Sleep is the most powerful elixir of life. A non-negotiable, biological necessity. It’s our fundamental life support system and the best chance we’ll get at immortality.
There’s an unfair stigma that oversleeping means laziness. If you enjoy your sleep, carry on. And if you struggle, read on. We’re going to help you reclaim your right to a full night of sleep. It’ll become your newest superpower.
We'll tell you the benefits of getting your head down. And, share our best hacks on how to drift off quicker.
HOW SLEEP AFFECTS OUR BRAIN
Sleep preps our brain to soak up new knowledge and retain it for longer . Think of it like a sponge. It restores and enhances our memory and learning ability every single day. Large, powerful brain waves carry bursts of electrical activity called ‘sleep spindles’ during the deepest stages of sleep. Deep sleep brain waves act as a transfer system at night, moving memories so we can keep them for longer.
You are 40% less prone to remember new memories on a lack of sleep - Mathew Walker, author of why we sleep
Those of us who don’t get enough sleep show little to none of this activity. Brain waves become much less likely to occur and it’s more difficult to commit new experiences to memory.
HOW SLEEP AFFECTS THE BODY
Sleep makes you a stronger swimmer, sort of. Men who get a full night of sleep have much higher levels of testosterone.
Men who sleep just 5 hours a night have a level of testosterone of a person 10 years their senior - Mathew Walker
So when it comes to wellness, a lack of sleep can age a man up to a decade. Get those numbers up, guys.
The amount of sleep we get also directly affects our immune system. Our natural killer cells identify dangerous and unwanted elements and get rid of them. Getting your eight hours will make sure you have a full set of these cells working for you at all times.
Getting only 4 hours of sleep a night can reduce the amount of natural killer cells in our body by up to 70% - Mathew Walker
‘Daylight savings’ is when we advance clocks during the summer months so that darkness falls later on the clock each day. It’s an incredible example of how just one hour of sleep can have an immense impact.
In the autumn when we gain one hour of sleep, there’s a 21% decrease in heart attacks the next day. In fact, this figure is the same for car crashes and road accidents. When compared to spring when we lose one hour of sleep, this increases 24%.
This also shows up in our DNA. Studies show that a lack of sleep can directly affect our DNA. With less sleep, gene activity linked to the immune system can increase or decrease.
OUR SNOOZING HACKS
L-theanine is a natural amino acid that comes from tea leaves, and is proven to increase relaxation and lower stress. This will no doubt help you sleep. If you want to learn more about L-theanine, we’ll be doing an article in the near future.
Let it all hang out:
Your brain and body actually needs to drop its core temperature between 2° to 3° degrees to get you sleeping. Sleeping naked is a great way to make sure you aren’t too hot. You’ll always find it easier to fall asleep in a room that’s too cool than too warm. Aim for your bedroom temperature to be around 65° degrees Fahrenheit, 18° celsius.
Have a hot bath:
Counter-intuitive, I know. What about keeping it cool? In fact, when we get out of a hot bath, our core body temperature drops quickly. It’ll prime your body for a more natural and deeper sleep. If you aren’t into baths, a hot shower will do.
Set multiple alarms:
Nope, not the snooze button. Setting a morning alarm is common sense for most of us, so an evening alarm should be too. Makes sense right? Give yourself that gentle nod when it’s time to wind down for the day.
Keep it consistent:
An old favourite, but the one we neglect the most; your body needs regularity. Weekday or weekend, go to bed and wake up at the same time. This will maintain and improve the quality and quantity of your sleep.
Get out of bed:
Do you ever spend hours tossing and turning? Counting down the hours and minutes till morning? Lying in bed for long periods of time causes our brain to associate our bed with restlessness. Get up and take yourself to another room until you feel ready to fall asleep.
Allow yourself an hour window to detox from your devices. That’s anything that emits lights and more importantly, blue light. Double up by turning down the lights around the house. You’ll feel that melatonin increase and the drowsiness sink in.
We all love a nightcap; it can help us drift off faster. But, it acts as a sedative and disturbs our deep REM sleep.
Cut the caffeine:
This goes without saying. But for most of us, drinking tea or coffee as early as 2pm can directly impact on our sleep. So, try to keep caffeine as a morning ritual.
So, get your head down. There’s never been a better excuse.
Today you’re the best version of you. But tomorrow, you’ll be better.
Your Arbour, an honest fit.