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Old 19th March 2019, 14:16   #1
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Default Good Sleep: Tips, advice & best practices

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They say, the key to physical well being is the right food, exercise & sleep. When we can have threads on weight loss, organic food, body building, quitting smoking and even medical consultations, why not for something as critical to our health as SLEEP?

Of course, we've had some threads (1 & 2), but they aren't really about best practices. Which is what I want this thread to focus on.

So, what is your sleep strategy? Here are some things that I rigorously follow for good sleep. Having become a fitness freak of late, good food + exercise + sleep have become key areas of focus for me.

• Keeping the sleeping & waking hours fixed. On weekdays, its 2230 to 0600 / 0630 hours. Works really, really well for my body.

• Equally, I never sleep more than 8 hours. Even if I've had a late night, I never push it beyond 6 hours as I don't like starting the day late.

• Comfy mattress, pillow, cold air-con & blackout curtains in the room. Luckily, I sleep very deep and no external sounds ever wake me up. We had a Mod meet in Goa recently and despite Manson banging on the door at 3 a.m., I didn't wake up.

• Winding myself down with a book from 10ish.

• Bed only for sleep & intimacy. Have even removed the TV from my bedroom.

• No blue light after 1900 hours. Minimal screen time at night. On my laptop + phone, "night mode" automatically starts at sunset. If I have to watch TV, I grab my Swannies.

• Keeping the smartphone far away from bed...some even recommend keeping it in another room!

• I don't have sugar anymore (am following LCHF eating), but I distinctly remember that sugar at night messes with sleep.

• As a rule, no work thoughts in bed.

• Minimising stress of any kind. Working at a healthy, sustainable pace. I realise this is easier said than done. But one thing for sure...as an entrepreneur, your 30s (or the first 10 years of business) are the most difficult. Post that, things settle down. It's the opposite in the corporate world where your work load & stress increase in the 40s. At least that's what I've noticed in my circle of family & friends. I now have it much easier than my friends in top corporate positions.

• No work (or minimal work) after 1800 hours. Because I start my laptop early, I have solid 10 - 11 hour workdays by 6 pm, so don't see the need to work any longer anyway.

• No caffeine post-lunch. I like my black coffee decaf'ed anyway, and throughout the day, I sip on the incredibly refreshing chamomile tea.

What are your sleeping hours & best practices?

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Old 19th March 2019, 16:25   #2
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Default Re: Good Sleep: Tips, advice & best practices

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Shifting Gears Section!
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Old 19th March 2019, 16:51   #3
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Default Re: Good Sleep: Tips, advice & best practices

Since I work from home and my job involves me keeping awake till 12 midnight or more, my strategy is to go to sleep when I'm feeling sleepy - night or day. That is, if I'm feeling sleepy at 2:00 PM (afternoon), I don't fight it. I just take a 40 min or 60 min siesta. At the end of the day, I roughly clock around 6 to 7 hours of sleep. Weekends I clock more.

Any sleep experts here? Is this a bad strategy?
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Old 19th March 2019, 16:56   #4
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Default Re: Good Sleep: Tips, advice & best practices

Good points, GTO. To add a couple:

1. Early dinner - 8.30 max if possible.

2. Not too much water before sleeping.



******


Quote:
Originally Posted by SmartCat View Post
I just take a 40 min or 60 min siesta. At the end of the day, I roughly clock around 6 to 7 hours of sleep. Weekends I clock more.

Any sleep experts here? Is this a bad strategy?
Not really, though a power-nap is shorter, and even a 20 min nap should keep you going for the rest of the day


****


Personally, struggling with sleep. Four years of late nights due work has messed up things for me. Since Dec-end, I have been trying to sleep earlier, but it just doesnt work. I am half-awake till 2.30 am, and then a good sleep till 7 am. I wish I can fall asleep by 11, and wake up by 5. But almost 3 months of trying it just not falling into place.

Last edited by condor : 19th March 2019 at 16:57.
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Old 19th March 2019, 17:00   #5
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Default Re: Good Sleep: Tips, advice & best practices

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post


• Minimising stress of any kind. Working at a healthy, sustainable pace. I realise this is easier said than done. But one thing for sure...as an entrepreneur, your 30s (or the first 10 years of business) are the most difficult. Post that, things settle down. It's the opposite in the corporate world where your work load & stress increase in the 40s. At least that's what I've noticed in my circle of family & friends.

