Guide Ideal Sleep Guide

Schönling

Schönling

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(R) = Reference link to published study or source.

Sleep Hygiene:​

  • Adopt good sleep hygiene.
  • For one thing, sleep is absolutely crucial to your success at pretty much everything, including this endeavor. It’s not (just) about getting more sleep, it’s about getting better sleep. Sleep *QUALITY* is far more important than sleep *QUANTITY*. (R)Sleep harder not longer. This means taking up certain habits around sleep. For many people, trouble getting quality sleep is often the result of bad habits and coping mechanisms developed in response to poor sleep in the past, this has lead to a kind of negative feedback loop.
    • If you want more energy (R), improved memory and cognition (R) (R) (R), better relationships (R) (R) (R), less stress (R) (R), improved mood (R),more productivity and fewer sick days (R) (R) (R) then sleep should be considered a top priority during bedtime hours. Unless there is some kind of emergency or special event, do your best to make sleep come first.
      • Trying to get all your work done? It may seem counterintuitive, but while getting things done may seem important and vital in the moment, you’ll actually get ahead with greater ease and fewer mistakes if you stop, take a break and get your sleep. For the future, while you might think you operate better under last minute stress, you’re doing yourself more harm than good in the long run by sacrificing sleep. Your future self will thank your present self for prioritizing sleep over “getting things done”. (R)
      • Everyone likes a night out on the town, just try to limit your nights out late or to earlier times.
  • Another thing about sleep learned recently in studies by Matthew Walker PhD is that during the deep phase of sleep, several things happen:
    • Cells shrink up temporarily so that cerebrospinal fluid can begin its cleanup job, carrying away extracellular waste like tau proteins and beta amyloid plaques and other junk. Lack of sufficient sleep in this phase puts you at risk for Alzheimers and other problems.
    • The production of natural killer cells goes up, these cells help your body’s defenses against viruses, harmful bacteria, cancerous cells, even death resistant senescent cells that produce harmful inflammatory signals called SASP, leading to accelerated aging. Getting less than 5 hours of sleep even on a single night can reduce the population of these bad boy assassins by up to 70%.
    • Other regenerative processes occur here, the deep phase is where you get your physical energy from during the day.
    • Caffeine, alcohol and some sleeping pills like benzodiazepines can disrupt this deep phase of sleep... not good.
  • It is vital that you sleep in total darkness. Get some blackout curtains, get rid of any nightlights in the room. Do all you can to eliminate light. (R) (R) Light raises cortisol, and inhibits its flipside, the natural production of melatonin. It’s not only the stress hormone but the wakefulness hormone. In fact, light is a great way to wake up. Using programmable lights may be a better alarm clock than sound and because it wakes you up during the lighter side of the sleep cycle, provided you get a proper 7 hours of sleep, you shouldn’t need or want a snooze button.
  • This is next bit of advice is important and one of the most often recommendations to people sleep disorders. We create psychological associations with feelings, places, smells, etc. Create a psychological association of sleep with your bedroom. So use the bedroom (or bed area) for sleep and limit its use to any other activities. Avoid the bed and even the room itself if possible except during bedtime hours in these circumstances. Stick to the living areas of your abode during all other activities. Do not watch TV, use the internet or work in bed. Don’t create an association of anxiety, stress or wakeful activities with the bed.
  • Make room for wind down activities just an hour or so before bedtime. Limit these activities to getting ready, listening to calm music or an audiobook, or watching “boring” shows on an amber shifted screen or wearing blue blocking glasses (see section on blue light).(R) (R) (see full text). (note: I no longer do this, just audiobooks now)
  • Only use the bed during an 8.5 hr time frame (one hour to buffer trouble falling asleep). Stick to a regular and consistent schedule (i.e. 23:00 to 07:30). Do not be in bed otherwise.
    • Keeping a strict in-bed time frame prevents you from associating sleep frustration with being in your bed. The goal is to mentally associate the bed with sleep1.
    • If you have a night of poor sleep, maintaining the same strict in-bed time frame helps boost your body’s sleep drive throughout the day so that at night, you have no trouble falling asleep(R) (R).
    • If your time in bed is up, even if you haven’t had a wink of sleep, get out. Just try again the following night, your success with sleep will dramatically improve.
  • Do not drink alcohol more than 3 to 4 hours prior to bedtime. (R)(R)
    • Alcohol disrupts the balance of neurotransmitters GABA and Glutamate. GABA is the inhibitory, relaxing neurotransmitter and glutamate is the excitatory neurotransmitter associated with activity, even anxiety.(R)
    • Alcohol might put you to sleep temporarily but you will not get quality rest as alcohol significantly disrupts REM sleep to a lasting degree. (R)(R)(R)
    • Alcohol disrupts sleep quality and will result in sleep disruption as a whole, preventing additional sleep time. Ever drink before bed and then wake up at 3am unable to get back to sleep? Yeah, that’s the alcohol. (R)
