Gain 1 Hour Every Day with These Simple Sleep Hacks

Just imagine! Wouldn’t it be great to have one or even two additional hours EVERY day? That makes 730h/year which is ~ 30 days or 1 month of extra time! You can use this time to do wonderful things and improve your life. Since I have found out that only the quality and not the quantity of your sleep is important I focussed on improving my sleep so that I can get up earlier and now I am feeling better than ever before. I now get up at 5 and use the time for study and since I am following the rules below I passed 10 exams in the last years. So here is what I did…

Environment

It is important that the environment you sleep in is a place where you feel comfortable and relaxed. Make sure that the bedroom is used for sleeping only (and for fun of course). This means no TV, no desk, no clutter. Tidy it up and make it a cozy place. Make sure that nothing in the bedroom reminds you of your daily problems and tasks.  Very important is that the temperature is at a relaxing level between 18 and 21 degrees Celsius. You spend about 30% of your life in bed so make sure you have a high-quality bed and mattress.

So here are the first 3 rules:

  1. Tidy up your bedroom
  2. Remove the TV, Desk and other distracting stuff
  3. Make sure the temperature is between 18-21 degrees

Light

Nature once more tells us what to do and it always amazes me how well our environment is supporting our life. What does that have to do with sleeping? Well, the sun adjusts the light temperature to our needs. So get as much natural light as possible. Move your desk to the windows if you can. Make sure you get white, cold light in the morning and warm cozy light in the evening that makes you sleepy. Do not watch computer screens before going to bed (or TV for that matter). Great helpers which I use are f.lux (a software that adjusts the light temperature of your computer) and Phillips hue, an adjustable LED light system. I created a “white light wake me up” scene to get me started every morning at 5 and in the evening i have an orange, yellow, red scene composed to make me feel sleepy.

Here are the next 3 rules:

  1. White light in the morning, warm light in the evening
  2. No electronic screens 1.5 hours before bedtime
  3. Use f.lux or Phillips hue to create the right light scene

Eat and drink

Everybody knows that healthy an nutritious food supports your sleep. But it’s not only what you eat but also when you eat and drink it. If you could have an uninterrupted sleep you would wake up much more relaxed and energetic. I always thought a glass of whine or beer before bedtime helps my sleep. In fact, it makes me tired but my sleep quality suffers dramatically. Here are 5 simple rules:

  1. No alcohol before bedtime
  2. No drinks at all up to 1.5 h before bedtime
  3. Don’t eat 2 hours before bedtime
  4. Stop drinking soda and/or coffee up to 8 hours before sleep
  5. Do not use any kind of sleeping aids

Habits

Like anything else in life, stability is of high importance. Make it a habit to get up and go to bed every day at the same time. Use the lightning system mentioned this above to flood the room with bright light in the morning. It pumps energy into your body. Don’t “turn around for 5 minutes” or snooze for another half hour. Make it a habit to get out of bed immediately. Start the day with a short exercise (i personally use the 7 minutes training for which you can find various apps on the app store). Also, make sure you regularly take a walk and get fresh air throughout the day. Here are 3 rules:

  1. Get up and go to bed every day at the same time
  2. Start the day with a morning exercise
  3. Get fresh air throughout the day

So what are YOU going to do with your 15-30 extra days ? Follow these rules and your life will change.

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