3 Ways to Improve Your Sleep
Most people aren’t getting enough sleep, plain and simple. But—and this is the important thing to realize—we don’t recognize that we are sleep deprived. In my article on the science of sleep and in my comprehensive sleep guide, I covered this problem, discussed how sleep works, and shared a variety of practical ways to improve the quality of your sleep. If you’re looking for a primer on how to sleep better, check out those two resources.
However, if you want to improve your sleep, there are actually some very simple and practical ways to go about it. I call these strategies the 3 Levers of Sleep.
Here’s how the 3 Levers of Sleep work…
The 3 Levers of Sleep
If you want to improve the quality of your sleep and boost your performance there are 3 levers you can “pull” to give yourself a boost.
Intensity refers to how well you sleep. As I described in detail , there are different phases of sleep. Two of these phases are particularly important: Slow-wave sleep (also known as deep sleep) and REM sleep. The percentage of sleeping time you spend in these two phases largely determines the quality of your sleep each night.
Timing refers to when you go to sleep. What time do you go to bed? This factor is important for two reasons. First, if you get in bed around the same time each night, it is easier for your body to develop good sleep habits. Second, the time you go to sleep should be in accordance with your circadian rhythm.
Duration refers to how long you sleep. This one is simple: how much time do you spend sleeping each night? 6 hours? 8 hours? It can be easy to convince yourself that duration isn’t very important, but it is critical to your growth, performance, and recovery. Professional athletes often sleep over 10 hours per night. If you’re taxing your body and mind, then duration is crucial for you as well.
How to Sleep Better
How can you use these 3 levers to improve your sleep?
When it comes to intensity, the truth is that there isn’t much you can do. Your body largely manages the intensity of your sleep cycle for you. It adjusts automatically based on what you need and how much time you are spending asleep. Exercising consistently and getting proper nutrition will help, but these actions only indirectly improve sleep intensity.
This is actually good news because it simplifies things for you. Because your body manages the quality of your sleep on its own, you only need to focus on two factors: timing (when you go to bed) and duration (how long you’re in bed).
If we make another assumption, then we can simplify the situation even further. That assumption is this: You wake up at approximately the same time each day.
If you wake up at about the same time each day, then your sleep duration is basically determined by when you go to bed. Generally speaking, if you get into bed earlier, then you’ll end up sleeping more. Improve the timing and you’ll improve the duration as well.
And that brings us to this practical punchline…
Master Your Power Down Routine
If you’re focused on how to sleep better, timing is perhaps the most important of the 3 levers of sleep. The intensity of your sleep is managed automatically by your body. The duration of your sleep is largely dependent on when you get into bed (assuming you wake up around the same time each morning). And that means getting to bed at an earlier, more consistent time is critical for improving the quality and duration of your sleep.
Sleeping period not only determines how much you take rest but also the amount of energy and work you will be able to produce the next day. If you are taking proper recommended time sleep which is around 7-8 hours and maintain this cycle continuously for a extended period of time you will surely be able to notice a drastic change in your lifestyle and how much productive you have been since you are following the cycle.
To maintain the cycle I have mentioned the best ways as per my knowledge accounted from different researches and from my personal experience though I know not everyone’s body reacts the same but I would definitely recommend it as my routine has improved significantly. Talking about the other aspects of maintaining your sleep would be that it would be beneficial for you in a longer run , your metabolism and the way your body needs to cope up with the ageing factor requires you to start healthy as it is well said that “ Rome was not built in a day” . The earlier you start working on your body the longer it will pay you in many ways , you will notice that you stand out from others , for an instance you can see that from defence personnel who have retired but still not tired as they are trained for maintaining their health in the least resources available as they know if they do not sleep at night it would not matter as they still have to wake at 4am the next morning .
To conclude I would like to say starting from things that require the minimum effort from side and gradually going towards the harder things is the process you should follow .