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Unlocking the Power of Sleep

Collection summary

6 Ways Sleep Can Change Your Life

Sarah is a project lead at a startup. During the pandemic, managing a team across the world has proved demanding; she has gone to sleep and woken up at odd times. She’s juggling her work alongside homeschooling two children on zoom classes. She feels like she hasn’t slept in a week. When she does sleep, she wakes up in the middle of the night, her thoughts running anxiously, cycling through laundry lists and to-do lists, and difficult conversations with co-workers and her husband. She wakes up in the morning, feel unrefreshed. Over time, she notices that her skin starts to look pale and dry. She feels sluggish. She is far more irritable than usual, she’s already had a fight with her husband, and snapped at the kids. Conflicts at work are escalating. She’s had a chronic stomach ache for the last week, and that’s not helping matters either. She’s put on weight as well in the last week, and can’t figure out where it’s come from. She doesn’t have the energy for a workout, which would help her clear her mind and give her space. She feels weighed down, and looking at the list of her difficulties, her heart sinks. How can she tackle all of this?

Do you feel like Sarah? There is a one-stop, one-word solution to all of her difficulties. 


It’s surprising how often we don’t realize the simple power of what sleep can do.

Sleep fights anxiety

Like Sarah, you’ve no doubt noticed that a bad night’s sleep, tossing and turning, impacts your mood the next day. You’re not alone. A lack of sleep results in more irritability, frustration, anger and sadness — all the negative emotions, and a corresponding decrease in positive emotions. Bad sleep can result in, or be a consequence of mood disorders and also impacts blood glucose levels such as depression and anxiety. Sleep plays a key role in emotional regulation. 

The results of more sleep? Sarah, after a good night’s sleep, is more pleasant and better able to reign her negative emotions. She gets along better with people. 

In short, sleep for peace, and to be a better person. 

Sleep is essential for your memory

There are three kinds of activities involved in making memories: acquisition, consolidation and recall. Acquisition happens when you’re awake, doing the things that help you make memories — watching a child walk for the first time, revising for an exam, and so on. Recall, too, happens when you’re awake. But consolidation — when the brain reviews and processes memories — happens when you’re asleep, in the hippocampus and neocortex. These memories become stable when you dream, while asleep. This results in the ability to think more clearly, remember better, and be more productive and function better at school and office. 

So yes, sleep can make you smarter.

Sleep better for good health

Sarah’s tendency to catch colds is linked to her lack of sleep. Not sleeping enough decimates the immune system — and leads, over time, to an increased risk of cancer. A lack of sleep is also shown to be a factor in developing Alzhiemer’s, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, congestive heart failure and strokes. And in times of a pandemic, it’s essential to get enough sleep so your body can fight off germs.

The easiest way for Sarah to safeguard her health? Simple. Just sleep.

Sleep off the belly fat

It turns out that Sarah’s weight gain is caused by not sleeping enough. Sleeping four hours or less impacts the hunger hormones grehlin and leptin, increasing hunger, and leads Sarah to snack on calorie-rich foods and carbohydrates. And it’s been proven, by studies, that a lack of sleep can lead to obesity, not just in adults, but in children and adolescents as well.

So, it’s true that sleeping can actually help you lose weight. Could there be an easier way to lose weight? Probably not.

Sleep makes you beautiful

Don’t believe this? It’s true! While you sleep, your skin manufactures collagen, which makes the skin plumper, and reduces wrinkles and sagging. While you sleep, blood flow to the skin increases, leading to a better, glowing complexion, and reduces those puffy eyes. Even sleeping just two hours less a night can dry out your skin, and lead to double the number of fine lines, and lead to an ashen, haggard complexion.

Guess that’s why they call it beauty sleep.

Sleep makes you stronger

Yes, a good night’s sleep is essential to being able to perform well at endurance sports such as running, swimming and biking. During your sleep your body can repair itself, by building and repairing muscles. Sleep also boosts your energy levels, by increasing levels of ATP in the brain, which is essential to becoming stronger and performing better at these sports. Plus, you’ll be less fatigued after a good night’s sleep, and are more likely to sustain a daily workout regimen, that will deliver huge benefits to boosting mood, health, weight loss performance and so on. 

