In part one of this article series, we gave you the basic knowledge about sleep, its importance
and how bad quality sleep can impact your overall quality of life. But what is it that you can actually do today, to make falling asleep easier and get the best quality sleep possible?
In this article, we’re going to give you 4 power-tips to instantly start improving your sleep.
But first, let’s briefly go through the natural daily human cycle. The Circadian Rhythm Humans are typically active during the day and sleep at night.
Wake and Sleep
Some people say that they are more awake and alert in the morning. These are the so-called “morning people” and quite frankly, there aren’t many of them! On the flipside though, you have the so-called “night owls” which tend to fall asleep later during the AM and are more active then. The thing that governs this, is what we refer to as the “Circadian rhythm”, more commonly known as the biological clock of the human body.
This biological clock regulates the secretion of certain hormones that in turn regulate appetite, satiety, hormone production and have a significant impact on most bodily functions. In terms of sleep though, here’s how this goes: sunlight goes through the eyes and signals the brain to produce serotonin. Serotonin is the main daytime neurotransmitter that makes you feel awake, alert and aware of your environment. Think of it this way – Sunlight basically signals the body it is time to secrete hormones that will wake you up.
As the day goes by and darkness falls, the reverse thing happens – The absence of light signals
your body to secrete melatonin. Melatonin is the nighttime neurotransmitter, which makes you feel drowsy and sleepy.
This of course is just one of the mechanisms that induce a drowsy state and it is linked to many other substances and hormones that regulate your sleep cycle. The reason why this information is important for you, is that it basically tells you that your body is intricately connected and (supposed to be) tuned to the day-night cycle of the planet you live
on. The closer you get to that natural rhythm, the better your sleep will be.
Now let’s have a look at our 4 actionable tips to help you improve your sleep, starting – TODAY!
Make Falling Asleep Easier
4 Steps To Master Your Biological Clock
We all know how exhausting it can be to have chronically bad sleep. For this reason, let us suggest 5 actionable tips you can start doing today to improve your sleep!
Setup A Schedule
Make a bedtime schedule for yourself and go to bed at the same time every night.
Since most of us are on a repeating schedule, picking a moment when you’re tired is pretty
easy! Once you setup your sleeping schedule, try to stick to it even on weekends.
In doing this however, you have to make sure that you are not making drastic changes to your
sleep schedule. This way, your body can adjust naturally and seamlessly.
For instance, if you are a late bird and go to bed at 4-5 am, start off by going to bed 1-2 hours earlier at around 3-4 am and slowly work your way towards midnight. Try to set a wake time and wake up at the same time every morning, in addition to going to bed at the same time.
If you get enough sleep, you should be able to wake up automatically without the use of an
alarm clock. So, if you really need an alarm to get out of bed on time, you may want to try going to bed
earlier. To get the most out of your new sleep schedule, make sure your bed is as comfortable as
possible – If necessary, purchase a new pad!
People’s noise sensitivity varies, but there is one universal rule that states that the quieter your
room is, the better your sleep will be. The lesser information in your sleeping environment, the easier and better you sleep. So besides noise, consider switching off any TVs or monitors in your room; you’ll need as much darkness and silence as possible to get the most out of your 6-8 hours of sleep. As you drift off to sleep, you get away from the conscious mind taking in information. So make sure there is little to no such information!
Set Your Alarm Tone
As previously said, if you get enough sleep, you should be able to wake up naturally. If you must have an alarm, try to avoid the excruciating, irritating alarm tones and instead choose a more relaxing melody. You will be on your own to wakeup and the alarm will be just a reminder. The more you tune into your natural human sleep patterns, the easier waking up will become. You may even wake up before you have to snooze!
Watch Your Mouth!
One of the most underrated factors when it comes to sleep, is pre-bed nutrition. Make sure that you are not consuming heavy meals around bedtime. Your best bet would generally be to consume your last big meal within 2-3 hours before bed. If you are hungry before bed, get something light,. Milk, yoghurt, other dairy products or even a casein supplement will allow your body to get some good night-time protein. Sleep is the time when the body ramps up the use of the nutrients you gave it during the day.
The human body is in an intimate connection with the Earth and its day-night cycles. Your ultimate goal would be to synchronize with that cycle, while covering other aspects like nutrition and environment. In doing all of the above, you are greatly increasing the chances of fighting off insomnia and getting the best out of your sleep. And quite frankly, if you sleep for 30% of your 24 hrs available every day, that just HAS TO BE a good quality sleep. A good night’s sleep will have an impact on your overall quality of life, so don’t ignore it!
Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below.