• No work (or minimal work) after 1800 hours. Because I start my laptop early, I have solid 10 - 11 hour workdays by 6 pm, so don't see the need to work any longer anyway.
I can certainly tell you one factor that messes sleep for us corporate folks - long commutes and time zones. I held a global role having to deal with time zones upto the. Pacific Time Zones (I think only the Cook Islands were exempt!). Dealing with 200+ customers, running 110+ locations with a very lean team (read single digits). This meant

545: Wake Up
615 Get up
700 Get out
730 Get to work
With the exception of coffee breaks and a very quick lunch, continue till 3.30 then a stressful commute home and reach around 445.

My only respite was a quick tea break then 6-730 gym then back to work from 830-1030.

Too much screen time and going to bed without mentally powering down led to a burn out.

Have been on a sabbatical for just over a year. I wake up at 545 without fail unless there has been a heavy night. I go to the club for a walk and then onto breakfast. I wind up on the computer by 5. Dinner is at 8

TV is limited to 1 hour in the evening. I avoid binge watching and have not even subscribed to net flicks.

Result - my sleep has become much deeper. I rarely feel lethargic. Sometimes, I dread when my sabbatical gets over but one thing for sure, I will live schedules on my own terms.

I avoid and resent parties during the week. Although I do indulge with midnight shows once a week, I schedule an afternoon snooze. I limit alcohol intake - it affects my sleep. Am trying to reduce my snoring. I have proven through the Sleeplab App that Alcohol aggravates Apnea for me.

Apart from that listen to your body as it ages. I do all sorts of crazy things but when it tells you, it wants to sleep. Make sure that happens
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Old 19th March 2019, 17:31   #6
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Default Re: Good Sleep: Tips, advice & best practices

Possibly the worst person to comment here -

Been working from 4:30pm till 1:30am for almost a decade now and that means I not only sleep very late, but also don't get continuous sleep for various reasons.

Weekend riding, morning walks or simply the ruckus created when wife gets ready for her office means that I usually wake up before 7am. Only way to compensate is to catchup on another couple of hours of sleep between 11am to 1pm.

Is it healthy? Not sure, most defenitely no! Currently is it a matter of choice? No either!
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Old 19th March 2019, 17:33   #7
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Default Re: Good Sleep: Tips, advice & best practices

I think, surely the average time to bed is ever increasing. May be to blame the modern lifestyle, internet, TV, mobiles blah blah and the ever convoluting electrical and magnetic fields that wound all of us without we realize.

Some times during power cuts at night, my brain feels relieved. I can walk out of house, go to terrace, gaze at the stars (stars come out really well during power cuts), it is a nice stress buster. God knows what kind of man made radiations and fields we are surrounded by.

So I feel may be minimizing these as much as possible before sleep would help. For example, turn off wifi, keep mobiles away, use just bare enough electrical equipment, may be just the fan. Refrigerators and Air conditioners have high amperage especially when the compressor is on and every time the thermostat closes or breaks the circuit, emanates shock waves.

Those who sleep well are really gifted. It is certainly a habit, my dad has a discipline of hitting the bed exactly at the stroke of 10:00PM and he will be sound asleep by 10:10. I guess, to me the sleep comes in cycles. The first dizziness is the best. If I do not attend it, the next cycle of sleep will take some time and could even cross mid-night.

Anyway, some of my friends have incredible ability to control their sleep. My hostel mate at college used to keep alarm for exactly 15 minutes and he indeed sleeps the whole of that. I knew it because he snores

Last edited by Thermodynamics : 19th March 2019 at 17:52.
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Old 19th March 2019, 17:45   #8
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Default Re: Good Sleep: Tips, advice & best practices

One thing I know is, it is not just the number of hours of sleep but the quality of the sleep. People who have snoring or some other respiratory problem tend to have a 'disturbed' sleep and they don't feel fresh even after sleeping for 8 hours.
Medical experts on the forum can through more light on getting 'quality' sleep.
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Old 19th March 2019, 17:54   #9
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Default Re: Good Sleep: Tips, advice & best practices

Earlybird here.

My father disciplined me to wake up at 4AM daily since childhood with only respite on Sundays. I hated this as a kid, but now in my 20s, it's a blessing! For I'm never late for flights, and can always do better "last minute prep" for my exams. My friends hate me for this. I'd get up often before would sleep at night.

I think I've been blessed with the "keeps head on pillow, falls asleep" syndrome and kindof sleep through "gentle/moderate" storms.

However here are my 2 cents to maintaining good sleep.