A regime of an optimum eight hours a night can do wonders for Sarah and you — helping her achieve an emotional balance through juggling her difficult day and it’s challenges, improving her memory and sharpening her mind so that she performs better at work, giving her the energy boost needed for her daily workout routine and helping her muscles repair, as well as making her look better by rejuvenating her skin and helping her lose weight.  She’s able to fight off flus and infections, and her strength increases. She also looks younger than she ever did before — and that’s a plus! Trust us! 

The benefits of sleep just keep doubling, and accumulate over time in making a stronger, better, smarter, healthier you. 

So go on, get on to the Ultrahuman app, listen to our Bedtime Stories and prioritise your sleep.

Why Is Adequate Sleep Necessary To Help Build Resilience

Since the last two and a half years—and still counting—the global outbreak of the catastrophic Coronavirus pandemic and the many subsequent lockdowns have drastically accelerated the mental health crisis among the human population.

With uncertainty, personal struggles, recurrently gloomy news cycles and the very real threat of the virus, more and more people began to experience stress, anxiety and an overall feeling of being constantly overwhelmed. 

In the face of such adversity, even a modicum of resilience—or the ability to adapt to or deal with trauma, tension or a challenging situation—can go a long way in enabling an individual to cope with the everyday. 


  • An adequate amount of sleep every night is indispensable for the human body to regenerate, and yet most of us do not end up getting enough interrupted sleep, thereby hampering one’s resilience,
  • An individual’s response to adversity depends upon how they perceive or view the world and engage with it, the kind of social resources at their disposal and the coping strategies they veer towards when faced with hardship,
  • One’s sleep cycle is hampered not only as a result of daily stressors but also in the case of trauma that might have accrued over a period of time. 

While being resilient cannot make one’s problems fade away, it does give one the ability to see past them, and cope better. Resilience is not always about being stoic in the face of adversity; it is something that can, over time, be cultivated and practised. 

It is a well-known fact that an adequate amount of sleep every night is indispensable to the human body in order to regenerate both physically as well as mentally, and yet, most of us do not realise that we don’t get sufficient uninterrupted sleep. In effect, a good night’s sleep is a key factor in building resilience, and too much stress ends up hampering one’s sleep. Let us explore further how sleep and resilience are closely linked.

Sleep and resilience—what’s the connection?

According to the American Psychological Association, the term ‘resilience’ can be defined as “the process and outcome of successfully adapting to difficult or challenging life experiences, especially through mental, emotional and behavioural flexibility and adjustment to external and internal demands.”

Adequate sleep each night is essential not only for one’s physical resilience against disease or infection but also to build resilience in order to deal with the goings-on of every day, to be able to process information and maintain an equilibrium between reacting impulsively and conscious decision-making. While we sleep, the brain processes the day’s happenings, forming memories as well as rejecting any unnecessary information that might clutter the mind.    

Sleep also aids ‘neuroplasticity,’ or the brain’s ability to “adapt to input,” according to an article by Ana Sandoiu published in Medical News Today. Neuroplasticity helps the brain “to ‘pick up’ new skills, change and adapt to its environment stimuli, and ultimately learn new things.” In the case of lack of sleep, the brain will struggle to process new information as well as recall existing information—processes that are equally essential to both building and maintaining resilience. 

In his book Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams (2018), neuroscientist and sleep expert Matthew Walker states that sleep has an impact on resilience in two ways:

  1. Quality sleep helps the brain process information and hence plays an important role within the realms of memory and learning as well as retaining new information.
  2. Sleep also aids emotional regulation, i.e. the quality and amount of sleep influence the way an individual responds to certain situations. For instance, a sleep-deprived person is likely to react more impulsively, lose their cool at the slightest of matters, or might have extreme mood swings.

Most of us struggle to get the recommended quota of sleep of seven to eight hours every night. Sleep is not a luxury but a necessity. When viewed in the context of the ability to build resilience, adequate sleep is extremely important. Lack of sleep can result in a snowballing effect on an individual’s health and circadian rhythm. It makes them feel tired and low on energy (which, in turn, hinders motivation and concentration), increases stress hormones, creates a sharp spike in blood glucose levels, increases blood pressure and reduces immunity. 

Inadequate or erratic sleep also poses a comparatively greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, heart-related ailments and diabetes in the long run. When we prioritise sleep, we can also practise mindfulness in our every day activities by simply being more alert and in tune with the moment.

