In our modern society, most of us can often be found rattling around at breakneck speed. We regularly push ourselves to achieve all the things we have allotted for the day/week/month — meaning we can be on the very edge of burn out.
Our lifestyles likely need some sculpting. However, that entire third of our life we spend sleeping is an area we can unexpectedly look to improve and mitigate the madness. Introducing a Hyber Nation weighted blanket into your evening routine is the discernible hack — yet, being the kind lot we are, we’ve put together an easy to implement list of other sleeping hacks just for you.
So you can wake up and seize the day — every day.
HACK AREA 1 - Habits to apply
Minimising your blue light exposure.
Did you know the blue light we see from computer screens, phones, and TVs convince the primal part of our brains it’s still daytime? During the evening when we should be winding down and preparing our bodies for a restful night’s sleep this is far from great. The main thing to suffer is our sleep-wake cycle; our bodies natural pattern to sleep for 8 hours and be awake for roughly 16 hours. The second is the suppression of melatonin, a vital hormone which is released once our body recognises we are in darkness and should be sleeping.
Consider limiting caffeine consumption after 3 pm.
Are you the type of person who might lean on a late afternoon latte to get you through the latter part of the day? Don’t worry — you’re certainly not the only one. Caffeine tolerance is very diverse in people and some people will handle its effects much differently to others.
The half-life of caffeine is the time it takes for your body to remove 50% of what was consumed. As human physiology, age, and health vary hugely research has shown this can therefore range anywhere from 2 to 10 hours.
Meaning you could well have affecting levels still in your bloodstream when it comes to switching off the bedside light.
No big meals before bedtime.
We all enjoy a little late-night snack, right?
Scouring the fridge as you settle in for one last Netflix session can sound like a familiar occurrence for most people. However, once you eat your metabolism naturally fires itself up, and starts a process of digestion making it difficult to sleep soundly — that is if you fall asleep at all. Also, finding a comfortable sleeping position with a sizeable amount of food in your stomach can induce an episode of tossing and turning long into the night. Cutting out food 3 hours before bed is a worthy move.
Set an alarm to go to bed.
Setting an alarm to wake up in the morning is no new marvel, so why then would you not set an alarm to let you know when it is time to sleep? Come the time to turn in if you allow yourself the possibility of a late-night social media scroll you run the risk falling short of all the great sleep you deserve.
Setting a bedtime alarm may sound a little too far for most people, and this is a fair comment. Think of it more as a gentle reminder, from your future self, who merely wants you to wake up feeling their best!
HACK AREA 2 - Supplementation to consider
Magnesium plays an important role in muscle relaxation, the deactivation of adrenaline, and is actively found in over 300 different enzymes within the human body. Unfortunately, due to the worryingly low levels of it found in most everyday foods, deficiency of magnesium is fairly common in adults.
One such supporting study gave 46 participants either a placebo or 500 mg of magnesium daily for 8 weeks. Those in the magnesium cohort experienced heightened sleep quality as well as surprisingly higher levels of melatonin and renin in their bloodwork.
The brain utilises a fair amount of energy to stage all of the processes it goes through as you sleep. An effective form of this energy comes from sugar stored within your liver. Raw Honey is great as it keeps your liver filled and by doing so it produces the optimal amount of glycogen for the night. Honey also aids insulin levels which in turn release tryptophan into the brain. Tryptophan goes on to be converted to serotonin, which — yes you guessed it — then forms into melatonin.
Being iron deficient can cause something known as restless leg syndrome - where somebody unconsciously feels the need to move their legs when they go to bed. Iron-deficiency in women is a lot more common than men and research has shown a correlation between iron-deficient women and sleeplessness.