Our 50 Best Sleep Tips - Your guide to improving your sleep quality and workout recovery.

Our 50 Best Sleep Tips - Your guide to improving your sleep quality and workout recovery.

This list is meant to be used like a choose your own adventure. Hopefully you're already doing some of these things. Feel free to pick and choose the ones that are going to work the best for you. Consistency is key and the things that you are able to implement and maintain are going to be the most impactful for improving the quality of your sleep and overnight recovery. 
Sleep and Recovery Tips Thirdzy
Rhythm & Timing (Sleep Schedules)

1. Have a sleep routine.

Having a consistent sleep routine can do wonders for improving the quality of our sleep. Whether that's going to bed and waking up at the same hours each day, meditating before bed, etc. a sleep routine is encouraging of our bodies natural circadian rhythm, our internal 24-hour clock responsible for our sleep-wake cycle. A consistent sleep routine will encourage your bodies natural hormone production of cortisol in the mornings and melatonin in the evenings, the hormones that your body naturally releases to make you feel awake or sleepy. Without a proper sleep routine, the production of these hormones can get all out of whack and your body starts releasing them in inconsistent quantities at inconsistent times. We know it's not always realistic to get to bed or wake up at the exact same hours everyday of the week, but do your best to stay consistent and your body clock will be right on time.

2. Repeat after me: Sleep is not an indulgence.

Western society is tough on laziness and celebrates hustle and discipline, even when it comes at the risk of our own health and happiness. Sleep is an absolute requirement for every person and we want to reassure you that getting adequate sleep IS NOT an indulgence, it's nourishment. Step #1 in sleeping well is having a good relationship with sleep and recognizing its importance to your overall wellbeing.

3. Late in the day napping can be a source of sleep difficulty.

The supposed "Golden Hours" for napping are between 11am and 2pm. During these hours, your body experiences a natural dip in energy and alertness, which people often counter with an afternoon cup of coffee. If you are able to have a power nap during these golden hours, this can be far more replenishing than napping anytime after 2pm as this can decrease your sleep drive for later, keeping you up when you should be winding down for the night.

3. Mid-day napping can help you learn more information.

In addition to helping you catch up on sleep debt, napping can help improve long term retention of information you learned in the hours before your nap. This is a great hack for students or anyone looking to acquire a new skill. A good mid-afternoon nap can also be a quick mood and energy booster, helping you tackle the later half of your day with more gusto than if you attempt to just power through your tiredness.

4. Hitting 'snooze' actually doesn't help.

While it may be tempting to try and catch an extra few minutes of sleep after your alarm goes off in the morning, it turns out that 'hitting snooze' not only disrupts healthy sleeping patterns, but can throw off your energy levels for the rest of your day. Sleep science tells us that your body starts naturally preparing itself to way up 2 hours before you even open your eyes, so if you keep pushing that sleep threshold later and later, you're effectively throwing off your bodies natural 'time to get up' systems, making it harder for your brain to know when to wake up every morning.

5. Go outside within the 1st hour of waking up.

Light plays a big role in training and regulating your body clock. Bright light, especially blue and white natural light, early in the day helps to make you feel awake and convinces your body that it's morning. When your body thinks it's morning, it naturally releases the hormone cortisol while suppressing the hormone melatonin, encouraging wakefulness and alertness. 10-15 minutes of natural light exposure within the first hour of waking up is recommended to help best regulate your bodies production of these two key hormones that play the most significant roles in regulating your sleep-wake cycle.


In the Bedroom
(Sleep Environment & Accessories)

7. Embrace the dark.

As noted in #6. Go outside within the 1st hour of waking up, light plays a big role in training and regulating your body clock. While exposure to bright light early on in the day can be great for maintaining the rhythm of your body clock and regulate your sleep-wake cycle, exposure to bright white or blue light at night time can confuse your sleep-wake cycle and can decrease your melatonin output which should be high in the evening to trigger the transition from being awake to being asleep.

