Resilience and Sleep Hygiene (How to Train your Brain to Sleep Better)

Hello everyone Floyd Meyer here I am a Physician Assistant with a Master’s in public health, a degree in molecular biology, and I am currently working in physical medicine and rehabilitation. Today we are continuing our series on Resilience which is the ability to remain well, recover, or even thrive in the face of adversity.

Last week we discussed how to synchronize your internal body clocks also known as your circadian rhythm. In it I showed you the 2 main ways to entrain a robust circadian rhythm to improve your overall resilience to stress. So if you haven’t watched that out yet make sure you do!

Today we are going to discuss one aspect of this rhythm in more detail which is improving sleep quality!

Getting good sleep is a vital aspect of being a robust resilient human. People who get poor quality sleep get sick more often and are more prone to injury. Not only that but poor sleep directly affects performance in all aspects from decreased exercise performance, to lack of emotional regulation, to decreased cognitive performance, to your overall happiness. Almost every aspect of your day can be directly influenced by sleep quality. (Watson., 2017)

It is recommended that you get between 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Unfortunately, most people are chronically sleep deprived. More than one out of every three adults gets less than 7 hours of sleep per night.

Even more frightening, almost 30 percent of people are getting less than 6 hours of sleep per night. If someone has been awake for 18 hours, aka less than 6 hours of sleep, your reaction time and focus are the same as someone with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent (legally drunk)!

Sleep is the time that your body gets to make new hormones, clear out waste (specifically in your brain through your glymphatic system), it’s when you repair the damage from the day before and build strong resilient tissues.

Unfortunately, our current environment is not conducive to high quality, deep, restorative sleep. Between the constant light exposure and a million different things fighting for our attention; getting good sleep has never been harder. That’s why I am going to show you my top 4 tips to improve your sleep so you can be more resilient and able to handle any obstacle in your way.

Step 1: Track your sleep

You can’t fix your sleep if you don’t know how much sleep you are getting. There are numerous apps and gadgets out there to track your sleep. They range in price from free to extremely expensive. I have been using an app called Sleep Cycle alarm clock for the last 5 years to track my own sleep patterns. You need to know where you are at before you can make meaningful change. So get one of these apps or devices and start collecting data. If you aren’t getting between 7-9 hours of deep restorative sleep then your body is functioning in a compromised state meaning you are more at risk of disease and injury.

Step 2: Understand Light

Blue light is going to tell your brain that it is daytime. The blue light comes from the sun but it also comes from our devices so our phones, computers, TVs, etc. And our brains can’t tell the difference between them.

So if you are using your phone before bed you are confusing your brain by sending it the signals that it is still day time.

During the day you should get as much blue light as you can to keep you awake, but at night you want to limit your blue light exposure.

You can use things like blue light blocking glassesblackout curtains, a program called F.lux on your computer, and red LED bulbs in your bedroom to limit your blue light exposure at night and give you that deep restorative sleep we all crave

Step 3: Keep it cool

The optimal sleep temperature is around 60-70 degrees F depending on where you live specifically. You need to actually cool your core body temperature by about 2-3 degrees to effectively initiate sleep which can be accomplished a couple of different ways.

First, you can turn down the AC which may be an easy thing to do depending on where you live.

Second, you can get a device called the chilipad which is going to precisely control your beds’ temperature. I have been using one for years and it’s been great especially for me living in Florida, because I do not have to then cool my whole house.

Third, is to take a hot shower before bed which will heat your body up temporarily, but when you get out you will dissipate the heat quickly because all of your blood vessels are at the surface of your skin. So your body temperature will quickly drop that 2-3 degrees getting you ready for deep restorative sleep.  

Step 4: Have a schedule

Your body needs to follow a regular schedule in order to operate effectively. You are only so malleable. Your body needs to know that it should be awake at certain times and asleep at certain times. To do this you need to synchronize your circadian rhythms.

You do this by controlling your light exposure like I explained in step 2, and through following Time Restricted Eating which I have discussed extensively in previous posts and videos so make sure you check that out if you haven’t already.

Now more than ever it is important to be resilient and be able to handle adversity. Getting good quality sleep is a vital aspect to your overall resilience. So make sure to sleep like your life depends on it because it does!

If this resonated with you please share with your friends and family and subscribe and follow for more of this content. The time for action is now. Again this is Floyd Meyer. Have a great day!

For direct links to all the products I discussed and more check out


Chang, A.-M., Aeschbach, D., Duffy, J. F., & Czeisler, C. A. (2014). Evening use of light-emitting eReaders negatively affects sleep, circadian timing, and next-morning alertness. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(4), 1232–1237. doi:10.1073/pnas.1418490112

Engle-Friedman, M. (2014). The effects of sleep loss on capacity and effort. Sleep Science, 7(4), 213–224. doi:10.1016/j.slsci.2014.11.001

Mathew, G. M., Martinova, A., Armstrong, F., & Konstantinov, V. (2018). The role of sleep deprivation and fatigue in the perception of task difficulty and use of heuristics. Sleep Science,11(2). doi:10.5935/1984-0063.20180016

Pilcher, J. J., & Huffcutt, A. I. (1996). Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Performance: A Meta Analysis. Sleep, 19(4), 318–326. doi:10.1093/sleep/19.4.318

Sleep and Sleep Disorders. (2017, May 02). Retrieved from

Watson AM. Sleep and Athletic Performance. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2017;16(6):413-418. doi:10.1249/JSR.0000000000000418

Williamson, A. M. (2000). Moderate sleep deprivation produces impairments in cognitive and motor performance equivalent to legally prescribed levels of alcohol intoxication. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 57(10), 649-655. doi:10.1136/oem.57.10.649


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