Sleep is one of the most critical factors for our health, and getting sufficient quality sleep is particularly important for kids and young adults. That’s because poor sleep quality can negatively impact their brain development and the balance of hormones required for optimal growth.In this edition of my newsletter, I’d like to share the simple tricks my wife and I implemented to help our kids fall asleep faster and sleep better, thus helping them be in a better mood during the day.
Before we start, I’d like to thank Apollo Neuroscience* for sponsoring this newsletter. Apollo is a tactile stimulation wearable we’ve been using for years to reduce stress and improve sleep quality. Scroll down to learn more about how the kids and I have used Apollo.
As I’ve mentioned in numerous blog posts and YouTube videos, sleeping well is something that should come naturally, considering that humans have been doing it for millions of years. Unfortunately, the modern human environment is often not conducive to getting enough quality sleep, leading to problems with falling asleep and frequent wake-ups throughout the night.
One of the many reasons we decided to take our two kids out of school this year was to avoid having to wake them up at 6:15 every day to get ready. We figured that would allow them to go to bed a bit later every day and stay better in sync with the sun’s rising and setting — especially between late spring and early fall, when the sun is out for longer.
For a while, our strategy worked well. Our kids would go to bed 30-45 minutes later than usual but would sleep 1-1.5 hours longer, thus getting more sleep than before (when they went to school).
But after a while, we noticed that they’d push their bedtime back even further (by reading books in bed or just chatting with each other) while getting up at the same time as usual. In other words, the amount of time they spent asleep decreased, and we noticed that impact on their behavior during the day.
So we sat down (several times) and talked with them about the importance of sleep. But they argued that they weren’t tired in the evening and couldn’t fall asleep sooner.
Since we couldn’t force them to sleep (and counting sheep didn’t work), we had to figure out why they weren’t tired when it was time for bed.
But first, we wanted to figure out how long they were actually sleeping. So I gave Isabella my Biostrap (a sleep and fitness wearable I reviewed on my blog) to record when she would fall asleep and how much time she would spend in the individual phases of sleep.
After a few nights of testing, we noticed that Isabella was only getting around 9 hours of sleep — about an hour less than we wanted.
So we had to come up with a plan to help her (and her brother) sleep longer.
As it turned out, the solution to their sleep problem was fairly simple. All we had to do was create an environment that allowed their circadian rhythm to function optimally.
Here’s what we did:
- We exposed them to as much natural sunlight in the morning and during the day as possible (without the use of sunglasses or sunscreen).
- We removed all sources of artificial light in their bedroom. We literally took the lightbulbs out of the fixtures to make sure they weren’t exposed to artificial bluelight while in bed. Of course, that also meant no more reading in bed. (They’re allowed to read upstairs after dinner before getting ready for bed).
- We made sure they had a couple of hours between dinner and bedtime.
After only a few nights, we noticed a dramatic improvement in our kids’ sleep and behavior during the day. Coincidentally, the sleep metrics Biostrap recorded reflected our observations. Isabella got a whopping 60-90 minutes more sleep than before, just because of these three simple steps we took to better support our kids’ circadian rhythm.
The cool thing is that the three tricks I mentioned above also work for adults. So if you’re having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, increase your exposure to natural sunlight in the morning and during the day, avoid artificial sources of light (including screen time) in the evening, and leave enough time between dinner and bed.
Apollo Helps Improve Sleep
If chronic stress or anxiety keeps you awake, I highly recommend implementing some of the stress management techniques outlined in this article. One of the most impactful and convenient techniques is tactile stimulation, which is why I use Apollo when I feel antsy or have trouble winding down in the evening. Apollo* uses inaudible sound frequencies to downregulate the nervous system’s sympathetic branch (the one responsible for your fight or flight response when you’re stressed). That can help you fall asleep quicker and improve the quality of your sleep.
The preliminary results of an ongoing study involving 582 participants suggest that consistent use of Apollo increases deep sleep by 19%, REM sleep by 14%, and overall sleep by 6%.
New Articles and Videos You Might Have Missed
Here are some of the new and updated articles and videos that have been released or are in the works:
- New: The Best Diets for Weight Loss (And Which Ones to Avoid)
- New: Paleo vs. Keto vs. Carnivore: What’s the Best Diet for Optimal Health?
- Updated: Biosense Breath Ketone Meter Review
- Coming soon: Levels Health vs. NutriSense (Comparison of CGM Platforms)
- Coming soon: Freestyle Libre vs. Dexcom (Comparison of CGM Sensors)
- Coming soon: Ice Barrel Review (Article and YouTube video)
- Video: Eight Sleep Pod 3 Review: The Best Bed Cooling Solution on the Market?
- Video: Sovereign Laboratories Colostrum-LD Review (Benefits & How We Use It)
Over the past few months, I was a guest on various podcasts that I recommend you check out, including:
- Meat Mafia: #111: Michael Kummer (@mkummer82) – Upending Mainstream Health Advice
- Boundless Body Radio: Unedited recording (the official episode will launch on November 4th)
- Jodellefit: Michael Kummer Talks Carnivore, Keto, EMF, Body Temperature, Sleep & Liver Support
That’s it for this month!
I’m a healthy living and technology enthusiast.
On this blog, I share in-depth product reviews, actionable information and solutions to complex problems in plain and easy-to-understand language.