8. If you really need light at night, put it close to the floor.

The part of your eyes that communicate to your body clock is best able to detect light when it's overhead. In the evening and at night, light coming from lower down does not have as strong of an affect on the receptors that talk to your internal clock and therefore will have less of an impact on your natural hormone production that regulates your sleep-wake cycle. The angle of light coming from lower down is also more similar to the sunset, especially if you use warm coloured bulbs (orange or red), which can assist with your bodies melatonin production to encourage sleep.

9. Goldilocks your bedroom temperature.

A lot of sleep experts say to 'sleep in a cold environment.' What they really mean is 'slightly cooler than your comfortable daytime environment,' because our bodies naturally expect a dip in temperature at night due to thousands of years of sleeping in outdoor environments. Studies also show that too cold can raise your blood pressure, and cause more sleep interruptions and decrease REM sleep, but being too hot causes sleep interruptions and prevents deep sleep. So not too hot, not too cold, but juuust right is your key to better quality sleep.
get your bedroom environment right

10. Weighted blankets.

Weighted blankets have been the focus of studies for decreasing anxiety, depression and helping with insomnia. The added weight increases pressure which can stimulate your parasympathetic (rest & digest) nervous system - slowing breathing and heart rate and decreasing cortisol. So, if you're struggling to get a good nights rest because of chronic anxiety, a weighted blanket might just do the trick for helping you get the rest you need to recover.

11. Chill pads.

Chill pads are a relatively new invention to help co-sleepers who like different temperatures at night sleep better together. For instance, men tend to prefer and thrive is slightly colder temperatures that women do. Having a chill pad under one side of the bed with layered bedding can help cool you or your partner from below and ultimately help co-sleepers manage their different ideal sleeping temperatures, making for a much happier couple in the morning!

12. Get a mattress that best suits you.

As each body type is unique, everyone will have varying preferences and requirements on what type of mattress contributes to their best nights sleep. If you're prone to body aches and pains due to a health condition, occupation is physically demanding, or rigorous fitness training, than the surface you sleep on becomes increasingly important. Do the research, talk to the mattress professionals, and put aside the money you need to invest in the right mattress for you. Considering the average person spends over 200,000 hours of your lifetime sleeping, trust us when we say a good mattress is a worthy investment.

13. Pillow talk.

Reiterating the main point of #12. Get a mattress that best suits you, the surface that you sleep on plays a key role in the quality of your sleep. Chronic neck pain as a result of neglected pillows can have huge impacts on your day-to-day and is an easy fix. There's a wide variety of pillows out there, so when you're doing your research, the most important thing to consider is what kind of sleeper are you: do you tend to sleep on your side? On your back or stomach? The position you gravitate to most while sleeping will dictate the type of pillow that's best for you.

14. Put on PJs that fill you with joy - or at least don't suck.

Do you wear your oldest, rattiest, most out of shape clothes to bed? If you do - and you love it - keep on keeping on. But if you do and you find that you're kept up at night, tossing and turning, tangled in your attire - it's worth considering that your clothes might be affecting your sleep. Consider investing in pajamas that fit well, don't restrict movement, and help keep you the right temperature throughout the night. There are some cool fabrics on the market that help with moisture/sweat and cooling (if that's what you need), and others that are light and breathable but also keep in warmth. With a bit of research, we're certain that you can find really comfortable sleepwear that won't break the bank account.

15. Turn off your notifications.

Keeping your notifications on at night is inviting stress and anxiety into your bedroom. Protect the sanctity of your sleep environment by turning sleep mode or 'do not disturb' on your various devices before going to bed. There's no need to get an email, social media or text message notification when everything can wait until tomorrow.

