Let’s talk about ways to improve our deep sleep.
Sleep hygiene is so important to our overall health. One of the reasons we want to improve deep sleep is because during our deep sleep our body activates the glymphatic drainage of the brain, so it helps to clean up our brain tissue and helps to move toxic loads out of the brain. This is so important and the reason why sleep needs to be prioritized in our lives in order for us to have better, more resilient health.
One thing that helps with sleep hygiene is understanding that our body’s are creatures of habit. Our body likes to do the same thing everyday, its how our circadian rhythm likes to work. One of the things that helps with that in terms of our sleep hygiene is going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends. I know this can be challenging but this is a sleep hygiene regimen that can really help improve the quality of our sleep.
Sleep in a pitch black room. We want the room to be completely dark, like you are sleeping in a cave. We can accomplish this by having black-out blinds so that no light is getting into the room. Another way we can accomplish this is by wearing an eye mask to bed. This is another way to get better, high-quality sleep.
Sleep in a quiet environment, like you are in a cave. You want to make sure there is no noise in your sleep environment. Another thing that we can do if we are unable to get that quiet environment is to put ear plugs in. Ear plugs are a way to decrease the noise and make sure we are sleeping in a quiet environment.
Another way to set our body up for high-quality sleep is the temperature of our room. We want to set that thermostat at 20C or 69F or below. You want to make sure that your room is slightly below room temperature and a bit cooler in that room. That is a good temperature for our body’s to get into that deep, restful sleep.
Another way to improve our sleep is to make sure that we don’t have exposure to blue light from screens like our cell phones, computers, iPads. These will all give off a blue light can affect our sleep by disrupting our melatonin production. We want to make sure that we stop using technology 2hrs before you go to bed or use blue-blocking glasses 2hrs before we go to sleep. This has been shown to increase the quality of our sleep.
If you are interested in trying out blue blockers for your sleep health, my recommended blue blocking glasses are definitely Swannies, by Swanwick. They’re the most scientifically-validated on the market and have been seen in Harvard Business Review and the Journal of Applied Psychology. Use promo code: DRROBERTS10 to get 10% off.
We should stop eating 3-4 hours before we go to bed, so that our body is not working on digesting our foods while we are sleeping. We want to make sure that our digestive tract is not as active before we go to sleep. Therefore we are not snacking before bed or eating our dinner late at night.
Some people are more sensitive to caffeine than others, but a good general suggestion is to stop consuming caffeine at 2pm. Have your caffeine early in the day and you make sure you don’t have caffeine later in the day. Sometimes that caffeine in the system can affect the quality of our sleep.
Another thing we want to do is have a soothing bedtime routine. We tend to do this with children, but we don’t often think about this as adults. We want to have a wind down routine that is able to get our body more relaxed and able to shift from that sympathetic state to our parasympathetic state, which is when our body will get into that deep sleep. So for the hour before bed you want to turn off technology, warm bath, drink hot tea, or reading a book to calm down the nervous system. We want to have this routine so that helps our body to get into that deep, relaxed state so that we can have that high-quality sleep.