Science of Nutrition

10 Sleep Hacks That Will Change Your Life

Trouble falling asleep

Does this phrase sound at all familiar — “I’ll sleep when I’m dead!”?

It’s a very fashionable anthem these days to keep sleep at a minimum (for the sake of hustle!), but unfortunately, it might turn out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy in the worst way.

As much as our modern culture encourages the “hustlers” that have figured out how to “hack” sleep to try and get more done throughout the day and night, this is simply a dangerous and unhealthy ideal to chase after.

How about instead, we hack our sleep to be deeper, more healing, and more beneficial rather than hacking it to be nonexistent?

We’ve all likely grown up believing that wakefulness is “active time”, and sleep is simply “idle time”, similar to parking a car in a garage and turning off the ignition.

The thing is, this couldn’t be further from the truth!

LET’S LOOK AT THE SCIENCE

In some exciting, new research, scientists have discovered that sleep is a wildly frenetic period of time for your brain!

When you sleep, your brain finally has the time to flush itself clean of toxins that have built up over the course of the day — your very own mental dishwasher!

With your body relaxed and your brain busy cleaning, you can wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the new day.

Sleep is amazing for our health and vitality and should be a cherished part of your night. One of the best ways to guarantee a solid night of sleep is through a “transition” process to help you get into a relaxed state before bed.

10 SLEEP HACKS THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE

When it comes to falling asleep and staying asleep, there are some key habits and practices that will guarantee you a golden ticket to dream-land.

Follow these 10 sleep hacks, and you’re sure to sleep like a baby!

1. KEEP THINGS CONSISTENT

Your body has an amazing little internal time-keeping system called your biological clock, which is controlled by your circadian rhythm. According to the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, circadian rhythms are physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a daily cycle, responding to light and dark. The circadian rhythm controls your biological clock, which is found in every tissue and organ in your body.

This internal ticker has a big influence on when we fall asleep and for how long.

It also really likes it when things are predictable! Therefore, setting up a consistent bedtime and wake-up time is a crucial component of getting good-quality sleep.

And yes, this includes weekends as well!

2. BACK AWAY FROM THE COFFEE

I know, I know!

There’s nothing better than sipping on a rich, steaming cup o’ Joe first thing in the morning.

But if you’re serious about hacking your sleep, it’s critical to cut off your coffee consumption by 2pm at the latest.

That timeline is necessary because the caffeine from a cup of coffee can stay in your body for up to seven hours! (Whoa!)

So, the best practice would be to cut yourself off around 2 or 3pm to guarantee it’s completely cleared out of your system before bed. (Trust me, it’ll be worth it!)

The stimulants don’t stop with coffee, though. Make sure you also avoid chocolate (especially dark), teas, and any other products that can have a stimulating effect.

These will all delay your sleep and cause you to wake up more often throughout the night.

getting a good night's sleep

3. THE BED IS FOR TWO THINGS AND TWO THINGS ONLY

And those two things are sleep and sex — that’s it!

I even encourage my clients to go as far as to remove all electronics from their room. (My challenge for you!)

You can get an old-fashioned alarm clock in place of your phone, and then put your phone, laptop, TV, iPad, Apple Watch and everything else out of your room.

They’re exiled!

4. SET THE AMBIANCE & AVOID BRIGHT LIGHTS BEFORE BED

This is one of my favorite rituals before bed!

Some excellent practices including lighting candles, turning on an essential oil diffuser with lavender oil, turning on salt lamps, playing some relaxing music, and basking in the ambiance.

There’s truly nothing more relaxing or settling than a warm environment!

It settles your nerves and mind and preps your body’s clock (see step 1) for a full-on knock-out.

5. TIPS FOR MINIMIZING LACK OF SLEEP STRESS

Take deep breathes!

Adding extra stress to the situation won’t help. Try refreshing your headspace by listening to a guided meditation (such as a full body relaxation practice), listening to sleep-wave binaural beats, reading a book that is light and positive, writing out what’s on your mind in a journal, or breathing deeply.

I often practice 4:4:4:4 breathing method! This is where you breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, out for 4 seconds, and hold for another 4 seconds. I am usually out in no time!

Try it for yourself!

6. SORRY, NO BURPEES BEFORE BED

I know! Disappointing, right? (Only kidding!) Do your best to cut off the exercise at least three hours prior to lights-out.

7. DON’T GO TO BED HUNGRY

Grumbling stomachs do not make for good sleep mates!

Make sure you eat a big enough dinner and try to enjoy it at least 3 hours before bedtime, if possible.

If you can’t, or you notice that you’re still hungry, fix yourself a light snack. Bonus points if it contains tryptophan (an essential amino acid that helps with relaxation).

Some good sources of tryptophan include eggs, turkey, nuts, salmon, spinach, bananas, oats, and poultry.

Try a handful of almonds, an oat milk and banana smoothie, or an egg wrapped in a slice of hormone-free turkey? Nighty night!

Nightly ritual

8. SET UP SOME BEDTIME RITUALS

Some practices that I’ve seen work wonders include:

  • Putting your technology away at least one hour before bed (yes, phone too!).
  • Sipping a relaxing tea, like organic chamomile.
  • Reading something light and enjoyable.
  • Lighting candles or diffusing oils.
  • Taking a bath.
  • Listening to relaxing music.
  • Changing into comfy PJs.
  • Filling out a gratitude journal.

All of these practices signal to your mind and body that sleep is near.

9. KEEP YOUR BEDROOM AT A COMFORTABLE TEMPERATURE

Is there anything worse than tossing and turning because it’s 500 degrees in your room?

Save yourself the pain of waking up in a pool of your own sweat, and turn the temperature down to a cool 67-70 degrees.

If you sleep with a partner that has a high body temperature, you may want to consider investing in separate sheets or a chili pad!

FUN FACT

If you’re super extreme, you could crank your thermometer down to 62.6 degrees and burn fat while sleeping!

In a Japanese study, researchers found that people reduced body fat after spending six hours at 62.6 degrees.

Up for the challenge? Let me know how it goes!

10. CREATE WHITE NOISE

If you have problems with noise in your environment, you can use a white noise generator or a small fan to create some white noise to help you doze off peacefully.

SWEET DREAMS

I hope that these tips help you doze off peacefully tonight!

Let me know which tips helped you the most, or what other strategies you love to use to fall asleep in the comments below!

For more on Paige, head here!

Want to hear more great tips and connect with other like-minded individuals who are on a similar journey as you? Join our Transformation Generation group on Facebook.

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