I have been trying to optimize my sleep for several years now. My goal is to sleep longer, deeper. Tech Insider recently published a videoI watched it so you don’t have to.

Here are their suggestions with my notes on each one.

1. Wake up at the same time every morning.

This step helps promote a healthy sleep drive (a desire to sleep at the end of the day).

Nick’s Note: I generally do this but I don’t use an alarm clock. My body just wakes up early. I tend to wake up around 6:45 am.

2. Avoid stimulants after midday.

Caffeine can take up to 6 hours to wear off.

Nick’s Note: I definitely do this. My goal is to not drink any caffeine after 1:00 pm. I track by the hour each night of when I last had caffeine, in order to see if there is a correlation to consuming caffeine later and sleeping better.

3. Get at least 20-30 minutes of exercise during the day.

Exercise can help you sleep better and longer.

Nick’s Note: I don’t always do this. But I live on a 5th-floor walk-up apartment. So does that count? Probably not.

4. Skip alcohol just before bed.

Drinking alcohol before bed can actually cause you to wake up during the night.

Nick’s Note: This is a big one and something that most people will find hard to do. In college, I used to think that drinking alcohol would help me sleep better. But I guess everyone knows now that though you may fall asleep easier, your quality of sleep is vastly less.

5. Set a sleeping mood by dimming the lights.

Dim lights increase the production of Melatonin in your brain.

Nick’s Note: For two weeks I experimented wearing blue blocker sunglasses to try to block out the blue lights from screens in my apartment. I have noticed that when my apartment is only lit by candles, I’m more tired much earlier.

6. Avoid screens 1 hour before bedtime.

The blue light from screens tricks your brain into thinking that it’s daytime.

Nick’s Note: This is a no-brainer. For me, not so much due to the light and how it hampers Melatonin production. But because when I’m using a screen, I get excited and engaged, so it’s hard for my brain to stop working.

I really like to read fiction on my kindle before bed and I believe that the Kindle E-reader with the E Ink screen is immune from the bad things most people associate with cell phones before bed.

7. Go to bed at the same time every night.

Routinely going to bed at the same time every night can help you wake up at the same time every day.

Nick’s Note: This is nice in theory but I’ve found it’s hard to do in practice.

Conclusion

These are some things that have helped me during my time experimenting to get a better, deeper and longer sleep. I have also found that not eating before bed, reducing carbs and reduced sugar diets seem to get me to sleep faster.

But most importantly, don’t drive yourself crazy trying to follow these steps. You can watch the full video here.

7 Steps to Better Sleep

  1. Wake up at the same time every morning.
  2. Avoid stimulants after midday.
  3. Get at least 20-30 minutes of exercise during the day.
  4. Skip alcohol just before bed.
  5. Set a sleeping mood by dimming the lights.
  6. Avoid screens 1 hour before bedtime.
  7. Go to bed at the same time every night.

What has worked for you?

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