Sleep Protocol: Best Practices For Humans

Written By: Rachel Hughes

Sleep is one of the most important but least understood aspects of our life, wellness, and longevity. Until very recently, science had no answer to the question of why we sleep, or what good it served, or why we suffer such devastating health consequences when we don't sleep. Compared to the other basic drives in life—eating, drinking, and reproducing—the purpose of sleep remained elusive.

Within the brain, sleep enriches our ability to learn, memorize, and make logical decisions. It recalibrates our emotions, restocks our immune system, fine-tunes our metabolism, and regulates our appetite. Dreaming mollifies painful memories and creates a virtual reality space in which the brain melds past and present knowledge to inspire creativity.

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Some Tips to Consider when looking to enhance sleep:

 

1. Increase Bright Light Exposure During The Day

Daily sunlight or artificial bright light can improve sleep quality and duration, especially if you have severe sleep issues or insomnia.

 

2. Reduce Blue Light Exposure in the Evening

Blue light tricks your body into thinking it's daytime. There are several ways you can reduce blue light exposure in the evening.

 

3. Don't Consume Caffeine Late in the Day

Caffeine can significantly worsen sleep quality, especially if you drink large amounts in the late afternoon or evening.

 

4. Reduce Irregular or Long Daytime Naps

Long daytime naps may impair sleep quality. If you have trouble sleeping at night, stop napping or shorten your naps.

 

5. Try to Sleep and Wake at Consistent Times

Try to get into a regular sleep/wake cycle — especially on the weekends. If possible, try to wake up naturally at a similar time every day.

 

6. Take a Melatonin Supplement

A melatonin supplement is an easy way to improve sleep quality and fall asleep faster. Take 1–5 mg around 30–60 minutes before heading to bed.

 

7. Consider These Other Supplements

Several supplements can induce relaxation and help you sleep, including:

  • Ginkgo biloba: A natural herb with many benefits, it may aid in sleep, relaxation and stress reduction, but the evidence is limited. Take 250 mg 30–60 minutes before bed.
  • Glycine: A few studies show that 3 grams of the amino acid glycine can improve sleep quality.
  • Valerian root: Several studies suggest that valerian can help you fall asleep and improve sleep quality. Take 500 mg before bed.
  • Magnesium: Responsible for over 600 reactions within your body, magnesium can improve relaxation and enhance sleep quality.
  • L-theanine: An amino acid, l-theanine can improve relaxation and sleep. Take 100–200 mg before bed.
  • Lavender: A powerful herb with many health benefits, lavender can induce a calming and sedentary effect to improve sleep. Take 80–160 mg containing 25–46% linalool.
     

8. Don't Drink Alcohol

Avoid alcohol before bed, as it can reduce nighttime melatonin production and lead to disrupted sleep patterns.

  

9. Optimize Your Bedroom Environment

Optimize your bedroom environment by eliminating external light and noise to get better sleep.

 

10. Set Your Bedroom Temperature

Test different temperatures to find out which is most comfortable for you. Around 70°F (20°C) is best for most people.

 

11. Don't Eat Late in the Evening

Consuming a large meal before bed can lead to poor sleep and hormone disruption. However, certain meals and snacks a few hours before bed may help.

 

12. Relax and Clear Your Mind in the Evening

Relaxation techniques before bed, including hot baths and meditation, may help you fall asleep.

 

13. Exercise Regularly — But Not Before Bed

Regular exercise during daylight hours is one of the best ways to ensure a good night's sleep.

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 Here are some sleep enhancing tools we recommend:

 

Why We Sleep - New York Times Best Seller book by Scientist Matthew Walker 
 
Chili Pad Single - Cools your sheets & mattress
 
LectroFan - Sound machine helps mask disruptive environmental noises
 
Oura Sleep rings Wearable to track sleep
 
Dreem - The headband precisely monitors your sleep by measuring your brain activity. It plays sound to make falling asleep easier and wake you up gently.
 
Retimer Light Therapy Glasses - For combatting jet lag
 
Blue Light Blocking Glasses - For looking at screens at night, use the Glasses before bedtime and they will maximize your melatonin levels with 99.5% blockage of Blue Light
 
Weighted therapy blanket - For anxiety, shown to stimulate deeply, decreasing stress, and promoting a sense of calm.