16. Save your bed for sleeping. Get out of the 'toss and turn'

If you find yourself lying awake in bed, tossing and turning, especially in the middle of the night, getting out of bed can help. You want your brain to associate your bed with sleep, not with anxiety and restlessness. Getting out of bed and doing something calming like meditating, yoga, journaling, reading a book, a puzzle - whatever you enjoy that can be done in low light and doesn't cause a lot of noise or make you feel especially alert. Let your mind calm, then go back to bed.

17. Earplugs can help when sleeping in noisy environments.

Ideally, we would should prioritize making our bedrooms as dark, quiet and comforting as possible, but sometimes we don't always have that luxury. If you are traveling or your partner is a chronic snorer, earplugs can be your lifesaver in helping you tune everything out and encourage a deep, restful sleep.

Food & Supplements

18. Be habitual with your meal timing.

For all those who love to wine and dine later in the evening, we have some bad news for you. Anytime you consume food, your body is prompted to release insulin, the hormone that controls the amount of glucose in your bloodstream. An insulin spike in the bloodstream can signal wakefulness in the brain and mess with your ability to wind down when it comes to bedtime. Yes, even after a nice big turkey dinner, you body may feel sluggish, but your brain is still firing from the food intake. So if you're having sleep troubles and have a tendency to eat dinner later that 8pm, try pushing your dinner time a few hours earlier to see if that makes a difference in the quality of your sleep.

19. Hydration is key.

As if you need another reason to drink more water... Studies have shown there's a strong relationship between dehydration and shorter sleep duration as well as increased daytime fatigue. Dry mouth and nasal passages can increase snoring, cause discomfort, and consistently wake up you and your partner (for you co-sleepers out there). Dehydration can also cause increased heart rate, which is linked to poor sleep quality as your body is feeling stress during those critical hours of rest and recovery. Staying hydrated and balancing your fluids and electrolytes can not only help with better sleep quality, but also help with cramping, muscle tension and levelling out your hormones.

20. Drink hot tea before bed.

Now that we have a better understanding of the relationship between hydration and sleep quality, having a cozy cup of herbal tea before bed is certainly worth trying for improving sleep quality for two reasons. Chamomile tea contains antioxidants that are meant to promote sleepiness, and the comfort of a tea cup in hand and the soothing warm fluids will further promote relaxation before bed. Drinking chamomile tea is recommended, but any herbal tea will do. Just be sure to stay away from black or caffeinated teas as we'll get to the affects of caffeine before bed when we get to #20. Avoid caffeine in the afternoon and nighttime.

21. Avoid caffeine in the afternoon and nighttime.

Caffeine works to make you feel more alert by stopping you from feeling the effects of a chemical in your brain called adenosine. The more your brain senses adenosine, the more you feel sleepy. When you drink caffeine later in the afternoon or evening, your adenosine signals get overridden in the brain and your natural drive to wind down and go to sleep temporarily goes away. Even if you don't think you're 'caffeine sensitive,' cutting off caffeine before 2pm will do wonders for helping you get better sleep, rest and recovery at night. If you're needing an energy boost later in the day, try going for a brisk walk outside, or meditating for 10-15 minutes before reaching for that extra cup of joe.

22. If you're into adult beverages, happy hour is your golden hour.

Nagging on the booze again hey? We can't help it! As fun as the buzz from a few drinks can be, the reality is that alcohol disrupts melatonin production, changes the way your brain works while sleeping, and is generally not conducive to anything health and fitness related. Alcohol consumption increases the rate of fat storage, blocks the cell machinery needed for muscle building, and it's damaging to your organs... HOWEVER, we like a nice glass of wine or a cocktail from time to time too! So why not aim to drink with minimal negative impact? As it turns out, scientists have been looking at our detox genes and they are more active at certain hours of the day. While more research is needed, signs point to having peak detox capacity in the late afternoon and early evening (and it's worst between midnight and 8 am). So if you're going to have a few drinks, your best bet is at happy hour to maximize detox capacity and give lots of time before bed for your liver to clear the alcohol out.