    • Alcohol can exacerbate the length and level of obstruction in patients diagnosed with sleep apnea. (R) Alcohol can even induce sleep apnea. (R)
    • By giving alcohol time to metabolize (rate 0.02 BAC per hour) and allowing it to drop to a BAC of .04 before going to bed, you can avoid most of the negative effects it might have on sleep. (R)
    • Frequent alcohol use can contribute to further depressive symptoms via dopamine depletion, affecting receptor sensitivity. Alcohol can also contribute to cognitive decline, possibly via its effects on sleep and the damage to neuronal stem cells. You don’t need to be a tea-totaler, but don’t drink too much, especially near bedtime.(R) (R)
  • Avoid nicotine.
    • Nicotine users (from either smoking or vaporization) sleep more poorly than non-users. Nicotine, like alcohol and THC, can disrupt REM sleep. (R)
    • Nicotine is a potent stimulant which raises heart rate and blood pressure making it more difficult to fall asleep. (R) (R)
    • Smokers have a higher prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea. The risk is a 2.5 fold increase. (R)
    • Nicotine can disrupt the circadian clock, diminishing sleep quality. (R)
    • Smoking paralyzes cilia which prevents the excretion of tar and ash from the lungs. The cilia recover from this paralysis overnight and begin to perform their duty which will disrupt sleep with fits of coughing. (R) (R)
    • Withdrawal symptoms can disrupt sleep during the night.(R)
  • Restrict the drinking of caffeinated beverages such as tea and coffee to a specific time frame that is at least 9 hours prior to bedtime. You can still drink coffee, it’s good for longevity.
    • Studies show that even consumption 6 hours prior still significantly disrupts sleep quality. (R)
    • Try drinking your last cup around 13:00 to 14:00 if your bedtime is at 23:00. Your body will adapt to this over a few days.
  • Notes on cannabis use (all things in moderation):
    • Cannabis has some benefits and drawbacks when it comes to sleep. There is still much study to be done on its effects regarding sleep quality.
      • Cannabis can improve the quality and length of stage four deep sleep. This is the physically restorative stage of sleep.(R)
      • On the other hand cannabis disrupts and shortens REM sleep essential for memory and cognition. This is a mentally restorative stage of sleep.(R)(R)
      • THC can induce paranoia and anxiety, contrary to self-reported claims by some, it is not the active anxiolytic ingredient. The non psychoactive and anti-psychotic chemical, CBD (cannabidiol), is a mild anxiolytic.(R) Most strains of marijuana contain very low levels of CBD and high levels of THC. This is something that needs to change.
    • Try to moderate your use of cannabis. Do not use it every night, take breaks for up to two weeks at a time. You will notice more dreams in this period along with improved cognition during the day due to the increase in quality REM sleep.(R)
    • If you do use cannabis:
      • Stick to vaporization as smoking can also affect sleep. (R)
      • Stick to high CBD ratio oils without added non-cannabis terpenes as CBD counters some of the negative effects on memory and has an antiinflammatory effect.(R)(R)(R)(R)(R)
      • Limit edibles as this method of ingestion may stay in your system longer (according to many thus far unsubstantiated claims), can make you more anxious, and most options for edibles in legal and non-legal states tend to have low CBD levels. There are some edible options with high CBD.
  • Avoid blue light (backlit devices) starting from 1 to 2 hours prior to bedtime.
    • Blue light disrupts the production of melatonin which is needed for quality sleep.(R)(R)(R) Conversely, a good dose of blue light in the morning can help with wakefulness. (R)
    • Settings are available on most modern smartphones to adjust backlighting towards the red end of the spectrum on a schedule, removing blue. (iPhone see System
    • Windows, Ubuntu and Mac OS have settings under display properties to adjust the display towards the red end of the spectrum based on a schedule, removing blue light. I recommend a start time of 10pm at the latest.
    • You can also purchase amber glasses to wear during the hour or two leading up to bedtime to help you sleep. For me this is very effective at inducing sleep.
    • If you can afford it, set up your abode with Philips hue colored light bulbs and set a schedule that shifts light from the blue end to the red end of the spectrum during appropriate hours (i.e. Energize theme in the morning, Relax, Red or Amber color at night). This can mimic the natural light from the rise and set of the sun.
    • Or avoid backlit devices during the sleep schedule altogether.
    • Use a projector for a TV, not only can it be far cheaper, but the screens can be much bigger. Back lit devices are hard on the retina over time.
  • Adjust your bedtime to match your body’s natural rise and fall of melatonin. This generally occurs just a few hours after sundown (22:00 in most parts of the world) for about four hours (till 02:00 or 03:00 when levels peak). It’s generally not a good idea to go to bed at 02:00 every night as higher levels may make it more difficult to sleep. (R) (R) (R)
  • According to the CBTi course at Sleepio.com, it’s highly recommended to avoid food 3 hours prior to bedtime, and more evidence is coming out of research showing that this is pretty vital (R). Food digestion and liver processing tend to disrupt important sleep stages preventing quality sleep. While this course was put together by sleep experts in the field of sleep medicine and numerous university contributions, I can’t find any solid published references for this suggestion.
  • Adopt a consistent sleep schedule. Keeping a regular and mostly unwavering schedule will establish an internal rhythm.
