- what drives sleep appetite?
- 6 – step masterplan walkthrough
- using the masterplan
About this podcast
listen to the podcast below:
The Masterplan To Increase Your Sleep Drive / Appetite
You are looking for a way to fall asleep faster and sleep longer during nighttime? Then you found the masterplan to do help you increase this quickly here. This masterplan utilizes the two major forces that drive our sleep and sleep appetite! These two forces are the homeostatic sleep drive AND the circadian rhythm. I will walk you through 6 concrete points that will drive your sleep appetite without the need to exercise. No need to do a light therapy or even taking additional supplements like melatonin.
THE SLEEP DRIVE / APPETITE
As said there are two forces that we want to utilize when it comes to our sleep drive. Both have different triggers and we want to let these forces work in harmony together. That way we can max out our sleep appetite to let us fall asleep as fast and as deep as possible.
#1 The circadian rhythm
Lifeworks in rhythms. Decades, years, winters and summers and nights and days. The circadian rhythm is basically our inner clock that adjusts to the day/night cycle. It is mainly triggered by light – and blue light seems to play an important role as our eyes have receptors specifically for this light wave type.
It also has an internal component as our body adjusts to this cycle internally and sets it’s clocks accordingly. So one thing we want to do is to set this clock to the correct time. This may take a couple of days depending on how mixed up this clock is at the moment. But it should never take longer than a couple of days as it would when it adjusts a jet lag.
The production of the most famous sleep hormone called melatonin is also hooked up to this cycle. It gets produced best at night time – or better said in the absence of light/blue light.
#2 The homeostatic sleep drive
Batteries run out of energy and have to get recharged. This is kind of how you can imagine the homeostatic sleep drive works. The longer we stay up the higher the pressure to sleep gets. This works through a hormone called Adenosine that tells receptors in our brains that we are now tired and should sleep. An interesting side note. Caffeine has a lot of similarities to adenosine and can wander into these receptors. When they do so they block the receptor from adenosine but are not able to press the sleep / tired button as adenosine would do.
THE SLEEP APPETITE MASTERPLAN
If you are still with me so far, you are ready to get introduced to the #6 step sleep appetite raising masterplan that will lay the foundation to falling asleep faster and sleeping better with only minor tweaks needed. I am still fascinated by how a bit of science with a little action can help driving sleep appetite that much.
So, let’s now step directely into the #6 step sleep appetite masterplan. Let’s start to fully utilize these two natural forces and let them work FOR and not AGIANST our sleep drive.
#1 know your sleep type
Ever heard about sleep types? Well even if you don’t it is very intuitive to understand. It just describes the fact, that our bodies all work slightly different. In this case, there are people that get tired early – so-called early birds or early risers – AND there are people that go to bed late and rather sleep in mornings – so-called owls. And there is everything in between.
The first step is to find out what sleep type you are and to plan your bedtime/wake up time accordingly. You can find out best by simply taking the time to remember what works best for you. How do you sleep when you are on holiday? How did you sleep when you were feeling good the last time? Or simply do an online test to find out.
#2 know your sleep duration
As with the sleep type, the amount of sleep we need varies. Typically an adult needs somewhere between 7 – 9 hours of sleep to feel rested. If you look at these typical numbers there is even a range of 2 hours from 7 to 9 and this can have a tremendous effect on our well being if we get that wrong. Even worse. These are only the recommended hours of sleep according to the national sleep foundation and other sources. If you look at the may be appropriate numbers it goes from 5 to 10 hours of sleep. Wow – thats a gap. And there are also people that only need 4 hours of sleep – science believes that this is related to a mutation of the DEC2 genome.
What shall we do here? Find out how much sleep you truly need to feel good. Don’t try to tweak this to save time – be honest. How much sleep do you know? If you are unsure – do the same steps as above and try to remember or just play around a bit to find your sweet spot. You can also find a full podcast episode about sleep duration here at #sleeptrust that you might want to check out.
#3 avoid activators before bedtime
Avoid to do stuff that will get your cardiovascular system pumping. Something like going for a walk before bedtime can be great. Doing a heavy workout before you go to bed may be a bad idea though!
Get into the habit of doing stuff that serves you here in terms of relaxation and calmness and you get another point from your workout!
#4 reduce (blue) light
It’s actually not only about reducing light. It’s about using light in a natural way. It begins in the morning. Start showering in daylight as soon as you possibly can. Daylight is just so much stronger than office lights. This will adjust your inner clocks to morning time.
Then at night. Get into warm cozy light that is dimmed at least an hour before you go to bed. This alone should do the job. If you want to take it further you can replace your bulbs through blue light free ones and reduce screen time. I would recommend cutting down your pre-bed TV time anyway – but my main reason is actually not the blue light but more the distraction that it creates from our personal needs.
#5 avoid naps
Even though I am personally a big fan of napping and think they are really valuable. We are talking about raising our sleep appetite here and therefore we will cut down our naps to 0. Yes – zero. No napping at all. Napping takes away the sleep pressure that gets built through adenosine (remember the introduction) and that will be missing at night where it is so helpful to fall asleep fast.
Instead, do your exercises now to get fit again or drink a coffee or both and fight your way through that little bump after lunch that is part of your circadian rhythm. See how things come together here….
#6 reduce your sleep duration
Yes – you read right. We are talking about getting into a decent sleep rhythm and therefore we want to push the system a bit in the beginning. Cutting down on sleep slightly for 2-3 nights can help to further build sleep appetite that we will play out in the days to come. So here is the plan.
The first 2-3 nights we will cut our sleep time down about half an hour of what we usually get at the moment. This will let the homeostatic sleep drive get a little edge. Then start to increase your sleep duration again. Increase it for 30 minutes a day until you reach your sleep duration sweet spot. That’s it!
Increase your sleep appetite now!
So, now you’ve got everything you need to get started. You are a pro when it comes to the biological background and you have the masterplan in your fingers. Print it – take notes – do research if you like BUT your sleep appetite will start raising as soon as you take action. Take a couple of minutes to ask yourself how you can implement these #6 simple steps into your l
ife. Then promise yourself that you will follow through on your plan. Also give it a week or two to fully play out.
I recommend to start working the masterplan on a Friday so that you have a weekend ahead. Simply keep your bedtime and wake up times as you would have them in your workweek. Or start on a holiday. That way the side effects of being tired the first days are easier to handle.
Wishing you the best sleep appetite and of course a superb sleep!