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How to Biohack Your Sleep For Optimal Performance
When was the last time you woke up feeling energized and ready to tackle the day? When was the last time you woke up before your alarm and did not feel the need for caffeine? Chances are it has been a while!
In today's fast paced world many of us overlook the importance of sleep and healthy sleep habits and this is where we fall short. Sleep is incredibly important for our health, in fact, it's as important as diet and exercise! Getting enough sleep reaches far beyond simply feeling rested. Not getting enough sleep impacts our memory, brain health, hormone regulation, detoxification, mood, and overall performance. As fast as technology and the health industry is progressing, the human body is pretty primitive and there is unfortunately no “app” or “gadget” to replace a good night's sleep. However, there are several ways to biohack our sleep for optimal performance. Alright, let's get started, here are our top 10 biohacks to optimize your sleep!
Consistency Is Key
We all have an internal biological clock that helps regulate all the processes in your body that happen over a 24-hour period, AKA your circadian rhythm. Being consistent with your sleep and waking times helps regulate this rhythm and can aid in long term sleep quality.
Try to create a habit of going to sleep and waking at similar times each day, once something becomes a habit it becomes autonomous!
Photosynthesize in the mornings
Humans are diurnal animals, we are active during the day time and our activity/rest patterns are governed by an internal clock, the circadian rhythm. So how does this work? Well, in layman terms: The sun rises, blue light levels rise, we become active and begin producing serotonin. The sunsets, blue light levels decrease, we become less active and switch over to melatonin production.
Open the blinds, sit by the window, step outside - just expose your skin to the natural light for a few minutes in the morning to sync your circadian rhythm and let nature do its job. The innovative energy square from TrueDark is the perfect portable accessory for busy people on the move that may not have the time to soak up some sun.
Avoid “JUNK” light
Light exposure in the morning might be beneficial but at night it has the exact opposite effect. Unfortunately thanks to modern technology this has become increasingly more difficult to do but limiting or reducing blue light exposure at night is vital to healthy sleep.
- Limit screen time & light exposure 2 hours prior to bed
- Wear blue light blocking glasses after sunset. True Dark manufactures high-quality blue light blocking glasses that will enhance your nigh time routine.
Cut the stimulants
Caffeine, nicotine and other stimulants seem to have become a staple diet of the modern human and whether you still feel the effects of caffeine or not, your sleep most certainly does! This is not limited to only coffee but includes, pre workouts, energy drinks etc.
Try limiting the intake of stimulants in the late afternoon, allowing for at least 4-6 hours before bedtime. Similarly for smokers, try limiting the intake of nicotine close to bedtime.
Although alcohol may help you unwind and relax, after a few hours it tends to do the exact opposite and increases the number of awakenings and generally decreasing the quality of sleep later in the night.
Try limiting alcohol consumption as much as possible and avoid consuming any alcohol within 2-3 hours of bedtime.
Consuming a large meal before bed or eating late at night has been shown to reduce sleep quality and result in hormone disruptions.
- Eat dinner at least 2-3 hours before bed time to allow for sufficient time for your body to digest the food.
- Avoid consuming foods that cause indigestion in the evenings
- If you find yourself hungry, opt for light and easy to digest snacks
Exercise has been shown to be one of the best methods for improving sleep quality, as long as it's done at the right time. This is due to the stimulatory effect of exercise, which stimulates the release of hormones like epinephrine and adrenaline.
Exercise daily! Try to finish exercising at least 3 hours before bedtime or try working out earlier in the day!
Balance the fluids
Although staying hydrated is of the utmost importance, drinking fluids right before bed time, especially in excess, have a negative impact on sleep quality and can result in the urge to wake up for a trip to the bathroom. Additionally, the opposite is also true.
Drink enough fluid throughout the day and in the early evening to keep you hydrated and prevent you from waking up thirsty but not so much and so close to bedtime that you will be awakened by the need for a trip to the bathroom.
Hack your bedroom
Studies have shown that a quiet, dark, and cool environment can help promote optimal sleep quality. The same way the environment you work in is of great importance, the same goes for the environment you sleep in.
To optimize or “hack” your bedroom environment, try to minimize external noise, light, and artificial lights from devices like alarm clocks. Opting for blackout curtains, sleep masks and ear plugs are all viable options.
Try a Supplement
As with all supplements, they are not there to replace a healthy and balanced lifestyle but certainly have their value and place! Ingredients like melatonin, magnesium, valerian root, L-Theanine and Passion flower have been shown to not only promote deep and restorative sleep but improve overall sleep quality!
Try using a functional sleep supplement like, Natural Sleep by Prime Self or Neuro Night by Neuro Active to provide your mind and body with the necessary components for slipping into a deep, natural and restful sleep!
Closing Thoughts: Biohacking is all about self-experimentation and fine-tuning the “hacks” so that they are best suited towards YOU! More importantly, sleep plays a vital role in our health and should not be taken for granted. If you are in search of optimal human performance, sleep should be number ONE on your list! Take some time to figure out what works best for you and follow through with it!
**Remember, getting in quality sleep is part science and part art, nothing happens overnight.
Watch our video on how to biohack your sleep.