3 Sleep Hacks to Win Your Day
Caffeine, cell phone usage, and hitting the snooze button can all affect your sleep and daily productivity. Your relationship with these things can either improve or worsen your day. Do you rely on coffee to get started in the morning? Are you constantly scrolling through your phone at night? Do you hit snooze repeatedly?
Here are three simple tips to increase productivity and get better sleep:
Follow the 90-minute rule: wait at least 90 minutes after waking up to drink coffee and cut off your caffeine intake by noon.
- Cortisol: Upon waking, you have an immediate increase in cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone that helps you feel alert and awake. Drinking coffee during this time eliminates the effects of both cortisol and caffeine, and the energy boost will be less effective.
- Adenosine: By waiting 90 minutes after waking up to consume caffeine, you allow your adenosine levels to rise slightly, making the caffeine more effective at blocking the receptors in your brain and keeping you alert. Adenosine is a neurotransmitter that increases sleepiness, and your levels of adenosine slowly increase throughout the day.
- Circadian Rhythm: Drinking coffee immediately upon waking disrupts your natural rhythms, which are responsible for optimal sleep and feeling awake.
- Caffeine Dependency: Caffeine is a tool that can help you feel awake and productive, but consuming it too early in the day can lead to dependency. By waiting 90 minutes, you allow your body to rely on its natural tools to help you, eliminating the chance of becoming dependent on caffeine.
Most of us are addicted to our cell phones, which can affect our productivity and sleep. Here are some tips to help you put your phone down and feel better:
- Buy an alarm clock and plug your phone in outside of your room
- Turn on Downtime on your phone for certain apps to improve your day
- Look at your phone as a tool, not a distraction.
Hitting the snooze button can be one of the most unhealthy and unproductive things you can do to start your day. Sleep specialist Jenne Gress Smith explains that hitting snooze disrupts your sleep in two ways:
- Fragmenting what little extra sleep you’re getting, so it’s light and low quality.
- Disrupting your circadian rhythm, which regulates your awake-sleep time, by jarring your body in and out of REM or light non-REM sleep.
This pattern can cause sleep inertia, making you feel groggy and affecting your memory and decision-making abilities throughout the day.