Ali Abdaal

Ali Abdaal

11-10-2022

16:13

We all want to get the best night's sleep possible. I recently spoke with world expert Prof. Russel Foster to get his advice. Here's a mega thread of his top tips - scroll for sleep 🧵

1) It starts in the morning 🌞 Exposure to light in the morning sets our body clocks properly. Taking a walk first thing will give your body the light it needs to tell the time and start your day right.

2) Take 20 minute naps 😴 The occasional afternoon nap can be really beneficial. As long as you don’t sleep for more than 20 minutes, you'll wake up more alert and with more energy for the rest of your day. Try it next time you're procrastinating 😜

3) Exercise often 💪 It really is true, exercise works wonders. But be careful - if you work out too close to bed you’ll raise your core temperature which will make it harder to fall asleep.

4) Find your food schedule🥘 If you can, having bigger meals in the morning or the middle of the day means that you won’t get a spike in glucose before bed.

5) Avoid too much caffeine ☕ Sorry to say, caffeine sticks around for a while after you have it. It has a half-life of 5-9 hours, so having one late in the afternoon can make it harder to snooze. Try cutting caffeine earlier in the afternoon to see if it helps.

6) Switch modes after work 🔇 Go to the gym, do something creative, read, hang out with friends. Stimulate your mind so that you feel ready to sleep when it gets to bedtime.

7) Stop using devices 📱 Not necessarily for the light, there’s a misconception here. Scrolling on social media or watching videos before bed keeps our brains active, so we're not allowing ourselves to switch off.

8) Avoid sleeping pills 💊 Sleeping pills are receptor depressants, but they are not a substitute for real sleep. Unless prescribed, avoid them if you can and try changing your pre-sleep habits.

9) Avoid alcohol too🍻 Lots of people get stuck in a cycle of drinking lots of coffee to stay awake, and then lots of alcohol to relax. This can badly disrupt our sleep and disrupt our memory.

10) No tough talk before bed 🤐 Prof. Russel says that we should avoid talking about stressful topics like family finances before bed, because this can really impact our ability to get a good night’s sleep. If somethings on your mind, try journaling to clear your thoughts.

11) Temperature 🌡️ Try and keep your room cool. If we’re too hot then our body can’t shut down properly and we won't get the best sleep. Crack open the window a bit before bed to cool things down.

12) Keep it quiet 🤫 This can be tricky, especially of you live in a city, but try and keep noise to a minimum. Try out white noise of relaxing sounds - whatever works for you.

13) Set the tone 🌌 Bright lights will keep our brains active. I use blackout blinds and they are totally worth it, especially so you don't wake up too early the next day.

14) Remove your computer 💻 Physically remove computers and TVs from your bedroom so it’s hard for you to turn them on. This can be difficult if you’re working from home but try your best to build distance between you and your laptop (and phone!)

15) Keep to a routine 📆 You don't have to be religious about it, but keeping to a rough sleep schedule will help you build a better body clock. Aiming to get ready to sleep around the same time every day is a good place to start.

16) Buy a mechanical clock ⏰ Don’t use your phone as an alarm because it encourages bad sleep habits. Get a mechanical alarm clock and cover the numbers if you have to so that they don’t distract you.

17) It’s okay to sleep alone 👫 If you sleep next to a partner, you might find that you don’t sleep as well. It is completely okay not to sleep next to your partner all the time if it improves the quality of your sleep.

18) Watch out for sleep apnoea ‼️ This is a condition where someone stops breathing while they sleep. If you notice this in yourself or your partner, you should speak to a doctor. It can be serious but is easily treatable.

19) Stay calm 🧘 If you wake up in the middle of the night, don’t panic. You will be able to go back to sleep - just spend sometime in another environment, avoid the clock, drink some water, and go back to bed when you're ready.

We tend to think of sleep as something which happens to us - not something we can control. But the truth is we can have a big impact on the quality of our sleep. For more insight into how our body clocks work, check out my convo with Prof Russel here:

Or, if you like to listen to your podcasts: And if you found this thread useful, follow me for more tips. I tweet daily about health, wealth, love, happiness and impact @AliAbdaal :)


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