The One Step For a Better Night’s Sleep

Tess Patrick TESS PATRICK

Roll call, how many of us are craving a better night’s sleep? Maybe it’s stress, maybe it’s caffeine consumption, maybe it’s physical pain, but collectively, we’re not all getting the eight hours that we deserve right now.

Sleep is crucial to good health. It gives out bodies a chance to rest and digest, our brains the opportunity to switch off and relax, and the opportunity to return to homeostasis. It’s quite well understood that all humans, and nearly all animals for that matter - some plants too, need to sleep.

What’s really telling is that mounting research is now indicating that a lifetime of poor sleep can contribute to poor brain health and early cognitive decline, notably influencing the development of Alzheimer’s disease in later life.

So when you’ve exhausted all the chamomile tea and yoga nidra available, what do you do for a better night’s sleep? I thankfully have the answer.

David Perlmutter M.D., one of the leading researchers in brain health (and NYT bestselling author), has recently released a new book that explores some of the most effective, scientifically proven sleep strategies in one succinct routine. And this is his step one…

Make a sleep schedule that allows for the 7 - 9 hours sleep the body needs.

It sounds really simple, and it needs to be to help make change easy, but this is why.

“Having a consistent bedtime and wake-up time, even on the weekends, is one of the most important steps to mastering a perfect night of sleep,” Dr Perlmutter says.

“This step is vital because it helps set the pace of your body’s circadian rhythm. When you wake up, the light comes into your eyes and resets that rhythm every single morning. If you do this consistently, your brain will know what to do and when to do it every single day. Try and stick to one sleep schedule seven days a week, and you’ll be well on your way to better sleep.”

This one simple step has helped to improve my sleeping habits in the space of a week - but there are nine more just like it in Dr Perlmutter’s eBook.

If you want to discover them for yourself, you can download the eBook here (and register your interest in his upcoming free screening of Alzheimer’s - The Science of Prevention).