Sleep Onset Timer
Your first and last few hours of sleep are among the most important. Skimping on sleep leaves you more prone to stress the next day, which increases your chances of insomnia that night. What a nasty cycle!
Nearly all aspects of your health rely on a good night’s sleep. During this time, your body completes critical internal housekeeping that keeps your immune system, physical coordination, emotional stability, sexual vitality, metabolism, memory formation and recall, cardiovascular functions, and nearly all biological cycles in check.
Difficulty falling asleep causes stress and anxiety. The resulting spike in cortisol then interferes with your transition into deep sleep early in the night. You end up feeling groggy when you wake up and longer into the morning. Up next…sleep onset Q and A.
Question: How much time should it take to fall asleep?
Answer: Between 20 and 30 minutes is ideal. More than this, and your cortisol level starts to rise. Significantly less than this (5 to 10 minutes), and you were probably over-tired when you went to bed.
Question: What’s an effective way to track the time it takes to fall asleep that doesn’t prevent you from falling asleep?
Answer: That’s a tough question! Music actually offers a simple but elegant solution because of its temporal (time-based) nature. You get to test drive this option in today’s challenge.
Question: How can I fall asleep faster?
Answer: Make music-listening a regular bedtime habit. Just make sure it’s soft and slow. Any relaxing activity will reduce stress and corresponding cortisol levels, helping you drift effortlessly into sleep.
Self-Awareness Challenge of the Day
Start playing the music below when you go to bed. If you’re still awake when the track ends, your sleep onset time was longer than ideal. Otherwise, you fell asleep within the optimal amount of time.
Easiest sleep assessment ever, right?