Every other day some ‘sleep committee’ or council are changing the recommended hours of sleep you should be receiving each night, but what about these celebrities and hustlers that claim they only sleep for an hour or two a night in order to maximise time to work on their success? That is false, without sufficient sleep the likelihood of car crashes, occupational errors and diseases such as diabetes, depression, obesity, cancer and the like greatly increases.
“But sleep is a waste of time, I need my body to be productive”
You may think while you are lying there in bed that your body is simply in an eternal slumber but that is far from the case. While you are asleep your body is hard at work, specifically repairing tissue and producing hormones.
Now, I can not tell you exactly how much sleep you should be getting as your genetics and age play a huge factoring in determining this magical number. However, to avoid of any the nasty effects of sleep deprivation your sleep should be within the 7 – 9 hour bracket per night, keeping in mind this is high quality, uninterrupted sleep.
With TVs, mobile phones, tablets, computers and every other electronic device possibly imaginable at our fingertips these devices often keep us awake, or at least distracted into the early hours of the morning.
The quality of sleep the majority of people are getting is simply insufficient.
I am completely against taking any kind of drugs or sleeping pills, they are a band aid fix and are not a long term solution for you, not to mention how bad for your health they are.
So listen up, here is my recommendations for increasing the quality of your sleep:
Caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and the like will prevent you from entering a deep sleep, or quite often prevent you from falling asleep at all. After midday I avoid consuming any form of stimulant.
Have a bed time
Get yourself into a sleep routine, I personally have decided that 11 PM is my bed time, regardless of what I am doing at 9 pm or 10 pm I know I will be in bed at 11 PM, once you have got your body into a routine like this the quality of your sleep will skyrocket.
Make the room dark
Bright lights before bed are known to suppress the production of melatonin, which is produced by the body to induce sleep. As you are getting ready for bed have the lights dimmed if possible.
When you are ready for sleep pop on a sleep mask, for the $5 you spend on one of these they provide a fantastic return on investment.
Your TV, computer and mobile phone all emit what is known as ‘blue light’ this blue light suppresses melatonin which, as mentioned earlier assists in putting your body to sleep.
If you must use your computer I highly recommend downloading and installing the free application ‘f.lux’. It adjust the screen according to whether it is dark or there is sun outside.
Before your set bed time set and perform an evening ritual, this ritual should consist of relaxing activities, avoid anything strenuous or stressful. Examples of great activities to include in your evening ritual include reading a book, having a bath, stretching or meditation.
I am a big fan of training early in the morning, this is another reason as to why. After exercise cortisol levels are increased in the body, cortisol is a suppressant of melatonin, body temperature is also raised after training which will cause greater difficulty when trying to sleep.
My general rule is do not train within three hours of going to bed.
It does not come as a great surprise that we sleep better when we are cool. From my personal experience and from the research of others (Tim Ferriss’ did extensive research on this) we appear to sleep best with a temperature between 65F – 70F.
Notice how your quality and duration of sleep deteriorates in summer? This is why.
Sleep is very important for your well being. And even though I was out last night and got under 5 hours a sleep, I feel good today cause I wake up at the same time every morning.
If you like to fix your sleep you will find these two other articles about the subject useful.
Here is a guide on how to get up in the morning.
And here is how to get more energy just by sleeping.