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Get Better Sleep: Beyond “Sleep Hygiene”

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Better Sleep, Better Life!

This is Arianna Huffington. Yes, that Huffington, of the Huffington Post. But! She’s also the CEO of Thrive Global, a behavior change tech company with the mission of changing the way we work and live—in particular, by challenging the idea that burnout is the required price of success.

The power of better sleep

Sleep is a very important, but most often neglected, part of good health. Here are some of Huffington’s top insights from her tech company Thrive, and as per her “Sleep Revolution” initiative.

Follow your circadian rhythm

Are you a night owl or a morning lark? Whichever it is, roll with it, and plan around that if your lifestyle allows for such. While it is possible to change from one to the other, we do have a predisposition towards one or the other, and will generally function best when not fighting it.

This came about, by the way, because we evolved to have half of us awake in the mornings and half in the evenings, to keep us all safe. Socially we’ve marched onwards from that point in evolutionary history, but our bodies are about a hundred generations behind the times, and that’s just what we have to work with!

Don’t be afraid (or ashamed!) to take naps

Naps, done right, can be very good for the health—especially if we had a bad night’s sleep the previous night.

Thrive found that workers are more productive when they have nap rooms, and (following on a little from the previous point) are allowed to sleep in or work from home.

See also: How To Nap Like A Pro (No More “Sleep Hangovers”!)

Make sure you have personal space available in bed

The correlation between relationship satisfaction and sleeping close to one’s partner has been found to be so high that it’s even proportional: the further away a couple sleeps from each other, the less happy they are. But…

Partners who got good sleep the previous night, will be more likely to want intimacy on any given night—at a rate of an extra 14% per extra hour of sleep the previous night. So, there’s a trade-off, as having more room in bed tends to result in better sleep. Time to get a bigger bed?

What gets measured, gets done

This goes for sleep, too! Not only does dream-journaling in the morning cue your subconscious to prepare to dream well the following night, but also, sleep trackers and sleep monitoring apps go a very long way to improving sleep quality, even if no extra steps are consciously taken to “score better”.

We’ve previously reviewed some of the most popular sleep apps; you can check out for yourself how they measured up:

Time For Some Pillow Talk: The Head-To-Head Of Google and Apple’s Top Apps For Getting Your Head Down

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