Summary of Sleep Smarter: 21 Essential Strategies to Sleep Your Way to A Better Body, Better Health, and Bigger Success
Life gets busy. Has Sleep Smarter by Shawn Steven been sitting on your reading list? Learn the key insights now.
About Shawn Stevenson
Shawn Stevenson is a health and wellness expert, author, and speaker. He’s also the creator of The Model Health Show, the #1 health podcast in the U.S., with millions of downloads each year. Stevenson graduated from the University of Missouri, St. Louis, where he studied business, biology, and nutritional science. He co-founded Advanced Integrative Health Alliance, a successful company that provides Wellness Services for individuals and organizations worldwide. Stevenson has been featured in Forbes, Fast Company, The New York Times, Muscle & Fitness, ABC News, ESPN, and many other major media outlets.
“A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything.”– Shawn Stevenson
Have you ever wondered how to boost your health through healthier sleeping habits? Sleep Smarter teaches you how to do exactly that.
Too many of us fail to understand the value of sleep and the incredible impact sleep can have on our health. This 290-page book gives readers actionable tips. You can use these tips to sleep better, feel better, and do better.
StoryShot #1: Sleep Is Critical for Optimal Productivity and More
“You will perform better, make better decisions, and have a better body when you get the sleep you require.”― Shawn Stevenson
Have you ever wondered why sleep is valuable? The average person spends one-third or nearly 230,000 hours sleeping in their lifetime. That can make getting in your 8 hours feel like a massive waste of time.
Many of us don’t know that getting enough rest is critical to optimizing the time we aren’t sleeping. Sleeping enough and sleeping well are essential for being productive during daylight hours.
Our brains need a compound called glucose to function optimally. And studies show that people who sleep less tend to have less glucose in their brain tissue. This phenomenon is mainly present in the prefrontal cortex, which helps us solve problems and perform more complex cognitive tasks.
Sleep handles everything from regulating our appetite and consolidating memories to strengthening immune system function and repairing damaged cells.
Sleep is precious for your health for these reasons and many more.
StoryShot #2: Sun and Screen Exposure Can Throw Off Your Circadian Rhythm
Humans need light. Since the dawn of human time, we’ve required sunlight to produce vitamin D. Our bodies can’t make this vitamin naturally. But we also need light because it regulates the circadian rhythm, aka our sleep-wake schedule.
Light exposure correlates with your sleep schedule because of a hormone called melatonin. Melatonin tells our brains when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to wake up. Melatonin needs exposure to sunlight during the day.
You can throw off your melatonin levels if you get too much light exposure when you’re supposed to be sleeping. This effect is why sleep scientists recommend not using blue-light screens before you go to bed.
“…Make it a mandate to turn off all screens at least 90 minutes before bedtime in order to allow melatonin and cortisol levels to normalize.”― Shawn Stevenson
StoryShot #3: Temperature Is the Most Important Factor for Sleeping Well
Your body has not only an internal alarm clock but also an internal temperature regulator. The circadian rhythm regulates both processes.
During the day, your body maintains a warmer temperature. However, your internal body temperature drops toward bedtime. Your body temperature will then progressively decrease as you sleep, hitting its lowest point in the day around dawn.
Studies show that optimal temperature is critical for getting to sleep fast and feeling like you’ve got a good night’s rest (i.e., higher sleep quality). A recent study showed that sleeping in a room that’s too warm significantly impacted work performance the following day.
A recommendation here is to sleep in a room set at 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 degrees Celsius). This may vary by a few degrees from person to person, but most doctors recommend keeping the thermostat set between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit (15.6 to 19.4 degrees Celsius) for the most comfortable sleep.
Don’t set your thermostat too low. Otherwise, you’ll need more blankets. More blankets can raise your internal body temperature and disrupt your sleep.
StoryShot #4: Going to Bed at the Same Time and Waking Up Early Improves Sleep Quality
Another factor that has a significant impact on sleep quality is timing. Specifically, timing includes when you go to bed and wake up.
Ideally, you should go to bed at the same time each night. However, because the optimal sleeping hours are between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., you should try to sleep at 9 p.m. at the latest.
Getting up early in the morning is another recommendation for getting the most out of sleep. Humans have evolved to rise with the sun. That means your body optimizes your circadian rhythm for an early morning start.
It’s also important to talk about how long you should sleep here. Adult men between 18 and 64 should shoot for at least 7 hours of shut-eye and up to 9 hours. If you’re over 65, you shouldn’t need more than 8 hours of sleep per night.
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