In On Purpose episode, Jay Shetty introduces eight strategies for achieving deep sleep and boosting energy throughout the day. He intends to offer practical advice and explain the science behind each strategy, motivating and inspiring his audience to apply these principles.
Even with proper diet and exercise, inadequate sleep can leave one feeling drained and lethargic. So, Jay highlights the importance of quality sleep, sharing his experiences of the detrimental effects of poor sleep on your energy levels.
Location Has Energy, and Time Has Memory
Jay Shetty introduces how location and time affect our daily routines and, consequently, our sleep quality. He learned from his experiences in the monastery that location carries energy and time has memory.
Jay explains that it becomes easier when we consistently perform an activity in the same place and simultaneously because our bodies become conditioned to expect it. However, in modern times, our work, eating, and sleeping spaces have become mixed and disorganized. Many people work from their beds, eat where they should be working, and even sleep on the couch meant for watching TV. This mixing of energies can lead to confusion and restlessness when we try to sleep.
To address this issue, Jay Shetty suggests transforming the bedroom into a sacred sanctuary for healthy sleep. Try removing the TV from the bedroom to avoid consuming anxiety-inducing content before sleep. Jay explains that such content can trigger anxiety and interfere with restful sleep. Moreover, he advises against eating in bed, incredibly close to bedtime, as it diverts the body's energy towards digestion instead of restoration.
Drink Warm Water
Morning routines have a tremendous impact on sleep quality. Improving sleep isn't just about what happens while you sleep and how you live when you're awake.
Therefore, Jay Shetty suggests starting the day by drinking a cup of warm water. It helps with hydration after losing fluids during sleep and has several other advantages. According to Ayurveda, warm water aids in breaking down certain foods and kick-starting the digestive process in the morning. Consuming slowly can alleviate bloating or discomfort and clear out waste and toxins.
Another benefit of drinking warm water is that it raises the internal body temperature, leading to sweating, which is the body's natural way of eliminating toxins. Jay emphasizes that it should be warm water, not hot, and incorporating this practice into your morning routine can help you feel more refreshed and cleansed, preventing the accumulation of toxins throughout the day.
Lower Temperatures for Sleep
Jay Shetty discusses the often-overlooked factor of temperature in maintaining a good sleep routine, as recommended by the Sleep Foundation.1
The core body temperature naturally fluctuates and starts to drop about two hours before bedtime, coinciding with the release of the sleep hormone melatonin. During sleep, the body temperature decreases, reaching its lowest point in the early morning and gradually warming up as the day progresses. Lowering the thermostat in your bedroom can align with these natural temperature fluctuations and signal to your body that it's time for sleep.
Jay Shetty recommends setting the thermostat between 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 21 degrees Celsius) two hours before bedtime, with the optimal range for most people being around 63 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit (17 to 19 degrees Celsius). He encourages the listeners to find their comfort zone within this range, ensuring that it supports their body's journey toward sleep.
However, some may find lower temperatures uncomfortable and address concerns about feeling cold. Jay Shetty emphasizes that the goal is not to make yourself uncomfortable but to create an environment that prepares the body for sleep. The discomfort and restlessness associated with warmer temperatures can interfere with the body's thermoregulation and lead to fatigue.
Moreover, scorching ambient temperatures can negatively impact sleep quality, including decreased restorative slow-wave sleep and less time spent in REM sleep, essential for deep, restful sleep.
Jay Shetty emphasizes the importance of creating a cave-like darkness in the bedroom to improve sleep quality. He addresses everyday sleep disruptors, such as flickering lights, TVs, phones, or alarm systems, and their impact on sleep.
Jay explains that darkness stimulates melatonin production. This hormone helps initiate and maintain sleep throughout all sleep cycles. He shares a personal experience of sleeping with open blinds to let in the morning sun, negatively affecting his sleep depth and duration.
It is just as important to gradually dim the lights in the evening to prepare the body and mind for sleep. Jay Shetty contrasts it with the common practice of turning off all lights and switching on the TV, exposing yourself to disruptive blue light that hinders sleep preparation.
Even the slightest amount of light can hinder melatonin production, while darkness promotes relaxation, aiding in falling asleep faster. So, sleeping in darkness can enhance overall health and well-being. Studies have shown that sleeping in light can contribute to weight gain, as it may slow down metabolic processes and hinder the body's ability to convert fat into energy.2 Conversely, sleeping in a dark room can support a faster metabolism, leading to more calorie burning and healthier weight maintenance.
Listen to Your Circadian Clock
Circadian rhythms highly impact our daily lives. They are natural, 24-hour cycles that regulate various physical, mental, and behavioral functions in living organisms, including humans.
