Sleep Hygiene Hacks for a Deeper Sleep
Updated: Feb 15
Ahhhh sleep! One of the most amazing things in life is getting a restful and deep sleep. As many people know there are various stages throughout the sleep cycle (stages 1,2,3, 4 & REM sleep). One of the most crucial and often the most lacking stages of sleep is the DEEP sleep cycle (stage 4).
Deep sleep is so important for creating the feeling of being rested and to allow for essential lymphatic and glymphatic (lymphatic system for your brain that drains/washes out neurotoxins during sleep).
Did you know that a difference of a few degrees in your room at night can impair and/or make it IMPOSSIBLE to reach the deep sleep cycle?!
HERE ARE MY TOP SLEEP HYGIENE HACKS TO HELP OPTIMIZE AND IMPROVE YOUR SLEEP:
1. Optimize your sleep position- optimal positions to drain the glymphatic system at night are laying in supine (laying on your back/tummy up!) or laterally (think laying on your side). Positions such as prone (tummy down) or seated positions result in less drainage of the glymphatic system. Just think- positions that are similar to how you are positioned during the day (seated at a desk for example) are not ideal for bedtime!
2. Cool it down: Take the temperature down in the room to 63-66 degrees Fahrenheit to help your body reach a deep sleep. Hubby or wife not vibing this option?! Not wanting to pay the high AC price during the summer? Opt for a cooling comforter and cool wicking mattress/sheets/pillows
3. Swap out your lightbulbs: Opt for some incandescent red lightbults below 40 watts to simulate a sunset and put these on 2-4 hours before sleep to help your body to naturally wind down. Don't love the red for daytime use? Opt for a colour changing lightbulb to change colours when desired.
4. Make your space for sleep (and sexy time only): Your bed should be reserved for sleep and sexy time only. Avoid watching TV, going on your phone/computer in your bed. Also avoid having your home office in your bedroom- try to do all work on the couch or assigned desk in another room. You don't want your brain to start associating your bed and bedroom with doing work or stressful tasks such as paying bills.
5. Clean your space regularly: Cleaning your space regularly will help reduce allergens in your environment and allow for a greater sense of calm in your physical space allowing for a greater sense of calm in your mental space. Opt for an air purifier to ensure allergen-free air while you sleep.
6. Fold and put away your clothes: The clothing trap! Avoid dumping and leaving your clothes stranded on the floor or in the laundry basket. Implement the one touch rule where you only touch everything once. If you touch/pick up your laundry basket and bring it to your room, quickly put away your clothes (I guarantee it probably won't take longer than 15 mins if you stay focused!)
7. Use FLUX or night shift: To eliminate blue light emitting from your devices 3-4 hours before bed opt for adding the FLUX application to your computer to allow for an amber hue to take over the sleep-disturbing blue light. You can also opt for using night-shift on your iPhone or cell phone in general. There are always blue light eliminating glasses, however to save a few shekels I like to opt for applications on my devices and this way they are optimized to my schedule and I never forget to eliminate that blue light prior to bedtime.
8. Read a book: Reading a book is a classic calming activity to do before bed. Pick your favourite genre and sleep until your eyes are closing.
9. Try out a weighted blanket: Weighted blankets are a favourite for many but know that everyone's sensory needs vary, so you may totally love the heavy sensation on your body or may not enjoy the heavy sensation. This is a common favourite for children and adults!
10. Listen to a bedtime story/sleep mediation: You can find all kinds of bedtime meditations and sleep stories for adults! My favourite free meditations on YouTube for sleep are by Jason Stephenson
11. Get EMF blockers and switch your phone to airplane mode: EMF waves impact our sleep and if you are someone prone to headaches when on a plane or when placing your phone to your ear. Opt for an EMF blocking system or at the very least swap your cell to airplane mode. And for heavens sake do NOT put your cell under your pillow while you sleep.
12. Avoid rigorous exercise or going upside down before bed: Avoid the gym,
yoga or getting on an inversion table before bed. Going upside down can be very energizing for our sensory systems kicking in 2-3 hours after we do exercises- avoid yoga, hanging or going upside down a few hours before bed.
13. Blackout curtains: Invest in some great light-eliminating blackout curtains. Any light touching the skin can impact the quality of your sleep. Prevent light from disturbing your sleep with some life-chasing blackout curtains.
I hope these tips help you reach optimal sleep! Always adjust as needed but like anything in life we often need to commit beyond the few first days to truly see the impact of changing our habits and environment for the better!
Remember that all we do in life is largely cumulative- what we did last week or month or year does impact us today!