    • Try to sleep no less than 7 hours a night and no more than 8 if you are an adult over 25. Teenagers require at least 9 hours and kids require 10 to 14 hours. This is why most schools may just be contributing to problems possibly rooted in sleep. (R) (R)
    • If you have a sleepless night and your scheduled window of time to be in bed has lapsed, get out of bed. Do not nap. Keep an active day. Don’t worry, the goal here is to establish the rhythm and create psychological associations with the bed, dark and light, etc. Do nothing different. Hold out until the next bedtime and worry not, the naturally increased sleep drive will improve the following night’s sleep considerably.
    • Attempting to get extra sleep by staying in bed will only increase the aforementioned association of frustration with the bedroom, creating more problems down the line and napping will throw off the rhythm we’re trying to establish.
    • Consult your doctor and get tested if you find yourself tired despite having gotten at least 7 hours of sleep while following all these instructions. You may have sleep apnea. This requires an overnight stay for a sleep study and involves lots of wires.
    • Greatly limit use or do not use benzodiazepines (valium, xanax, etc) to assist with sleep. These not only result in a disruption of sleep quality but will negatively affect memory and cognition as well as increase mortality odds with chronic use. In addition, benzodiazepines will only worsen your depressive and anxious symptoms in the long run.(R) (R) (R) (R) (R) (R) (R) (R) (R) Note: Follow up cohort study concludes mortality risk is not as severe as other studies have concluded. (R)
    • Try not to use crutches like benzodiazepines, the real danger is that they’re only serving to weaken, not strengthen or help your sleep related mental and physical well-being.
  • Don’t keep a clock next to your bed and don’t check the time during the night. If you’re having a sleepless night, checking the time may only cause you more anxiety, prolonging your sleeplessness. (R)
  • I would strongly suggest not using an alarm clock. Take a chance on trusting your internal clock to wake you up at the right time. This can greatly improve how we feel when getting out of bed. If this is not enough, I personally use my trusty hue lights to turn on and slowly brighten in the mornings at a scheduled time. The cheapest bulbs are $19.
  • Use earplugs, or use white or “pink” noise to block out environmental sounds that may disrupt sleep. There are various apps which do this and your average 20 inch box fan found at any drugstore, Target or Walmart is the perfect, cheap tool for this purpose, plus it keeps the room at a lower temperature...
  • Keep temperature low if possible. 20 degrees celsius or 69 degrees fahrenheit is an ideal room temperature for enabling quality sleep. Heat can often make sleep difficult and can disrupt certain stages of sleep. (R) (R)
  • Exercise as much as four days a week. Exercise frequency has a considerable effect on sleep quality and overall mental and physical health. This is not about rock hard abs or a beach body, this is about sleep quality and mental health. Exercise is a must, to sacrifice exercise is to sacrifice sleep.(R)
  • Progressive relaxation has been shown to help a lot of people fall asleep quickly and stay asleep longer. It’s certainly been my experience that if you can keep your focus on relaxing each body part, from head to toe, again and again, you’ll fall asleep faster than simply counting sheep or doing math. For me at least, this alone has proven more effective than breathing or mindfulness meditation.
  • Suggested nutraceuticals for sleep quality:
    • L-Theanine (R)
    • Chamomile
      • Anecdotal evidence only.
      • For whatever baffling reason, there is no human research on Chamomile and sleep.
    • Magnesium (R)
      • If your diet is high in magnesium, this should suffice. Pumpkin seeds, nuts and many bean varieties are very high in magnesium.
      • It wouldn’t hurt to take 500mg or even 1000mg 45 mins before bed. Some people just use up more for whatever reason. ®
      • Sleep specialists suggest magnesium can relieve restless legs syndrome.
    • Glycine (R)
    • Melatonin (0.5 to 5 mg max depending on age) (R)
      • There is no evidence or research regarding long term effects in humans for melatonin. One could assume it is safe to use at these low doses indefinitely. Labdoor has tested samples from various brands and a number are recommended.
      • Melatonin decreases naturally with age, so as you get older, your dose should get higher. At 47 I take 5mg.
      • There are no clinical trials showing any long term dependency problems in humans.
      • An important consideration regarding melatonin in terms of dose times is that its mechanism of action may lie more so in its ability to reset the circadian clock than causing any somnolence. (R) In other words, it doesn’t make you sleepy, it just makes you sleepy at the proper time. This explains why it is effective for jet lag. So, if it’s an hour beyond your scheduled bedtime, avoid using melatonin. Take it again at the scheduled bedtime hour the following night. This will keep your internal clock in line with your schedule.
  • Prescription drugs:
    • As mentioned earlier, avoid benzodiazepines and other short acting sleep meds like ambien. These will cause a life threatening dependence and sacrifices mental well being for sleep, which is the opposite of the entire goal.
    • Gabapentin, used sparingly and in low doses, has been shown to safely improve slow wave sleep. It’s the only drug my current doctor in sleep medicine would recommend over any other drug or OTC antihistamine.
 
