In a TED series called ‘Sleep with Science’, scientist Matt Walker shares six scientifically proven tips on how to sleep quickly and for a longer time. These tips are especially beneficial during the period of quarantine since most people have messed up sleep cycles.
“The first tip is regularity,” says Walker. “Go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time. Regularity is king, and it will actually anchor your sleep and improve both the quantity and the quality.” This happens because the brain runs on a clock, expects regularity, and thus, works best under the conditions of regularity.
“The next tip,” he reveals, “is temperature. Keep it cool. It turns out that your brain and your body need to drop their core temperature by about one degree Celsius…in order to initiate sleep and then to stay asleep.”
The third tip is darkness. “We are a dark-deprived society and, in fact, we need darkness specifically in the evening to trigger the release of a hormone called melatonin. And melatonin helps regulate the healthy timing of our sleep,” he says.
As for the fourth tip, Walker suggests, “Don’t stay in bed awake for long periods of time…And the reason is that your brain is an incredibly associative device. The brain has learned the association that the bed is this trigger of wakefulness, and we need to break that association…Only return to bed when you’re sleepy. And in that way, gradually, your brain will relearn the association that your bed is this place of sound and consistent sleep.”
The fifth tip involves cutting down on alcohol and caffeine consumption. He says, “Try to stay away from caffeine in the afternoon and in the evening and certainly try not to go to bed too tipsy.”
“The final tip: have a wind-down routine,” says Walker. “It takes time for your brain to gradually descend down onto the firm bedrock of good sleep. In the last 20 minutes before bed or the last half an hour, even the last hour, disengage from your computer and your phone and try to do something relaxing.”
These tips can help you have a sound, peaceful sleep, which is incredibly important for having a clear mindset and an active lifestyle.
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