My Sleep Routine
'm planning to make sleep a real priority for myself in 2020. Every bit of research supports it as (along with hydration) the top input for peak performance. I'm documenting my sleep routine now so that I can revisit by the end of the year and see what's changed and what's stayed the same.
Right now, I see three chemicals involved in the sleep process. Here is where I'm going to try and get them each night:
- Adenosine - high (which means you've been working during the day)
- Cortisol - low (stress, of course)
- Melatonin - rising (in response to circadian rhythms and light exposure (particularly blue light))
What I Use:
- This eye mask with bug-eyes that I think is far more comfortable than most: ($12 on amazon)
- F.lux on my computer to remove blue light after the sun sets so that melatonin starts rising towards end of the day
- Melatonin - .25mg dosage 1.5 hours before bed (most people who think they don't respond to melatonin are either taking way too much or at the wrong time.)
- Pink noise to drown out other sounds and get my brain in the right spot for stable sleep (Cleveland Clinic report)
- 4-7-8 breathing for two minutes to calm down before falling asleep (Youtube instructions) to help with lowering cortisol
- No caffeine after 5pm (usually)
- Its 22 minutes for me, but often for other people its between 18-24 minutes for the perfect length
- Goal is to get into Stage 2, but not Stage 3 , in the REM cycle. Shouldn't feel like you've been deeply asleep. It's more important to avoid going into Stage 3 than not getting enough Stage 2, meaning err on the side of making the nap too short
- In the best of cases (eye mask + pink noise + not particularly comfortable bed), I'll wake up without the alarm and without any grogginess, and within 15 minutes feel better than pre-nap
Wish me luck!
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