Jay Shetty explains that these rhythms are primarily influenced by light and dark cycles and can affect critical bodily functions such as hormone release, eating habits, digestion, and body temperature. He highlights three crucial times when our circadian clocks are most sensitive to light: about one hour after waking up, about two hours before bedtime, and throughout the night.
Exposing yourself to natural light in the morning is vital, as it can help increase alertness during the day and facilitate falling asleep faster at night. However, Jay cautions against bright light exposure within two hours of bedtime, as it can have the opposite effect and make it difficult to fall asleep.
Sunlight affects the body by promoting the production of serotonin, a brain chemical associated with well-being, while also regulating cortisol, a stress hormone that, if elevated at night, can disrupt sleep. Therefore, Jay encourages the listeners to value the power of sunlight, even if they don't live in consistently sunny locations. Spending time outdoors and exposure to natural light can significantly impact overall well-being and sleep quality.
A Good Mattress Matters
You can achieve better sleep by increasing your comfort level. Therefore, having a good mattress is paramount. Jay Shetty explains that having a mattress tailored to your specific needs and preferences is crucial, as it contributes to overall comfort, regulates temperature, and promotes relaxation. A supportive mattress and pillow are essential for proper spine support, preventing aches and pains.
Jay Shetty explains that sheets and blankets play an essential role, too; the material they are made of can significantly impact your sleep experience. He shares a personal experience of how changing his bedding material positively affected his mindset.
Jay Shetty shares his experience using yoga nidra, which works with the autonomic nervous system to regulate various bodily processes like heartbeat, breathing, digestion, and blood flow. Yoga Nidra helps induce relaxation and alleviate pain, making it helpful in recovering from surgeries or experiencing discomfort.
Additionally, Jay mentions the body scan exercise, which involves paying attention to different parts of the body, expressing gratitude to them, and releasing tension to facilitate relaxation and sleep. Jay shares encourages the listeners to experiment with it for themselves. He also recommends starting with a deep breathing exercise to initiate the relaxation response to lower heart rate, blood pressure, and stress levels, ultimately aiding in falling asleep.
Jay Shetty also brings up the military sleep method, which combines elements such as deep breathing and body scanning. The method has gained popularity on social media as a technique that claims to help individuals fall asleep within two minutes. It originated in Bud Winter's Relax and Win: Championship Performance book.
The Right Sleeping Positions
A Healthline article analyzed different sleep positions and their impact on various concerns and health issues. Jay Shetty highlights a comprehensive table that guides on choosing the most suitable sleep positions based on specific concerns:
- Lower Back Pain: Healthline suggests trying side, fetal, or back positions and using a pillow between the knees when sleeping on your side to aid in spine alignment.
- Neck Pain: The recommended positions for those experiencing neck pain are back and side sleeping. A thicker pillow when sleeping on your side and a thinner pillow when sleeping on your back can be beneficial.
- Sleep Apnea or Snoring: Healthline advises side, fetal, or stomach positions for individuals with sleep apnea or snoring. When sleeping on your stomach, using a pillow under the pelvis and a thinner pillow under the head is recommended.
- Acid Reflux: To alleviate acid reflux, sleeping on your side, preferably the left side, is suggested.
- Pregnancy: For pregnant individuals, Healthline recommends fetal or side positions and experimenting with body pillows or wedge pillows for added comfort.
- Sinus Congestion: To address sinus congestion, sleeping on your back while propping your head up with an extra pillow can help drainage.
- Hip or Knee Pain: For those with hip or knee pain, sleeping on your back is recommended.
Jay encourages the listeners to try these suggested sleep positions based on their concerns.
More From Jay Shetty
Listen to the entire On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast episode on “8 Strategies for Deeper Sleep & Boosting Your Energy All Day” now in the iTunes store or on Spotify. For more inspirational stories and messages like this, check out Jay’s website at jayshetty.me.
1Pacheco, Danielle, and Heather Wright. “Best Temperature for Sleep.” Web log. Sleep Foundation (blog), November 8, 2023. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/bedroom-environment/best-temperature-for-sleep.
2Park YM, White AJ, Jackson CL, Weinberg CR, Sandler DP. Association of Exposure to Artificial Light at Night While Sleeping With Risk of Obesity in Women. JAMA Intern Med. 2019 Aug 1;179(8):1061-1071. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.0571. PMID: 31180469; PMCID: PMC6563591.
3Villalobos, Nick, and Jandra Sutton. “Best Sleeping Positions for a Good Night’s Sleep.” Web log. Healthline (blog), March 21, 2023. https://www.healthline.com/health/best-sleeping-position.
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