1. Maintaining one's body clock. Sleeping and waking up at predefined times at correct time. I generally sleep till 10PM, but on someday if I'm partying, if I don't sleep by 11-11.30PM, I'm awake that ENTIRE NIGHT!

2. Getting a mattress and pillow combination of your choice and comfort. It's worth splurging since you'll be the sole benefactor and the value of good sleep is priceless.

3. Drinking a glass of milk. It induces hormones apart from being "the most popular suhagraat ritual". It helps one reach deeper levels of sleep, and one shall have much more vivid and interesting dreams. I was earlier having dreamless sleeps during my CA Final prep days, but this habit which I have adopted off-lately has improved my quality of sleep.

3. Never take a prolonged afternoon nap. It sends the body into hysteria. The body's Sleep Cycle (REM Cycle) is of generally 15 min (short) or 90min (long). So a power-nap of 15 mins is more effective as an hour of sleep, and one won't feel groggy ever.

4. Using your smartphone for long time immediately after waking up will cause a severe headache for the entire day!

5. Washing feet and doing Pranayaam 20 times before sleeping and after waking up shall result max benefit!

6. Drink luke warm water, irrespective of time or weather. This " dadi ka nuska" has seriously improved my bowel movements and digestion prowess, so much I can now think of having "lohe ke chane"....Happy tummy, Happy mind.

Last edited by sharktale : 19th March 2019 at 17:57.
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Old 19th March 2019, 18:04   #10
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Default Re: Good Sleep: Tips, advice & best practices

What a thread ! Thanks GTO for bringing this up.

My sleep routine: Try to hit the bed by 12~12:30 am, but this is not equal to catching sleep. Wake up at 8~8:30 am or so, and calculate sleep to ensure its minimum 6 hours and maximum 8 hours.

Going to bed : 12~12:30 am. Usually it takes some amount of time before I am asleep. Am asleep usually by 1 am.
Waking up : 8:30 am.
Breakfast : 8:45 am (tea + anything that is available)
Lunch : 11:15 am
Leave for office : 11:35-11:40 am.
Office hours 12 noon to 10 pm.
Dinner : 7:20 pm.
Late Night : Tea at 10:30 pm (I reach home at around 1:20 pm) plus some light breakfast but it can include Maggi too. BTW, I love tea.
Before sleep : A small bowl of cold milk.

Concerns : Thoughts just don't end and if they are dominant, I cant catch sleep till 3 or even 4 am.
Quality of sleep needs improvement too. Am the only one in my family to have this sleep problem. My father, despite suffering from of a fatal neuro-degenerative disorder since last few years, gets sound sleep. Similar is the case with my grandparents.

Realized that odd working hours aren't exactly good for health and the lure of greener pastures fade quickly. Those who have an evening to spare for themselves, its simply a blessing! One can go for a walk or have a family time to take stress out.

Last edited by aaggoswami : 19th March 2019 at 18:05.
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Old 19th March 2019, 18:06   #11
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Default Re: Good Sleep: Tips, advice & best practices

My sleep pattern is completely messed up due to my schedule. I work 14 hours a day running my restaurant, and reach home at 11. Every single day. Due to the nature of my work, my mind is very active even when I crash. Hence for me the important thing is to ease the mind into a calm state.

Here are a 2 external aids I use occasionally to help me fall asleep.

1) Read a cozy book. Nothing too heavy, but something that completely contrasts with my day and frame of mind. I even re-read old Asterix and Tintin Comics which I have read multiple times earlier.

2) Listen to some interesting podcast (with lights dimmed or completely out). I even catch up with news bulletins from reputed international broadcasters. But these are more insightful kinds and not the 'breaking news' kind which will only stir up more emotions.

Sometimes when I am just not in the mood for either of these, I close my eyes and try to think of something pleasant. Some nice scenery, or some holiday that I had really enjoyed. This is not easy and the mind diverts quickly. Important thing is to stay focused otherwise this approach doesn't work.
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Old 19th March 2019, 18:14   #12
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Default Re: Good Sleep: Tips, advice & best practices

On weekdays I have a fixed routine, sleep from 2240 till 0540 hours. And sharp at 6 am I'm in the gym. I have been following this routine since more than a year now. I can't seem to get sleep without AC!

Only issue is that i finish dinner by 9:30pm , ideally there should be a large enough gap between your dinner & the time you go to sleep but i can't help it since i spend 2hr + commuting back home in a crowded train & then a bus.
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Old 19th March 2019, 18:25   #13
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Default Re: Good Sleep: Tips, advice & best practices

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Possibly the worst person to comment here -

Been working from 4:30pm till 1:30am for almost a decade now and that means I not only sleep very late, but also don't get continuous sleep for various reasons.

