Easy Tips To Unwind And Sleep Better, According To A Sleep Expert

Forbes April 24, 2024

Lifestyle

Easy Tips To Unwind And Sleep Better, According To A Sleep Expert

Travel certainly plays a role in our circadian rhythms and the way we sleep. A rather suprising joint One Poll-National Sleep Awareness Month study (2023) showed 3 out of 4 participants reported getting a more restful sleep in hotel rooms over sleeping at home.

Located in New York’s Hudson Yards, Equinox Hotels is known for it’s advanced sleep programming; including high-tech, ultra-modern rooms kitted out with double-paned windows, black-out curtains, optimal slumber temperatures (66 degrees) and all-natural, spring-free mattresses with temperature-regulating fibers (research shows a correlation between sleep and body temperature). Just below, Equinox Hotels' resident sleep expert Dr. Chris Winter shares tips for inducing relaxation in the body— and hopefully leading to a positive sleep experience at home.

Cold tap

Start Your Day With A Cold Plunge

At first it might sound daunting — however, a cold morning shower or cold plunge offers an exhilarating, energizing start to your day. “It’s a great way to facilitate catecholamine (a neurohormone) release, but also acts as a great circadian marker to let your brain know the day has begun,” says Dr. Winter. You can also visit a cryochamber, and for those who live in colder climates — simply stepping outside in colder months counts. Winter follows the Lumi Therapy model and typically plunges upon waking or after an intense workout.

Sauna with mountain and lake view

Exercise Earlier In the Day

A general rule of thumb: workout out before 4PM, known to be the natural peak of our core body temperature. And, if you tend to workout later in the day, consider cryotherapy immediately afterwards to get body temperature down quickly. “This will help prevent the later exercise from disturbing your sleep later on,” Winter says.

 
Take a Hot Bath or Shower

About two hours before bedtime, Dr. Winter recommends a warm sauna session or enjoying hot bath or shower. “Cooling down from this will lead the way to a fantastic sleep,” he says. On the road? Winter uses the SaunaBox’s portable steam sauna and should space be an issue, you can opt for sauna blankets.

Soups: Mushroom Soup Still Life

Eat a Healthy Diet

No surprises here: healthy eating supports healthy sleep. Dr. Winter suggests nourishing meals like mushroom soup, chicory salad (long lauded as a sleep supporting food) and halibut. “The adaptogens of mushrooms and halibut high B6 levels will help with sleeping that night,” Dr. Winters says, adding to lessen your alcohol and caffeine intake. Also, give yourself plenty of time to digest before bed.

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Low Lighting and Sleep Masks

After dinner, keep lighting low (Equinox Hotels rooms offers several dimming options). Winter recommends reading lights near the bed, and when it's time for slumber, “lower the shades and sleep in total darkness,” he says (you can also bring the Equinox Hotels sleep experience home).

Consider blue-green light blocking glasses (Winter likes Swanwick blue-blockers). “These are a staple with the MLB teams I work with,” he says. And when light needs to be eliminated, Winter reaches for a Manta Sleep Mask. Come mornings, “we want blue-green light or full spectrum light,” Winters explains, adding Ayo’s Blue light glasses can be worn upon waking up for a healthy dose dose of wake-promoting light. This is especially helpful if you wake up when it’s still dark or sunlight is scarce.


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