Biohacking Sleep & How to Improve Your sleep for maximum benefits

Better sleep a healthy, long life, and ultimate performance

Biohacking sleep is the core subject of this article. You will learn by exploring everything about the subject and how to get better at sleeping. For starters, sleeping time is more like a ritual: you have to know what your body needs to surrender to a fulfilling rest. But it is merely the biohacking sleep iceberg.

We all yearn for that time we slept like babies. Life happens, and you find yourself sleepless or not able to get quality sleep. Fortunately, you can get back to sleeping like a newborn and improve your sleep easily with the listed below methods. Keep reading and learn everything about sleep & hacks to rest better, get rid of insomnia, and feel great.

Sleep Statistics

 

Do you know that most of the sleeping stats are startling? Hold it there

statistics for sleep and insomnia in the USA

Sleep Disorders Statistics

25 Million US adults have disruptive sleep apnea (9-21% Women, 24-31% men).

48% have snoring issues.

50-70 million US adults have sleep disorders.

The most common sleep disorder is insomnia.

In the US, drowsy driving leads to 1500 to 40,000 deaths in a year.

37.9% of individuals fall asleep during the day involuntarily (1)

Sleep Deprivation Statistics

40% of 40-59-year-olds experience relatively shorter sleep duration.

37% of 20-39-year-olds experience short sleep duration.

More than 2/3 of US high school students complain of not getting 8 hours of sleep at night. A large percentage of this is from the female students.

Adults that are sleep deprived tend to develop chronic illnesses than those that experience adequate sleep.(2)

Sources

(1) https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/data_statistics.html

(2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4346655/#B4

Biohacking Sleep – Why Do We Need Quality Rest?

why do we need quality sleep

We all have the mentality that sleeping time is when our minds and bodies go for a complete shutdown. However, the truth is that our brains are pretty active during sleep (1). Is there a definitive answer as to why we sleep?

Well, there is a cocktail of reasons to why we sleep. But the bottom line is that enough sleep keeps us energetic, happy, and rejuvenated. On the other hand, inadequate sleep causes us to be overwhelmingly tired.

Why is Sleep so Important? Because it

  • Rejuvenates the body.
  • Improves brain functions.
  • Boosts the functions of the nervous system.
  • Sleep enhances growth.

Stages of Sleep.

stages of sleep for biohacking

Before starting biohacking sleep, you need to learn about different sleep stages.

Did you know that we pass through different stages as we sleep? The stages advance in a cycle, and the cycle repeats itself over and over again during sleep. Find out more about these stages here below.

What are the Four Stages of Sleep?

Stage 1

It is the stage where you can wake up pretty quickly. You are merely drifting in and out of sleep. Basically, experts refer to it as light sleep.

Stage 2

At stage two, there is no eye movement. Typically, there are infrequent bursts of sleep spindles. Furthermore, you become less aware of your surroundings, and the heartbeat becomes regular.

Stage 3

Here you experience the deepest sleep and both your breathing rate and blood pressure drop. Technically, the stage is also known as delta sleep.

Stage 4

Stage four has a lot of similarities to stage 3. Here you fall into deep sleep and experience dreams. Interestingly, sleepwalking and bedwetting happens typically during this stage.

What Is the Deepest Stage of Sleep?

what is the deepest stage of sleep

Stage 3 is the deepest stage of sleep. At this stage an individual is;

  • Completely unaware of the happenings around them.
  • Feels completely disoriented when woken up.
  • Has no eye movement.

Is Deep sleep Better than Light Sleep?

We all experience both light sleep and deep sleep during sleep. Spending more time in deep sleep is healthier as it enhances brain health and emotional processing.

Sleep Benefits – So, What Are the Real Benefits of Sleep?

benefits of sleep - why the rest is super important

With the workaholic culture that comes with contemporary culture, a lot of people have adapted to staying awake most of the night period. However, that is in contradiction to the fact that the adequate sleep we get, the more productive we become during the day. Quality rest should be part of your biohacking activities and here is why; Sleep

Reduces stress.

