How To Get Better Sleep, Featuring YouTube’s Dr. Mike

Doctor Mike Varshavski in blue scrubs

The importance of a good night’s sleep can’t be overstated. Sleep helps us not feel drowsy during our three o’clock meetings. It helps us burn fat, recharge our brain cells, and keeps us looking good, too. But sometimes, getting seven to nine hours of sleep a night seems impossible. After all, we have so many responsibilities and stressors that prevent us from getting our precious shut-eye: things like work schedules, family responsibilities, and late-night binge-watching. (We’re not judging.) So are there any quick cheats to make sure we’re getting a great night’s sleep every day?

Yes and no. Sometimes, getting a good night’s sleep depends on some habit changes, some small and some large. Let YouTube’s Doctor Mike Varshavski, a board-certified FM doctor in NYC, give you some quality tips:

Dr. Mike’s Sleep Advice

As Dr. Mike explains in this video, make sure you’re not drinking any coffee after your lunchtime, since caffeine can take hours to leave your system. Also, staying away from brightly-lit devices, like our precious smartphones, for a couple hours before bedtime will also help a lot, despite how difficult it can be to stop browsing Instagram. Napping too long or too often will also affect your quality of sleep. No more cat naps after work, we’re sorry!

Lastly, and we may be slightly biased here, but sleeping on cotton sheets and bedding is a surefire way to get better sleep. Maybe the easiest “cheat” there ever was.

Cotton Sheets and Bedding Make for a Better Night’s Sleep

Dr. Mike is totally on board with the value of sleeping on 100% cotton sheets. In fact, it’s been scientifically proven that sleeping on cotton sheets, as opposed to polyester synthetic sheets, gives you a better night’s sleep day after day, keeping you energized, happy, and running smoothly. Why? It’s because cotton is a natural fiber that has the amazing ability to breathe and let air pass, unlike synthetics. That means that you’re not overheating and waking up in the middle of the night.

It also means, as Dr. Mike mentions, that bacteria washes out easier and won’t cling to cotton like it sticks to synthetics. And in our professional opinions, it’s just a nicer feeling overall. Wouldn’t you rather sleep on a natural fiber than a synthetic one?

Picking Your Cotton Sheets

Here’s a full guide to buying sheets, in case you needed some help navigating the wide world of thread counts, different fiber types, and other confusing variables. In general, you can’t go wrong during the warmer months with cotton percale sheets; they’re crisp and smooth and feel like the cool side of a pillow. For winter, nothing beats the soft coziness of cotton flannel sheets. And if you’re feeling luxurious, top your bed with cotton sateen sheets—it’s the smoothest sheet that’ll make you feel like you’re waking up in a hotel bed every morning. What on earth could be better? (Maybe never having to set an alarm again?)

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