Week 6: Reflect on your days!

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This week focuses on behaviors you can do during the day, to help you have a better night, which will help you feel good the next day!
  • Talk to your doctor to find out if health issues (ex. pain, acid reflux, allergies, medications) might be affecting your sleep.
  • SleepScore App Tip: For a more in-depth look at your sleep, check out the Sleep Report for your Doctor, a deep dive analysis into the last 30 nights of your sleep! If necessary, you can share the report with your doctor to determine the right treatment plan for you.
  • Get moving in the morning! Regular exercise has so many health benefits, including improving your sleep! But working out close to bedtime can make it harder to drift off and stay asleep.
  • SleepScore App Tip: You can track your exercise in the Daily Questions feature of the app and start to track how exercise can impact your sleep.
  • Caffeine is a stimulant that takes hours to leave your system. A tip for making sure caffeine doesn’t interfere with your sleep is to stop consuming it by 2pm.
  • Try a variety of decaffeinated beverages to find out which taste good to you. Then you can enjoy those beverages in the afternoon and evening instead of caffeinated drinks.
  • Eating close to bedtime keeps your body busy digesting food, which can disrupt your sleep. if you feel you must have a snack close to bedtime, remember to keep it small.
  • Getting enough sleep can help you manage your weight! Numerous research studies have shown links between lack of sleep and increased snacking and weight gain. When sleep deprived, you’re more likely to consume more and more likely to find unhealthy foods appealing.
  • Even though alcohol can induce a sleepy feeling, it interferes with sleep later in the night. During the second half of the night, you’re likely to experience lighter sleep and more frequent periods of being awake.
  • If you drink alcohol, allow 3 hours between your last drink of the evening and your bedtime. The amount of alcohol that you drink also makes a difference, so educate yourself about the alcohol content of different types of beverages. To avoid negatively impacting your sleep, don’t exceed 2 units of alcohol.
  • Finish working, turn off smartphone notifications, and jot down a to do list for tomorrow at least 2 hours before bedtime. This will help clear your mind for sleep.
  • Did you know? Excessive social media use has been linked to stress and disturbed sleep. Although scrolling through the posts and photos at bedtime might feel like an escape, some of what you see might be the opposite of relaxing.
  • Devote time to relaxing activities before bed. This signals to your body and mind that it’s time to rest.
  • SleepScore App Tip: Check out the soothing sounds in the Wind Down feature in the app, to help you relax before sleep.

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Here are the answers to last week’s quiz!
Question 1: How often should you wash your sheets?
Answer: Every week
Question 2: True or False? For the best sleep, choose bedding made from synthetic fabrics rather than natural fibers.
Answer: False
Question 3: The ideal humidity level for sleeping is around:
Answer: 45%
Have sleep questions?

Want to ask your own question about sleep? You can write it here anonymously. During the upcoming weeks of the program, look out for answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Q: How can I fall asleep faster?
A: As discussed during Week 4, spend a bit of time becoming aware of what gets in the way of being able to fall asleep easily for you personally. For example, might it be distracting thoughts, physical discomfort, or noises from partners, pets, or street sounds? If there are tangible issues can be tackled, such as using a sound machine to block unwanted noise, that should be done first. In addition, here are general tips:
  1. Keep a consistent sleep schedule. Your body will get used to the regular routine and start to feel sleepy when it’s bedtime. Sticking with the same sleep schedule every day can be hard, but it’s worth it! Keeping a consistent sleep schedule can help you feel more alert and less sleepy during the day. It can also improve your sleep efficiency, which is the percentage of time you spend in bed that you’re actually asleep. Pick a bedtime that works for you, and then stick with it!
  2. Reduce blue light exposure before bed. Blue light doesn’t really appear blue; it’s a specific wavelength your brain associates with being awake. Blue light suppresses the release of melatonin, a hormone that tells your brain it’s time to sleep. The amount or brightness of the light is the most important factor. If you’re someone who uses big, bright screens at night, see if you can adjust your device’s settings to filter blue light or invest in a pair of glasses designed to block the wavelength of blue light that can interfere with sleep.
  3. Cut caffeine consumption. Caffeine is a sneaky stimulant that can impact your body’s ability to sense that it’s time for sleep. Avoiding caffeine 6-8 hours before bed can help you fall asleep easier and have fewer interruptions throughout the night. An easy trick to remember is to cut off your caffeine consumption by 2:00 in the afternoon. But note that your genetic make-up determines your sensitivity to caffeine: Some people will get a full-day kick from a single espresso, whereas others can enjoy a double one before bed without any effect on sleep.
  4. Exercise, but not close to bedtime. Getting plenty of physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly. Sometimes we’re so busy, the only window for exercise is the end of the day. However, sleep experts recommend that it’s best to avoid exercising during the hours right before your bedtime, so you don’t feel overstimulated when trying to fall asleep.
  5. Wind down with a calming bedtime routine. A racing mind or other signs of feeling stress can keep you from falling asleep. Practicing a routine before bed that calms you down one hour before bed will help you fall asleep faster. It could be writing a to do list for the next day and then taking a warm bath and listening to relaxing music. Everyone is different, so spend a little time figuring out what works best for you personally.
  6. Establish a pre-sleep routine.In addition to winding down about an hour before bed, it’s great for your sleep to follow a regular pre-sleep routine. For example, this might be locking the doors, turning off the lights, brushing your teeth, using the bathroom, getting into bed, and reading for 10 minutes. As it becomes a ritual, your mind and body will relax as you prepare for bed.
Q: Does the SleepScore app work without plugging in the phone during the night?
A: The keys are sleep regularity and a solid duration of sleep. The amount of REM sleep increases at the end of the night and is a function of time spent asleep. It seems we first need to sleep off our tiredness (reflected in a lot deep sleep) and, if that dissipates, REM sleep gets more prominent.
Q: How many hours of sleep is really required of a person? If someone is used to sleeping 4 hours only and is fine with daily activities, is this sufficient scientifically?
A: Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep. Some can do with 6 or need 10. Only a very, very, very few individuals can do with a 4-hour sleep every night. This is in your genes, but people who can deal with only 4 hours per night are very uncommon.

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