Your body needs to be “cool” in order to get it’s best sleep, that’s why when you are hot in bed, you sleep terrible!
Alcohol is the biggest sleep quality disruptor there is. Avoid it at all costs if you want to improve your sleep quality.
As you can see, there are no magic solutions here. Just habit stacking old-school sleep methods before we ruined it with technology.
Implement these ASAP but give it time – weeks, months even – before you judge whether or not it works.
If you’ve been sleeping with a TV in your room for years … it’ll take some time for your body to adjust and go back to normal without it.
PS – For those wondering, I record my sleep data with a Whoop, but there are many reliable devices/watches on the market these days.