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Sleep hacking: count sheep to fall asleep or try these 7 hacks

Sleep hacking: count sheep to fall asleep or try these 7 hacks

This article has been automatically translated from German. While our little team is working hard to provide you the best quality and resources, our multilingual capacity is still limited. Don't judge us by the Google translation please and head over to the original version in German instead.   

Sleep gives our body the chance to rest and recover. It fills up our energy stores, identifies and reinforces what has been learned, promotes our emotional resilience and invigorates the immune system. Insufficient or poor sleep leads to reduced brain performance and increases the risk of serious health problems. For indepth information on sleep see also our webinar.

7 tips to improve sleep quality

1. Chronotype: do you know yours?

Are you often wide awake late in the evening and productive or creative? Or do you tend to wake up between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m.? According to Michael Breus, the American psychologist and expert for sleep disorders, your unique chronotype, i.e. your natural biological sleep rhythm, determines your energetic (and limp) times of the day. Which chronotype are you: lion, bear, wolf or dolphin? If you know your chronotype, you can adapt your everyday life accordingly, such as the optimal times to make decisions, to be creative or to get the best AURUM powerscore. You can find out your own chronotype online: https://thepowerofwhenquiz.com/ .

2. Not snacking: stop 2-3 hours before sleeping

Just like our brain, almost every organ has its own clock and times in which it performs certain functions. Our stomach, our liver, our intestines ... This is how digestion can disturb the sleep rhythm, which in turn can disturb the biological sleep phases and make us feel tired the next day. It is therefore recommended not to eat a few hours before sleep. If falling asleep is a challenge in itself, you should avoid stimulating foods and substances, i.e. reduce coffee, alcohol and even sweets, because they increase insulin and promote the release of cortisol, which causes the "wake-up" effect.

3. Optimizing the room temperature: approx. 18 degrees Celsius

In order to fall asleep, the temperature of our body has to drop. Our biological watch therefore reduces our body temperature from its maximum value at around 4 p.m. until the lowest body temperature is reached between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. The temperature of our bedroom must therefore be relatively cool, around 18 ° C, so that our body temperature can drop and excess heat and moisture can be given off. Our core body temperature changes with our sleep-wake rhythm. It decreases during sleep and rises when awake. At the same time, the average skin temperature of the covered areas of the body tends to adjust to the core body temperature during sleep. Sleep is disturbed by too warm or too cold surroundings and our deep sleep phases resp. REM sleep phases decrease.

4. Switch off electronics / reduce screen time

We were all there - we felt really sleepy and "just grabbed the phone for a few minutes" and then scrolled for an hour. Most electronic devices, especially the screens, emit the so-called blue light, including the LED lights. Blue light disrupts our biological rhythm by suppressing melatonin - the hormone that tells our brain when to sleep - and making our bodies think it's the day. Blue light does not only enter the body through the eyes - it is also absorbed by the skin. The new blue household lights do not contain most of the infrared, violet and red light (found in sunlight). Instead, they have the intensity of the blue light at a level

A recent study, published by the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine, even showed that sleeping with the television or with a light in the room was associated with an increase of almost 5 kg in women over a period of five years.

5. Sleep in the dark and avoid light 2-3 hours before sleep

There are two general categories of electromagnetic frequency (EMF) radiation: native ( natural ) and non-native ( artificial ). Non-native electromagnetic frequencies, especially from Bluetooth devices, affect our bodies. Studies show that, for example, Bluetooth radiation can affect our sleep, our circadian rhythm, our intestines, our blood-brain barrier and thus our performance, because the effect extends to the mitochondrial level.

6. Sleep duration: enough and not too much, 7-9 hours

For most adults, it is ideal to sleep 7-9 hours. Although a small percentage of people actually take 5, the other 10 hours. While not everyone needs 8 hours of sleep, everyone can pamper themselves without a guilty conscience and spend 8 hours in bed, because this ensures that you have achieved your body's unique sleep goal. In addition, stretching promotes the production of serotonin when you wake up. Can you sleep too much? Yes. A recent study shows that sleeping longer than 10 hours can trigger metabolic disorders.

7. Sleep apps with soft, meditative music

Switching devices off, activating flight mode and placing them outside the bedroom is ideal. If you cannot imagine this, you can try this hack: certain soothing tones can relax the mind and lead more efficiently in deep and REM sleep phases. So faster, more often and for a longer period of time.

Sleep also affects our fitness performance, and vice versa

How sleep improves fitness performance:

  • Increases aerobic endurance
  • Improves speed, accuracy and response times
  • Important for muscle contraction and protein building
  • Allows greater effort during training
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Reduces the production of stress hormones
  • Keeps testosterone levels high
  • Reduces the risk of injury

How fitness improves sleep quality:

  • Extends the sleep and thus the recovery time
  • Extends deep sleep, which is considered the most relaxing phase of sleep
  • Reduces stress, which is often the cause of sleep disorders
  • Improves sleep quality

For more sleep science and in depth tips on better sleep, read this article.



"The Power of When: Learn the Best Time to do Everything," Dr. Matheus Breus, 2016










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