We are living in a world full of hacks. You open your social media channels and the space is clustered with different types of hacks being poured in by a number of people. There are hacks for just about everything from beauty to household to traveling.
So today, let me take you on a walkthrough of biohacking and how it impacts sleep.
What is Biohacking?
Hacks are basically a shortcut method to increase efficiency. Through a hack, you control the external factors to improve the internal productivity of a substance. In bio-hacking, you exercise that control on your body to improve the physical and mental performance. Thus, when you biohack your sleep, you control the external factors such as light, diet, room accessories etc. to improve the quality (rather than quantity) of your sleep.
The biohacking movement could be credited or at least popularized by Dave Asprey, with Bulletproof Coffee. He was one of the pioneers of hacking the body for a healthier and better lifestyle, and if you do not follow his IG, I highly recommend it as a foray into this world of biohacking.
Benefits of biohacking your sleep
A restorative slumber at night is something no modern-day gadget can replace. There exists no app for completely regenerating the human body. That feature of our amazing human body has been evolved over thousands of years. When we sleep in the night, our body heals the damaged cells, recharges our cardio-vascular system, recovers general wear & tear while the brain is working to learn and reconnect pathways for the next day.
Sleep is essential, but QUALITY sleep is what a biohacker seeks. When we engage in a quality night's sleep, we experience
- Higher productivity
- Superior cognitive function
- Elevated mood
- Positive energy
- Better digestive function
You will witness the holistic benefit of biohacking your sleep over a period of time. It is not a magic potion to gulp down one night to see the changes the next morning. You will have to dedicatedly work towards it to discover the true benefit of it for your body.
How to biohack your sleep? Some Tips:
- Avoid blue-light 30 minutes prior to bedtime (at least): Electronics that emit blue-light and are sleep killers. Natural melatonin release is what a biohacker seeks, and research has show blue light (about 460nm) in particular inhibits natural melatonin release. Keep all devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and TVs out of your room. If you have to use them, try to finish that activity at least 30m - 3h before you sleep.
- Blackout the room or keep optimized dim night lights: Street lights in the night and noise disturbs your regular sleep-wake cycle and can affect the quality of sleep. Invest in good blackout curtains and you will reap the benefits in a few weeks’ time.
- Maintain a sleep routine: Give or take an hour, but try to catch the train to zzzville at the same time each night. A regular sleep schedule is not only good for your mind but also for your body. When you indulge in an ideal 8-hour sleep (the amount of sleep differs from person to person), your mind and body work in sync. There are sleep consultants which can help you find your optimial cycle.
Biohacking is all about training your body while controlling the external factors to optimize your overall health. Trial and error method will lead you to the most appropriate technique for your body and sleep. Be patient and you will notice the changes soon.
Sleep well folks!