Getting a good night’s sleep requires timing and precision of what to release, where in the brain to release it, and when to release it. In a nutshell: sleep isn’t simple. Sleep is a complex ensemble of multiple interacting molecules and pathways that are dependent on circadian rhythms and is strongly influenced by our behaviors, thoughts, and environment.
The good news is that the brain can effectively regulate all of these different factors with the right support. And one way we can support and optimize our sleep is through the use of sleep technology.
Read on to learn of six sleep optimization tools our team can’t get enough of.
Neurohacking Sleep: 6 Sleep Optimization Tools Our Team Loves
HigherDOSE Sauna Blanket
Saunas deliver more than a full-body detox – the infrared heat activates the release of serotonin in your brain, stabilizing your mood and boosting happiness chemicals. The euphoric ‘high’ you experience after your sauna session is a result of normalized serotonin levels. This isn’t just a quick hit, though. Serotonin is a chemical precursor to melatonin. You’ll enjoy a deep sleep at night, and wake up feeling refreshed.
We are currently loving the HigherDOSE Infrared Sauna Blanket to boost circulation and relaxation while helping our central nervous system enter rest and recovery mode. Learn more about the benefits of heat therapy here.
Listen to a team member describe the sauna-sleep connection:
30 mins in there and I was sweating bullets. I finished with a cold plunge. I slept like a baby and woke up with tons of energy.
Healthy light intake is essential for sleep and maintaining natural circadian rhythms. Our brains interpret light as a sign of when to be awake and asleep, and when to make crucial sleep hormones like melatonin. Bright blue light at night can knock your sleep cycle out of whack, but red light is a lower-intensity alternative that can help support longer, more restful sleep.
Multiple members of our team rely on Joovv lights before bed to optimize their sleep. Joovv has even recently released a portable, handheld light therapy device, perfect for on the go light therapy. You can score a free gift with purchase by shopping this link and using promo code Neurohacker at checkout.
Ra Optics Blue Light Blocking Glasses
At night, blue light "tricks'' the brain into thinking that it is daytime, drastically reducing the natural production of melatonin. When blue light hits our retinas, it’s like flipping a switch that signals the brain to activate a host of systems for daytime activity. By wearing blue light blocking glasses we naturally boost the production of melatonin - putting the body into rest and recovery mode.
Why do we love Ra Optics blue light blocking glasses? Because not all blue light blocking glasses are created equal. Most lenses on the market today are completely clear because of consumer demand. In order for a lens to be clear, it means the lens is allowing all visible light on one side to pass through to the other side, unchanged.
The most effective way to know if blue light blocking lenses are effective is to purchase a digital spectrometer and test the lenses. Otherwise, the discerning customer should purchase from a company that provides this testing on their lenses, like Ra Optics. Ready to score a pair of Ra Optics glasses? Use code neurohacker for 10% off at checkout.
Here’s how one team member described the impact Ra Optics blue light blocking glasses has had on their sleep:
My body craves these glasses once the sun starts to set. I make sure to wear the glasses three hours before my target bedtime and can immediately feel my body ease into a relaxed state. Purchasing Ra Optics blue light blocking glasses is one of the most meaningful investments I have made in my sleep performance. My sleep score has increased by an average of 3 points per night and the time it takes me to fall asleep has been cut in half.
And if you're as fascinated as we are by the connection between light and optimized health check out Matt's Light Diet Course, an 8-step comprehensive video course, that directly addresses the root of the modern, chronic disease epidemic and mitochondrial dysfunction.
Apollo is a wearable wellness device that uses gentle vibrations to help your body recover from stress. Apollo’s scientifically proven technology improves heart rate variability (HRV), a key biometric of stress, so you can feel more calm, balanced, and perform at your best. Get 15% off by shopping at this link.
Does the wearable work? Listen to this:
The Sleep and Renew Mode set at 71% intensity for 120 minutes is what I set right as I get in bed. I’ve noticed this shortens my sleep latency, the amount of time it takes to fall asleep. I’m fairly new at using it still but on days I skip this part of my sleep routine I feel a difference.
If you find the science surrounding HRV as fascinating as we do, check out our podcast with CEO of Apollo Neuro, David Rabin MD, PhD on the link between HRV and stress resilience.
Simulating the feeling of being held (like a hug!), Gravity Blankets utilize the power of weight to relax the nervous system. This revolutionary and science-backed method is called “deep touch pressure stimulation.” You’ll achieve faster and deeper sleep as the weighted blanket revives key pressure points. For 20% off use the code NEUROHACKER20.
One of our team members tested the Gravity Blanket against its competitors. Here’s what they had to say:
At this point I can’t fall asleep without the Gravity Blanket, the weight is a cue to my body that induces my sleep. I use a 25lb blanket, lighter versions do not have the same effect for me. The duvet cover that Gravity has is better than just standard ones you can buy, and makes a difference keeping the blanket in place.
Qualia Night was designed to offer comprehensive sleep support by optimizing your body’s regenerative power at night. It supports better sleep without relying on botanical sedatives or giving melatonin. It is designed to help the brain better regulate the ensemble of molecules needed to fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake feeling refreshed. Learn more here.
My patients taking Qualia Night are reporting they wake up feeling more rested and that gives me the confidence in the product that they are getting higher quality sleep. Dr. Heather Sandison, ND Collective Insights Podcast Host
What about you, Neurohackers? Do you have a favorite sleep optimization tool? Tell us about it in a comment below!
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