3 Ways to Improve Your Sleep Quality

In this blog let us checkout the three main ways to improve your sleep quality with Katie Moore.

Meet Katie Moore aka Katie Type A:

Katie is an entrepreneur, YouTuber, and a kick-ass fellow biohacker chick with a background in journalism and a passion for education, Katie is always investigating and experimenting with new health and wellness tech on her amazing YouTube channel and helps clients improve their sleep health through one-on-one consultations.

In addition to biotech research and reviews, Katie is also the co-host of the Beauty and the Biohacker podcast with Rachel Varga. Combining Rachel's holistic science of beauty with Katie's Type A Biohacker spin, these two sit down with some of the biggest icons in the health space to reveal the latest findings in the areas of healthy aging, human optimization, peak performance, and biohacking.

In a recent interview with Katie we were discussing the topic:
—-> 3 powerful ways to optimize sleep quality.

A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book – Irish Proverb

Getting great sleep is one of the most underrated but important things we can do to improve out health. Most of us tend to take it for granted until we wake up one morning tired not understanding how our sleep quality deteriorated over time. When it comes to performance optimization, sleep is always first thing I start with because it is so foundational that it doesn’t even make sense to start working on optimizing other aspects of health until we can get our sleep dialed in. It would be like building a house without a foundation.

In my own biohacking journey, I bought my first sleep tracker a few years ago (my Oura ring), and as I was researching online, I found Katie’s amazing YouTube Channel and immediately fell in love with her style and appreciated the amount of due diligence she does evaluating, testing and comparing biohacking gadgets and I knew right away that one day I would have to connect with her and pick her brain on biohacking. In our recent interview, we cover so much more then what I can squeeze into this blog post so what you have here is just a short summary of our discussion. So be sure to watch the full interview on my YouTube Channel.

Cool Down For Better Sleep

In our interview, Katie explained that one of the best things she did for improving her over all sleep quality is keeping her body temperature cool at night. There are multiple ways to do this that won't break the bank:

1. Least expensive option would be to take a cold shower right before bed. (Pro-tip: if you absolutely hate being cold, start with turning the shower dial to cold for the last 10 seconds of your shower and then work your way up to 30 seconds over a week.) Once you get past the initial flinch, your body will start to adapt and the very thought of a cold shower won't seem so daunting.

2. Once you've mastered the cold shower, you can take cold therapy before bed to the next level with a DIY ice bath. If you have a bathtub, all you need is ice (she usually goes with 40-60lbs of ice). But if you only have a shower stall, I highly recommend something like the 100 gallon Rubbermaid stock tank for $100.

3. Another way to keep cool is to turn your thermostat down at night. According to The Sleep Foundation, the best bedroom temperature for sleep is approximately 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 degrees Celsius). Even in the winter months, Katie recommends sleeping at this temperature and adding in a weighted blanket if you get too chilly. When your internal body temperature gets too warm at night, this will actually keep you awake for longer and prevent you from entering deep sleep.

4. And finally, if you want to take your sleep game to the next level, I would invest in a cooling mattress pad. Companies like ChiliPad and 8 Sleep (shown on the picture above) have some really great and affordable options that you can use to automatically cool down your bed each night based on your preferred temperature setting. In fact, Katie loves her 8 Sleep Pod Pro Cover so much that she is shipping it from California to Hawaii to help improve her nightly sleep scores, especially in such a warm and humid climate where it's hard to cool down at night.

Katie and I both tried the ChilliPad and 8 Sleep and we both landed on 8Sleep. I have the actual 8 Sleep Pod and Katie has the Cover version. They both do a great job at keeping your body temperature cool at night.   

Dim the Lights

One of the main reasons people have trouble falling asleep at night has a lot to do with light exposure. When your eyes are constantly inundated from the blue light emitted from screens (computers, TVs, phones), this is going to turn off your body's natural melatonin-production signals, making it much harder for you to feel tired and fall asleep.

Katie explained that she struggled with falling asleep for years until she finally caught onto this trend of setting your circadian rhythm, which starts with limiting your blue light exposure at night. And this can be as simple as investing in a pair of blue blocking glasses that you wear 2-3 hours before bed. I highly recommend the company TrueDark and their Twilights Sunset Aviators (seen on the picture above).

You can also adjust the color filter setting on your phone to automatically turn a red hue at night and install software like IRIS or f.lux on your computer, which are free blue light filter apps that simply remove the blue light from your computer during the evening hours to help your eyes adjust.

Another great tip is to install red hue bulbs into all of your lights and automatically set them to go off a few hours before bed. I personally have all red nightlights throughout my house that automatically turn on at dusk. The warm red from these lights will help signal to your brain that it's time to wind down and help promote natural melatonin secretion in your body before bed.

Start Tracking Your Sleep

If you want to create better habits around sleep, you have to start by tracking your sleep. This is the simplest and easiest way to get a baseline for your REM, deep, and light sleep scores, along with other sleep factors including HRV, heart rate, restfulness, and body temperature.

Katie and I both have been using the Oura Ring to track our sleep for the past few years and have found the data around sleep trends to be extremely valuable when it comes to encouraging healthy sleep habits and evaluating new sleep supplements and routines.

The issue with sleep is that you are not conscious at night so you don’t have a really good way of judging your own sleep quality, so without good feedback it is almost impossible to tell if your sleep is actually improving. During our interview, Katie explained that prior to tracking her sleep, she was constantly guessing about the quality of her sleep and thought that more hours meant better sleep. But after 3 years of her tracking, she now knows that data makes all the difference.

Once you see where your numbers fall, you can start making the right adjustments for your individual body around things like room temperature, bed time, wake-up time, fasting, etc. For instance, Katie and I both noticed that if we eat too close to bed, our REM scores are completely messed up at night. And the same thing goes for sleeping in a warm environment!

Biohacking is all about testing, not guessing, and so investing in a high quality sleep gadget like the Oura Ring, Biostrap, Fitbit or Whoop devices will make all the difference by helping provide you with a concrete baseline to work with when it comes to improving your sleep.

Be sure to watch the interview for more detailed discussion on all these topics and tracking Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and why this metric is so important for your health.

To learn more about Katie or to book a sleep consultation with her, please visit her website, be sure to follow her on Instagram and Facebook @katietypea

I’m passionate about building a women’s health focused biohacking community that is run by women and shares women’s perspectives on health and wellness. I’m looking for collaboration with other kick-ass biohacker chicks that are passionate about a certain biohacking topic. Maybe you are a physician, a scientists, a nutritionists, an athlete, or work in the health and wellness field in some other capacity or maybe you recovered from major health challenges against all odds…? I would love to feature you. Click here to schedule.