How much sleep is actually necessary for us? That must depend on how old you are, right? Have you ever wondered why you sleep for an adequate amount of time some nights, and still feel tired, or sluggish? What if there was a way we could “hack” our sleep?
The answer lies within the quality, not quantity of sleep we receive each night. Although doctors have emphasized the importance of getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night for many years, our energy levels, metabolic levels and numerous other factors of health are strongly related with the quality of sleep. In order to hack our sleep, we need to first address one of the main barriers that prevents us from doing so, TECHNOLOGY. We are constantly stimulated by our gadgets and “glowing objects” as Dave Asprey from Bulletproof Executive, describes it. Recent studies are now showing the decline in our bodies to produce melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone when we use our iPhones, tablets or other smartphones close to bedtime. Additionally, this disrupts our REM (rapid-eye movement) sleep in which we actively dream. A person in REM sleep experiences alpha, theta and beta waves, which are coherent with high-level, active concentration thinking. Therefore, the more REM sleep we experience, in contrast to light or Non-REM sleep, the better off we will be! This is not just in terms of physical health, but also emotional and mainly psychological health. If we want to hack our sleep, we can do something that naturally causes our brains to produce melatonin before going to bed, such as reading a good book or doing some calm, meditative state yoga. Also, you can tune into some soothing music or even play it!