Every health freak and successful CEO enjoys bragging about their morning regimen. The truth is that while your morning routine is important for a productive day, even the best morning routine can’t replace a good night’s sleep. A good sleep routine has more benefits than a good morning routine. Here are six tips to help you wake up feeling at ease and ready to take on the day.
The 2019 review by Harding, et al., “The Temperature Dependance of Sleep,” says that we are more likely to choose sleep when our core and brain temperatures are rapidly dropping. If we break away from this cycle of body cooling, we get insomnia.
There are many ways to do this. Setting your room temperature to between 66 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit (19-21 degrees Celsius) is the first thing you should do. You should also make sure you have a good blanket to make your body feel warm.
“We try to set up skin microclimates between 31 and 35°C when the room temperature is about 19–21°C.” If the temperature is too hot or too cold, it can make it hard to sleep. (see the figure)
Wear socks next to keep your feet warm and move cool blood away from your legs and toward your core. Warmer temperatures in the hands and feet will cause vasodilation (the dilation of blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure) and help with the temperature drop that comes with going to sleep.
It is also a good idea to take a warm bath or warm yourself up for up to 4 hours before going to bed. This is called the “Warm Bath Effect” by researchers who found that taking a hot bath before, but not right before, going to bed helps people fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
2. Blue Light exposure
This one might be hard for some people, but I can tell you it is worth it. Then, put all screens and LED lights on the “off” setting at least an hour before going to bed. At the very least, wear your Blue-Light Blockers. If you want to use your phone before you go to sleep, I use Night Shift mode on my iPhone and the Flux App because I know how easy it is. The light from your phone, other devices, and LED lights in your home is not good for your sleep because it stops your brain from making melatonin, a hormone that your body makes when it is dark. This hormone helps your circadian rhythms (24-hour internal clock) and sleep.
Smartphone use with and without blue light at night can have different effects on healthy adults, a study by Heo, et al. in 2016 found.
There are usually LED displays on smart phones, which show bright light to the eyes of people who use them. When it is dark outside, smartphone LED lights are an important source of light (ALAN). Gonzalez and Aston-Jones (2006) say that ALAN affects the circadian regulation of the sleep-wake cycle, which means it affects the amount of melatonin the body makes. It also affects mood and cognitive functions (LeGates et al., 2012), which can make people tired.
Remember the changes in body temperature we talked about earlier? Make sure you check this out and leave a comment with your best guess.
Intervention-based studies are called “Gold Standard” studies when they are done in a random, double-blind, cross-over, placebo-controlled way.
Here’s what the researchers said:
In the end, this study found that people who use their phones at night may not be able to sleep well or make mistakes when they buy things. This was shown by the suppression of melatonin production, which was shown by the longer time to melatonin onset and the rise in body temperature, but these changes were not big enough to be statistically significant. Sleep and cognitive functions may be better indicators of how much blue light you have been exposed to from your smartphone LED screen than changes in melatonin, cortisol, and body temperature.
Curtains that block out light are a good idea if you live near a street or in a city that has a lot of lights. To save money, I prefer to use a sleep mask. It is easy to take with me wherever I go, and it helps me sleep. With less light, you get more restful sleep, which means you can improve your life for less than $20. You can also put on a good pair of blue light blocking glasses a few hours before you go to bed to help your body produce melatonin when the sun goes down. For me, Ra Optics are the best because I am an extreme person who always wants the best. They are also a must-have for anyone who wants to make a statement on social media. When you use my coupon code, “HOLYFIT,” you can get 10% off your order of Ra Optics glasses that block blue light.
You can set the Night Shift setting in your iPhone’s settings to start at sunset and last for about two hours after you wake up. This way, you can get used to the blue light of the morning.
3. Heart Rate
In order to lower your cortisol and adrenaline, you should breathe through your nose and do box breathing (4 seconds inhale, hold your breath for 4 more, exhale for 4, hold for 4, repeat.) There is a part of the body called the vagus nerve that is stimulated by this. This puts you into the parasympathetic state. It is a breathing technique by Dr. Andrew Weil, a celebrity doctor and the director of the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, and it goes like this: start by emptying the lungs of air. Breathe in quietly through the nose for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds, and then exhale forcefully through the mouth, making a “whoosh” sound, for 8 seconds. Repeat the cycle up to 4 times and try to do it in a calm, relaxed way.
To find out more about breathwork for meditation, focus, and stress relief, read my article “Managing Stress on the Spot,” which talks about how to do it.
