The missing link between more people building a million dollar business and a million dollar body isn't lack of information. It's the lack of sleep. Sleep deprivation not only affects your weight, but it also can affect your wallet and general outlook on life.
According to a poll conducted by the Sleep Foundation, 43 percent of Americans rarely obtain a good night's sleep on the weeknights. Being sleep deprived while trying to thrive in your professional life can quickly morph into mission impossible.
But it doesn't have to be this way.
Here are four ways to improve your sleep according to neuroscience.
1. Sleep in cooler temperatures
Sleeping in cooler temperatures doesn't just improve your sleep, but it actually helps improve your metabolism due to melatonin helping modulate key metabolic hormones such as leptin, ghrelin, and insulin. These three hormones help with satiety, appetite, fat storage, and caloric uptake.
Through this efficient metabolic process, you're triggering more brown fat adipose tissue. There are two main types of fat: white and brown fat. Think of your white fat as more of a storage fat that is linked to obesity and other associated diseases while your brown fat helps burn calories in order to maintain its core temperature.
A good starting point is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 Celsius for fans of the metric system).
Turn the thermostat down and slim your waist, improve your health, and wake up in a better mood the next day.
2. Limit your nighttime exposure to light
Limiting light exposure at night is important because of melatonin (your "sleep hormone"). Melatonin, produced by your pineal gland influences your brain by sending signals that it's time for rest and thus your body starts to prepare itself for sleep.
However, it's unrealistic to avoid screens and lighting each and every night. For those late working nights, download the free f.lux program which adjusts the lighting of your screens to help protect you. Another option is to look into a pair of Swannies, which are glasses used to block out the blue light at night.
3. Listen to music
We're not talking about throwing a rave. But instead, think of a slower rhythmic type of music that can lull you to sleep. In a 2008 study, students who listened to classical music for 45 minutes before bed showed improvement in the quality of their sleep.
Music helps those who suffer from insomnia while providing a peaceful outlet to those who stress and deal with anxiety.
4. Meditate and imagine your ideal environment
Many successful leaders and entrepreneurs have adopted a daily meditation habit to help them navigate the daily rigors of life in a more efficient and effective manner.
Meditation helps with managing your daily levels of stress along with helping to improve your sleep by helping you focus on the "moment-by-moment experiences, thoughts, and emotions" according to a study that appeared in the JAMA Internal Medicine.
Visualizing your ideal environment is a great mind-body technique because it helps connect your conscious and unconscious minds, which leads to more positive, less stressful, and desirable scenarios.
At the end of the day, separate bedroom activities from work activities. Refrain from using the bedroom for watching television, surfing on the phone, or for doing work. Instead, keep the bedroom to meditating, having sex, and decompressing from your work day.