Lack of enough sleep triggers the production of stress hormones, which causes high blood pressure.

Improves Memory.

According to research, sleep rejuvenates the brain to make memories and also process things in a better way.

Helps with Weight Loss.

Individuals who have fewer sleep hours are likely to suffer from obesity because it affects ghrelin and leptin hormones that regulate appetite.

Sharpens Alertness.

A good night’s sleep will help you to wake up refreshed and highly alert hence a productive day ahead. It is not a coincidence that heavy sleepers tend to be better performers than those who hardly get a few hours of sleep.

Repairs Body

As you enjoy a healthy sleep, it is the time that your body is doing repairs resulting from exposure to harmful elements.

Biohacking Sleep for Work and Productivity.

biohacking sleep for productivity at work

Biohacking sleep is wholly vital when it comes to work and productivity. The reason is simple. Compromising on better sleep is the same as compromising on productivity. Essentially, Mesut Barazany puts it best by saying, “your future depends on your dreams, so go sleep.” (2)

Enough sleep is crucial for emotional stability, alertness, and the ability to learn. Therefore, it is vital to invest in healthy sleep patterns if you want to be a productive individual. Let’s now explore more on why good sleep is part and parcel of a productive day.

  • Sleep helps in consolidating anything you learned during the day. It
  • Helps in clearing any waste from the brain.
  • Assists in the storage of new information in the brain’s ‘library.’
  • Enhances creativity flow.
  • Prevents burn out.

What Does Lack Sleep Cause to the Brain?

what does lack of sleep cause to the brain

If you want your brain to work the best way possible, have biohacking sleep as part of your lifestyle. The human brain, by a big margin, is the most complex organ, and if not taken care of, it brings adverse effects to the entire body. So, what happens to your mind when there is no adequate sleep? It

  • Slows down thinking and reacting.
  • Weakens emotional and mental functions.
  • Interferes with proper decision making.
  • Sleep deprivation leads to a lack of focus and making a poor judgment.
  • Causes a delay in melatonin production, and it takes longer to fall asleep.

How Does Sleep Affect the Brain and Learning?

When you are sleep-deprived, focus and attentiveness are drifting, resulting in difficulties in receiving new information. Besides, with inadequate sleep, neurons become overworked, which inhibits the access to previously learned information. Here are ways in which insufficient sleep affects learning.

  • Reduced focus and attention because of brain waves lapse.
  • A sleep-deprived brain finds it difficult to remember things.
  • It weakens the part of the brain that enhances problem-solving.

Biohacking Sleep and Hormones Balance.

melatonin, cortisol, chrelin, leptin for biohacking sleep importance

While biohacking sleep, balancing hormones is essential.

Hormones control most of our body processes, including sleep. During sleep, several hormones are released into the bloodstream. These hormones help enhance body processes, including growth, appetite regulation, and boosting the immune system. (3)

Also, sleep hormones find use as wake-up signals. Furthermore, the hormonal changes that happen during women’s menstrual cycle reduce REM sleep. So, what are some of the hormones that are related to sleep?

Melatonin.

Melatonin is naturally secreted in the pineal gland to alert your body when it is time to get some sleep. It is also referred to as the sleep hormone because it is primarily produced to cause sleep. Melatonin supplements are recommended for individuals struggling with insomnia.

Leptin.

The leptin hormone comes from the fat cells and helps in balancing the brain energy. The sleeping habits of an individual determine leptin levels in the body. Consequently, the levels are lesser on sleep deprivation and higher on sleep extension.

Ghrelin.

Sleep deprivation increases the production of ghrelin

It is a digestive hormone that plays a significant role in weight management. Sleep deprivation increases the production of ghrelin, which stimulates more appetite, thus increasing the risks of obesity.

Cortisol.

Cortisol is the primary stress hormone of the body. In regards to sleep, it stimulates wakefulness in the morning. Very high cortisol levels lead to sleep disruptions and other complications. Hence, you should avoid elevating it too frequently.

Human Growth Hormone.

HGH is a product from the pituitary gland and is essential for growth in children and adults. It is usually released into the bloodstream by the brain during sleep. Moreover, the hormone also plays a role in sleep repair and restoration.

