With summer coming to an end, and the back to school season is in it’s prime, saying goodbye to 10 hour sleep is pretty hard. But today I’m here to give you the secrets to make 6 hour sleep feel like the 10 we all love!
- GET RID OF ELECTRONIC DEVICES BEFORE BED
Ten minutes of a smartphone in front of your nose is about the equivalent of an hour long walk in bright daylight. Imagine going for an hour long walk in bright daylight and then thinking, Now I’ll get some sleep, sadly, it isn’t going to happen. In the middle of the night you wake up and think, I’ll just check my Instagram, Twitter or email and, of course, you’re being flooded with that blue light. You’re not going to be getting back to sleep very easily for the next hour or so. Bottom-line, avoid laptops, smartphones and tablets 1h before bed.
- USE THE 90-MINUTE RULE
When you sleep, your brain cycles through different stages, each lasting 90 minutes. You will feel most refreshed when you awake at the end of a 90-minute sleep cycle because you will be closest to your normal waking state. So, starting from when you want to wake up, count back in 90-minute intervals to work out when you should fall asleep. There is this cool web app called sleepyti.me, which can help you with the calculation. For example, if you want to get up at 7am, try falling asleep at either 11.30pm or 10pm.
Additionally, you can use the Sleep Cycle app that monitors the movement of your body while you sleep and can estimate the sleep stage you are in, thus making sure to activate the alarm clock during the time you find yourself at light sleep.
- LISTEN TO SLEEP MEDITATION OR CALMING MUSIC BEFORE BED
Guided meditation can help you enter into sleep and enjoy a deep, restorative sleep. Through guided sleep meditation, your muscles will relax, your breathing will become slow and deep, and your common daily thoughts will be replaced with rich, dreamlike imagery. My favorite app for this purpose is calm.com.
- SLEEP IN TOTAL DARKNESS
As I suggested above, daylight directly inhibits the release of melatonin in your brain. Melatonin is a natural hormone released in your blood when darkness occurs and helps your body feel less alert, thus making sleep more inviting. Therefore, I would strongly recommend reinforcing your room with window blinds or really dark curtains.
Additionally a sleep mask might come handy and also if you don’t want to wake up to the sounds of the city in the morning, those earplugs can help you eliminate all external noises.
- TAKE A BATH OR SHOWER BEFORE BED
Lying in a warm bath artificially raises your body temperature, but when you climb out of the bath this temperature abruptly drops and sends a signal to your body that you are ready for sleep. Your body reaches its lowest temperature around 4.30AM. The lower the body temperature, the easier you sleep.
- KEEP YOUR ROOM AT THE RIGHT TEMPERATURE
The temperature of your bedroom also affects sleep. Most people sleep best in a slightly cool room (18°C) with adequate ventilation. A bedroom that is too hot or too cold can interfere with quality sleep.