4 Tips Helped Me Get Better Sleep

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Have you ever taken your smart phone with you when you go to bed? I admit I used to do that, and always get 2 extra waking hours.

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The reason to do this could be complex: Social media chatting, attractive TV series, feeling guilty about unfinished work during the day, and so on. However, they all contribute to the same result: Deteriorating your sleep quality.

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Oh! I forgot to say “good night” to my friend

Why using electronic devices at night harms your sleep?

Sleep Onset Latency (SOL): The length of time that it takes to accomplish the transition from full wakefulness to sleep.

There is a hormone called melatonin /ˌmɛləˈtoʊnɪn/ (褪黑素) in human endocrine system, and its main job is to regulate sleep-awake cycle of the body.

However, the synthesis (production) of melatonin can be reduced by blue light, and smart phone screens are a major source of blue light in our life. As a result, the more you use your smart phone or other electronic devices before sleep, relatively the longer your SOL will be.

  • Scientific recommendation is trying to avoid putting your eyes on screen half an hour before your planned go-to-bed time.

Easy go-to solutions

The most effective way is to put your devices away from your bed, and it can be done in many ways.

1. SleepTown: an app that helps build regular sleep patterns

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An introduction page of SleepTown on Google Store

The mechanism of SleepTown is simple, in 3 steps:

  1. Set your own bedtime and wake-up goals.

  2. Open the SleepTown app before your bedtime goal and start constructing a building.

  3. Wake up before your wake-up goal, shake your phone to clear your mind, and see which building you got. Every morning the building is a surprise that will motivate you to wake up!

However, the challenge is similar to what’s in Forest app:

If you switch your screen to other apps more than 30 secs or forget to shake your phone within the wake-up time you set, your new building will be destroyed.

SleepTown

SleepTown is developed by SeekrTech.

You may know their another famous app: Forest.

Forest - Stay focused, be present

2. Manually put your devices in another room

You can charge your phone in another room such as your living room or your study, but never in your bedroom. This distance between you and your devices can mentally let you focus on sleeping more.

What about the morning alarms?

My solution is setting an old phone (with no SIM card) near my bed. I only installed built-in apps, so this phone is like an advanced smart alarm.

Compared to a physical alarm, my smartphone offers me functions like customized repetition (weekdays, weekly etc.) with user-friendly interaction design.

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My bedroom alarm: an old iPhone 6 Plus

Tip 2: Have a warm shower

Relations between body temperature and a good sleep

Your biological clock relies on your body temperature to determine whether it’s time to sleep or wake up.

  • At night, your body temperature cools slightly, signaling to your brain that it’s time to release melatonin and prepare for sleeping.
  • In the early morning, your body temperature reaches its lowest, at which point it begins rising again, preparing your body to wake up and meet the day.

Why should have warm shower before sleep?

Taking a warm shower at night aids the natural thermoregulation process. During showers, your body gradually heats up. Then, when you stop shower and go to bed, you start to cool down — signaling to your brain that it’s time to sleep.

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The place you get showering

Other benefits of showering

  • Relax, both physically and emotionally. Your body always feels better after a warm bath or shower. When you’re less stressed, it’s easier to sleep.
  • Cleansing. When you get into bed clean, you’ll not only feel less stressed out, but you’ll also avoid bringing any dirt, oil or allergen into the bed with you. This is good for the health of your skin.
  • Disconnect. When you’re showering, you can’t be watching TV or checking social media on your phone (unless you’re willing to damage your tech). Even if it’s only for a few minutes, your mind has to unplug. Including a shower in your bedtime routine makes it easier for you to transition from your work daytime mode into relax & sleep mode.

Tip3: Avoid caffeinated drinks

Interesting fact

According to research, there are 10% human population have caffeine hypo-sensitivity , this means these people have abnormal efficiency on processing caffeine. They can consume caffeine shortly before bedtime and still get a good night’s sleep.

»»» If you are one of the hypo-sensitive, you may directly skip this tip section.

Drinks contains caffeine

Everyone knows common coffee contains caffeine, and definitely coffee has high amount of caffeine, but here are some other common drinks you need to be alerted of.

Try to avoid caffeinated drinks after 14:00 everyday, specifically 7 hours before you sleep.

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Tip4: Appropriate room temperature

Relation: body temperature to sleep onset

MORD: Maximum Rate of Decline (in body temperature)

According to lab observation, MORD occurs in 60 minutes, in average, before sleep onset. This suggests that a rapid decline in core body temperature increases the likelihood of sleep initiation and may facilitate an entry into the deeper stages of sleep.

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Body heat peaks in the evening and then drops to its lowest levels when you’re asleep

Adjust your body temperature: optimum room temperature

A comfortable environment is essential for healthy sleep. Keeping your sleeping quarters at a temperature near 18.3°C and up or down a few degrees, is ideal.

Your body’s temperature decreases during sleep, and a cool, but not cold, room will help you settle into and maintain sleep throughout the night.

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感谢阅读!作者 @Yixiao Zhang

© 本文著作权归作者所有,首发于Digiphile,转载请注明。

Reference and further readings

Sleep Deprivation and Deficiency

Sleep onset latency

Melatonin

SleepTown - Apps on Google Play

[Should You Shower Before Bed for Better Sleep? Yes, Here’s Why Tuck Sleep](https://www.tuck.com/shower-before-bed/)

Caffeinated drink

Sleep and Caffeine

Nighttime Drop in Body Temperature: A Physiological Trigger for Sleep Onset?

Best Temperature to Sleep: Research and Sleep Tips