23. Sugar is not your friend.

Sugar spikes = cortisol spikes. While cortisol is naturally produced in the body throughout the day, especially in the morning to boost your alertness, after food consumption and if you experience any stress or physical activities throughout the day, encouraging additional cortisol spikes with artificial and/or natural sugars will work against your natural sleep-wake cycles. Too much sugar consumption in general can lead to a whole array of health problems, so be mindful if you're habituated to post dinner desserts or late night sugar cravings as these can not only mess with your sleep but overall health.

24. Probiotics.

New studies have shown that consistent changes in your light-dark schedules and feeding patterns can actually change the rhythmic fluctuations and composition of your gut microbes. Imbalances in gut microbes have been linked to all sorts of digestion issues, obesity and weight gain, but is now also understood to have an impact on the quality of peoples sleep. A small study conducted with 38 healthy volunteers issued half the people a mix of probiotic strains and half the people a placebo. The results of the study showed that those given the probiotic supplements reported having slept better and less fatigue throughout the duration of the 6-week study. You can get probiotics from a variety of foods such as yogurt, kefir, kombucha, miso, etc. or you can find them in supplement form at your local pharmacy or grocery store. A happy gut is a happy life (and sleep).

25. Get more GABA.

GABA (Gamma Aminobutyric Acid) is a naturally occurring amino acid that works as a neurotransmitter in the brain and is a key player in the transition from you being awake to being asleep. For you to not only stay asleep but also have good quality sleep, your stress response system needs to stay quiet so your brain can be able to transition between the different types of brain waves and phases of light, deep and REM sleep without being interrupted. Your GABA is responsible for blocking certain signals to your brain, like your stress response system, to help your nervous system relax so you can sleep. Nowadays, you can find GABA in supplement form, although there's some debate as to how much supplemental GABA actually gets to the brain. Valerian root and L-theanine also help to naturally boost your GABA levels.

26. Magnesium is one of natures best chill pills.

Magnesium is a vital mineral that is essential for hundreds of metabolic processes and many other important bodily functions. In the context of sleep aid, magnesium helps the body to destress as its involved in helping activate GABA (listed above) - which is your primary brain chemical involved in quieting down your mind and calming. Magnesium is also an important electrolyte and can help keep your muscles from being too tense and twitching/cramping for no reason. Magnesium also helps clear lactic acid, which helps muscles recovery after vigorous workouts. Your body does not produce magnesium, it's a mineral that is acquired through your diet and supplements. For added muscle relaxation, you can absorb it through your skin in a magnesium salt bath or with topical magnesium spray. We tend to burn through magnesium quickly - especially when working out and sweating, so make sure you're getting your adequate intake to improve rest and recovery.

27. Use collagen to up your sleep and recovery game. 

Simply put, collagen is the most plentiful protein in the body and one of the major building blocks of bones, skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Taking collagen supplements can offer a wide range of health benefits. When you ingest collagen, the little protein bits (aka peptides) can act as signalling molecules affecting growth in muscle cells (myoblasts) and cartilage in your joints. They can also help decrease inflammation, decrease muscle soreness, and accelerate recovery of muscle function after damage. The glycine in collagen also helps with sleep by acting as a calming brain chemical. We are huge advocates for collagen as a sleep supplement support because its proven to promote deep, restful sleep and efficient workout recovery.

28. Tap into some of OG sleeping aids - herbs!

Herbs are an exciting area of research in plant medicine. Some herbs, like chamomile (mentioned in #20. Drink hot tea before bed), have been used for thousands of years in traditional medicines. Only now do we have the technology to look at the different properties of ancient herbal remedies and medicines to figure out how they actually work so we can be more effective at using them to help people. Among the most well researched herbs for sleep aid are valerian root, lemon balm, passion flower, and hops (yes, hops as in what's used to flavour beer). Studies show taking these herbal supplements has proven beneficial effects on sleep quality, less time to fall asleep, and generally help with relaxation. This is because all of these herbs work on pathways and receptors in the brain that help with mood regulation, sedation and sleep. Best to always consult your healthcare professional before incorporating new supplements into your daily routine.

