How To Hack Your Natural Sleep Cycle
If health & wellness is important to you – and since you’re reading our blog, it’s safe to assume it is! – then the amount of sleep you’re getting each day should be at the forefront of your mind.
Forming good sleeping habits is the cornerstone of your overall well-being. Sleep allows your body to rest and recover from damage, plays a role in storing long-term memories, clears out harmful free radicals, and so much more.
The only time that your brain really has to perform its detoxification and rebuilding functions is during sleep.
If you’re struggling to get the right amount of sleep each day, here are some of our most helpful tips to lock in your sleep cycle and improve the duration + quality of your sleep:
First, let’s look at what happens when you first fall asleep.
Stage 1: As you first begin to nod off, your brain begins to produce alpha and theta waves to help your body begin to prepare for rest. This slows down your eye movements as well. During this stage, which lasts about 7 minutes, you can be easily woken up.
Stage 2: Your brain begins to produce bursts of activity. This is still a light stage of sleep, but slightly deeper than stage 1.
Stages 3 & 4: This is when deep sleep occurs. REM (rapid eye movement) sleep occurs in this stage. This is when your brain becomes its most active during rest. It usually takes about 90 minutes to enter REM sleep, and you can have up to 4-5 cycles of this stage every night.
REM sleep is considered the time when most of the benefits of sleep occurs, so it’s important that you reach this stage.
You want more REM sleep because not only does your brain do most of its dreaming during this phase – it’s also storing memories, clearing out toxins, and performing other essential tasks.
You need to get through the first two stages to reach REM sleep, so it’s important to set yourself up for success even before your head hits the pillow.
Keep your bedroom cool. As you fall asleep, your body naturally begins to cool off. Keeping a cooler bedroom, having sheets that are breathable, and keeping the fan on can help you fall asleep and stay asleep. There is debate, but the optimal sleep temperature is somewhere around 65-degrees F.
You should keep your bedroom as dark as possible. Consider charging your phone in another room or getting blackout curtains. Light can interrupt your sleep cycle in more ways than one.
Blue light, which is emitted from computer and phone screens, can interrupt your body’s production of melatonin. If you must use a kindle or another small screen for any reason, consider using a pair of blue-light blocking glasses at night.
Melatonin is what primes your body for rest. As the sun goes down, your body naturally produces it to ensure that you start to feel more tired and fall into restful sleep. But when you look at screens, this “resets” your body’s production of melatonin.
You should stop looking at screens at least 1-2 hours before bedtime to ensure that you naturally produce enough melatonin. But you can also supplement with melatonin to ensure restful sleep as well!
Our Tart Cherry Extract, which you can win in our giveaway linked below, naturally contains melatonin.
In addition to this, it’s a great resource to boost your antioxidant intake. As your body rests, it works to clear out damaging free radicals, which antioxidants intake. By taking this well-rounded supplement, you can support your body’s healing processes in more ways than one.
Dr. Meredith Warner is the creator of Well Theory and The Healing Sole. She is a board-certified Orthopedic Surgeon and Air Force Veteran.
She is on a mission to disrupt traditional medicine practices and promote betterment physically, spiritually and mentally to many more people. She advocates for wellness and functional health over big pharma so more people can age vibrantly with more function and less pain.
At Well Theory, Our surgeon-designed products are FDA Registered and formulated to help people:
- Manage the symptoms of musculoskeletal pain
- Recover vibrantly from orthopedic related surgeries
- Fill the gaps in our daily diets
- Manage pain associated with inflammation
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