Hacking sleep for improved performance. Part 1.

Nutrition and productivity blog 44

A good night sleep is crucial for performing at your best in the following day, whether that’s in the office, at the poker table or just taking care of the kids. Just having one night of poor sleep can result in poor focus, poor recall and a greater likelihood of making mistakes. You’re more likely to lose control of your emotions. The effects of poor sleep in the long term are even more horrifying: cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes risk all increase [1]. Poor sleep is a widespread problem –  1 in 3 Americans don’t get enough sleep [2].

Quality sleep is important for productivity. In this three part series we look at optimising sleep though hacking the sleep environment, routines and supplementation.

Environment

  • Mattress: choose a mattress that is firm enough to support your back but not too hard that you have to shift into an awkward position to get comfortable.
  • Make sure the bedroom is as dark as possible. You don’t want to be able to see a thing when you go to bed, not even a sliver of street light. I use black out blinds underneath curtains to get complete black out.
  • In the couple of hours before sleep, remove any exposure to blue lights. Blue light tricks the brain into thinking it’s still daytime. I use blue light filters on all of my devices (f.lux is great for laptops and PCs). Wearing TrueDark Twilight glasses two hours before sleep time promotes the production of melatonin – a neurotransmitter that regulates wakefulness and sleep.
  • A ChiliPad can optimise the temperature to what you need – cooling the bed down in summer months and warming up in winter months.
  • Lying on the spikes of a Sleep Induction Mat for 30 minutes stimulates endorphins and oxytocin release which eases you nicely into slumber.

Come back for the next in the series on optimal sleep routines.

Sleep well,

Paddy

References

  1. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/08/sleep-deprivation_n_4557142.html
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0215-enough-sleep.html
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