29. Use melatonin to get your bedtime right.

Melatonin supplements can be super useful if you need to nudge your sleep-wake cycle in a new direction. It's best used to correct your schedule if you've lost your rhythm (such as overcoming jet-lag after travel, adjusting to shift work, social gatherings, etc.) Supplementing with melatonin helps because it amplifies the signal of your natural melatonin hormone release, signalling to your brain that nighttime is approaching (whether it actually is or not) and it's time to sleep. The use of melatonin comes with some side effects, so be sure to do your research and consult your healthcare professional before prolonged use. 

Sleep Tech

30. Track your sleep.

If you’re serious about wanting to get better sleep, tracking your sleep is key. You need to understand your sleeping patterns so that you’re able to identify what’s standing in the way of you and your best sleeps. Simply start by tracking when you went to bed, when you woke up, and if you ever wake up feeling like you had a not so great sleep the night before, keep a record of what you feel the ‘issue’ might have been. Maybe your bedroom was too hot, you ate dinner later than normal, you had a few too many glasses of wine, work life stressors were keeping you up all night, etc. Over time, your sleep record will begin to reveal clues as to why you aren’t getting quality good night sleeps and only then will you be able to start making the right adjustments towards achieving your best sleeps yet.

31. Nerd out on your Heart Rate Variability (with wearable tech).

Wearable technology has come a long way from just counting your steps. Modern wearables like Whoop, Oura ring, and Apple Watch can now track your heart rate, blood oxygen levels, night time movements, breathing rate, and - our fave- Heart Rate Variablility (HRV). HRV is a measure of how well your nervous system is adapting to stress. After a really intense workout, your HRV goes way down, and then as your body recovers, your HRV will go back up. Interestingly, there isn't one 'ideal' HRV to shoot for. Instead, tracking your HRV regularly is the best way to know what's 'good' for you and when you're outside of your normal range. A downward trend in your HRV over several days is worth paying attention to as it might be an indication that your workouts are too intense, your immune system is suffering, poor diet, dehydration or that you're not getting enough sleep.

32. Binurial beats.

Sound is powerful. Sound produces waves that can influence the electrical waves produced by your brain. Each phase of sleep is accompanied by a different type of wave. Deep sleep is characterized by delta waves, while REM sleep is characterized by slow alpha and theta waves. Researchers have been playing around with ways to help your brain intensify its waves to improve sleep quality. Binaural beats are one of the ways this is being done. By putting sound with very specific frequencies in each ear, researchers have been able to nudge peoples brains into medatative and better quality sleep states. While more research is needed, its certainly a hack worth trying to see if you're brain benefits from exposure to these beats that have been associated with relaxation, decreased anxiety, and higher creativity.

33. Listen to music

Sometimes some good tunes are all you need to wind down for a perfect sleep. Studies have shown that listening to music causes the release of dopamine - our pleasure hormone - to be released in our brains. Listening to music also decreases the stress chemicals and can even reduce pain signals. Calming music has been shown to help people fall asleep faster and have better quality sleep. We recommend using the same music every night as part of your sleep routine, this will have an enhanced effect over time as your brain starts to associate that specific music with relaxation and sleep.

34. Use soothing smells to trigger your sleep vibe.

Like your eyes, your nose has direct connection to your brain, and more specifically to the emotional processing areas of your brain, the limbic system. You can use this nose-brain connection to your advantage when trying to get better sleep by filling your bedroom with soothing smells that are calming to the brain. Essential oils, like lavender, have been studied extensively and lavendar specifically has been shown to help reduce stress levels, pain intensity, improve mood, decrease anxiety and has been linked with an increase in sleep quality and even treat insomnia. Bergamot (the stuff that gives Earl Grey tea its signature smell and flavor) is another great option and has been shown to help decrease cortisol (the stress hormone), decrease anxiety, and help with falling asleep.