currylightskin

currylightskin

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good thread
 
RabidRosaries

RabidRosaries

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nice but I dont agree with nicotine, as long as its not closer than 2 hours u can smoke its fine. Also ashwagandha should be used in the nutraceutical section along with valerian root extract. And magnesium glycinate is the best form of magnesium for sleep. Magnesium oxide does nothing for sleep for eg,
 
Anchor_Ship

Anchor_Ship

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Great read ngl I am looking to fix my sleep schedule and commit to sleeping on time and waking up every day at around 8:30. My issues are amount of time needed to study, exercise (2-3 hours a day) and balancing around 23 hours a week of work with classes. I also need time to not be productive. I’ve been looking into cannabis and I might try some gummy varieties tonight. I think the main problem I would have with not associating the bedroom with frustration and only using it for sleep is that as a teenager your room includes your bedroom and it takes up a pretty big amount of space, more over privacy is everything and I don’t feel comfortable with having my family constantly having me in view doing who knows what.
 
KDA Player

KDA Player

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You should specify which form of magnesium, since some are better than others
 
Mr.cope

Mr.cope

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Sleep position?
 
Schönling

Schönling

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You should specify which form of magnesium, since some are better than others
 
meryou

meryou

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(R) = Reference link to published study or source.

Sleep Hygiene:​

  • Adopt good sleep hygiene.
  • For one thing, sleep is absolutely crucial to your success at pretty much everything, including this endeavor. It’s not (just) about getting more sleep, it’s about getting better sleep. Sleep *QUALITY* is far more important than sleep *QUANTITY*. (R)Sleep harder not longer. This means taking up certain habits around sleep. For many people, trouble getting quality sleep is often the result of bad habits and coping mechanisms developed in response to poor sleep in the past, this has lead to a kind of negative feedback loop.
    • If you want more energy (R), improved memory and cognition (R) (R) (R), better relationships (R) (R) (R), less stress (R) (R), improved mood (R),more productivity and fewer sick days (R) (R) (R) then sleep should be considered a top priority during bedtime hours. Unless there is some kind of emergency or special event, do your best to make sleep come first.
      • Trying to get all your work done? It may seem counterintuitive, but while getting things done may seem important and vital in the moment, you’ll actually get ahead with greater ease and fewer mistakes if you stop, take a break and get your sleep. For the future, while you might think you operate better under last minute stress, you’re doing yourself more harm than good in the long run by sacrificing sleep. Your future self will thank your present self for prioritizing sleep over “getting things done”. (R)
      • Everyone likes a night out on the town, just try to limit your nights out late or to earlier times.
  • Another thing about sleep learned recently in studies by Matthew Walker PhD is that during the deep phase of sleep, several things happen:
    • Cells shrink up temporarily so that cerebrospinal fluid can begin its cleanup job, carrying away extracellular waste like tau proteins and beta amyloid plaques and other junk. Lack of sufficient sleep in this phase puts you at risk for Alzheimers and other problems.
    • The production of natural killer cells goes up, these cells help your body’s defenses against viruses, harmful bacteria, cancerous cells, even death resistant senescent cells that produce harmful inflammatory signals called SASP, leading to accelerated aging. Getting less than 5 hours of sleep even on a single night can reduce the population of these bad boy assassins by up to 70%.
    • Other regenerative processes occur here, the deep phase is where you get your physical energy from during the day.
    • Caffeine, alcohol and some sleeping pills like benzodiazepines can disrupt this deep phase of sleep... not good.
  • It is vital that you sleep in total darkness. Get some blackout curtains, get rid of any nightlights in the room. Do all you can to eliminate light. (R) (R) Light raises cortisol, and inhibits its flipside, the natural production of melatonin. It’s not only the stress hormone but the wakefulness hormone. In fact, light is a great way to wake up. Using programmable lights may be a better alarm clock than sound and because it wakes you up during the lighter side of the sleep cycle, provided you get a proper 7 hours of sleep, you shouldn’t need or want a snooze button.
  • This is next bit of advice is important and one of the most often recommendations to people sleep disorders. We create psychological associations with feelings, places, smells, etc. Create a psychological association of sleep with your bedroom. So use the bedroom (or bed area) for sleep and limit its use to any other activities. Avoid the bed and even the room itself if possible except during bedtime hours in these circumstances. Stick to the living areas of your abode during all other activities. Do not watch TV, use the internet or work in bed. Don’t create an association of anxiety, stress or wakeful activities with the bed.
  • Make room for wind down activities just an hour or so before bedtime. Limit these activities to getting ready, listening to calm music or an audiobook, or watching “boring” shows on an amber shifted screen or wearing blue blocking glasses (see section on blue light).(R) (R) (see full text). (note: I no longer do this, just audiobooks now)
  • Only use the bed during an 8.5 hr time frame (one hour to buffer trouble falling asleep). Stick to a regular and consistent schedule (i.e. 23:00 to 07:30). Do not be in bed otherwise.
    • Keeping a strict in-bed time frame prevents you from associating sleep frustration with being in your bed. The goal is to mentally associate the bed with sleep1.
