How to get to sleep
Here's what's coming up.
- Getting to sleep
- Sleep deeper
- The optimum temperature for sleep.
Getting to sleep
Most of the time the TV part of my work means I'm up fairly late. And then occasionally my lovely bosses throw in a curveball and I'm up very early instead. I don't mind, in fact I do love all the different shifts I do, but it can be hard to get to sleep when one's body clock flips about like this. In this instance, my how to get to sleep instantly technique is invaluable. Because when you're up at 4am, you don't want to be wasting time in bed not sleeping.
Have a read of one of my previous posts on How to fall asleep instantly.
Before writing this blog I had a cup of green tea. This morning I had a single espresso. That is my lot - caffeine-wise - until the end of the day now, because I couldn't handle any more. Some have a high caffeine tolerance level, but many don't, and it may be that you are drinking too much caffeine to help you sleep deeply. I have gone into a little more detail about how your caffeine intake can upset your sleep patterns in Sleep and High performance.
Experts say that the quality of your sleep is actually more important than how long you are asleep for. So this part is worth considering.
Now this is interesting. Studies shows that body temperature is intrinsically linked to how well and how deeply we sleep. Wow. That is why we’re often quite restless on a hot summer’s night. And, in winter, if we turn the heating up too high, we can get the same effect. It works the other way too - it can be tough to sleep if we’re too chilly. A group of researchers from a sleep centre down under conducted a huge survey on sleep patterns, and they found:
To get to sleep we need to cool down. The temperature of your body and how the brain works are closely linked. The brain’s 'sleep–wake cycle', as it's called, is important and affected by temperature. The blood flow mechanism that moves core body heat around the body and to the skin works best between 18 and 30 degrees. But here's the important bit. As we get older, the zone of comfort shrinks to a very narrow 23 and 25 degrees. This change as we get older goes rather un-noticed when it comes to considering optimum sleep temperatures, and is apparently a reason why people have more problems and issues with their sleep as they get older.
So remember: Cool off = drop off.
SUGGESTION: Why not try a warm bath before bed. One way to get your body temperature in the zone is said to be taking a warmish bath before bed. NB - it mustn't be hot, but warm. It apparently will help your body to kick in to the process of chilling down for sleep once you get out of the bath. Perfect.
It may seem very simple, but in order to get to sleep quickly you need to be relaxed! There have been initial results from studies on the use of electronics in bed, showing that they can extend the amount of time needed to fall asleep. Try to avoid strenuous exercise (both mental and physical) in the hours leading to bed time. For all of you computer game fans, it might be worth switching off your console at least an hour before you try to sleep, and doing work on your laptop in bed is no no. We have all been there - stressed whilst going to sleep thinking about work tomorrow or dare I say it....the close game of Fifa you just lost to your mate! Your heart rate is elevated and your brain is still very active. Reading a book or just taking some time to relax away from any sort of stress will result in you getting to sleep quicker. The relaxation room will give you more tips and lessons on, well you guessed it, how to reduce stress and relax!
For more: There are some cool sleep audio programs you'll enjoy in the Success Sanctuary, and a comprehensive Sleep Longer and Deeper program where I go through all this in far more detail, as well as guiding you through the steps of how to get to sleep right now (or whenever you want).
ps - want to buy the cool sleep mask in the image? It's here on Etsy
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