3 Tips For Better Sleep
Say good night to your nocturnal existence

April 4, 2013

Say good night to your nocturnal existence

The same hormone that helps you perform in the sack can hinder the other bedroom activity: sleep. German scientists found that testosterone may predispose men to being night owls. Why? The master clock in your brain has male-hormone receptors; when T binds to them, it can shift your clock to a later schedule, says study author Dr Christoph Randler, Combine conking out late with waking early for work, and you’re looking at serious sleep deprivation. It’s time to reclaim the night.


You don’t want to mess with your T, but you can lower your cortisol, a stress hormone that peaks later in night owls, says Dr Michael Thorpy, of the Sleep- Wake Disorders Center in New York City. The trick? Twenty minutes of tensing and releasing your muscles at lunchtime. This can lead to lower cortisol levels, say German researchers.


When levels of the sleep hormone melatonin rise, your temperature drops, initiating sleep. If you’re a night owl, your melatonin spike starts later – which is where the power of warm milk comes in. It causes a spike and then a significant decrease in body temperature, says sleep advisor Dr W. Christopher Winter.


The only way to break your night-owl cycle is to stick to your weekday schedule on weekends, says Dr Winter. Since you don’t have the threat of being late to work, set up a reward for rolling out of bed – a special breakfast, say. Eventually you’ll start waking up earlier on your own.