In his most recent video, YouTuber Mikhail Varshavski, elavil and wellbutrin aka Doctor Mike, shares the habits he has built into his evening routine to improve his sleep, and by extension reduce stress and anxiety, and give himself the best possible start to a day.
One way to increase your chances of having a great night’s sleep is to create the optimal sleep environment. A few hours before he’s due to go to sleep, Mike adjusts the temperature in his room to around 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
“Your body naturally lowers its core temperature while you sleep,” he explains. “So if you can assist in the process by lowering the environment temperature, you’re going to be doing yourself a favor. If you don’t, and it’s warm in your room, your body is going to try and cool down by sweating.”
He also uses a humidifier to help counteract the effects of the air conditioning and prevent his airways and mucus membranes from drying up. The third step he takes is to remove all outward sources of light, using blackout blinds.
After dinner, in addition to going through his skincare and oral hygiene rituals, Mike walks his dog. “This is my favorite part of my nighttime routine because it really helps me wind down,” he says. “It’s quiet, it’s dark, nobody’s out.”
In the hours leading up to bedtime, Mike lowers the light levels throughout his apartment, to boost the release of the sleep hormone melatonin, as well as switching his beverages to caffeine-free herbal tea. He also recommends creating a to-do list for the next day, and avoiding doomscrolling or using social media at all before going to sleep.
He also follows the practice of writing a list of three good things that happened to him that day. “The reason we’re doing this is we’re retraining our minds to let go of the anxiety and think about the good things,” he says.
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