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Podcast: Sleep talk with Dr Michael Breus

Good’s Natalie Cyra spoke to one of the world’s most renowned sleep experts, Dr Michael Breus and quizzed him on napping, his revolutionary term ‘Nap-a-latte’, mobile phone use in bed and his 5 must-do sleep rituals. Listen here. 

Podcast interview by Natalie Cyra

Dr Michael Breus’ five essential sleep tips:

  1. Have one sleep schedule. Your wake up time is more important than your going to bed time. If you sleep in by even 30 minutes, your whole biological clock will shift, and then you’ll want to keep sleeping in. So if you stay up late on Friday, sleep in on Saturday, stay up late on Saturday and sleep in on Sunday – guess what your body wants to do on Sunday night – stay up late. And then Monday morning really stinks, because you literally cause jetlag in yourself. 
  2. Be strict with caffeine intake. Caffeine has a half life, which means it takes a certain amount of time for half of it to leave your system – approximately 6-8 hours. Don’t drink any coffee after 2pm, so it’s out of your system by the time you go to sleep. 
  3. Give yourself three hours between your last alcoholic drink and going to bed. There’s a big difference between going to sleep and passing out, says Dr Breus. It takes the average human body one hour to process one drink. Most people don’t have more than two or three drinks with dinner. So if you give yourself three hours between lights out and your last sip of alcohol, it will no longer affect your sleep. 
  4. The single best thing to improve the quality of your sleep is through exercise.  You don’t have to run a marathon either. 20 minutes, three times a week will definitely show an improvement in the overall quality of your sleep. 
  5. Get 15 minutes of sunlight in the morning. Sunlight turns off the melatonin faucet in your brain. If you get 15 minutes of sunlight in the morning it will absolutely get rid of that ‘fog’ you get when you’re starting your day. 

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