In Mathew Walker’s book, “Why we sleep“, the author explains the reasons why we need to sleep as well as what our body does when sleeping.
He explains that when we sleep, we go through three different stages. The different stages include deep sleep, light sleep and Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. Missing these stages can lead to us degrading our memory, reducing our ability to learn and feeling tired in the morning.
I have been using a sleep tracking app, called Sleep Cycle, to track the amount and the quality of sleep.
This app allows me to write notes before I sleep, and when I wake up. Additionally, it tracks the overall quality of my sleep. Sleep is tracked, based on movement or snoring sounds being made, via the phone. You will need to have your phone close to you and plugged in. Even though I don’t feel that this measure is entirely accurate, but over time a trend is observed. This trend helps me evaluate each of the tips I tried out.
Additionally, I have noticed people using an Oura ring. This ring is a device that you place around your finger, and it will track how much you are sleeping. At $314, it’s not cheap, but I think it’s worth it if you have sleeping problems.
By tracking the amount and the quality of sleep, you’ll be able to see if the following tips help.
Apple vinegar cider & honey tea
A tip I picked up from Tim Ferris was to make tea using with the following.
- Two tablespoons of apple vinegar cider (I used Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with The Mother)
- one tablespoon of honey (I do not use this, but it still seems to have the same effect)
- hot water
I have the drink before bed, and it helped not only with sleep but also digestive problems.
I’m not sure why this works, but the length of my sleep has increased, and the quality has improved – allowing me to feel refreshed in the morning.
Wake up the same time and go to bed at the same time
The second tip is having a set sleeping and waking time. I assume this is because the brain learns that at a particular time, it is bedtime and gets used to waking up at the same time.
I found that sleeping later than the set time and waking up then had a knock-on effect of feeling tired, even though I had the same amount of sleep.
Read before bed with a kindle or book
I found reading before bed helps with going to sleep – but only when reading from a kindle or actual book.
When utilising an iPad or iPhone, I fell asleep later on and felt tired in the morning. I think this is due to the blue light that is emitted by these devices. These lights trick your brain into thinking its daytime.
Hot Shower before bed
I I have read that there are devices that help cool the body temperature in bed, helping improve the quality of your sleep. Having your body temperature reduced to a certain point will help you enter a sleep state. Since I don’t have this device, my research suggests that a hot shower has the same effect. Post hot shower, heat leaves your body, helping to reduce the body temperature.
Writing notes or playing Tetris
Sometimes we have so much on our minds. That constant “whirl of thoughts” causes to stay awake. On occasions such as this, I have found that waking up and writing a list. This list contains things that are worrying me. By writing it down, I can take it out of my mind and subsequently allowing me to sleep.
If unsuccessful, and I find myself to be still awake, I like to play Tetris on my phone; another tip from Tim Ferris. I have found that focusing on this game helps me to forget stresses to the point of relaxation and allows me to go to sleep.
I hope that these tips are helpful. Let me know if you have any suggestions for me, via a comment below or Twitter.