TLDR: Tools For Better Sleep


Sleep station from this weekend

Sleep is the foundation of good health. Whether you want to build muscle, lose weight, regulate hormones, avoid cognitive decline, or retain information – all of this is improved with quality sleep.

Andrew Huberman, the GOAT of applied health science podcasting, recently released a “sleep toolkit” podcast episode. That in conjunction with Matthew Walker’s “Why Do We Sleep” will be the main sources for today’s material. I’ll approach this in a similar way to one of my previous posts, TLDR Intermittent Fasting.

Toolkit for better sleep 🛠😴📈

  • Increase body temperature early in the day by getting sunlight as soon as you wake for at least 5-10 minutes, take a cold shower, or exercise (could do all three). This increases the already spiking cortisol in your system which raises body temperature and increases alertness naturally.
  • Delay caffeine intake until 90 minutes after waking. This will avoid a crash later in the day by allowing your body to naturally clear out the adenosine in your brain before caffeine consumption.
  • Avoid caffeine consumption after 2 or 4pm.
  • Having a larger meal earlier in the day will decrease alertness. If you want to be alert, have a lighter breakfast. Avoid eating within 2-4 hours before bed.
  • If you nap, do so early in the afternoon for no longer than 90 minutes. Another good option is a non-sleep-deep-rest script which you can get on Youtube here.
  • Getting sunlight into your retinas later in the day as the sun is setting will inoculate you from artificial light that may be in your house later in the day. That said, it is best as you begin to wind down to have dimmer lights on in your home, which is preferably at eye level or lower (i.e. overhead lights during morning/day, floor lamps or desk lamps at night)
  • Avoid artificial light as much as possible at night. Especially between 10pm and 4am. Do not look at your phone if you wake up in the middle of the night, this will disrupt your sleep immensely.
  • Sleep in a cool environment; air conditioning, fan, open window, or cooling mattress pad are options here depending on your location and situation.
  • You can drop your body temperature before bed with a brief hot shower, bath, or sauna.
  • Breathing through your nose is one way to prevent sleep apnea. Practice breathing through your nose throughout the day when exercising or resting. One way to build this habit at night is to lightly tape your mouth shut with medical tape.
  • On the weekend, wake up within one hour of when you wake during the week. Even if you went to bed late, it is better to wake around the same time and catch a nap later in the day than it is to sleep much later.
  • For further reading check out this post from Huberman himself, this episode for how to handle shift work or jet lag, or this book by Matthew Walker if you want to deep dive on the topic.

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Purlear, NC. Home of the aforementioned cabin.

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