No matter how much we eat clean, stay hydrated, follow your skincare routine, and exercise regularly, all of this goes out the window if we don’t get quality sleep.

Sleep hygiene is so important to effective development. Eight hours of sleep isn’t eight hours of sleep. The actual quality of the sleep, ie. amount of sleep cycles, length of cycles, deepness of sleep, etc, determine if your body actually heals.

So how do you optimize sleep hygiene?

Hopefully you’re doing everything I listed at the start, eating well, staying active, staying hydrated.

Once that’s covered we need to establish a rest only area, aka the bedroom. This should be your sanctuary. No TV, no electronics, no clutter. Just a bed and your body at the end of the night.

The reason for this is because of contextual association. If your brain doesn’t associate where you sleep with ten other activities, it will automatically wind down when you enter your bedroom which is exactly what we want. For this reason, you should also wake and rest at the same time everyday.

Next is a routine.

Aim to stop eating three hours before you want to sleep so your body has time to finish digesting. Ditch the screens after dinner and go for a walk. Not only will this aid digestion but it’ll relax you.

If you come back and aren’t ready to hit the hay, do some stretching or grab a book. Both will keep you occupied and calm, versus repeatedly spiking your dopamine while scrolling your phone.

Part of screen avoidance is to also manage your natural melatonin production as we’re not built to have bright lights around past sundown.

If you’re doing everything here and still have issues sleeping well, you may need to also optimize your melatonin production. Manage your stress levels throughout the day, get some sun exposure early in the day, and consider an OTC supplement after consulting your doctor.

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