Try This: 7 Steps for Better Sleep Health

Last week, we talked about how poor-quality sleep can take a toll on your heart, brain, mood, and immune health. Now it’s time to take action with part two of our sleep series!

Here are seven simple and actionable recommendations from Dr. Sunjya Schweig that anyone can use to begin to immediately sleep deeper and longer.

Try This:

1. Morning sunlight.

Step outside and let the morning sunlight hit your eyes within 10–15 minutes of waking up. This helps set your circadian rhythm and helps you wake up by telling your body to stop making melatonin and start making daytime hormones like cortisol and serotonin.

For me, morning sunlight is a non-negotiable part of my routine, and I’ve noticed a big improvement in my sleep quality after years of consistent practice.

2. Set a caffeine curfew.

Caffeine’s long half-life can disrupt your sleep, especially if you’re drinking it into the afternoon or evening. Give yourself a caffeine cut-off time to allow it to clear out from your system. Mine used to be noon, which is a great place to start. But after talking to Dr. Schweig, I moved it up to 9:00 a.m. to safeguard my sleep even more.

3. Aim for no food after 7:00 p.m. and no fluids after 8:00 p.m.

This is the schedule that I shoot for when I’m home, and I can genuinely say that I feel better when I stop eating at least three hours before bed (my bedtime is 10:00 p.m.). Recently, I’ve noticed that when I stop drinking fluids by 7:30 or 8:00 p.m., I don’t wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. I know this might not be easy for everyone, especially when you’re out socializing. If that’s the case, just pick it up when you’re back on your normal schedule.

4. Dim lights and wear blue-light-blocking glasses at least one hour before bed.

This will help simulate a nighttime environment and trigger the production of melatonin to tell your body it’s time for sleep. If you can afford it, blue-light-blocking glasses are highly recommended for protecting your sleep (and your circadian rhythm!) from junk light.

5. Avoid stimulating TV or media an hour before bed.

While zero TV before bed is optimal, I know for most people, including my wife, this is not realistic. If watching TV before bed helps you unwind, try and keep it lighthearted and save the zombie apocalypse and true crime for another time!

6. Mouth taping.

I’m a huge fan of mouth taping and highly recommend it to my friends and family with sleep issues and disordered sleep breathing like snoring or sleep apnea. Check out this newsletter for more information on the benefits of mouth taping for your heart health, oral health, and sleep and to learn how you can get started doing it.

7. Brain dump.

So many of us lie in bed tossing and turning, unable to shut our brains off at night. Whether it’s due to work stress, relationship troubles, or generally feeling overwhelmed, writing down what’s on your mind can help to unload the thoughts keeping you awake.

Don’t worry about trying to make sense of it. Just get it out of your head and on paper so you can calm your mind and have a good night’s rest.

Here’s to a good night’s sleep,
Dhru Purohit

P.S. For a step-by-step guide on how to unlock your best sleep ever, my business partner, Dr. Mark Hyman, created a free sleep master class that features eight in-depth lessons and a complimentary sleep reset workbook. Sign up for Dr. Hyman’s Sleep Master Class here.

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