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4 things NASA can teach you about a good night's sleep - The Week

Stashed in: Sleep!, @bakadesuyo, NASA

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In the past I've rounded up sleep research and documented my own sleep-hacking experiments. Let's add some astronaut knowledge.

Given you probably don't have to deal with the thruster jets of Skylab waking you up or the sounds of the hull of your ship expanding and contracting, I've edited the recommendations down to four points:

1. Maintain a consistent schedule, even on weekends. Keep in mind the "free-running" problem. Your body will push later if given the chance.

2. Take an hour to wind down before bed. Yes, you're busy. But your time is not more precious than an astronaut's. So take the time to wind down.

3. If you don't have strong day/night cues, add them. Get sunlight in the morning. Dim the lights at night. Turn electronics off as bedtime approaches or use an application like f.lux.

4. Keep your bedroom dark, cool, and free from noise. Even if you think "the light doesn't bother you" or "the noise isn't that bad" it can still reduce sleep quality.

Durant offers another solid piece of advice I follow myself: Forget the alarm clock in the morning; set an alarm to remind you to go to bed at night.

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