5 Tips to Help You Sleep Like a Baby
- Go to bed at the same time every night. This gives your circadian rhythm an opportunity to normalize which lets your body get deeper, more solid rest while you sleep.
- Turn off electronics 2 hours before going to bed. The blue light from electronics interferes with melatonin release, which will prevent you from feeling sleepy even though your body is tired. It’s easier to fall asleep when there aren’t any bright lights tricking your body into thinking it’s daytime.
- Get 7-9 hours of sleep every night. I’ll-sleep-when-I’m-dead folks miss out on the extra productivity that comes from having a well-rested body and fully functional brain.
- Journal or meditate at night to clear your mind before sleep. If you’re in a highly anxious or stressful period in life, dump all those thoughts into a journal before you lay down to sleep. Meditate for 20 minutes to let the hullaballoo of the day get replaced by a sense of peace and calm. Stress can keep you from getting deep, restorative sleep even if you do rest for 7-9 hours. Calming the mind at night will help you fall asleep faster and sleep deeper.
- Turn your bedroom into a sleep cave. Keep the office, gym, and TV out of the bedroom. Once you train your body to see the bedroom as a place to rest, it will automatically start preparing for sleep when you go into your room at night and lay down.
6 Restorative Processes That Happen While You Sleep
- Brain cleans house. The brain stores memories and filters out important information from unimportant. That notable brain fog, common to under slept people, is replaced by mental clarity when you’ve had enough rest.
- Organs slow down. The heart, lungs, gut, and liver all slow down their normal daytime processes and rest for a bit. The liver shifts from detoxifying to building and synthesizing as you sleep, amping up for more detoxifying the next day.
- Blood pressure drops, giving you a sense of relaxation.
- Growth hormones get released supporting muscle tissue restoration, metabolism, hair growth, breast milk production, water retention, and sexual function.
- Appetite gets normalized with consistent release of hunger hormones, leptin and ghrelin. Studies show that sleep deprived people are more likely to reach for sugary and caffeinated foods, which contributes to weight gain. One study found that people who only sleep 5 hours a night, consume more late night calories, eat more empty carbs, and gain more weight than people who sleep a luxurious 9 hours a night.
- Cortisol (the stress hormone) levels drop, allowing your well-rested body to shift energy away from fight-or-flight instincts to higher functions like creativity, logic, memory, and learning.