What protocols are recommended for improving sleep?

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For improving sleep, several practical protocols have been recommended by and guest experts on the podcast series. Here are some key strategies:

  1. Regularity: Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, regardless of it being a weekday or weekend, to anchor your sleep patterns and improve both quantity and quality of sleep 1.

  2. Darkness: Dim the lights in your home by at least 50% an hour before bed to promote melatonin production, which helps with sleep onset 1.

  3. Sleep Hygiene: Maintain consistent bedtime routines, ensure your bed is only used for sleep and sex, and address any specific issues like snoring or acid reflux with targeted solutions like myofunctional therapy and bed elevation 2.

  4. Behavioral Tools: Use non-sleep deep rest (NSDR) protocols, such as hypnosis or Yoga Nidra, to calm the nervous system. This can be particularly useful if you wake up in the middle of the night or have trouble falling asleep 3.

    Sleep Hygiene Basics

    Matthew emphasizes the importance of regular sleep patterns and darkness for optimal sleep quality. Consistent bedtime routines and dimming lights before sleep can significantly improve sleep onset and duration.

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    Dr. Matthew Walker: Protocols to Improve Your Sleep | Huberman Lab Guest Series
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  5. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBTI): Engage in techniques such as bedtime rescheduling or sleep restriction therapy, which focus on limiting the time spent in bed to improve sleep efficiency and quality 4 5.

  6. Environmental Adjustments: Elevate the head of your bed for acid reflux, and consider apps like Timeshifter to manage jet lag and travel disruptions 2.

These protocols, supported by and sleep expert , emphasize the importance of both conventional and innovative approaches to optimize sleep.

RELATED QUESTIONS

What does Matthew Walker recommend for sleep improvement?

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recommends several key strategies for improving sleep quality, based on a combination of conventional and unconventional approaches:

  1. Consistency: Maintain the same sleep schedule every day. If you have a bad night, do not compensate by sleeping in, napping, or overusing caffeine, as this disrupts your sleep drive and circadian rhythm 1 2.

  2. Limit Time in Bed: Particularly if you suffer from insomnia, reduce the time you spend in bed to increase sleep efficiency. This approach is central to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBTI) 3.

    Sleep Hygiene Basics

    Matthew emphasizes the importance of regular sleep patterns and darkness for optimal sleep quality. Consistent bedtime routines and dimming lights before sleep can significantly improve sleep onset and duration.

    Huberman Lab

    Dr. Matthew Walker: Protocols to Improve Your Sleep | Huberman Lab Guest Series
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  3. Temperature Control: Keep your sleeping environment cool—around 67°F (18.5°C)—to help your body decrease its core temperature, which is essential for sleep onset and maintenance 4.

  4. Get Out of Bed: If you can't sleep, leave your bed after about 25 minutes and engage in a relaxing activity in dim light. This prevents your brain from associating your bed with wakefulness 4.

  5. Alcohol and Caffeine: Be mindful of these substances. Avoid caffeine at least ten hours before bedtime and limit alcohol intake, as both can disrupt sleep 4.

  6. Dietary Considerations: Avoid high-sugar, low-protein diets, as they can increase core body temperature and disrupt sleep. Carbohydrates consumed in the evening may improve sleep quality 5.

  7. Mental Distractions: Reduce anxiety and rumination by keeping your mind occupied with activities like meditation before bed. This helps prevent overthinking when trying to sleep 6.

  8. Medication: For persistent sleep issues, especially in older adults, medications like low-dose Doxepin or Trazodone may be helpful. Consultation with a healthcare provider is crucial 7.

By integrating these strategies, you can significantly improve sleep quality and overall health.

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