6 Tips for Better Sleep - How to Sleep Earlier

According to award-winning scientist Matt Walker

Abdullah Nadeem
3 min readJan 11, 2021

Matt Walker is a scientist and author of the book ‘Why We Sleep’. As times have recently changed given the global pandemic, people have faced a change in their sleeping patterns as they may temporarily not have had work or their priorities drop.

The loss in pressure to wake up early for work had people ruin their sleeping pattern and quality of sleep.

Away from the pandemic, sleep is something a lot of people, including myself, struggle with.

We see the famous ‘I wake up at 5 am’ videos on YouTube and this can put a lot of pressure on yourselves to wake up earlier.

However, if you aren’t sleeping earlier than waking up at these times would be doing more harm than good and tarnish your productivity. Here are 6 tips according to sleep expert Matt Walker for better sleep.

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

1. Regularity

Go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time.

This will anchor your sleep and improve its quality. Our brain has a 24-hour clock and therefore if you start to become constraint with your sleeping pattern it can detect the times which you start to sleep and will trigger tiredness at those times.

Many of us use an alarm to wake up, but very few of us use a ‘to-bed alarm’, try it out!

2. Temperature

Keep it cool.

Your brain and body need to drop their core temperature to about 1.C or 2–3.C in order to initiate and stay asleep.

This is why it’s easier to sleep in a room that's cooler than too hot.

3. Darkness

Darkness releases a hormone in our brain called ‘melatonin’.

Melatonin helps regulate the healthy timing of our sleep. In the last hour before bed stay away from a screen and dim down the lights of your house.

Maybe wear an eye mask or get blackout blinds.

4. Walk it out

Don't stay in bed awake for a long period of time.

If you find yourself shuffling away at night unable to fall asleep, the recommendation is to get to of bed and go into another room to do something else.

This is because your brain has associated your bed with this place of wakefulness and you need to break that association. This can be done by getting out of bed and only return when you’re sleepy.

5. Monitor alcohol and caffeine

Stay away from caffeine and alcohol before bed.

6. Have an evening routine

We expect sleep to be like a light switch. Something where one we’re in bed, we can just flip the switch and fall asleep.

Unfortunately, that is not the case for most of us, sleep has a psychological process. Sleep is similar to landing a plane, you need to gradually decend down to the ground of sleep.

Find out what works for you which doesn't involve using electronics, stick to it and make a routine. This can involve reading, lightening a candle or having caffeine-free tea.

Let me know if any of these tips work as I will be trying them out myself too, have a great day!




Abdullah Nadeem

Hey! I’m a medical student who writes about Productivity, Growth and New Concepts to bring excitement to your week. FREE eBook on my blog: abdullahnadeem.co.uk