Before you go to bed, you should also not eat or exercise for less than three hours. Instead, you should meditate, write down what you are grateful for, or read FICTION, which is both my and Tim Ferris’ favorite thing to do.
To help your body relax and get better, you can also use a quiet air purifier in your bedroom to help it breathe in clean air. I bought an air purifier because dust and pet dander were making me a little sneezy and making it hard for me to sleep. The benefits of an air purifier have far surpassed my expectations. Make sure you get one that has a HEPA filter and that it is not too noisy.
4. Correct wake up timing
People who want to wake up more rested need to sleep more than 90 minutes (for example, 6, 7.5 or 9 hours.) In this case, you will wake up in the lighter stages of sleep (REM) instead of in deep sleep, so you will be less groggy when you wake up.
It works like this: I figure out how long it will take me to fall asleep (5 minutes if I am really tired; 30 minutes if I am not). Then I add a multiple of 90 minutes to figure out the best time to wake up. In this example, if I go to bed at 10:15 and I am tired but not overly tired, I would figure it would take me about 15 minutes to fall asleep and set my alarm for 6:00am so I could have five full REM cycles. You can also go backwards… In this case, if you have to be up at 7:30AM and think it will take you 30 minutes to fall asleep, you should be in bed by 11:15PM. It works like a charm. I prefer 6 hours of sleep over 7, and 7.5 hours over 8. This is because if you have to wake up in the middle of the night, you will be in a panic no matter how many hours you have been asleep. A bad way to start the day.
Here’s a graph from Sleep Cycle, which is a great app that helps you wake up at the right time. It shows an example of REGULAR sleep on the graph. Check out how far apart the peaks are. Waking up in multiples of 90 minutes is very similar to what this app would do if you were getting a lot of sleep.
In the graph below, you can see how well I slept, thanks to BioStrap, which tracked my sleep. There were 9 hours of sleep and 6 REM cycles that night. If you counted 5, that is because there should be one more around 4 am. My sleep score was 98/100 that night.
It has changed over time, but I have used wearable devices like smart alarm clocks to help me get a good night’s sleep. To understand better how to get better sleep, I use wearable devices and their platforms. This is because they give me a lot more information. It is not enough to just wake up in a lighter phase. I can measure the effects of my daily habits and nightly routines for real biohacking. Of course, there is also the benefit of measuring my HRV, SPO2, and resting HR to see how ready and ready I am to work and rest. A lot more about this will follow.
5. Sleep away from electronics
The science in this case is not yet fully understood. However, it is thought that EMF could have an effect on your body. His advice to me is that “a lack of evidence does not mean that there is not enough evidence.” Because this is a safety measure, this is why. As people say, it is better to be safe than sorry. There is also a bonus: You will save money on your electric bill by turning off the lights.
It is easy to turn off the WiFi router before going to bed, and my phone goes into airplane mode until I wake up the next morning. I keep it near my bed. I do this every day, with no exceptions. Phone chargers should be far from where you sleep so that you have to get out of bed and turn off the alarm. This keeps you from scrolling through your phone in bed early in the morning (recipe for disaster).
6. Morning habits to adapt
Now, despite what I said earlier about CEOs overemphasizing this, it is important. Get some sunlight as the first thing I would do. People have talked about how blue light at night can mess with your circadian rhythm and stop you from making melatonin, but this is a good thing in the morning because it tells your body that it is time to start the day (melatonin naturally dips in the AM as cortisol, the stress hormone, rises). Because the sun is the most powerful source of blue light and its movement around the Earth is how the circadian rhythm was born, this makes sense.
I know that for most people, getting ready in the morning is a very quick process, and adding even five minutes to it seems impossible. That is not true, though. Your morning sets the tone for your whole day. That is why it is so important to go to bed a little earlier and take time for yourself.
As a bonus, I like to write down things I am grateful for every day in a journal. I call it my “gratitude journal,” and I have found it to be a great way to improve my mental health. Whenever I wake up, I try not to use my phone (using your phone less is almost always a good idea)
Last but not least, I recommend drinking clean water before drinking any caffeinated drinks. Because you lose a lot of water while you sleep because you breathe and sweat, this is why. Make sure to drink some water first thing in the morning. Caffeine is a powerful diuretic, and if you drink it first, you will get even more dehydrated. You can help your body stay hydrated by adding some electrolytes or high-quality salt to your water.
I hope you found it interesting! People: Do you have any questions about sleep or anything else I talked about? Leave your comments below, and I will get back to you! – AP: