Written by Christopher Kelly
April 4, 2014
According to me, sleep trumps everything, including nutrition. 10 hours of quality sleep will make anyone feel more awesome, so do it! Selling sleep should be like selling sex, if ain’t happening, then there’s a reason, work with me and we’ll figure it out why.
My number one tip for a good night’s sleep. Here’s how it works: you ate too many carbs at dinner (especially dessert and the second glass of red wine) and as a result your blood glucose rose above 120 mg/dL, say. You’ve been doing this for a while, and the fat cells are pretty full and insensitive to insulin, so your pancreas overshoots and secretes more insulin than is strictly necessary. The resulting blood glucose low happens at around 2am and elicits adrenaline (below 70 mg/dL) and cortisol (below 60). If that happens you’ll be wired and tired, and sleep will be nearly impossible. Start checking blood glucose right away with this $7 meter, you’re looking to maintain 80-90 mg/dL all day long, even after eating.
Each individual is different, but I don’t know anyone that needs less than eight hours of sleep. If you’re an athlete or trying to recover from something, you probably need more. At a very minimum allow for eight hours in bed.
Circadian rhythm is set by exposure to blue light, so get lots of it in the morning and then avoid it like you’re a vampire after the sun sets. Start the day with a walk, or if you get up long before sunrise try this 10,000 lux light box. Dim the lights after sunset, or replace some of your bulbs with orange equivalents and if all else fails, try some amber tinted glasses.
Leave them alone after sunset and leave them out the bedroom completely. Charge it in the kitchen! The screen emits blue light that will suppress melatonin production and prevent you from falling asleep. Reach over to check that notification and the stimulation will set the wheels turning in your head.
Keep it cool as best you can, 65 degrees is optimal. Dark as you can possibly make it, I really like these quick and easy blackout covers. Get rid or cover all LED displays. If like you me you live somewhere noisey, try a white noise generator like this HEPA air filter, you’ll appreciate the fresh air too.
They really won’t help with your sleep.
If you’re having trouble falling asleep you might have a low melatonin problem. If you’re having trouble staying asleep, it could be cortisol. The saliva test is quick and easy: