Sleep is something we take for granted!
What if I told you that a good night’s sleep can do the following things for you?
• Longer lifespan
• Better memory
• Heightened creativity
• Balanced hormones
• Stable weight
• Controlled appetite
• Prevention of disease
• Better mood
• Strong immune system
Yes, you heard me right; sleep can do all that and it doesn’t cost you anything. However, you do need to take a few strategic steps in making sure your sleep is well executed.
Here are my recommendations:
• Create a sleep schedule
• Avoid late exercise, unless it’s a low intensity activity
• Don’t consume caffeinated beverages after midday, depending on how sensitive you are
• Avoid eating large meals at night, and space your last meals a few hours before bed
• Avoid taking naps in the afternoon
• Take in lots of sunlight in the morning
• Dim the lights in the evening (possibly invest in a Philips Hue light)
• Have a relaxing bedtime routine, play relaxing music, take a hot bath, use candles at night
• Make sure your bedroom is dark and cool
• Put away phones and other digital devices when winding down, even try putting your phone in another room altogether
You can also geek out like I do with gadgets. You can work with your day’s energy levels to achieve the most out of the day by wearing an Oura ring. I have tried many other gadgets, including a heart monitor, but found the Oura ring to be the best and most accurate. I suffer from a bit of sleep apnea, so I tried wearing my Oura ring while in the sleep lab. The results in comparison were pretty close given that I was all wired up at the clinic. Oura has been a part of my life for the past 4 years and I have no ties to the company or benefit in any way by promoting them; they just kick ass and I’m happy to share the love!
So, what does Oura really do? It calculates resting heart rate, heart rate variability, body temperature (a great tool for knowing if your body is battling something), respiratory rates, total sleep time, time in bed, sleep efficiency, REM sleep, deep sleep, and it also calculates activity levels. The data is collected over time and it starts to provide you feedback on how to improve things, and how to go about your day. For example, if I ate too late or had a stressful night, I can not only feel it, but I can see my results on Oura, so I plan accordingly. This helps you to not get sick and to be kind to yourself.
Hopefully you enjoyed some of my personal hacks and suggestions on sleep. If you found this interesting and would like to know more about sleep, I have a book that you will love: “Why We Sleep” by Matthew Walker, PhD.