A BRAIN scientist revealed his 12 steps to perfect sleep.
It might sound like a long list, but even completing a few of them will improve your recovery.
dr Andrew Huberman, a professor of neurobiology at Stanford School of Medicine, says sleep is the best stress reliever, emotion stabilizer, immune booster, and more.
in one Newsletter Publishing on Huberman Lab, he wrote, “Sleep is THE foundation of our mental and physical health and ability to perform in all endeavors.
“Yet nobody is perfect in their sleep.
“The occasional go out or lack of sunlight here and there isn’t a big deal, so don’t obsess over it.
“However, if any of us deviates from these and other behaviors for too long, we begin to suffer.
“Whatever your life, your goals and your schedule, Master your sleep. You will be so happy you did!”
He broke down the key messages into a list of 12, which are described below.
1. Seek sunlight
dr Huberman said, “Check the sunlight by going outside within 30-60 minutes of waking up. Repeat in the late afternoon before sunset.
“If you wake up before the sun comes out and you want To stay awake, turn on artificial lights and then go outside as soon as the sun comes up.
“On bright cloudless days: view morning and afternoon sun for 10 min; cloudy days: 20 min; very cloudy days 30-60 min.
“If you live in a place with very little light, consider an artificial daylight simulator source.”
Sun exposure helps the circadian clock work properly.
The 24-hour body clock helps us fall asleep and wake up and is dependent on signals from the sun.
dr Huberman said it’s best to avoid sunglasses if you can, but you’ll still get the benefit of it.
2. Set alarm time
dr Huberman said you have to wake up at the same time every day, including weekends.
Experts explain that this helps the body stay in a pattern – which it loves.
Going to bed at the same time every night is not that important.
It is recommended that you do not go to bed until you are tired as it can lead to anxiety from tossing and turning.
dr Huberman said, “Go to sleep the first time you feel sleepy.
“Beating that late night sleepy feeling and going to bed too late (for you) is one of the reasons people wake up at 3am and can’t go back to sleep.”
3. Caffeine cut
dr Huberman said, “Avoid caffeine within 8-10 hours of bedtime.
“Dr. Matt Walker (UC Berkeley sleep expert) might even say 12-14 hours.”
Caffeine — found in coffee, energy drinks, some carbonated beverages, and tea — has a long half-life.
Half-life is the time it takes for an amount of a substance to reduce to half the original amount, and that of coffee is around five hours, but it varies from person to person due to genetics.
4. Try hypnosis
dr Huberman suggested trying self-hypnosis for severe sleep problems.
“If you have trouble sleeping, insomnia, or trouble sleeping, try the research-backed protocols on the Reveri app (for iPhone),” he said.
“Do the Reveri Sleep Self-Hypnosis 3x a week at any time of the day.
“It only takes 10-15 minutes and will help you rewire your nervous system so you can relax faster.”
5. Dim the light
You should avoid bright light from 10 p.m. at the latest, advises Dr. Huberman.
This comes back to circadian rhythms; When it’s evening, your brain needs signals that it’s getting close to bed, including the sunset.
dr Huberman said, “Here’s a simple rule: use only as much artificial light as necessary to keep you safe and moving around at night.
“Looking at bright lights of all colors is a problem for your circadian system.
“Candlelight and moonlight are fine.”
He said shift workers should see that Huberman Lab podcast on jet lag to compensate for negative shift work effects.
6. Limit naps to less than 30 or 90 minutes
Naps aren’t always a bad idea.
But you should “limit daytime naps to less than 90 minutes or no naps at all,” said Dr. Huberman.
Humans sleep in cycles, and setting an alarm to wake up in the middle of a cycle can make you feel very sleepy.
A normal sleep cycle lasts 90 minutes, during which you transition from light sleep to deep and dreamy sleep and back to the light again.
Set an alarm for less than 30 minutes to make sure you wake up before you fall asleep.
7. A trick for waking up at 3am
Many people are burdened with waking up at the same time every night in the early hours of the morning.
Instead of lying awake hoping to fall asleep again, Dr. Huberman’s use of NSDR (Non-Sleep Deep Rest).
It uses techniques that reset the nervous system, re-relaxing the body and mind, thus initiating sleep.
For example this one Ten minutes of yoga nidra uses a breathing technique developed by Dr. Huberman himself, and is “the quickest way to activate the parasympathetic response (relaxation, rest, and digestion).”
8. A little help
dr Huberman said you might consider taking a dietary supplement 30 minutes to an hour before bed.
- 145 mg magnesium threonate or 200 mg magnesium bisglycinate
- 50 mg apigenin (Swanson is the only source I know of; we have no connection with Swanson)
- 100-400 mg theanine
- (3-4 nights a week I take an additional 2g glycine and 100mg GABA.)
dr Huberman said, “I would start with one supplement (or none!) and then add one at a time as needed.
“Some people don’t need supplements, and some people like theanine but don’t like magnesium, etc., so you need to determine what’s best for you.”
He warned against taking theanine if you have overly intense dreams, sleepwalk, or have night terrors.
Some people get an upset stomach from magnesium supplementation, in which case you should not take it.
9. Spike late at night
dr Huberman said, “Expect to feel really awake about an hour before your natural bedtime.
“This is a naturally occurring surge in wakefulness that sleep researchers have observed.
“Don’t freak out when it happens. It will pass!”
10 cool room
dr Huberman said, “Your body needs to lower its temperature by 1-3 degrees to effectively fall asleep and stay asleep.
“An increase in body temperature is one reason you wake up.
“Therefore, Keep your room cool and remove blankets as needed.”
A cool room and a warm bed are the best environment to help you sleep and prevent you from waking up.
11. Skip the alcohol
A nightcap seems like a good idea because it helps you fall asleep faster (we all know that a heavy night of drinking makes us “black out” almost instantly).
But you may not realize how much it affects the quality of your sleep.
The quality of sleep rather than the quantity (hours) has a greater impact on how rested you feel in the morning.
“Alcohol consumption messes up your sleep,” said Dr. Huberman, “as do most sleep aids.”
12. Expect changes in sleep needs
dr Huberman suggested that it’s normal for your sleep needs to change and you don’t need to worry.
He said: “It could be us night owls at 15 but become “morning people” as they age or need 6 hours a night in summer and 7-8 in winter. It will vary.”
Getting that golden eight hours of sleep every night is a mythexperts say.
The real test of whether you’re getting enough sleep is whether you feel awake or sleepy at 11 a.m.
Otherwise, if you get about six hours of good quality sleep a night, it’s not a problem.
https://www.thesun.ie/health/8571797/12-step-toolkit-sleep-better-brain-expert/ I’m a brain expert and my 12-step toolkit will help you sleep better than ever