Live Longer and Feel Great With Sleep Hacking
This is a guest post from Jhony Jara. Jhony is a musician, biohacker, and health coach. Make sure to check out his page to learn more about him and what he’s doing.
We spend about one-third of our lives asleep, 6-8 hours of our 24 hour day on the bed and there’s a good reason for that. So why not improve your sleep the same way you eat healthier and exercise?
A study found that people who slept around 6.5 hours have a lower mortality rate than people who sleep 8 hours or more.  But who wants sleep less and feel tired, right?
Well, the key lies in the quality of sleep not the quantity of sleep. It’s the equivalent of going to the gym and walking on the treadmill while playing “Angry Birds” and eating two doughnuts.
And since sleep quality not only affects you during those hours you spend IN bed but also the hours spent OUT of your bed, let’s treat sleep with a little more priority.
It is very possible to get less sleep and wake up feeling fully energized with the right science to help us out.
These next two fundamentals for basic sleep are discussed more in this post here along with some other hacks. These two are worth repeating however since they are so key and simple.
1) Dark Room
For pretty much all of human existence, we evolved with only moon and stars when sleeping. I can’t confirm but I’m assuming our ancestors turned off their fire before going to bed and didn’t have street lights, televisions, and alarm clocks shining in their rooms at night.
Yet today we have light from bulbs, phones, cars, and even planes that prevent us from ever entering the darkness our ancestors enjoyed during sleep. It has been proven that just a few seconds of artificial light at night can shut down melatonin production and throws off our circadian rhythm, making it harder to not only fall asleep at night but stay awake during the day.
Epidemiological studies show that disrupting your circadian rhythm is associated with an increased incidence of diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cognitive and affective impairment, premature aging and some types of cancer. 
2) Cold Room
When we go to sleep our body temperatures decrease. If you have ever tried falling asleep in a hot humid room, it is very difficult. It is found that ideal room temperature to help you sleep best in around 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit. Experiment for yourself what works best for you, not everyone will have the same ideal temperature but finding what works for you can be a real game changer. Try wearing socks if your feet get too cold.
Once you do those, try experimenting with these next hacks for better sleep and share your results
If you have ever gone to bed with 10 things to do on your mind, you know how difficult falling asleep can be. One of the reasons this happens is because when you feel stressed or in a hurry (even if it’s a hurry to fall asleep), your body goes into fight or flight mode. During fight or flight mode, your body releases cortisol, a stimulant that begins constricting the blood vessels, quickening your heartbeat, and tenses/tightens muscles. With cortisol released, you are ready to spring into action and are alert, the opposite of what you want to be when going to sleep.
To solve this, it is beneficial to wind down before bed. That means stop answering texts or making sales calls. I know it sounds obvious but watching the eleven o’clock news where two kids got killed during a hit-and-run is not going to help you relax.
Try either meditating for a few minutes before going to bed and/or trying the box breath. The box breath is a powerful exercise to try not just before bed but anytime you need to relax and destress. It is very simple, simply inhale for a count of 4, hold for 4, exhale for 4, and hold for 4 counts. Repeat as necessary. If 4 is too long, try going for a 3 count. Remember the goal is to help you relax not to see how long you can hold your breath, although when relaxed holding your breath will be much easier.
I use the emWave 2 for 10 minutes instead of meditating before bed. This is a machine that connects to your earlobe to measure your heartbeat and can literally show you whether you are in a stress/anxious state and guide you to a relaxed and flow state. The benefits and functions of emWave require a post of its own, however this is powerful tech and I highly recommend you look more into it for relaxation and mental clarity before bed and during the day.
There are studies showing that earthing (making direct contact with the earth) can improve sleep and reduce pain and inflammation.  However since making contact with the earth while you are falling asleep is not always possible, there are hacks accomplish a similar function.
I personally tried earthing during sleep when my air conditioner at home stopped working one night and had to face the hot summer heat. After tossing and turning for what seemed like hours I grabbed my earthing mat and laid over it, and even though I was still sweating, the end result was amazing sleep and waking up feeling surprised at the quality of sleep I had just gotten.
Fortunately, the next day the air conditioner was fixed and I was able to go back to sleeping in 68 degrees Fahrenheit that day. I am recommending this because of how amazing I felt the morning after I tried earthing for sleep. There are many claims about the benefits of earthing during the day and about the benefits for earthing at night. You might want to try this biohack and see how well it works for you. I personally go do go outside barefoot, walk on the earth and soak up the sun as often as possible.
I downloaded the app Pzizz and used the free trial to see how it affected my sleep. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience with Pzizz but found it better for me to sleep with my window opened slightly. The reason being is that since I live in the suburbs of New Jersey, I get to enjoy the sounds of birds chirping and the wind blowing without any car horns or crowds of people talking.
However, if you live in the city or maybe if you live with a noisy family, Pzizz could be incredibly beneficial for you.
I first heard of Pzizz from Dave Asprey on the Bulletproof Blog and ventured to try it myself. Pzizz claims to be clinically proven to help you sleep and you can read their studies and about the science behind it here. Even if you do use other apps to help you fall asleep, I would recommend giving Pzizz a try and experimenting with how it works for you. You never know until you try, of course, this is just a sleep app, so don’t go and try something crazy without understanding it first haha.
So to recap:
Try the box breath, meditation, and/or emWave 2 before bed. The reason is to take you out of a fight or flight mode where you feel anxious and stressed and lower the release of cortisol into your body. Then try grounding while going to bed, you can purchase an earthing mat online and lay over it. Finally, download the Pzizz app and use their free trial to see how it helps your sleep.
There are endless more sleep hacks to improve your sleep and energy levels but if you are new or haven’t tried these out yet, these can be a real game changer.