Shravan Venkataraman ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿš€๐Ÿ’ฐ

Shravan Venkataraman ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿš€๐Ÿ’ฐ



Sleep is the most important bio-routine for your body. The best sleep coaches/consultants charge upwards of $5000 per session for helping you optimise your sleep for better health. In this thread, you'll learn the 10 most important optimisations for free. ๐Ÿงต ๐Ÿ‘‡

Before you learn the optimisations, you'll need to learn exactly WHY they should be done. For that, you should first understand the basic mechanics of sleep and what happens behind the scenes.

1/ You have heard of the "biological clock". Your body's "circadian cycle" determines when you feel awake and when you feel sleepy. Your body does that by regulating a hormone called "melatonin".

2/ How does your body do this? It uses LIGHT. Specifically, it uses the LIGHT entering through your EYES.

3/ Suprachiasmatic Nucleus(SCN) is in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. This SCN receives direct input from the eyes.

4/ When there's more light coming through, SCN tells your body to make less melatonin and make relatively more cortisol - which makes you feel awake. Another thing that SCN does is it signals your body to raise its temperature.

5/ When there's less light, SCN tells your body to make more melatonin - which makes you feel sleepy. For effective sleep, your body should have a temperature 1-3 degrees lesser than while it is awake. So, with lesser light entering your optic nerves, the body temp drops too.

6/ Another important component in your sleep is a biochemical called "Adenosine". What is its role in sleep? Adenosine is a Central Nervous System Depressant. It inhibits many processes related to wakefulness.

7/ How does Adenosine work? When you wake up, adenosine levels in your body are the lowest. Each hour you remain awake, your body's adenosine levels start rising. Rising adenosine causes increased sleepiness. As you go to sleep, the adenosine in your body is at its max level.

8/ During your sleep, adenosine levels decrease. Just around the time you wake up, your body's adenosine reach their lower levels. Melatonin and Adenosine work together to regulate your sleep.

Now that you know the most important biochemical stuff about sleep, how does this translate to sleep optimisation?

Coffee is the most regularly consumed drink in the world. What is coffee's role in sleep? Coffee "blocks" the adenosine processing abilities of your brain. That makes you feel more "awake" or less "sleepy".

Coffee not just affects how much "awake" or "sleepy" you feel. The presence of coffee in your system also affects the quality of your sleep, more specifically the REM phase.

Coffee has a half life of 5-6 hours. But, its elimination half life may be as much as 10-12 hours. So, the optimisation #1: **Drink your last coffee of the day at least 10-12 hours before you go to sleep.**

Light and Temperature play a very important role in waking up your body. As you near the wake up time, your body's temperature also rises. Light is also associated with heat. With more light, the environmental temperature also rises.

Optimisation #2: For you to wake up naturally, you should do two things. a) Allow natural light to enter your room around the time you want to wake up (or use a natural light simulator) b) After you wake up, watch sunlight for 10-15 mins to awaken your body fully.

Optimisation #3: Your body has to become fully awake naturally. In order to let your body's natural signals work on your wakefulness, avoid drinking coffee for the first 2-3 hours after you wake up.

Optimisation #4: As I mentioned above, your body's temperature drops around the time you go to sleep. If you have issues falling asleep, you should reduce the temperature of your room (by cooling it). That's also why you are more comfortable falling asleep in a cool room.

Optimisation #5: As opposed to what you think, closing your eyes doesn't prevent light entering your optic nerve. Some light still enters your eyes even if you close them. So, by completely darkening your room, you improve melatonin secretion, which promotes sleepiness.

For completely darkening your room, you can either a) Use light blocking thick curtains Something like this: b) If you can't use such curtains, use a comforter blanket to fully cover yourself in a cool room:

Optimisation #6: It takes upto 4-5 hours after a meal, in order for your body to properly digest and finish the digestion routine. This process involves the work of muscles that digest and metabolize the food you eat.

What does this mean for sleep? If you eat just around the time you sleep then those digestion related muscles will keep working when they should be resting. This - delays your ability to fall asleep - also interferes with the deep (REM) sleep

As a result of that, your sleep quality will be worsened. You'll also feel less rested and refreshed once you wake up. So, the optimisation? Eat your last meal 4-6 hours before you go to sleep.

Dopamine is a popular hormone. It has effects on sleep. Dopamine blocks the effects of norepinephrine. Norepinephrine is involved in the secretion of melatonin. So, dopamine's presence inhibits melatonin secretion, and causes you to feel more awake (inhibits sleep).

** Optimisation #7 **: Before your bed time, avoid the activities that release dopamine in your body. - Activities that increase your heart rate (heavy exercise, running, etc.) - Even endless scrolling on social media that trigger dopamine rush which inhibits sleepiness

** Optimisation #8 ** : Dim your lights as you enter the evening time to signal your body to release more melatonin. Blue light is among the most powerful sources of inhibitors of melatonin secretion. So, in your devices use a blue light inhibitor.

You can use a software like flux on your desktops/laptops. Get the software here:

For lamps and lights, you can avoid blue light emitting LED lamps, and resort to something like the moon lamp in the image. You can get such a lamp here:

Also, an hour or two before you want to sleep, dim the lights as much as possible, and prepare your room for sleep. This means - Darkening the room - Cooling the room to a comfortable temperature - Putting on the night curtains - Avoiding devices/dopamine triggers

** Optimisation #9 ** : Your sleep happens in cycles of 90 mins. If you're setting an alarm, set for a time that's 90min multiple away from the time you go to sleep. If you go to sleep at 9PM, and want to wake up around 5, set your alarm for 4.30am or 6am.

The final one ** Optimisation #10 ** : If you want to take a nap during the day, it has to be for less than 15-20 mins. If you sleep more, you enter deep sleep stage. If you wake up before the 90m cycle ends, you'll feel tired and groggier than when you started napping.

So, - either nap for less than 20 mins - or sleep the full 90 mins in order to feel well rested and alert.

That's a wrap! If you enjoyed this thread: 1. Follow me @thebuoyantman for more of these 2. RT the tweet below to share this thread with your audience

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