How blinking can help you get to sleep faster

I’ve tried all the tips, read all the books and listened to all the advice about sleep. Why?

Sleep is important. Without enough sleep, we end up dumb, fat and lazy. Those aren’t empty words either – it’s precisely what happens thanks to complex hormonal responses. Put a gun to my head and ask me to choose between a healthy diet or healthy sleep; I’d probably take the sleep.

Too bad falling asleep doesn’t always come easy.

So here it is. If you blink, you’ll miss it. 

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When you hop in bed and pull the covers up, here’s what you want to do. While lying there, get down and give me a two hundred rep workout. The muscle? Your Orbicularis Oculi. You might also know this exercise by another name.

Blinking.

That’s all there is to it. By tiring out this muscle, you communicate the “I am tired” message to your internal body clock.

Now, don’t expect to be knocked out like a sleeping tablet or bottle of Sherry. But it works. It’s simple and always helps. Better yet, you aren’t left with the disrupted sleep accompanying alcohol and sleeping tablets.

Upgrade your sleep

If you’re interested in optimising your sleep, you will want to add the tips below, with the effectiveness of each proven by science.

  • Always maintain a consistent wake-up and sleep time.
  • Avoid eating any less than two hours before bed; three is ideal.
  • Never press snooze, ever.
  • Avoid blue light one to two hours before bed.
  • Keep your room cool and dark.
  • Don’t drink alcohol before bed. If you do, give yourself at least 3 hours before hitting the sack.
  • Put the phone away an hour before bed, or anything too stimulating for that matter.
  • If you can’t sleep, get up and read. It’s better than creating a poor sleep association. When you’re a little more tired, go back to bed and try again.
Published in Science, Self Improvement
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