The composition of your sleep is just as important as the duration. The composition is how much light sleep you’ve got in proportion to deep sleep and REM sleep.
Typically we go from light sleep into a deep sleep and then into the REM phase, and then we cycle back into light sleep.
A sleep cycle is approximately 90 minutes.
Most people need a minimum of seven to eight hours of sleep each night, which is roughly equivalent to five sleep cycles.
Typically, in an evening, you get about 50% light sleep, 25% of deep sleep, and 25% of REM sleep, but it doesn’t always follow.
You get more deep sleep in the first part of the night and more REM sleep in the morning.
If you wake up prematurely, it’s REM sleep that you’re probably losing out on. If you go to bed late, it’s probably deep sleep you tend to be losing out on.
The sleep staircase is a sleep routine that takes you from a very sympathetic-dominant state (top of the staircase) to a very parasympathetic-dominant state (the bottom of the staircase).
A very simple way to try and improve sleep is to go back to being a child in the context of the sleep staircase.
Improve not only the duration of your sleep but also the composition of your sleep.
Think about what your sleep staircase looks like and follow the steps down.
Consider wearing blue light-blocking glasses.
Ideally, eat a meal three to four hours before bed.
Quiet your mind. Use breath work and/or meditation.
“It helps to establish a really nice routine where the nervous system can also start to come from sympathetic to parasympathetic dominance. And I found that that’s been really good for my sleep.”
“If you haven’t quietened the mind, you will still have sleep problems. So the critical thing is to try and take stuff out of your rucksack as it were in terms of your worries.”
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