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Tools for Optimizing Sleep and Sleep-Wake Timing...

STORY AT-A-GLANCE
* Neuroscientist Andrew Huberman details how to effectively harness light and darkness, as well as other factors, to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer
* The main tools that control when you are awake and when you are asleep include light and darkness, temperature, food and exercise
* Huberman refers to viewing sunlight immediately, or within the first hour, after waking as “the most powerful stimulus for wakefulness throughout the day,” which will also help you fall asleep at night
* Taking a cold shower or ice bath for one to three minutes in the morning will trigger an increase in your core body temperature and lead you to feeling more alert; taking a hot bath or sauna in the evening will have the opposite effect and will help you fall asleep
* Once the sun goes down, you should dim the lights in your environment and use as little artificial light as possible; better yet, use candlelight or moonlight after sunset and be sure your bedroom is pitch black at night
* Other options to help you stay asleep include eye masks, ear plugs or elevating the end of your bed, which can increase the depth of your sleep
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