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06th Oct 2017

“Sleep Doctor” confirms what you’re doing right and wrong when it comes to sleep

We're listening...

Darragh Berry

We know you’re tired, but try and keep with us until the end.

When it comes to sleep, who better to ask about it than someone who calls themselves the ‘Sleep Doctor’. Dr Michael Breus has been on Oprah and has written for The Huffington Post on the matter so if you’re going to heed anyone, Breus is your man.

He has said that everything we do, we do better with a full night’s sleep whether that is improving our immune system, concentration levels or even decision making.

Breus told that we need to treat sleep as more of a marathon, not a sprint.

“You don’t just go in and immediately get a good night’s sleep. It’s more like slowly pulling your foot off the gas and slowly putting your foot on the break, there’s a process that has to occur.”

Being on your phone isn’t the best thing to do before bed and Breus believes that watching television across the room and closing your eyes that way is a lesser evil.

Avoiding big emotional discussions right before bed is also key to getting a good night of snooze.

“It sets off this whole level of autonomic arousal, you’re angry, you’re upset, and you can’t stop thinking right before bed.”

He recommends a strange sleeping hack for when you’re absolutely exhausted but need to get things done in what he likes to call a “nap-a-latte.” Take a cup of black coffee, cooled down with three ice cubes and it is drunk quickly followed by a 25-minute nap immediately after.

“The caffeine then blocks the sleep-inducing factors and this little 25 minutes will give you “four hours [of productivity], guaranteed.”

His favourite trick, however, is a relatively simple but effective counting trick, where you count backwards from 300 in blocks of three.

“It’s so complicated you can’t think of anything else and it’s so boring that you’re out like a light.”

For those of you who love an old turkey sandwich or glass of warm milk before bed, we’re sorry to say but you need to cut that out right now.

Breus states that you would need to eat 20kg of turkey to feel a drowsy effect kicking in (probably because you’d be too full to do anything else but sleep) and about six litres of milk to feel the same effect.

If you’re going to have one or the other though, he recommends the milk for this reason…

“The reason the warm milk might work is because your mum or grandma might have given you warm milk as a child, and it’s that memory or experience that helps relax you.”