    • If you have a night of poor sleep, maintaining the same strict in-bed time frame helps boost your body’s sleep drive throughout the day so that at night, you have no trouble falling asleep(R) (R).
    • If your time in bed is up, even if you haven’t had a wink of sleep, get out. Just try again the following night, your success with sleep will dramatically improve.
  • Do not drink alcohol more than 3 to 4 hours prior to bedtime. (R)(R)
    • Alcohol disrupts the balance of neurotransmitters GABA and Glutamate. GABA is the inhibitory, relaxing neurotransmitter and glutamate is the excitatory neurotransmitter associated with activity, even anxiety.(R)
    • Alcohol might put you to sleep temporarily but you will not get quality rest as alcohol significantly disrupts REM sleep to a lasting degree. (R)(R)(R)
    • Alcohol disrupts sleep quality and will result in sleep disruption as a whole, preventing additional sleep time. Ever drink before bed and then wake up at 3am unable to get back to sleep? Yeah, that’s the alcohol. (R)
    • Alcohol can exacerbate the length and level of obstruction in patients diagnosed with sleep apnea. (R) Alcohol can even induce sleep apnea. (R)
    • By giving alcohol time to metabolize (rate 0.02 BAC per hour) and allowing it to drop to a BAC of .04 before going to bed, you can avoid most of the negative effects it might have on sleep. (R)
    • Frequent alcohol use can contribute to further depressive symptoms via dopamine depletion, affecting receptor sensitivity. Alcohol can also contribute to cognitive decline, possibly via its effects on sleep and the damage to neuronal stem cells. You don’t need to be a tea-totaler, but don’t drink too much, especially near bedtime.(R) (R)
  • Avoid nicotine.
    • Nicotine users (from either smoking or vaporization) sleep more poorly than non-users. Nicotine, like alcohol and THC, can disrupt REM sleep. (R)
    • Nicotine is a potent stimulant which raises heart rate and blood pressure making it more difficult to fall asleep. (R) (R)
    • Smokers have a higher prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea. The risk is a 2.5 fold increase. (R)
    • Nicotine can disrupt the circadian clock, diminishing sleep quality. (R)
    • Smoking paralyzes cilia which prevents the excretion of tar and ash from the lungs. The cilia recover from this paralysis overnight and begin to perform their duty which will disrupt sleep with fits of coughing. (R) (R)
    • Withdrawal symptoms can disrupt sleep during the night.(R)
  • Restrict the drinking of caffeinated beverages such as tea and coffee to a specific time frame that is at least 9 hours prior to bedtime. You can still drink coffee, it’s good for longevity.
    • Studies show that even consumption 6 hours prior still significantly disrupts sleep quality. (R)
    • Try drinking your last cup around 13:00 to 14:00 if your bedtime is at 23:00. Your body will adapt to this over a few days.
  • Notes on cannabis use (all things in moderation):
    • Cannabis has some benefits and drawbacks when it comes to sleep. There is still much study to be done on its effects regarding sleep quality.
      • Cannabis can improve the quality and length of stage four deep sleep. This is the physically restorative stage of sleep.(R)
      • On the other hand cannabis disrupts and shortens REM sleep essential for memory and cognition. This is a mentally restorative stage of sleep.(R)(R)
      • THC can induce paranoia and anxiety, contrary to self-reported claims by some, it is not the active anxiolytic ingredient. The non psychoactive and anti-psychotic chemical, CBD (cannabidiol), is a mild anxiolytic.(R) Most strains of marijuana contain very low levels of CBD and high levels of THC. This is something that needs to change.
    • Try to moderate your use of cannabis. Do not use it every night, take breaks for up to two weeks at a time. You will notice more dreams in this period along with improved cognition during the day due to the increase in quality REM sleep.(R)
    • If you do use cannabis:
      • Stick to vaporization as smoking can also affect sleep. (R)
      • Stick to high CBD ratio oils without added non-cannabis terpenes as CBD counters some of the negative effects on memory and has an antiinflammatory effect.(R)(R)(R)(R)(R)
      • Limit edibles as this method of ingestion may stay in your system longer (according to many thus far unsubstantiated claims), can make you more anxious, and most options for edibles in legal and non-legal states tend to have low CBD levels. There are some edible options with high CBD.
  • Avoid blue light (backlit devices) starting from 1 to 2 hours prior to bedtime.
    • Blue light disrupts the production of melatonin which is needed for quality sleep.(R)(R)(R) Conversely, a good dose of blue light in the morning can help with wakefulness. (R)
    • Settings are available on most modern smartphones to adjust backlighting towards the red end of the spectrum on a schedule, removing blue. (iPhone see System
    • Windows, Ubuntu and Mac OS have settings under display properties to adjust the display towards the red end of the spectrum based on a schedule, removing blue light. I recommend a start time of 10pm at the latest.
    • You can also purchase amber glasses to wear during the hour or two leading up to bedtime to help you sleep. For me this is very effective at inducing sleep.
    • If you can afford it, set up your abode with Philips hue colored light bulbs and set a schedule that shifts light from the blue end to the red end of the spectrum during appropriate hours (i.e. Energize theme in the morning, Relax, Red or Amber color at night). This can mimic the natural light from the rise and set of the sun.
    • Or avoid backlit devices during the sleep schedule altogether.
    • Use a projector for a TV, not only can it be far cheaper, but the screens can be much bigger. Back lit devices are hard on the retina over time.
  • Adjust your bedtime to match your body’s natural rise and fall of melatonin. This generally occurs just a few hours after sundown (22:00 in most parts of the world) for about four hours (till 02:00 or 03:00 when levels peak). It’s generally not a good idea to go to bed at 02:00 every night as higher levels may make it more difficult to sleep. (R) (R) (R)
