Conclusion & Review
Episode #10 of the course How to manufacture the greatest sleep of your life by Austin Gill
Congratulations! You’re now a sleep expert.
We’ve covered a lot, so let’s recap.
Sleep is a key regulator of your health and well-being. It significantly impacts your:
• Stress levels. Dropping from eight hours per night to just six hours increases your morning cortisol levels by 50%. Starting the day already stressed is a recipe for disaster.
• Metabolism. Sleep balances the hormones that regulate hunger, suppress blood sugar, and store fat. Even a little sleep loss can negate the benefits of a good diet.
• Disease risk. Many metabolic and mental diseases are associated with sleep loss. The good news is that getting plenty of sleep can reduce your risk of ever developing them to begin with!
• Energy levels. Too little sleep cripples your body’s ability to use energy from food, even when it’s available. No amount of caffeine can make up for that.
• Mood. Consistent quality sleep keeps you happy, friendly, positive, and open to new ideas. Without it you’re at risk of becoming an emotional wreck at the slightest disturbances.
• Memory. Brain activity is heightened when you sleep, creating new connections between areas of your brain then tracing them over and over. This is how long-term memories are created.
• Creativity. New information is introduced during sleep that can lead to creative breakthroughs. Sleep also strengthens divergent thinking—the kind you use for creative problem-solving.
• Aging. Quality sleep keep your mind and body balanced and healthy, ultimately slowing the process of aging.
Sleep is a big deal—one that’s overlooked by most people, but not by you. You want to improve the quality of your sleep in order to improve the overall quality of your life.
As I mentioned before, the best way to sleep better is to sleep more.
Here are 8 science-backed ways to sleep more and better:
• Be consistent. Wake up between 5am and 8am and fall asleep between 8pm and midnight every day. This rhythm will improve the quality of your sleep and will make falling asleep easier.
• Develop a nighttime routine. Find simple things like meditating and washing your face and do them every night. This signals your body that it’s time to sleep.
• No caffeine after 2pm. Caffeine can affect sleep and cause nighttime wakefulness even if ingested six hours before falling asleep. So no caffeine at least six hours before bed, preferably eight.
• Turn the temp down. Your body temperature drops throughout the night in order to enter different stages of sleep. Keeping your environment cool makes this process easier.
• Avoid blue light one to two hours before bed. Artificial blue light tricks your body into thinking it’s daytime and keeps it from falling asleep. If you must use screens, get some blue blockers.
• Make your room as dark as possible. Light bulbs—even tiny ones in nightlights—disturb your sleep during the night. Get blackout curtains, cover your clock face, and ditch the night lights.
• Use supplements sparingly. Taking things like melatonin can help you fall asleep faster. Just use them sparingly. But you can use chamomile tea and aromatherapy to fall asleep every day!
• Experiment with new things. Not everyone is going to have the same routine. Don’t be afraid to try new things and move things around to find the system that gives you the best possible sleep.
Your final challenge is to make sleep a priority. There is nothing else that has as much impact on your overall health and wellbeing as the quality and consistency of your sleep—not your friends, not the game, not nutrition, and definitely not your work.
I’ll say it one last time—if you’re going to spend ⅓ of your life doing something, you might as well do it right.
As always, sleep tight.
Sleep Smarter: 21 Essential Strategies to Sleep Your Way to A Better Body, Better Health, and Bigger Success by Shawn Stevenson
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