Hacking Your Sleep
How to get the most out of your sleep
Sleep deprivation is very common, especially among north american households. Sometimes lack of sleep cannot be helped but a lot of the time it is just the result of a poor choice. We seem to brag about our lack of sleep too, which I find to be an odd and the wrong choice.
So how much sleep do you need and how do you improve it? You can use some simple steps, and tools to get the most out of your sleep. From my research and personal experience (especially dealing with CFS), you cannot sleep too much. Getting more sleep is never a bad choice to make. You can also use some steps to improve your sleeping overall and on a daily basis.
How Much sleep do you get?
How much sleep do you get?
How to hack your sleep
This lense is largely inspired and copied but added upon from this blog post: Timothy Ferris's blog post how to relax like a pro Although I have improved upon it over time by adding some things. One thing I would recommend is using binaural beats.
You can find some for free online, there are some to enhance your sleep and also help you fall asleep. I use both kinds binaural beats so that I have relative ease falling asleep but also enhancing it as well. It is recommended to use high quality headphones while listening to binaural beats.
Mind food hemisync is a product I use that you can get from hemisync's website. As you can see there are a variety of different binaural beats to enhance your sleep and help you hack your sleep. There are even headphones you can wear and use while sleeping without being too uncomfortable.
Hacking your sleep is important to not only get the most out of your sleep but also your life. I find getting sleep and better sleep an important priority that not many others do. By hacking your sleep you can perform better in your personal or professional life.
Simple steps to get better sleep
Typically most animals and humans before the advent of electricity and the light bulb, we were awake when the sun was out and asleep when it was nighttime. Today though we are bathed in artificial light and blue light from lightbulbs, tvs and computer screens that mess with our serotonin and melatonin and disrupt our circadian rhythms. By using a few simple steps to get better sleep you can get more satisfying and rejuvenating sleep on a daily basis.
First off, eliminate or reduce exposure to artificial light when it is dark out. Dim lights when it is dark out, and if possible use a night light or low light levels. Artificial light stimulates are brains and bodies, making us think it is daytime. For tvs and computer screens, consider using gunnar glasses which block a lot of the blue light that emits from televisions and computer screens and disrupt our circadian rhythms. Look for a program for your computer screen called "F.lux", it is a free program that dims computer screens and lowers blue light after sunset. In your bedroom darken it as much as possible, by using thick, dark curtains, and covering anything emitting any light, if needed use electrical tape on power lights or any lights in the area.
It is best to go to bed and wake up at the same time, even on your days off. There are ways of adjusting your circadian rhythms to "work" conditions but its much easier and effective if you go to bed and wake up at the same time. Consider eating a small amount of carbs, protein and fat before bed and also taking supplements (such as omega 3), since when you sleep you are technically fasting.
To help you sleep
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Tools and supplements to help you sleep better
There are some tools and supplements you can use to help you sleep better. Consider purchasing an air humidifier, as it often helps with sleep, skin problems but also sinus problems as well. Air humidifiers are relatively cheap and you can turn them on when you are sleeping and leave them off when you are not. I put mine on a low setting and it it may take your room some time to adjust to the humidity.
For sleep aids, I find tylenol pm (or the sleep aid compound in it) or melatonin to be the best sleep aids. Other sleep aids such as drinking chamomile tea (which does help), or valerian root tend to help but not always to put you right to bed. I would not recommend prescription sleep pills as they often make you more tired from using, and is not worth it. Melatonin does have its drawbacks though as it can disrupt your natural melatonin production. I find melatonin helps to correct your circadian rhythm but it does take at least 2-3 mg.
I take supplements when I wake up and before I go to sleep. I would not recommend any stimulating vitamins or supplements such as b vitamins. Omega 3 is a good choice though to take before sleeping. Eating a small amount of food before bed can also help, since while sleeping your body is technically fasting, which is why people often wake up hungry.
Getting daily sunlight can also help as well. Taking vitamin d or using a light that simulates the sun can help some as well but it isn't as good as getting sunlight. Anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour of sunlight is a good amount of sunlight to get, much more then that will leave you sunburnt.
L-theanine and gaba can also be used to enhance sleep as well as help induce it. GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid) can be used to calm tension in the body as well as induce sleep. Theanine increases the quality of sleep you are getting.
Seriphos can be used two hours before bed and thirty minutes before bed to help induce sleep and help heal your adrenals as well.
More items to help you sleep
The healing power of sleep
Sleep is one of the best tools for recovery, whether recovering from illness or trying to help with a chronic illness. I don't think one can sleep too much these days, and sleeping excessively may be a sign to slow things down or to address some issues.
People with problems such as depression often sleep a lot, which I believe is a way of healing someone's body and mind. Ideally people should be sleeping 9-10 hours every night.
Scientists are still not sure of the exact reasoning behind why sleep is necessary but it is one of the body's best tools for recovery and rejuvenation. Many people facing chronic issues (especially metabolic ones) can benefit tremendously from getting more sleep. In fact many animals sleep as long as the sun is down, and from some research it has been shown humans used to do the same before the invention of the lightbulb.
Sleep is a powerful tool for getting the most out of your diet and exercise as it helps control your appetite and help with lean muscle gains as well.
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