Tips for Biohacking Sleep.

tips for biohacking sleep

When did you ever wake up feeling energized and refreshed to face the day? If the answer is no, then it’s time you gave a thought to your sleeping patterns. Overworking at night to have more free time during the day is a common problem with many people. Another cause of unhealthy sleep patterns could be binge-watching. (4)

Whatever is the case with your problems, these biohacks for sleep can get you back to better sleeping habits;

Cover Your Eyes and Use Ear Plugs.

Eye masks and earplugs help in drifting to sleep more easily. The masks are especially a great essential for biohacking sleep for individuals that need total darkness to sleep. Choose softer masks for better comfort.

Earplugs are lifesavers for light sleepers that live in a noisy environment.

Keep Your Bedroom Clean.

Another tip for biohacking sleep is making your bedroom an ideal environment. Ensure that your bedroom is not stuffy and that it has a free circulation of air.

A clean bedroom will also keep away allergens that may interfere with your sleep quality. Spend extra several minutes every night cleaning your bedroom and you will see improvement.

No Dust.

A dusty bedroom may trigger discomfort that will hinder you from experiencing deep sleep. Wipe dust on all surfaces and vacuum the floor to remove any dust or pollen.

Clean Floors.

Wipe your floors at least once per three days to achieve zen during your sleep.

Wash your Pillow and the Beddings.

Keeping your bedding and pillowcases clean goes a long way to improve your sleep. This will keep away allergens like pet dander, pollen, dust mites, and mold out of your bedding. All these are recipes for comfortable sleep.

As a rule of thumb, you have to change your sheets and pillowcases at least ones a week and wash pillows once per two months.

Invest in Bedroom Items.

bedroom necessities for better sleep - quality bedding, blackout curtains, humidifier

If you are a biohacker, you know that your bedroom is one of the most critical areas in your home. Hence, you have to invest in the best bedroom items to make it a haven for you.

By the way, it does not have to be expensive items to make your bedroom your dream resting space. Do your research and pick the highest quality things you can afford.

Blackout Curtains.

A dark sleep environment will help you sleep better. Blackout curtains will help in keeping the bedroom darker. It sounds like no brainer, but it works as a charm.

Quality Bedding.

Invest in bedding that soothes and comforts your body so you can expect a great sleeping tide.

Wash your old bedding regularly and have extra pieces for a changeover. It is also helpful to air your bedding regularly.

Air Purifier & Humidifier.

A well-ventilated bedroom is a part of creating a conducive sleeping environment. The free-flowing and clean air helps lull you into quality slumber.

Moist from humidifier not only will help you sleep better, but also improve your skin and hair.

Soundproof Windows.

Soundproof windows help you block noise from the outside. You do not want to be wakened up in the middle of the night by noise from a neighbor’s party, driving cars, or screaming kids.

Light Exposure.

light exposure for better sleep - how to avoid

The darkness of your room matters in regards to the quality of sleep you get. Notably, exposure to light during the day keeps you energized and focused. Furthermore, exposure to darkness sends a signal to the body that it is time to sleep.

So, how do you manage light exposure during the evening time for biohacking sleep?

Align Your Circadian Rhythm With the Natural Day and Night Cycles.

Circadian rhythms are natural processes linked with the usual day cycles. You can have a better sleep by optimizing the circadian rhythm. Stick to the same rhythm, and you get better at sleeping eventually.

Expose Yourself to Blue Light in the Morning.

Ever wondered why it is highly advisable to take advantage of the early morning sunlight? Exposure to blue light in the morning inhibits melatonin production. Melatonin alerts the brain when it is sleeping time.

Eliminate blue Spectrum Lighting in the Evening.

Decreasing blue light exposure in the evening stimulates the body for more production of melatonin that facilitates sound sleep.

Working out Every Day with Hack Your Sleep.

biohacking sleep with daily workouts - woman doing side plank

Working out for biohacking sleep? Yes, you read it right!

