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Red light therapy has recently gained popularity as a secret weapon for biohacking your way toward wound healing, wrinkle reduction, and more. It’s even used in medical settings to promote faster recovery or combat the side effects of chemotherapy. Whether you purchase your own red lights to use at home or you visit a red light therapy salon, the benefits are seemingly endless. The science behind how red light improves health lies in the way that the wavelengths of red light affect our cells. Red light encourages our cells to produce more energy within the mitochondria, allowing for faster regeneration and repair. Moreover, skin health isn’t the only perk of red light healing. Sleep quality is also proven to improve massively in those who regularly use red light therapy. Red light promotes the secretion of melatonin, a sleep hormone that helps us wind down in the evening. On the other hand, different spectrums of light (like blue light) are proven to interrupt melatonin production, making red light a solid evening light source for your best sleep yet.
Everyone knows that driving under the influence of alcohol is dangerous for everyone on the road. But did you know that tired driving is just as harmful? In fact, drowsy driving is responsible for 21 percent of all fatal accidents. When we’re sleep deprived, our concentration, reaction times, and problem-solving abilities all take a hit. This dramatically increases our risk of making fatal errors that lead to accidents on the road. Moreover, research has revealed that being awake for 17 hours leads to impairment equivalent to having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05%. In most Western European countries, this is considered the legal drinking limit. Staying awake for 24 hours is the same as having a BAC of 0.10%, well over the legal drinking limit of 0.08% in the United States. Therefore, it’s important to recognize the symptoms of severe sleep debt and avoid getting behind the wheel if you’re running low on sleep. Your life and safety literally depend on it.
Non-sleep deep rest, also known as NSDR, was coined by Stanford neuroscientist Andrew Huberman as a quick reset that can help add focus to your day or prepare your brain and body for sleep in the evening. It’s less intimidating than traditional meditation and includes a guided script and body scanning. All you have to do is follow along with the instructions, making it a simple practice for people who are new to the world of mindfulness and meditation. What’s more, it stimulates brain waves similar to that of slow-wave sleep, which is vital for the rejuvenation and healing of the body and mind. Including this practice in your daily routine helps to promote the onset of quality sleep. Many NSDR sleep protocols can be found online, including traditional Yoga Nidra (which NSDR was derived from) and NSDR meditations led by Andrew Huberman himself.
There’s a reason we feel better after a long hug with a loved one. It's the same reason that babies feel comfort when swaddled up tight. This soothing sensation is known as deep pressure stimulation – and it’s a game changer when it comes to managing our nervous system. Deep pressure stimulation soothes the body by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, taking us from a state of stress and overwhelm to a state of relaxation and calm. A weighted blanket provides calming, deep pressure that we can take anywhere, anytime. Using a weighted blanket allows us to reap the benefits of deep pressure stimulation for better sleep, emotional regulation, and more – all without having to hug a loved one all day long. Boost feel-good chemicals dopamine and oxytocin while lowering cortisol with the deep pressure stimulation achieved through using a weighted blanket. Just be sure to select the right material, filling type, size, and weight for optimal results and comfort.
You’re probably mindful of what you eat before bed to ensure that you sleep well. For example, eating carbs before bed or consuming caffeine late in the day are thought to lead to poor sleep. That said, what you eat in the morning is just as important. Eating breakfast on a regular basis is proven to lower your risk of both type 2 diabetes and obesity. However, only a very small percentage of us eat breakfast regularly. Breaking our overnight fast with a nutritious breakfast replenishes glucose levels and helps to boost energy and alertness for optimal performance. What’s more, selecting and eating a healthy breakfast cues our internal clock to gear up for the day, leading to better sleep after nightfall. If you don’t already eat breakfast, learn to incorporate a morning meal into your day. Be sure to opt for nutritious, sleep-promoting foods filled with protein and other vitamins and minerals that will help keep you energized and feeling your best.
The vagus nerve is the longest cranial nerve within the body, responsible for helping regulate almost every day-to-day process including digestion, sleep, and overall well-being. It’s also connected to our ability to show compassion and empathy for others. When our vagus nerve isn’t functioning as it should, it’s often called “low vagal tone.” This dysfunction leads to inflammation, anxiety, poor sleep, and even digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome. Therefore, boosting vagal tone with vagus nerve exercises for digestion and improved sleep can make all of the difference in how we feel. For example, humming and singing are thought to activate the parasympathetic nervous system and, in turn, our vagus nerve. Breathwork is another hidden gem for improving vagal tone by shifting the body from a state of fight or flight into a state of rest and relaxation.
Approximately 25 percent of Americans suffer from some form of mental illness. Moreover, 40 million Americans report that they consistently suffer from anxiety. Mindfulness techniques like breathwork and meditation serve as proven methods to combat anxiety, improve mental well-being, and regulate our nervous system. SKY breath meditation harnesses the power of both meditation and breathing exercises to center our bodies and minds toward a state of calm. SKY breath meditation was first discovered by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and involves cyclical breathing patterns that range from slow, controlled deep breaths to rapid inhalations and exhalations. What’s more, this method is proven to effectively treat stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD, insomnia, and more. SKY breath meditation works by decreasing the stress hormone cortisol and boosting nitric oxide production. Nitric oxide is a vasodilator known to take the body out of fight or flight and into a state of relaxation. It’s recommended to practice SKY breath meditation with a certified instructor, as it’s a bit more complicated than simple breathing exercises.
