A month ago I finished reading Why We Sleep. Not only did I become convinced that getting high-quality sleep is the best protector and enhancer of health and cognition, but it is also the most underappreciated.

I’m shocked that sleep hygiene is not a global priority, and even more irate that my three children are expected to maintain school schedules that hinder adolescent development and contribute to mental illness. The science is sound.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve worked to systematically optimize my sleep and have experienced significant gains, ranging from a 40% to 157% increase in deep sleep! It feels amazing.

These gains have come at a cost to my social life. I’ve been leaving events early and declining entertainment opportunities in order to maintain my routine. The gains in how I feel have enabled me to do so without regret or FOMO.

Here is what I’ve been doing:

• Using Oura ring to track sleep stages, heart rate, body temperature and quantify improvement efforts
• My partner and I chose to sleep in separate bedrooms to enable controlled/customized environments
• Blacked out windows for complete darkness
• No food or liquid after 6 pm
• No caffeine, alcohol or other mental stimulants
Using f.lux to auto-optimize screen colors/brightness
Blue light blocking glasses starting at 7 pm
• 1 hour minimum wind down time before going to sleep
• 5-10 minute meditation before bed
ChiliPad over my mattress, set to 62.6F
• Room temperature set to 67F (a compromise; my partner likes it warmer)
• In bed between 8:45 pm and 9:30 pm (this is my optimal window, everyone is different)
• No morning alarms to remove pressure/stress
• Hemp/CBD oil ingested a few times a week 5 minutes before bedtime
• Occasional 15 minute infrared sauna to help dissipate body heat, warm baths also work
• A deep wave sound machine


I’m eager to learn what others are doing. Chime in on Medium or on Twitter!

Read more at Future Literacy.