Here’s the latest intel on sleep. This comes from Prevention magazine.
- You may be getting your eight hours of sleep a night, but you could still be tired if you wake up in the middle of a sleep cycle. That’s according to sleep doctor Michael Breus, the author of Good Night. How do you know if you wake up during a sleep cycle? Your alarm clock will jar you awake. You’ll still feel tired when you wake up. Ideally, you want to wake up just before your alarm goes off. That’s how you know you’ve had an ideal amount of rest. So figure out what time you need to get up, and count backwards seven and a half hours. That’s the equivalent of five 90-minute sleep cycles. You want to wake up at the tail end of one. So for a 6:15am wake-up, go to bed at 10:45pm. If you still feel tired, move your bedtime 15 minutes earlier.
- The next sleep tip: eat snacks that make you drowsy. Make a batch of trail mix with walnuts and dried cherries. Both are good sources of melatonin – the hormone that regulates your sleep cycle. That snack can improve the quality of your sleep and help you nod off faster.
- The final sleep tip: Watch for this symptom – do you get up to pee in the middle of the night? Frequent nighttime bathroom breaks are a big predictor of sleep apnea! In fact, 85% of the time, people who wake up to pee have it. It’s as accurate a predictor as snoring! People with sleep apnea struggle to breathe, their heart pumps faster, and excess fluid builds up in their veins, triggering a natural diuretic which makes them need to pee. Treating sleep apnea reduces nighttime urination dramatically, boosts energy and reduces your risk of high blood pressure. So to help keep your air passage clear, try sleeping on your side more. Otherwise, you’ll need to see a doctor about wearing a special device that forces oxygen into your throat while you sleep.