Weekend riding, morning walks or simply the ruckus created when wife gets ready for her office means that I usually wake up before 7am. Only way to compensate is to catchup on another couple of hours of sleep between 11am to 1pm.

Is it healthy? Not sure, most defenitely no! Currently is it a matter of choice? No either!
That is pretty much my schedule as well for the last 4-5 years. For me, more than the night sleep its the after noon nap that is important and it adds very serious limitations on how can plan activities during the weekend. Have been trying to switch to a bit more normal schedule like sleeping at 11 and waking at 7 and then not sleeping in the afternoon. Cant do it for than 2-3 days in a go. My mind is just not ready to sleep at 11-12. Tried to fight it for an year, now given up on it, as I felt, it added to the stress too.

Rachit
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Old 19th March 2019, 19:15   #14
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Default Re: Good Sleep: Tips, advice & best practices

Advice that has worked well for me are as follows:

# No coffee after 12 noon. Caffeine has a half life of 4 hours so intake at 12 noon takes 8 hours to get to quarter point. I love coffee but force my self to down the last gulp before lunch.

# Early dinner. It took a while to drive this habit across the family but dinner time now is 7:00PM to 7:30PM or so. By bed time at 10PM the food is well settled.

# Like Malyaj above I browse through Tintin & Asterix & Commando comics like a child; often flip through some book on aircrafts - all stuff I have read a thousand times before.

# 5 minutes of meditation with lights out is the final clincher.

Things that disturb sleep the most - angry thoughts especially linked to work or someone you really want to fix.

Murphy's Law on sleep for couples - God puts opposites together. In my case he likes to sleep early she can't even get started till mid-night. She wants the AC on chill he does not want any AC at all. She likes to get up at 8AM he gets up at 6AM and the worst the bathroom with the master bedroom is HERS, he has to use the one at the other end of the flat.
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Old 19th March 2019, 19:55   #15
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Default Re: Good Sleep: Tips, advice & best practices

What a nice thread! And that pic in the opening post is hilarious

Am a reasonably sound sleeper but with age my average hours have gone down from 9 hours in my 20s to 8 in my 30s and now I can get by even with 6 or 7 hours a night. My only problem is waking up early. Anywhere between a 4:45 am to 6:15 am start means I need an alarm to get me out of bed (and hence groggy). Earlier than that and it's a good bet it will be a fitful sleep. But normally I don't sleep past 7 am even on weekends.

Agree with almost everything posted here. Some of my own peculiar bedtime habits (adopt them as "best practices" at your own risk!):

- Am told I snore quite a bit myself and everybody in my family does as well. As a result one trick I've developed is to fall asleep almost as soon as my head hits the pillow. If for some reason I'm still awake when my bedmate starts their snoring, it's almost certainly a sleepless night for me!

- Eat light, especially at dinnertime. In general when my weight is lower, I snore less and sleep sounder.

- Used to read a few pages of a good book just before bedtime in my younger days but nowadays the reading habit has dwindled, so if I read I will end up staying up half the night!

- My phone has no notifications set up for any app (just calls for emergencies) so that's never a distraction. I vividly remember the red flashing light on my Blackberry that was the cause of so much anxiety in the mid 00's. Once I figured out how to change that setting (and shared it with a grateful few) I was at peace!

- I set one alarm and wake up immediately. No snooze/ multiple alarms business for me. If I am too sleepy, will just switch off the alarm and wake up naturally.

- I usually can't sleep too well in an unfamiliar place or when travelling. For long-haul flights I usually sleep best when the aircraft is coasting in to land, which is ironic and rather infuriating!

- Big fan of power naps. The sweet spot for me is the 11:30 am catnap on a weekend. My family is used to it now but it was cause for some great mirth earlier.

- Am the designated sleep-inducer in my family: will cheerfully sit up with whichever child is restless and tell stories (mostly made-up, someday I shall write one of those!), sing or murmur softly till sweet oblivion is achieved.

- I loath waking people up. Will take my time to ensure they are not startled into wakefulness. Stems from my childhood (my mom follows the same rule).

- I tend to judge people by how much they sleep, unfortunately . For example, while on vacation I am always the first one up, brushed and dressed, and have to contain my impatience while the others rouse themselves slowly.

Sorta like this:

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