BIOHACK YOUR WAY TO A BETTER NIGHT’S SLEEP
Biohacking - A holistic approach to your health
The health and wellness industry has come a very long way from using a person's weight to determine their health and fitness. Today it is all about blood work and health screens to assess how fit and healthy we really are. We’re moving away from measurements like body fat and muscle mass and moving towards a focus on how well the body is functioning as a whole. This change in perspective has been made possible by technology. As we get more technical, we’re using gadgets to measure our sleep, stress levels, exercise, and more. This is known as biohacking.
What is biohacking?
Biohacking is about using science to make changes to energise and enhance physical and mental health. It involves collecting data about our bodies in order to change the way we look and feel. This could be as simple as shaking up what we eat or taking dietary supplements.
However, the term “biohacking” is continually evolving and today focuses more heavily on wearable technology as a means of monitoring and regulating physiological data. It’s all about optimising your body’s potential and becoming the best possible version of yourself using science and data.
There are many aspects of our lives that have become particularly popular to biohack. This includes biohacking diet, stress levels, and sleep.
Biohacking your sleep
Studies show that many people in the UK do not get enough sleep. Not getting enough sleep is detrimental to how well we function on a day-to-day basis as well as impacting our overall health. According to the NHS, insufficient sleep can increase the chances of many illnesses including:
- Heart Disease
- Depression and anxiety
If you’re considering biohacking in order to enhance your lifestyle, sleep is a great place to start. Sleep serves as a time for the body to repair and recover. Due to this, optimising an individual's sleep has become a prime target for those in the biohacking community. By optimising and tracking our sleep, we get exactly the right amount of shut-eye we need to better perform in our personal and work lives and recover from illness quicker. Biohacking can be done naturally using simple lifestyle hacks to ensure a better night's sleep or can involve tracking your sleep with technology and making changes based on the data.
Ways to biohack your sleep
There are many ways to biohack your sleep, both naturally and by using technology. If you are planning on biohacking your sleep using natural non-technological methods, it is recommended that you make note of how well you slept each night and record what methods you used. Use this data to find correlations between biohacks and a good night's sleep. Using a combination of natural and technological biohacking methods will help you make links between sleep and your lifestyle that are based on data and science. Data is important for biohacking as without it, it becomes difficult to track the quality of sleep and highlight areas of improvement.
Switch off technology
Before you go to bed, switch off your electronic devices as they interfere with your sleep before you even close your eyes due to blue light. Reducing blue light from your phone or laptop before you go to bed can ultimately help you get more and better sleep. This is because blue light impacts the production of melatonin, which is the hormone that tells your body that you’re tired and need sleep. Replace spending time on your phone before bed with a good book or some meditation. If you need an alarm to wake up the next morning, use a traditional clock and don’t keep it next to your head while you sleep.
Create an optimal environment for sleep
Cool the bedroom down, invest in black-out blinds or an eye mask, or even just ensure you are minimising sound either naturally or by using noise-canceling devices. Making these simple changes are a great way to hack your way to a good night’s sleep.
Watch your diet
Simply avoiding alcohol and caffeine before bed and avoiding eating large meals before you go to sleep can help you sleep better and for longer.
At London Doctors Clinic, you can speak to one of our specialist dietitians about overhauling your diet to optimise your sleep. Using evidence-based nutrition, our team of experts can provide nutritional advice and support and work with you to set goals that are realistic.
Get enough exercise
Exercise has many benefits and helping you to sleep is one of them! There are many technological devices such as Fitbits or Apple watches that help ensure you are getting enough exercise each day. However, avoid exercising too close to your bedtime as this can stop you from falling asleep.
Measure and monitor your sleep
You need to find out how good or bad your sleep is to know what you need to do to fix it. Measuring and monitoring your sleep using technology such as wearable rings or watches allows individuals to capture variables such as heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and more. These data points can give an informed perspective on how well a person is sleeping. It also allows an individual to receive feedback and recommendations to enhance their sleep, ultimately giving a holistic view on how they are sleeping, what’s going wrong and how It can be fixed.
How London Doctors Clinic can help
London Doctors Clinic offers a Virtual Wellness Screen and Virtual Wellness Subscription for those wanting to better understand their general wellness and how it is influenced by the quality and quantity of their sleep. Using wearable technology, we are able to monitor a person's health and wellbeing. and have access to extensive data on four categories including general health and wellbeing, sleep quality and quantity, mental health, and anxiety and activity. The Virtual Wellness Screen tracks 41 individual data points every day including:
- Heart rate
- Heart rate variability
- Body temperature
- Sleep duration and quality
- Sleep cycles
- Daily activity and readiness for the next day
The Oura Ring is used to provide data on how you are sleeping. It also looks at how it is impacting your mental and physical health. The medical specialists at London Doctors Clinic analyse the data from the Oura Ring and explain how you can use this data to get more from your sleep. This means you can biohack your physical and mental health through more and better-quality sleep.
Getting medical expertise can also help indicate if any possible conditions are influencing your sleep issues such as thyroid problems or diabetes. Getting a blood test can also show if you are deficient in any nutrients that are important for sleep such as vitamin D.
Sleep is important for everyone to function and should always be prioritised. If you are struggling with sleep or insomnia, speak to a GP or check out our Virtual Wellness Screen and start biohacking your sleep today.