35. Try Stretching

Gentle stretching is a great way to get out of your head and into your body before bed. Stretching helps to improve blood flow and relieve tension. After a long day at your desk or an intense workout, stretching can do wonders to help your body unwind and start to recover before bed. Stretching has also been linked to an increase in Heart Rate Variability (HRV) (refer back to #31. Nerd out on your Heart Rate Variability (with wearable tech)), which is a sign that your nervous system is shifting to have more input from the parasympathetic (rest and digest) system - and is also linked to better sleep quality.

36. Do some Yoga - Namaste.

Similar to stretching, yoga can be extremely helpful for releasing tension, improving blood flow, and deeper breathing. The difference between simple stretching and yoga is that yoga is essentially stretching, strengthening and conditioning in alignment with specific breath-work and mindfulness/meditation. In a large national survey conducted by Harvard Medical School found that "55% of people indicated that doing yoga helped them sleep better and 85% indicated that it helps them to relax."

37. Take a hot bath or shower.

The sleepy effects of a hot bath or shower come from the way your body heats up and then cools down afterwards. When you spend 10 minutes in some steamy water, your blood flows to the surface of your skin, and when you get out, you'll actually experience a drop in your core temperature. Part of you body's natural sleep transition is a drop in temperature, therefore having a hot bath 90 minutes to an hour before bed can exagerate this effect, cueing your brain to sleep like a rock.

38. Exercise, especially early in the day.

Even as little as 5 minutes of aerobic exercise (movement that gets your heart rate up) has been proven to be associated with an improvement in peoples overall brain chemistry and hormones away from stress and anxiety and toward a calm, happy state. Exercise is also associated with an increase in deep, slow-wave sleep. Since vigorous movement increases body temperature, heart rate, and alertness, it's best to finish working out more than 3 hours before bed time to allow sufficient time to wind down.

39. Don't be a mouth breather.

Breathing through your nose is critical for a good night’s sleep. Compared to mouth breathing, nasal breathing causes less snoring and is associated with less daytime sleepiness. Breathing through your nose triggers release of nitrous oxide which improves your lungs’ ability to absorb oxygen. Your nose also acts as a filter for small particles getting into your airway, and increases the moisture of the air entering your lungs which is important for preventing dryness and infection. Of course, you may be stuck with a night or two mouth breathing if you're stuffed up from a bad cold, but if you're breathing through your mouth all night every night, it may be time to revisit either your sleeping position, choice of pillow, or whatever underlying health issues that may be causing you to resort to constantly breathe through your mouth.

40. Honor thy hormones.

Without going too deep into the details of this big, complicated topic: sleep affects hormones and hormones affect sleep. For the ladies, body temperature and sleep quantity / quality fluctuate over the course of your monthly cycle. In general, you need a bit more sleep during your period and less right after. During menopause, big fluctuations in hormones lead to big body temperature fluctuations and contribute to insomnia in many women. For men, testosterone levels can also affect your body temperature and sleep quality. If you have insomnia or chronic sleep disturbances, getting your hormones checked can be a good starting point for solving the mystery of your poor sleep. Also note that hormone affecting conditions and medications (such as birth control) can dramatically affect sleep.

41. Take a walk in the evening.

Going for a walk is an easy and effective way to calm your mind. Walking brings you into the present moment in your body and calms you down through something called optic flow. Stanford scientist Andrew Huberman notes the calming affects of optic flow because of "the actual movement of objects past us as we walk quiets some of the circuits that are responsible for stress." If you've had a rough day or you can't shake the stress of work, going for a walk in the evening is a great way to unwind and relax before getting ready for bed.

42. Rub it out.

Massages have been known to decrease tension and increase serotonin. They help improve blood flow and reduce aches and pains that may be responsible for keeping you up at night. Tissue massage also helps improve your brain chemistry required for relaxation and restorative sleep. If you can't afford to get regular massages from a practitioner, ask your partner for a helping hand or give yourself a massage of the neck, shoulders and muscle areas that experiencing pain and tension before bedtime.


