1-Sentence-Summary: The Sleep Solution improves your quality of life by identifying the myths surrounding rest that keep you from getting more of it, showing you why they’re false, and teaching you how to establish proper sleep hygiene.
Read in: 5 minutes
Favorite quote from the author:
How would you rate your sleep quality on a scale of 1 to 10? You might, like most people, have accepted the fact that the busyness of life is too much to let you have a good night’s rest. That constant feeling of exhaustion seems inevitable and unfixable.
But if you haven’t been prioritizing sleep, just consider that without it you’d die. And when your sleep quality is poor, your mood, weight, and general health decline.
What’s more, those people who get more done than you don’t have some nifty productivity hack. They just get enough sleep because they know that it’s the top indicator of efficiency.
You might have tried to fix your sleep problems and are frustrated by all the advice that just doesn’t work. Well, you’re about to find the answer you’ve been looking for.
As a certified sleep specialist and neurologist, Chris Winter shows us the science of how to resolve our sleep issues in The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep is Broken and How to Fix It.
This one will be a game-changer for your sleep and your life.
Here are 3 of the best lessons on rest that I got out of this wonderful book:
- If you don’t sleep well, you’re not going to be healthy.
- Use the principles of preparation and routine to boost your sleep hygiene.
- Insomnia doesn’t come from not enough sleep, it’s more about being frustrated by terrible sleep quality.
Get those blankets and pillows ready, after this you’re going to know how to solve your sleep problems! Let’s go!
Lesson 1: You cannot be healthy if you don’t sleep well.
How much do you think that mankind knows about our own brains? You’d probably believe we know about all of its systems by now, right? Not really.
In 2015, two scientists working independently of each other discovered a new area called the glymphatic system that helps us get rid of waste. One of the toxins it removes is amyloid-beta, which accumulates in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.
They found that when you’re sleeping, this toxin-removing system is 60% more active. In other words, when you miss sleep, you’re not letting your brain get rid of waste!
Additionally, when your sleep quality isn’t great, your heart suffers. Your risk of strokes, heart attacks, high blood pressure, and even heart failure all increase when you don’t get enough shuteye.
It also can increase the number of blood clots you have, which makes you more likely to have a stroke.
Your immune system is another on the long list of bodily functions affected by rest. If you ever heard your parents say that you should get to bed so you wouldn’t get sick, they were right.
Research from the University of California in 2015 confirms this. The study discovered that people who got only six hours of sleep after exposure to the cold virus were four times more likely to get a cold than those that got seven or more hours.
Lesson 2: To boost your sleep hygiene, prepare well and use the power of routine.
You’ve heard the phrase sleep hygiene before, but what is it? This process involves intentionally designing your environment and patterns before bedtime so your sleep can be as efficient as possible.
The first step to making this system productive is preparation.
Knowing that light will make your sleep worse and darkness makes it better is key. When your eyes sense darkness, they signal the brain to start producing melatonin, which is the chemical that makes you sleepy.
Any amount of light, even the smallest, will disrupt this process and your sleep health. That’s why you need to get your room as dark as possible. Also, get off those devices before bed! My doctor told me, after I mentioned I was having a hard time sleeping, that he always tells people with this problem to get off their phones at night.
Also, prepare with a good mattress. My wife and I just got a Purple. Although the change was gradual, it’s massively improved the quality of our sleep.
If your bedroom and the idea of sleep in general make you feel negative, change it up! Rearrange furniture, get new curtains, or paint the walls. Make it a sleep sanctuary.
The next step for good sleep hygiene is your routine.
Simply make sure that you’re doing the same things at the same time each night, like when you were a kid. You might start with dimming all the lights to help with melatonin production, then read a book until you feel tired.
Whatever you do, make sure to stay consistent!
Lesson 3: Insomnia is a state of being frustrated about poor sleep quality, it doesn’t come from not getting enough sleep.
One in five people in the United States has insomnia. While it’s pretty prevalent, what’s even more common is the misconceptions about this issue.
Usually, we think of insomnia as not being able to sleep at all. But that’s not possible, for, as the author teaches, everybody sleeps some or they would die.
Instead, this condition is more about the frustration you feel around unsatisfactory sleep than not actually getting any of it.
Usually, people will get an insomnia diagnosis if they have poor sleep a minimum of twice a week for three months. But this is arbitrary. If you were grumpy about bad sleep just two times an entire month, you’d also be told you have insomnia.
There are two parts to this condition that you need to be aware of. The first is not being able to get to sleep when you want. This can come in the form of not falling asleep at a certain time or having a hard time staying asleep during the night.
The other component is the annoyance you feel from this. Even if you only have bad sleep once a month, you have insomnia if it bothers you.
Most of the time, this condition comes from anxiety or other medical issues. To deal with it, learn about sleep and your anxiety triggers and how to deal with them.
The Sleep Solution Review
The Sleep Solution blew me away! I’ve summarized a few books on sleep but never heard some of these useful ideas before. I think this could really be the solution to sleep problems of all kinds!
Who would I recommend The Sleep Solution summary to?
The 33-year-old who is constantly telling everyone how tired they are and how little sleep they got, the 56-year-old who thinks that insomnia running in her family means that they can’t ever get over theirs, and anyone that wants to have more energy, become more efficient, and improve their health.