  • According to the CBTi course at Sleepio.com, it’s highly recommended to avoid food 3 hours prior to bedtime, and more evidence is coming out of research showing that this is pretty vital (R). Food digestion and liver processing tend to disrupt important sleep stages preventing quality sleep. While this course was put together by sleep experts in the field of sleep medicine and numerous university contributions, I can’t find any solid published references for this suggestion.
  • Adopt a consistent sleep schedule. Keeping a regular and mostly unwavering schedule will establish an internal rhythm.
    • Try to sleep no less than 7 hours a night and no more than 8 if you are an adult over 25. Teenagers require at least 9 hours and kids require 10 to 14 hours. This is why most schools may just be contributing to problems possibly rooted in sleep. (R) (R)
    • If you have a sleepless night and your scheduled window of time to be in bed has lapsed, get out of bed. Do not nap. Keep an active day. Don’t worry, the goal here is to establish the rhythm and create psychological associations with the bed, dark and light, etc. Do nothing different. Hold out until the next bedtime and worry not, the naturally increased sleep drive will improve the following night’s sleep considerably.
    • Attempting to get extra sleep by staying in bed will only increase the aforementioned association of frustration with the bedroom, creating more problems down the line and napping will throw off the rhythm we’re trying to establish.
    • Consult your doctor and get tested if you find yourself tired despite having gotten at least 7 hours of sleep while following all these instructions. You may have sleep apnea. This requires an overnight stay for a sleep study and involves lots of wires.
    • Greatly limit use or do not use benzodiazepines (valium, xanax, etc) to assist with sleep. These not only result in a disruption of sleep quality but will negatively affect memory and cognition as well as increase mortality odds with chronic use. In addition, benzodiazepines will only worsen your depressive and anxious symptoms in the long run.(R) (R) (R) (R) (R) (R) (R) (R) (R) Note: Follow up cohort study concludes mortality risk is not as severe as other studies have concluded. (R)
    • Try not to use crutches like benzodiazepines, the real danger is that they’re only serving to weaken, not strengthen or help your sleep related mental and physical well-being.
  • Don’t keep a clock next to your bed and don’t check the time during the night. If you’re having a sleepless night, checking the time may only cause you more anxiety, prolonging your sleeplessness. (R)
  • I would strongly suggest not using an alarm clock. Take a chance on trusting your internal clock to wake you up at the right time. This can greatly improve how we feel when getting out of bed. If this is not enough, I personally use my trusty hue lights to turn on and slowly brighten in the mornings at a scheduled time. The cheapest bulbs are $19.
  • Use earplugs, or use white or “pink” noise to block out environmental sounds that may disrupt sleep. There are various apps which do this and your average 20 inch box fan found at any drugstore, Target or Walmart is the perfect, cheap tool for this purpose, plus it keeps the room at a lower temperature...
  • Keep temperature low if possible. 20 degrees celsius or 69 degrees fahrenheit is an ideal room temperature for enabling quality sleep. Heat can often make sleep difficult and can disrupt certain stages of sleep. (R) (R)
  • Exercise as much as four days a week. Exercise frequency has a considerable effect on sleep quality and overall mental and physical health. This is not about rock hard abs or a beach body, this is about sleep quality and mental health. Exercise is a must, to sacrifice exercise is to sacrifice sleep.(R)
  • Progressive relaxation has been shown to help a lot of people fall asleep quickly and stay asleep longer. It’s certainly been my experience that if you can keep your focus on relaxing each body part, from head to toe, again and again, you’ll fall asleep faster than simply counting sheep or doing math. For me at least, this alone has proven more effective than breathing or mindfulness meditation.
  • Suggested nutraceuticals for sleep quality:
    • L-Theanine (R)
    • Chamomile
      • Anecdotal evidence only.
      • For whatever baffling reason, there is no human research on Chamomile and sleep.
    • Magnesium (R)
      • If your diet is high in magnesium, this should suffice. Pumpkin seeds, nuts and many bean varieties are very high in magnesium.
      • It wouldn’t hurt to take 500mg or even 1000mg 45 mins before bed. Some people just use up more for whatever reason. ®
      • Sleep specialists suggest magnesium can relieve restless legs syndrome.
    • Glycine (R)
    • Melatonin (0.5 to 5 mg max depending on age) (R)
      • There is no evidence or research regarding long term effects in humans for melatonin. One could assume it is safe to use at these low doses indefinitely. Labdoor has tested samples from various brands and a number are recommended.
      • Melatonin decreases naturally with age, so as you get older, your dose should get higher. At 47 I take 5mg.
      • There are no clinical trials showing any long term dependency problems in humans.
      • An important consideration regarding melatonin in terms of dose times is that its mechanism of action may lie more so in its ability to reset the circadian clock than causing any somnolence. (R) In other words, it doesn’t make you sleepy, it just makes you sleepy at the proper time. This explains why it is effective for jet lag. So, if it’s an hour beyond your scheduled bedtime, avoid using melatonin. Take it again at the scheduled bedtime hour the following night. This will keep your internal clock in line with your schedule.
  • Prescription drugs:
    • As mentioned earlier, avoid benzodiazepines and other short acting sleep meds like ambien. These will cause a life threatening dependence and sacrifices mental well being for sleep, which is the opposite of the entire goal.
    • Gabapentin, used sparingly and in low doses, has been shown to safely improve slow wave sleep. It’s the only drug my current doctor in sleep medicine would recommend over any other drug or OTC antihistamine.
(R) = Reference link to published study or source.

