First, let’s understand what ‘Biohacking’ is. It’s about understanding your body as a system and then fine-tuning the whole system for better health.
Scientists use the term biohacking to apply to work they’re doing in labs as they build or change things then monitor what happens. However, when you and I apply biohacking to improving our health it basically means we change things or do things differently to achieve different (hopefully better) results.
One of the things biohacking has been shown to improve is sleep. It’s a given that healthy sleep makes you feel better, look better, and perform tasks better. But some of the optimization strategies that you can implement into your daily routine are a form of biohacking. Here are 10 powerful ways to discover how improved sleep can be a remarkable recovery tool.
1. Get an Early Start with a Regular Routine
Waking up early helps your Circadian rhythm (or internal clock) to connect with the natural rhythms of the earth. When the sun rises, so do you. Be consistent with your early morning routine.
2. Get Red Light from the Sunrise
The wavelengths of red light from the sun pass through human tissue easier than other wavelengths. Red light creates a biochemical effect in our cells that increases mitochondrial function and gives cells energy. Natural light at sunrise is better than artificial, but there are products to use in your home that create both infrared and near infrared wavelengths.
3. More Daily Sunlight is Healthy
Sunlight is usually associated with vitamin D, but the benefits of sunlight have a positive effect on sleeping patterns, too. The hormone melatonin is produced by the pineal gland in our brain during dark hours. Being exposed to sunlight in the morning causes nocturnal melatonin production sooner, making it easier to sleep at night.
4. More Physical Activity
If you struggle to fall asleep, get your workout at the gym earlier in the morning. If you struggle to stay asleep, try evening strength training. Give yourself at least 3 hours before bedtime so your body can settle down. Also, remember to get a reasonable amount of physical activity throughout the day. These tweaks will improve your sleep.
5. Avoid Eating 90 Minutes Before Bedtime
If you often wake up around 2:00-3:00 a.m., it’s probably due to a crash in blood sugar. This causes you to wake up. If this is a consistent problem, try having a high protein snack containing the amino acid tryptophan. It increases serotonin which converts to melatonin and helps you sleep.
6. Tryptophan at Dinner
Because tryptophan is converted to serotonin, a key hormone that promotes relaxation, foods containing it help you sleep. When serotonin is converted to melatonin in the pineal gland, it activates sleep by reducing body temperature and other functions. It also inhibits the release of more insulin from the pancreas, preventing a rapid drop in blood sugar level.
Melatonin also helps release growth hormone, important to all the body’s recovery systems. As recovery hormones initiate the repair, maintenance and rebuilding of bone, muscle and other body tissues, it also goes on to impact memory consolidation.
7. No Caffeine at Least 5 Hours Before Bed
Because caffeine is such a powerful stimulant, it is very popular. Caffeine can temporarily make us feel more alert by blocking sleep-inducing chemicals in the brain and increasing adrenaline production, but it cannot replace sleep. A good rule is not to drink coffee after 4:00 p.m. If your nervous system is wired, you cannot get quality sleep.
8. Drink Less Alcohol
If you are looking for quality sleep, forget about alcohol. Although studies show that you may fall asleep quicker after drinking alcohol, the quality is far from being the best. Alcohol will inhibit your REM sleep, not allowing short-term memories and experiences to convert into long-term memories.
9. Take Magnesium Before Bed
Magnesium is a mineral found throughout nature and one of the body’s electrolytes. In the body, it is the fourth most abundant mineral and is crucial to many aspects of health, such as alleviating premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms, reducing blood pressure, boosting performance, relieving inflammation, preventing migraines, improving blood sugar levels, fighting depression, enhancing sleep quality and promoting relaxation.
Getting your magnesium levels up can almost instantly reduce your body’s stress load and improve the quality of your sleep.
10. Use Blue Light Blockers
Researchers found that blue light has the most potent effect on preventing the secretion of melatonin from the pineal gland. Unfortunately, today most of our lighting, computer screens, tablets, TV and cell phones fall into this blue zone of the light spectrum. Blocking blue light is one of the most beneficial quick fixes that you can do to improve sleep quality.
Lastly, consider your bedding: sheets, pillow cases, comforter. Is your sleep environment comfortable and alluring? Do you look forward to climbing into bed? If not, consider this ‘bedding-hacking’ tip. Throw away your old bedding and invest in luxurious bamboo bedding. Naturally hypoallergenic. Naturally microbe resistant. Naturally moisture absorbent. And an array of colors that only Island Slumber can provide. Now you’re ready to really sleep better.
Your Sleep Oasis® is Only a Click Away
What it really comes down to is this. Sleep is a necessity, not a luxury. And finding the best possible sleep environment is the first step to getting the sleep you need for healthy emotional balance. Create your own personal Sleep Oasis®,complete with the natural luxury of bamboo sheets,pillows, and sleep essentials.
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