43. Empty your head.

Before getting into bed, make a list of all the things you need to do tomorrow so that you don't spend the whole night ruminating over tasks you don't plan on tackling until tomorrow anyways. Making lists also ensures you won't forget anything and makes for a less anxious night time.

44. Practice pre-bed meditation.

Meditation can be a powerful relaxation technique that has been known to lower cortisol, calm the mind, and increase alpha brain waves - the same kind of brain waves produced when you're dreaming. A quiet, relaxing guided Youtube meditation can help steer your mind away from the stresses of the day and ease you into an ideal sleep state.

45. Deal or no deal (negotiations with your anxious self)

Our brains are surprisingly responsive to acknowledgement and suggestion. If you're ruminating over a problem or challenge that is important to you, acknowledging that it is important is a big first step towards letting it go for the moment. We tend to hold on more tightly to things when we lie to ourselves or try to ignore our problems. Instead of sitting in the dark trying to will yourself to 'not think' or 'think about something else,' try telling yourself, "I know this is important, so I want to come back to it when I'm well rested." Then pick a specific time the next day to do so. You can even actually schedule a meeting with yourself. If the thoughts start creeping back in, remind yourself that you will do a full review the following day.

46. Breathing - pre-bed breath work.

There is a reason why breath work is recommended for everything from meditation and yoga to anger management - changing your breathing can actually change your physiology. There are a few very powerful connectors that live at the junction between your conscious control and your subconscious mind - your diaphragm is one of these connectors. Much like fear, anxiety, and anger, which tend to bubble up out of our unconscious, driving moods and behaviours that we would generally rather avoid, sleep is outside of our conscious control. We can't will ourselves to sleep. Instead, we have to work with our body to create the right environment in our brain for sleep. Breathing intentionally can help to de-stress, and shift our physiology toward sleep. There are tons of different techniques, try searching "breath work and sleep" and find the one you like best.

47. Don't watch the news right before bed.

Everything you put into your body affects your physical and mental health - including what you put in your eye and ear holes. The information you consume has a direct affect on your mood and mental health. The news is almost exclusively negative these days for click-bait purposes, and constant consumption of negative news over time spills over into other parts of your life. It activates your stress response and the fear center in your brain making it harder to get out of cycles of negative thoughts and harder manage negative emotions - which over time will contribute to sleep problems. While it's important to stay informed, you don't need to keep a constant eye on all that negativity that for the most part is out of your control.

48. Read real, old fashioned books

Getting absorbed in a good story is a fantastic way to turn down your internal dialogue and brain chatter. Putting on a good movie can also have this affect, but the difference is that a real book with soft lighting increases gentle side-to-side eye movements, which is calming, and limits exposure to the blue and white lights that screens put out.

49. Stop thinking about NOT sleeping.

Here is a sure fire way to NOT sleep: spending a ton of time and energy worrying about not sleeping. When you constantly ruminate on how you know you're not going to sleep and how tired and shitty you're going to feel tomorrow, this is recipe to ensure activation of your stress responses and keeps your brain chemistry really excited. We've working really hard at the above list of sleep hacks, and some of them are dedicated to ways to get you out of your head and shift your biology to a relaxed state, primed for sleep. We know that using your mind to change your mind is hard, so If you have chronic sleep problems and are frustrated, it becomes even harder to focus on anything other than NOT sleeping. Review and review again the list above and start implementing these sleep hacks into your life and start working towards better sleeps today.

50. Do more things that make you happy.

Spending more time on the things that make you happy can cause chemical shifts in your body and brain. When we're happy, our bodies experience a decreases cortisol (the stress hormone), and an increase serotonin and melatonin. Happy brains sleep better.

Sleep tight,
Dr. J

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