Healthy

Life hacks: Better sleep

Lack of sleep seems to be in fashion now. People wear it like a badge of honor. For sure you know some people who complain “I’m so busy this week, I only sleep 4 hours a night”, but it sounds like bragging.

But that is wrong on many levels.

Sleep deprivation, especially if it’s chronic, makes us not only tired, but also less smart, more biased, less cooperative and less healthy.

To make it worse, we adjust to the new baseline and don’t even realize that our thinking and performance is impacted.

The reasons for insufficient sleep vary. It could be related to the environment (temperature, noise, light), or they could be both psychological (stress, depression, …) or biological (melatonin production, neurotransmitter or hormonal imbalance, inflammation, glucose dependency, …).

Studies again and again prove that the relationship between sleep and issues like stress, inflammation, pain, depression, etc etc is bi-directional. So if you want to kick ass in life, you better make your sleep as good as it gets.

In my presentation for Life Hackers Singapore meetup I talked about actionable tips that anyone can try immediately – from controlling the environment (temperature, blue light exposure, sounds), pre-sleep routines to calm the mind down and prepare it for sleep, sleep timing, supplements, and many other things.

Even if you don’t want to read the whole presentation, do at least one thing – start avoiding blue light in the evening. If you insist on using your phone or PC in the evening, at least use Twilight or Night Shift (phone), and f.lux and Iris (PC).

Find more actionable advice for good sleep in the presentation itself: Life hacks – Better sleep (Life Hackers Singapore). 

One of my favorite podcasts about sleep deprivation is You Are Not So Smart episode 110, where David McRaney interviews two scientists – one researching how sleep deprivation makes us more biased, the other doing research on whether we can catch up on sleep on weekends (we can’t, unfortunately).

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