If you’re looking for a simple routine to sleep better, Fitness Coach Craig Ballantyne has designed the 10-3-2-1-0 Goodnight Formula. It’s easy to remember and not difficult to follow.
No Caffeine - 10 hours
No Food - 3 hours
No Work - 2 hours
No Screens - 1 hour
No Snooze - 0
You should not have any caffeine within 10 hours of going to bed.
It is estimated that 78% of Americans drink at least one caffeinated beverage each day. But what affect does the caffeine have on our sleep? You may not be surprised that it all comes down to what time you consume it. A research study by Wayne State College of Medicine compared the disruptive sleep effects of a fixed dose of caffeine (400 mg) when administered 0,3, and 6 hours before participants’ normal bedtime. The results concluded that even those who had caffeine 6 hours before bedtime slept about one hour less than those who did not have any caffeine. Those hours can add up quickly so it’s best to play it safe and not drink caffeine within 10 hours of going to bed, or for most people around noon.
No more food or alcohol 3 hours before bed.
The connection between food and sleep is complex. Although most experts agree it is best not to eat before bedtime, going to bed starving can also disrupt sleep. So you really have to exercise your best judgement when it comes to deciding if you should eat before going to bed or not. If you do choose to eat, try to avoid highly acidic, spicy, or fatty foods.
Alcohol may help you fall asleep faster, but even just a few drinks can affect the quality of your sleep. Sleep Medicine Specialist Dr. Dianne Augelli explains, “What alcohol does is it decreases the amount of REM sleep that we get. REM is important for consolidating memories and learning from the previous day.” By messing up your sleep cycles, your body is not getting the restorative sleep it needs to heal and make you fully rested for the next day.
No work 2 hours before bed.
This one is pretty straightforward. Work can stimulate the brain and cause stress. And it’s much harder to fall asleep when you’re stressed.
No screen time 1 hour before bed.
That includes TV, laptops, video games and phones. A National Sleep Foundation poll discovered that 95% of Americans use technology within the hour before bed. But there are many reasons why having a technology curfew is beneficial to sleep better. Screens emit blue light which is found in the light spectrum during the day and acts as artificial sunlight. This in return decreases the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates our sleep cycles. By not looking at screens you’ll also simply get more sleep since it’s so easy to lose track of time when surfing the web, texting or playing games.
The number of times you should hit the snooze button.
This one is really hard to follow if you’ve adjusted to hitting the snooze button a few times each morning for many years. It’s just so tempting to try to get a few more minutes of sleep. If you’re like us and need some motivation Ballantyne states, “Remember why you are doing this. It’s your one and only life, one that is not rewarded for staying in bed, one that does not move forward because you stole an extra five minutes of sleep. If you want more sleep, you need to get to bed earlier, not wake up later.”
***If you’re looking to learn more about Craig’s Formula visit his site.