The 6 Things You Need for Good Sleep
5 min read
I’ve been working on getting people to sleep better for a bit over two years now by building Nyxo – Mobile Sleep Coaching App. I’m doing this because I think sleep is the single most important thing for your wellbeing. Often when hear that I’m building a product that helps people to sleep better, the first thing they ask is what most important things you should do to sleep better. This list is written to answer those questions. It is in no way an extensive list, and if you’re having problems with your sleep (e.g., your eating melatonin every night to fall asleep), you should definitely take a look at the materials we have at Nyxo. They cover these points and more and developed together with the leading sleep researchers.
This is the most important thing on this whole list. This also the thing people hate to hear because everyone one of us would like spent most of our evenings doing stuff instead of going to bed. But the importance of a consistent bedtime can not be understated. Without it, the other points on this list become useless. However, the good thing is that all the following points will help you to achieve consistent .bedtime.
Your wake up times should also be as consistent as your bedtimes. Having a consistent wake-up time will make it easier for your body to synchronize its biological rhythm to the external time. Helping you to feel tired when it starts to get dark, and more energized as the morning turns to day.
Talking about rhythm, our bodies love it. Doing things at the right time can substantially improve your performance in them. For example, when going for a run during the day, you might notice that you run faster and feel better than when doing so in the morning. We all have our individual preference towards a certain type of day/night rhythm, called chronotype. Try to find out what your chronotype is and then start scheduling your days based on that. If you’re more of a morning person, make fixed times for things you’re doing every day, for example eating lunch, and keep those times. The same goes for being more evening type.
There’s a lot of research surrounding naps, but no single one right answer. One scientist might say it’s a good thing, another that its a bad thing. However, in way too many cases napping and feeling really tired during the day is a sign that you’re not getting enough sleep. So try to say goodbye to naps entirely, which should make your body to prioritize nights for sleeping.
If you really have to nap, don’t do it for more than 20 minutes, and never after 3 pm. Feeling slightly tired during the day is normal, but treat it more as a sign of getting some air and exercise rather than a sign of napping. If you find yourself feeling super tired every afternoon try putting more hours to your nights
As mentioned, having a rhythm in your life makes your body run the right way. To making falling asleep faster, you should try to establish a rhythm for your pre-bedtime behavior. First, of course, by keeping a consistent bedtime but by also following a nightly routine. As weird as it might sound, washing your teeth can be an essential sign for your body that it is soon time to start sleeping.
Don’t bring your phone there, don’t read there, better yet if you can avoid talking there do that. Make your bedroom something that almost feels disconnected from this world. Try to leave everything outside this room, be that your stress and worries, or things that want to steal your attention. In the bedroom, your pillow should be the one getting your undivided attention.
If you can, drop the temperature in your bedroom below that of normal room temperature. Your body treats cooler temperatures as a sign of going to bed.
This is one of the hardest things on this list. But the reality is that there’s nothing good about snoozing. When your alarm clock rings, you should get up then and there. I know that it is hard, but the only way to fix your sleep is to stop using snooze. The way snoozing messes your sleep is bi-fold. First, when you snooze, your body’s biological rhythm adjustment doesn’t work, which will then resonate throughout the day, messing the timing of other things as well e.g., your metabolism. Second, although snoozing might make you slightly less tired, the sleep you get this way is in no way restorative.
Maybe you already know all this, maybe there was something new. The truth is that the route to better sleep is almost as simple as the way to losing weight. There are no gadgets and magic tricks for improving sleep. Just like scales will only tell you how much you weigh, not how to get that number to go down, sleep trackers are only capable of telling you something you should know yourself: if you’re tired on or not. If your days slip by with you wondering how you got nothing done, start by looking at if you get enough sleep or not.
That being said, we have even more stuff about improving your sleep at Nyxo, in the form of lessons, exercises and habits meant to create new sleep improving routines. The greatest thing, of course, is that all of it is completely free on our website, and if you decide you want to improve your sleep through structured coaching, you can also download our app.