Sleep Hygiene:​

  • Adopt good sleep hygiene.
  • For one thing, sleep is absolutely crucial to your success at pretty much everything, including this endeavor. It’s not (just) about getting more sleep, it’s about getting better sleep. Sleep *QUALITY* is far more important than sleep *QUANTITY*. (R)Sleep harder not longer. This means taking up certain habits around sleep. For many people, trouble getting quality sleep is often the result of bad habits and coping mechanisms developed in response to poor sleep in the past, this has lead to a kind of negative feedback loop.
    • If you want more energy (R), improved memory and cognition (R) (R) (R), better relationships (R) (R) (R), less stress (R) (R), improved mood (R),more productivity and fewer sick days (R) (R) (R) then sleep should be considered a top priority during bedtime hours. Unless there is some kind of emergency or special event, do your best to make sleep come first.
      • Trying to get all your work done? It may seem counterintuitive, but while getting things done may seem important and vital in the moment, you’ll actually get ahead with greater ease and fewer mistakes if you stop, take a break and get your sleep. For the future, while you might think you operate better under last minute stress, you’re doing yourself more harm than good in the long run by sacrificing sleep. Your future self will thank your present self for prioritizing sleep over “getting things done”. (R)
      • Everyone likes a night out on the town, just try to limit your nights out late or to earlier times.
  • Another thing about sleep learned recently in studies by Matthew Walker PhD is that during the deep phase of sleep, several things happen:
    • Cells shrink up temporarily so that cerebrospinal fluid can begin its cleanup job, carrying away extracellular waste like tau proteins and beta amyloid plaques and other junk. Lack of sufficient sleep in this phase puts you at risk for Alzheimers and other problems.
    • The production of natural killer cells goes up, these cells help your body’s defenses against viruses, harmful bacteria, cancerous cells, even death resistant senescent cells that produce harmful inflammatory signals called SASP, leading to accelerated aging. Getting less than 5 hours of sleep even on a single night can reduce the population of these bad boy assassins by up to 70%.
    • Other regenerative processes occur here, the deep phase is where you get your physical energy from during the day.
    • Caffeine, alcohol and some sleeping pills like benzodiazepines can disrupt this deep phase of sleep... not good.
  • It is vital that you sleep in total darkness. Get some blackout curtains, get rid of any nightlights in the room. Do all you can to eliminate light. (R) (R) Light raises cortisol, and inhibits its flipside, the natural production of melatonin. It’s not only the stress hormone but the wakefulness hormone. In fact, light is a great way to wake up. Using programmable lights may be a better alarm clock than sound and because it wakes you up during the lighter side of the sleep cycle, provided you get a proper 7 hours of sleep, you shouldn’t need or want a snooze button.
  • This is next bit of advice is important and one of the most often recommendations to people sleep disorders. We create psychological associations with feelings, places, smells, etc. Create a psychological association of sleep with your bedroom. So use the bedroom (or bed area) for sleep and limit its use to any other activities. Avoid the bed and even the room itself if possible except during bedtime hours in these circumstances. Stick to the living areas of your abode during all other activities. Do not watch TV, use the internet or work in bed. Don’t create an association of anxiety, stress or wakeful activities with the bed.
  • Make room for wind down activities just an hour or so before bedtime. Limit these activities to getting ready, listening to calm music or an audiobook, or watching “boring” shows on an amber shifted screen or wearing blue blocking glasses (see section on blue light).(R) (R) (see full text). (note: I no longer do this, just audiobooks now)
  • Only use the bed during an 8.5 hr time frame (one hour to buffer trouble falling asleep). Stick to a regular and consistent schedule (i.e. 23:00 to 07:30). Do not be in bed otherwise.
    • Keeping a strict in-bed time frame prevents you from associating sleep frustration with being in your bed. The goal is to mentally associate the bed with sleep1.
    • If you have a night of poor sleep, maintaining the same strict in-bed time frame helps boost your body’s sleep drive throughout the day so that at night, you have no trouble falling asleep(R) (R).
    • If your time in bed is up, even if you haven’t had a wink of sleep, get out. Just try again the following night, your success with sleep will dramatically improve.
  • Do not drink alcohol more than 3 to 4 hours prior to bedtime. (R)(R)
    • Alcohol disrupts the balance of neurotransmitters GABA and Glutamate. GABA is the inhibitory, relaxing neurotransmitter and glutamate is the excitatory neurotransmitter associated with activity, even anxiety.(R)
    • Alcohol might put you to sleep temporarily but you will not get quality rest as alcohol significantly disrupts REM sleep to a lasting degree. (R)(R)(R)
    • Alcohol disrupts sleep quality and will result in sleep disruption as a whole, preventing additional sleep time. Ever drink before bed and then wake up at 3am unable to get back to sleep? Yeah, that’s the alcohol. (R)
    • Alcohol can exacerbate the length and level of obstruction in patients diagnosed with sleep apnea. (R) Alcohol can even induce sleep apnea. (R)
    • By giving alcohol time to metabolize (rate 0.02 BAC per hour) and allowing it to drop to a BAC of .04 before going to bed, you can avoid most of the negative effects it might have on sleep. (R)
    • Frequent alcohol use can contribute to further depressive symptoms via dopamine depletion, affecting receptor sensitivity. Alcohol can also contribute to cognitive decline, possibly via its effects on sleep and the damage to neuronal stem cells. You don’t need to be a tea-totaler, but don’t drink too much, especially near bedtime.(R) (R)
  • Avoid nicotine.
    • Nicotine users (from either smoking or vaporization) sleep more poorly than non-users. Nicotine, like alcohol and THC, can disrupt REM sleep. (R)
    • Nicotine is a potent stimulant which raises heart rate and blood pressure making it more difficult to fall asleep. (R) (R)
    • Smokers have a higher prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea. The risk is a 2.5 fold increase. (R)
    • Nicotine can disrupt the circadian clock, diminishing sleep quality. (R)
    • Smoking paralyzes cilia which prevents the excretion of tar and ash from the lungs. The cilia recover from this paralysis overnight and begin to perform their duty which will disrupt sleep with fits of coughing. (R) (R)
    • Withdrawal symptoms can disrupt sleep during the night.(R)
  • Restrict the drinking of caffeinated beverages such as tea and coffee to a specific time frame that is at least 9 hours prior to bedtime. You can still drink coffee, it’s good for longevity.
    • Studies show that even consumption 6 hours prior still significantly disrupts sleep quality. (R)
    • Try drinking your last cup around 13:00 to 14:00 if your bedtime is at 23:00. Your body will adapt to this over a few days.
  • Notes on cannabis use (all things in moderation):
    • Cannabis has some benefits and drawbacks when it comes to sleep. There is still much study to be done on its effects regarding sleep quality.
      • Cannabis can improve the quality and length of stage four deep sleep. This is the physically restorative stage of sleep.(R)
      • On the other hand cannabis disrupts and shortens REM sleep essential for memory and cognition. This is a mentally restorative stage of sleep.(R)(R)
      • THC can induce paranoia and anxiety, contrary to self-reported claims by some, it is not the active anxiolytic ingredient. The non psychoactive and anti-psychotic chemical, CBD (cannabidiol), is a mild anxiolytic.(R) Most strains of marijuana contain very low levels of CBD and high levels of THC. This is something that needs to change.
    • Try to moderate your use of cannabis. Do not use it every night, take breaks for up to two weeks at a time. You will notice more dreams in this period along with improved cognition during the day due to the increase in quality REM sleep.(R)
    • If you do use cannabis:
      • Stick to vaporization as smoking can also affect sleep. (R)
