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Here's One Doctor's 6-Step Routine for an Awesome Day

Hint: It has to do with getting a good night's sleep
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 18, 2021 10:25 AM CDT

(Newser) – Ali Abdaal is a junior doctor in the UK who shares tips and life hacks on YouTube and his podcast, and in one recent video with more than half a million views, he explains why he's "never tired." The secret, per Esquire, is a six-step routine meant to get him the best sleep possible:

  1. No caffeine after 2pm: It simply takes too long to leave your bloodstream and can impact your quality of sleep, he says. Mayo Clinic, in its own list of six tips for better sleep, says it's also important to include physical activity during the day and, if possible, spend time outside. Make sure you're not doing anything too physically taxing right before bedtime, however. Also, per the clinic: no naps, or only very short ones, unless you work nights, and steer clear from alcohol, nicotine, and large meals late in the day. (Although, it warns, you also shouldn't go to sleep hungry.)
  2. No phone before bed: Abdaal leaves it all the way across his room, charging, and reads instead for the 20 minutes before going to sleep. Mayo Clinic suggests a calming atmosphere in the bedroom, like ear plugs—or a fan for white noise, depending on your preference—and notes that restful activities like a bath or meditation can also be helpful before bed.

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  1. Fall asleep in two minutes: Abdaal has a process for doing this, in which he relaxes all of his facial muscles, then leg muscles, and on and on as needed (but he says he's usually asleep by the time he gets to his legs). Not working? Mayo Clinic says that if you have worries on your mind, it's best to write them down to get them off your mind before trying to fall asleep.
  2. Blackout curtains: Abdaal says they are "one of the most bang-for-your-buck things you can do to massively increase the quality of your sleep."
  3. Optimal temperature: Studies have shown the best temperature for sleep is far below room temperature at 66.2 degrees Fahrenheit, due to the body's core temperature dropping as we sleep, so Abdaal makes sure his bedroom is at that temperature.
  4. Physical alarm clock: This makes it harder for him to snooze or turn off the alarm he used to have set on his phone when he wakes up in the morning. Mayo Clinic also notes it's helpful to keep a routine sleep schedule, rather than going to bed and waking up at random times.
Abdaal also has videos on time management, the 4-hour workday, and even learning to play piano. (Read more sleep stories.)

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