Health experts argue that individuals who work out daily tend to have a good night’s sleep and a super energetic daytime. Furthermore, with regular exercise, you get to spend most of your sleep on the deep sleep stage.

You don’t have to become an athlete, but at least some physical activity is a must.

Watch What You Eat Before Bedtime.

Your eating habits are also an essential element in biohacking sleep. Always watch what you eat before you retire to bed to ensure that it won’t interfere with your sleep.

Remember to avoid heavy meals before bedtime because they prevent you from falling into a deep sleep. It is even a big crime to wake up and grab a bite in the middle of the night. You are disrupting your sleep, and your chances for better deep sleep are minimal.

If you are starving before your bedtime, eat a few bites of foods that contain melatonin.

Which foods contain melatonin? There are lots of amazing sources of melatonin in your favorite foods.

  • Pistachio contains the highest level of melatonin, while walnuts and almonds have it as well.
  • Cottage Cheese and Ricotta. You can mix them with melatonin reach fruits such as
  • Cherries, bananas, berries, raisins, plums, and prunes.
  • Warm milk with honey.
  • Whole wheat toast with a splash of butter and honey. (of course not as recommended at night time, but on rare occasions, it won’t hurt).

Watch When You Eat.

It matters when you eat your last meal of the day. Make sure to take dinner 2 to 4 hours before going to bed. It helps you to do away with all the discomforts you may experience after the meal before heading to bed.

Obviously, biohacking sleep should go together with other parts of biohacking such as an intermittent diet, so you count your hours.

Limit Caffeine, Alcohol, Nicotine, Chocolate, Sweets.

The stimulating effects of caffeine, chocolate, sweets, or nicotine take a long time to wear off.  Therefore, if you are a devotee of any of these, consider using them way before sleeping time.

Also, note that alcohol may cause you to feel sleepy, but it will interrupt your sleep later in the night.

Ideally, caffeine and chocolate can be taken in the morning, alcohol should be minimized to one glass of wine per week, and nicotine with sweets must be completely eliminated.

Practice Relaxation & Meditation.

woman relaxing and meditation during sunset at the waterfront

Relaxations exercises like Yoga or meditation bring about biological changes in the brain that enhance sleep. A 10 to 20-minute relaxation and meditation session can be a great bedtime routine for deep sleep.

Go to Bed and Wake up at the Same Time.

One way to align with the biological day and night cycles is by having a consistent sleeping and waking up patterns. To achieve this, you will need to come up with a daily bedtime routine that fits within 8 hours of sleep.

Lower Body Temperature Before Bedtime.

Temperature is also another vital element of biohacking sleep. Our bodies biologically have lower temperatures when we begin drifting to sleep.

Keeping cool during bedtime enhances the quality of your sleep. Moreover, taking a lukewarm shower before bed also helps in lowering the body temperature.

Use Biohacking Sleeping Supplements.

biohacking sleeping supplements to help you sleep

Did you know that you could use supplements to make your biohacking sleep lifestyle a success? Well, now you know. Combined with a wholesome diet and the natural sleep hacking practices, these supplements yield the best results. The question is: what supplements can help you sleep better?

Melatonin.

Naturally, the body produces melatonin. However, you can consider using melatonin supplements if you have been experiencing insomnia. Try from lower dose like 3mg and adjust gradually.

Magnesium Glycinate.

Magnesium glycinate supplements act as tranquilizers for triggering deep sleep as well as shortening the duration you take to fall asleep.

Adaptogenic herbs like Reishi and Ashwagandha.

The role of adaptogens is to get rid of both physical and psychological stress. Reishi is a Chinese mushroom known for enhancing healthy sleeping cycles. On the other hand, Ashwagandha is a herb for helping with stress-related sleep.

L-Tryptophan.

L-tryptophan, as an amino acid, plays a significant role in improving non-subjective sleepiness. It should be taken one to two hours before bedtime.

Back to biohacking home

Resources

(1)http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/benefits-of-sleep/why-do-we-sleep

(2)https://buffer.com/resources/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need-to-work-productively

(3)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3065172

(4)https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/sleep_hygiene.html