Sleep allows the body to repair itself. You need sleep to repair neurons for better brain functioning and your physical body needs to rest too. Your heart, lungs, and every part of your body needs to rest at some point. They never stop functioning while you are living, but they do need an energy break.
Unfortunately, many people lack proper sleep or suffer from sleep problems. If that sounds like you, perhaps biohacking your sleep could be the answer!
Biohacking allows you to modify and control your biology in some way to improve your health. You can biohack your sleep in various ways, and that is what we will cover now.
Get Sufficient Sun Exposure
Getting a good amount of sunlight during the day can help you sleep better at night. It helps keep your body clock in sync. Sunlight exposure signals when the body will produce melatonin, the hormone that prompts the body to sleep.
Take a walk every morning so you can get a decent amount of healthy light exposure. You can also take Vitamin D supplements in the morning. Remember not to take them at night because it can interfere with your sleep instead.
Ensure a Healthy Circadian Rhythm
The circadian rhythm is your body clock that dictates your sleep cycle. Ideally, you should feel alert during the day and then tired and sleepy when it gets darker. You can hack your circadian rhythm by going to bed and getting up at the same time every day.
You should follow a regular schedule that allows you to sleep for eight hours at night. You can also utilize tools such as mobile phone health tracker apps. For instance, you can use your iPhone to monitor your sleep cycle and provide bedtime prompts.
Do Exercise and Physical Activities
Exercising and partaking in numerous physical activities can help improve the quality of sleep you get. Plus it has many other benefits in keeping your body healthy and energized.
Biohacking techniques for better sleep include exercising in the morning or early afternoon. If possible, you should avoid working out later in the day when your body prepares for downtime at night. Because exercising at night can increase your heart rate and pump up your energy, it can interfere with your sleep.
Did you know that exercise can also affect your gut microbiome? Yes, it can, and the bacteria in the gut are important for good health, including sleep. That brings us to the next tip.
Diversify Your Gut Microbiome
There are trillions of bacteria in the gut that help keep you healthy, and they can influence your sleep quality too. That is because the gut microbiome affects hormone regulation, including serotonin and melatonin.
Therefore, a healthy gut microbiome can lead to better quality sleep, so it is important to diversify it. You can do that by adding more fiber to your diet. Fermented foods are also good for the gut.
To get better sleep you also have to minimize snacking, especially not eating food in the two hours before your bedtime.
Keep Your Room Temperature Cool
A cool temperature in your room can help optimize sleep quality. Your body naturally cools down as you sleep, so a comfortable temperature can help you drift off and sleep deeply.
If the temperature is too warm for you it can wake you up in the middle of the night. You can also biohack your sleep with temperature by choosing the right bedtime clothes, sheets, and pillows. Make sure that they are comfortable and can absorb and dissipate heat to help you stay asleep.
Reduce Exposure to Light at Night
Aside from keeping the temperature down, keeping your room dark is also very helpful. Darkness helps the brain produce more melatonin and keeps your circadian rhythm on track. Exposure to light at night can make it harder for you to feel sleepy and restful.
Reduce exposure to blue light, especially before bedtime. Switch to the old-school printed book if you want to read as it can help you wind down and sleep. However, you must take care of the light you use to read by. Remember, light can keep you awake!
Avoid scrolling on your phone or watching TV. If you will be using your devices leading up to bedtime it is a good idea to install a light adjuster on your computer and your phone.
These apps are now built into most devices but need to be enabled and configured to come on for an hour or two before your sleep time. They cut down the blue light spectrum that keeps your mind alert and active and makes falling asleep harder.
Also, if you do wake up during the light, don’t read your phone, especially if you don’t have the blue light reduction active! Doing so will make it much harder to get back to sleep. You might also want to invest in blackout curtains and anti-blue light eyeglasses.
Eat the Right Foods
Eating the right foods can help you get quality sleep. Eat nutritious food so that the body gets the nourishment that it needs and improves your digestive health as we previously discussed. Include a balanced mix of proteins, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates and fiber.
Don’t snack after your evening meal. There are also food and drinks that you should avoid in the afternoon and evening because they can affect your sleep. These include coffee, cheese, sugar, and spicy foods. Timing also matters here. Don’t eat at all during the two hours before bed.
Biohacking your sleep can lead to much-improved overall health. While biohacking sounds like a complicated technique, most of the methods are already familiar to you. Give them a try one by one and you will notice how they affect your sleep for the better!