It might be the norm to share a bed with your partner, but a snoring partner and sleep deprivation are closely linked. In fact, spouses of snoring partners wake up 21 times per hour each night when compared to spouses of non-snorers. These disruptions quickly add up, causing massive sleep debt. Aside from being dangerous, sleep debt and deprivation are thought to make us more reactive, impulsive, and grouchy, which is a recipe for even more relationship disasters. If your sleeping schedules or preferences are different, there are a few solutions to improve your relationship and sleep quality. For one, switching your sleep patterns from one long chunk into two or more sections may provide more flexibility with your schedule. Plus, it’s how we naturally slept prior to the industrial revolution. If there’s no other option, you and your partner may benefit from sleeping in separate beds. Although it sounds like a drastic option, a temporary sleep divorce may be necessary to get your health back on track. The Scandinavian sleep method offers a compromise that involves sleeping with two separate blankets rather than one. Moreover, addressing the root cause of your partner’s snoring can solve your sleep disruptions altogether. Typically, mouth breathing is a common culprit - and over 60 percent of us do it habitually rather than breathing through our noses.
Naps are a seemingly regular part of childhood. But for many adults, there just isn’t enough time in the day to nap. Despite that, the majority of adults across the globe are seriously sleep-deprived. Napping is a quick, simple way to fill in some of the gaps and pay off sleep debt. In fact, a NASA study found that napping improves working memory performance, helping to reduce workplace errors while enhancing focus and attention. That said, the timing and duration of your nap matter. If you nap too long, you might wake up in the middle of a sleep cycle. This leads to grogginess upon waking, often called sleep inertia. Whether you’re interested in short cat naps or longer naps (like a 45-minute nap or 90-minute nap), rest assured that there are benefits to both. If you only have 15 minutes to snooze, you should utilize it and attempt to rest. However, if you can swing a nap that’s an hour and a half long, go for it! Just be sure to wake up at the 1.5-hour mark, or you may be left feeling groggier than before you laid down. Consuming caffeine before napping may help you feel more alert upon waking regardless of nap duration - as long as caffeine doesn’t affect you negatively in general.
Being a student quickly leads to overwhelm and stress due to a heavy workload. With so much to accomplish each day, sleep may take a backseat to other tasks. If you’re not making sleep a priority, you’re not alone. More than half of all college students admit that they’re chronically sleep deprived. However, the dangers linked to a lack of sleep are no joke. And even more concerning, running short on sleep can seriously harm your memory and concentration, leading to poor academic performance. Therefore, skipping sleep means that you’re lowering your ability to achieve your highest success as a student. That’s why we’ve rounded up sleep hacks to help build the best night routine for students that promotes academic excellence. For example, that all-nighter that you think will help you get a better score on tomorrow’s exam may actually decrease your score. And that evening coffee that you rely on to get through homework? It’s keeping you awake at night and throwing off your sleep patterns.
Everyone wants to be debt free. But many people have racked up a dangerous amount of sleep debt without even knowing it. Like any debt, sleep debt is easy to acquire and difficult to pay off. As a result of high sleep debt, you may find yourself still tired after 8 hours of sleep. It takes multiple days to pay off even one hour of sleep debt, and fully paying off chronic sleep debt can take more than a week. However, it’s important to pay off sleep debt as soon as possible - the long-term effects of sleep debt are detrimental to our health. Over time, sleep debt increases our risk of inflammation and infection while weakening our immune response. Processing issues like brain fog and poor memory arise as a result of sleep debt, too. Even worse, sleep-deprived individuals experience a higher risk of developing cardiovascular issues like high blood pressure, heart disease, and even heart failure. Our modern lifestyle seemingly promotes sleep debt buildup with shift work, long commutes, and digital distractions. Luckily, sleep debt can be lowered with lifestyle changes that promote healthy sleep patterns.
Breathing exercises have gained popularity in recent years, but they’re actually rooted in ancient cultural practices centered around deep, controlled breathing. When we use our abdomen, or diaphragm, to breathe instead of our chest, our breathing transforms from shallow, fast breaths to slow, deep inhalations and exhalations. As a result, our bodies and brains shift out of a state of stress and into a state of relaxation. Countless abdominal breathing benefits follow, including improved mood, lessened pain, and even better digestion. Moreover, the more often you practice abdominal breathing, the stronger your lungs become. As the lungs strengthen, oxygenation improves, and boosted productivity and performance follow. If that wasn’t already exciting enough, deep breathing is linked to improved immunity and better sleep. Long story short, abdominal breathing is the quickest, most effective way to shift your mindset and physical body into a state of greater well-being.

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