10 Sleep Hacks to Live Better

Have you ever fantasized about starting a restful weekend by sleeping in and starting your Saturday at noon, only to wake up before the sun is even up -- without the need for any alarms?

You are not alone. Ever since I started sleeping an average of three hours a night to meet the demands of law school, I struggled to sleep longer than four hours even though it’s all I wanted to do on weekends and holidays. 

Fortunately, episode 3 of Lucas Aoun’s Boost Your Biology podcast is all about sleep hacks.

You can listen to the full episode here.

Here’s what I learned. 

Sleep Latency

This refers to the amount of time it takes for people to fall asleep.

To improve sleep latency:

  1. Try earthing 

Making direct contact with the earth by walking outdoors barefoot or using an earthing mat helps reduce the body’s cortisol response, or the stress hormone that keeps us awake and too tense to sleep.

  1. Avoid napping 4 hours before bedtime

Even short naps in the early evening make it impossible to sleep immediately at night.

  1. Exercise in the morning

Lucas discussed adenosine, one of the body’s most powerful molecules. It builds up to a certain point within the day to induce sleepiness or fatigue at night. Exercising in the morning helps the body increase adenosine levels.

  1. Perfectly time your ‘coffee crash’ in time for bed

If you usually ‘crash’ within three hours of consuming coffee, then drink a cup three hours before you intend to sleep to ensure that you will fall asleep in an instant.

Sleep Duration

Hacks to lengthen the time you sleep:

  1. Stabilize your blood sugar

Feeling hot and irritable at night? It could be the blood sugar spiking.

  1. Sleep in complete darkness
  1. Wear blue light blockers

Glasses that block out blue light waves help improve overall sleep when worn at least three hours before bed.

Sleep Quality (Satisfaction Level after Sleeping)

Hacks: 

  1. Elevate serotonin in your body

Take curcumin, vitamin B6, or magnesium to increase your serotonin, the main hormone involved in sleep.

  1. Hug and kiss before bed

Cuddlers will find it a relief that simply embracing and kissing another person increases oxytocin in the brain, which in turn induces a good night’s sleep.

Sleep Consistency

Finally, the key to better health is not just achieving one single night of good sleep. To keep it consistent, expose your eyes to bright light -- preferably sunlight -- the moment you wake up. 

This is called ‘sun gazing.’ Lucas swears by this daily habit to achieve that restful bedtime every single night.

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Posted 
July 3, 2020
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