      • Stick to high CBD ratio oils without added non-cannabis terpenes as CBD counters some of the negative effects on memory and has an antiinflammatory effect.(R)(R)(R)(R)(R)
      • Limit edibles as this method of ingestion may stay in your system longer (according to many thus far unsubstantiated claims), can make you more anxious, and most options for edibles in legal and non-legal states tend to have low CBD levels. There are some edible options with high CBD.
  • Avoid blue light (backlit devices) starting from 1 to 2 hours prior to bedtime.
    • Blue light disrupts the production of melatonin which is needed for quality sleep.(R)(R)(R) Conversely, a good dose of blue light in the morning can help with wakefulness. (R)
    • Settings are available on most modern smartphones to adjust backlighting towards the red end of the spectrum on a schedule, removing blue. (iPhone see System
    • Windows, Ubuntu and Mac OS have settings under display properties to adjust the display towards the red end of the spectrum based on a schedule, removing blue light. I recommend a start time of 10pm at the latest.
    • You can also purchase amber glasses to wear during the hour or two leading up to bedtime to help you sleep. For me this is very effective at inducing sleep.
    • If you can afford it, set up your abode with Philips hue colored light bulbs and set a schedule that shifts light from the blue end to the red end of the spectrum during appropriate hours (i.e. Energize theme in the morning, Relax, Red or Amber color at night). This can mimic the natural light from the rise and set of the sun.
    • Or avoid backlit devices during the sleep schedule altogether.
    • Use a projector for a TV, not only can it be far cheaper, but the screens can be much bigger. Back lit devices are hard on the retina over time.
  • Adjust your bedtime to match your body’s natural rise and fall of melatonin. This generally occurs just a few hours after sundown (22:00 in most parts of the world) for about four hours (till 02:00 or 03:00 when levels peak). It’s generally not a good idea to go to bed at 02:00 every night as higher levels may make it more difficult to sleep. (R) (R) (R)
  • According to the CBTi course at Sleepio.com, it’s highly recommended to avoid food 3 hours prior to bedtime, and more evidence is coming out of research showing that this is pretty vital (R). Food digestion and liver processing tend to disrupt important sleep stages preventing quality sleep. While this course was put together by sleep experts in the field of sleep medicine and numerous university contributions, I can’t find any solid published references for this suggestion.
  • Adopt a consistent sleep schedule. Keeping a regular and mostly unwavering schedule will establish an internal rhythm.
    • Try to sleep no less than 7 hours a night and no more than 8 if you are an adult over 25. Teenagers require at least 9 hours and kids require 10 to 14 hours. This is why most schools may just be contributing to problems possibly rooted in sleep. (R) (R)
    • If you have a sleepless night and your scheduled window of time to be in bed has lapsed, get out of bed. Do not nap. Keep an active day. Don’t worry, the goal here is to establish the rhythm and create psychological associations with the bed, dark and light, etc. Do nothing different. Hold out until the next bedtime and worry not, the naturally increased sleep drive will improve the following night’s sleep considerably.
    • Attempting to get extra sleep by staying in bed will only increase the aforementioned association of frustration with the bedroom, creating more problems down the line and napping will throw off the rhythm we’re trying to establish.
    • Consult your doctor and get tested if you find yourself tired despite having gotten at least 7 hours of sleep while following all these instructions. You may have sleep apnea. This requires an overnight stay for a sleep study and involves lots of wires.
    • Greatly limit use or do not use benzodiazepines (valium, xanax, etc) to assist with sleep. These not only result in a disruption of sleep quality but will negatively affect memory and cognition as well as increase mortality odds with chronic use. In addition, benzodiazepines will only worsen your depressive and anxious symptoms in the long run.(R) (R) (R) (R) (R) (R) (R) (R) (R) Note: Follow up cohort study concludes mortality risk is not as severe as other studies have concluded. (R)
    • Try not to use crutches like benzodiazepines, the real danger is that they’re only serving to weaken, not strengthen or help your sleep related mental and physical well-being.
  • Don’t keep a clock next to your bed and don’t check the time during the night. If you’re having a sleepless night, checking the time may only cause you more anxiety, prolonging your sleeplessness. (R)
  • I would strongly suggest not using an alarm clock. Take a chance on trusting your internal clock to wake you up at the right time. This can greatly improve how we feel when getting out of bed. If this is not enough, I personally use my trusty hue lights to turn on and slowly brighten in the mornings at a scheduled time. The cheapest bulbs are $19.
  • Use earplugs, or use white or “pink” noise to block out environmental sounds that may disrupt sleep. There are various apps which do this and your average 20 inch box fan found at any drugstore, Target or Walmart is the perfect, cheap tool for this purpose, plus it keeps the room at a lower temperature...
  • Keep temperature low if possible. 20 degrees celsius or 69 degrees fahrenheit is an ideal room temperature for enabling quality sleep. Heat can often make sleep difficult and can disrupt certain stages of sleep. (R) (R)
  • Exercise as much as four days a week. Exercise frequency has a considerable effect on sleep quality and overall mental and physical health. This is not about rock hard abs or a beach body, this is about sleep quality and mental health. Exercise is a must, to sacrifice exercise is to sacrifice sleep.(R)
  • Progressive relaxation has been shown to help a lot of people fall asleep quickly and stay asleep longer. It’s certainly been my experience that if you can keep your focus on relaxing each body part, from head to toe, again and again, you’ll fall asleep faster than simply counting sheep or doing math. For me at least, this alone has proven more effective than breathing or mindfulness meditation.
  • Suggested nutraceuticals for sleep quality:
    • L-Theanine (R)
    • Chamomile
      • Anecdotal evidence only.
      • For whatever baffling reason, there is no human research on Chamomile and sleep.
    • Magnesium (R)
      • If your diet is high in magnesium, this should suffice. Pumpkin seeds, nuts and many bean varieties are very high in magnesium.
      • It wouldn’t hurt to take 500mg or even 1000mg 45 mins before bed. Some people just use up more for whatever reason. ®
      • Sleep specialists suggest magnesium can relieve restless legs syndrome.
    • Glycine (R)
    • Melatonin (0.5 to 5 mg max depending on age) (R)
      • There is no evidence or research regarding long term effects in humans for melatonin. One could assume it is safe to use at these low doses indefinitely. Labdoor has tested samples from various brands and a number are recommended.
      • Melatonin decreases naturally with age, so as you get older, your dose should get higher. At 47 I take 5mg.
      • There are no clinical trials showing any long term dependency problems in humans.
      • An important consideration regarding melatonin in terms of dose times is that its mechanism of action may lie more so in its ability to reset the circadian clock than causing any somnolence. (R) In other words, it doesn’t make you sleepy, it just makes you sleepy at the proper time. This explains why it is effective for jet lag. So, if it’s an hour beyond your scheduled bedtime, avoid using melatonin. Take it again at the scheduled bedtime hour the following night. This will keep your internal clock in line with your schedule.
  • Prescription drugs:
    • As mentioned earlier, avoid benzodiazepines and other short acting sleep meds like ambien. These will cause a life threatening dependence and sacrifices mental well being for sleep, which is the opposite of the entire goal.
    • Gabapentin, used sparingly and in low doses, has been shown to safely improve slow wave sleep. It’s the only drug my current doctor in sleep medicine would recommend over any other drug or OTC antihistamine.
thanks dude for this high iq tread :love:
 

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