Neuroscientists suggest that kids need 10-12 hours of sleep and most adults 7.5-9 hours. But let's be real: When was the last time you consistently got 8 or 9 hours of sleep? Then, ask a room full of teens how many got 10 hours of sleep and count the number of hands. If you teach in a high school, you'll be lucky to see one hand raised.
Luckily, not every student you encounter looks like a sleep-deprived saliva-drooling zombie. Somehow, they are able to survive and learn on whatever limited amount of sleep they get. Of course, lack of sleep, or rather rest, is not the way to go long term. You want to get more sleep!
But if you just can't... because life and bad habits keep getting in the way you might as well find alternatives. So if you just can't get enough of the good thing...
Hack Sleep to Make It More Efficient
- Exercise Early.
- Supplement with Vitamin C and Mg.
- Meditate Before Bed.
Hack Sleep with Early Exercise
Exercise helps your brain get more oxygen and operate better. Morning exercise helps regulate cortisol which is a steroid hormone our body needs to function. When its levels are too high you might have trouble sleeping. A few minutes of exercise in the morning increases cortisol at the beginning of your day. Then it progressively decreases throughout the day.
While it may be hard to start, as few as 5 minutes of vigorous exercise each morning will aid your sleep at night. Your sleep cycle will improve when you hit the pillow with a lot less cortisol present in your body.
Hack Sleep with Vitamin C and Mg
Besides being used in a lot of biological processes, magnesium manages the "sleep" hormone melatonin and your brain chemistry. This helps your body and brain relax so you can achieve higher quality sleep.
Vitamin C lowers cortisol, which as described above you want to be low before going to bed.
Hack Sleep with Meditation
Imagine you're working on an important project on your computer and you just can't stop multitasking. The more browser tabs you have open the more distracted, unfocused, and stressed out you become. What if you closed all of them, took a break, and reopened just the one tab you really need?
Meditation is like closing all of those open brain tabs so you can focus on the present. It's great anytime, but can really help you relax before bed so you can get higher quality sleep.
Can you envision 5-10 minutes of closing your eyes and listening to yourself just breathe right before bed?
Hack Sleep To Improve Your Performance
It's no secret quality sleep improves your brain function and performance in school, work, and life. An optimized brain learns better, thinks more clearly, and is more creative.
So if you can't get enough sleep hack it with Early Exercise, Vitamin C and Mg, and Bedtime Meditation.
But don't just stop there. Tell your kids. Tell your students. Tell your friends.
You have the power to change lives. Use it often.
I frequently share brain-based teaching and learning strategies, lessons, and visuals. If you don't sign up for my newsletter below you might miss them. Worry not: I don't eat spam. I don't send it either!
Hi! I'm Oskar.
I teach, write, speak, rant to make the world better.
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