Night-time routine: 5 tips from Matthew Walker for a better sleep

Scientists highlight the essentials of a good, long, deep sleep to maintain good health. Learn how to change your night routine to achieve it!

In our society, too much sleep is synonymous with weakness, or laziness, or even shame. However, for British neuroscientist Matthew Walker, it is exactly the opposite. It is common to hear that the secret of celebs or successful people is to get up at 4 or 5 am.  Really? How many hours do they sleep? Can you really perform at your best with 5 hours of sleep?

 

Lack of sleep is responsible for illness, accidents, mental health problems and fatigue that affect our families, communities and businesses.

 

 

 

From his Berkeley University Sleep Lab, Walker gives us these five tips to help you sleep better. Take what works best for you. Choose what you’re most comfortable with. And try to put your focus on a deeper rest.

1. 1. Wake up at the same time and go to sleep at the same time.

Sleep schedule is vital for quality and sleep rhythm

Staying up until late some days, getting up too late or too irregularly are habits that affect our sleep rhythm.

 

Don't sleep late on the weekends. That's one of the problems, it wreaks havoc on your biological rhythms. It's what we essentially call social jet lag.

2. 2. Low temperature

Sleep in a cool temperature around 65°F/18°C.

It is advisable to try to maintain a cool temperature in the bedroom, around 65°F/18°C.

 

That's colder than people think. The reason is that your body and brain should reduce the average temperature by about one degree Celsius.

 

It is not recommended to put the heating on. Change the thermostat and if you live in a warm environment, open the windows to at least keep one room cool.

 

This will allow your body to reach the ideal temperature to initiate a healthy deep sleep.

3. 3. Sleeping in the dark

Turn off the lights. It will improve your sleep significantly.

This has become a problem in the modern life. First of all, we've “electrified the night”, says Walker. To counteract, thick curtains or blockers should be hung from street lighting.

4. 4. Do not stay in bed awake

Do not stay in bed awake

This is one of the mistakes that many people with sleep problems make, especially those who suffer from insomnia.  They stay in bed for a long time when they wake up.

 

Walker suggest to go to another room, keep the lights dimmed and read a book, for instance.

5. 5. Limit alcohol and caffeine (if possible, avoid caffeine & nicotine)

Avoid caffeine

Try to refrain from drinking alcohol in the evening and stop having caffeine after noon.

 

It is recognized that this can be detrimental to your social life. The first thing is to cut down on meetings in a bar or a dinner with a good wine.

 

As for the second, many people tend to have tea in the afternoon or hang around a café. Opt for herbal teas such as chamomile or valerian.

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