One’s sleep cycle is hampered not only as a result of daily stressors but also in the case of trauma that might have accrued over a period of time, irrespective of the magnitude of the trauma experienced. Individuals who have been in the throes of combat, have faced domestic abuse, have emerged from a severe illness or are grappling with the aftermath of having survived a natural disaster are more likely to face trauma-related sleep difficulties such as insomnia, parasomnia, recurring nightmares, somnambulism and a disturbed REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep behaviour disorder. Poor sleep can lead to a deterioration in mental and physical health, cumulatively affecting one’s resilience.

Sleep, therefore, is an essential means to build resilience and performance, and can be improved by establishing a consistent bedtime routine. This can be achieved over a period of time by ensuring to avoid bright, harsh lights before sleeping since melatonin—a chemical in the brain that helps promote sleep—is activated by darkness. To get an optimum amount of sleep, one should refrain from consuming alcohol or caffeine before falling asleep, as it might interfere with the REM stage when the brain is at its most restorative phase of sleep. 

Furthermore, nowadays, many fitness-tracking devices are available with a built-in tracker for sleep, monitoring the time spent by an individual in each stage of sleep, along with monitoring their heart rate as well. Hence, using a fitness tracker whilst going to bed can help one gauge the quality and quantity of their sleep, subsequently allowing them to set better sleep goals. 

What is the importance of resilience?

Research suggests that physiologically, there are certain neurotransmitters at play due to which a person experiences an increase in their level of resilience and the ability to let go. Various factors are responsible for determining how well an individual adapts to difficult situations. An individual’s response to adversity depends upon how they perceive or view the world and engage with it, the kind of social resources at the individual’s disposal and the coping strategies they veer towards when faced with hardship.

While being mentally strong enables an individual to avoid or circumvent certain difficult situations, being resilient helps them recover and bounce back from the same. Here are some reasons why resilience is important:

  1. Better learning skills, improved memory and the ability to retain information
  2. A greater capacity to cope with stressful circumstances
  3. An increased level of fitness and immunity
  4. Reduced risk-taking behaviour or unhealthy coping mechanisms such as eating disorders and substance abuse, and being able to handle emotions and impulses effectively, particularly under pressure
  5. Enhanced social skills, self-esteem and empathy, along with the ability to maintain healthy relationships and avoid conflict
  6. Lesser chance of developing a negativity bias, i.e. the proclivity to focus solely on the negative aspects of a situation

What are the ways to build resilience?

While fixing a disturbed or erratic sleep cycle is one of the foremost ways to gradually build resilience, some other ways are as follows:

  1. Finding a sense of purpose: Engaging in activities that lend a sense of meaning and accomplishment, no matter how small, helps set achievable goals, giving a person something to look forward to.
  2. Building meaningful relationships: Building positive, meaningful and long-lasting relationships among friends and family—people you can confide in—provides an individual with support, acceptance and guidance, along with a sense of solidarity, a strong social network and, eventually, a feeling of gratitude too.   
  3. Learning from past experiences: The coping strategies and skills used to deal with or overcome difficult situations in the past can prove to be useful in identifying behaviour patterns and ways of reacting, especially in the case of potentially volatile scenarios.
  4. Letting go of what is not in one’s control: Holding on to certain elements that do not bode well for an individual or are unhealthy and toxic should be let go of in order to build resilience. The ability to let go translates into adapting a new train of thought, setting realistic goals and being more accepting of what is in our control.
  5. Working prudently towards solutions: In the case of a crisis, it would seem impractical to simply wait for the problem to disappear. Instead, one should work towards possible ways to resolve it, by understanding what is in their control. Even though there may not be an immediate solution, the steps taken to attempt to work towards it rather than being discouraged are perhaps half the battle won.
  6. Cognitive restructuring: The process of cognitive restructuring entails replacing potentially damaging or detrimental habits with constructive or developmental ones, thus enabling to let go of harmful patterns that encumber resilience.
  7. Taking care of yourself: It is important to address one’s own needs and feelings to identify triggers that might lead to extreme behaviour in the face of imminent stress. Including some form of physical activity in your daily routine, getting enough sleep every night, eating balanced, timely meals and practising meditation and mindfulness boosts your overall health and ability to be more resilient.
  8. Seeking professional help: While building resilience is a process that takes time and practice, one can always reach out to a mental health professional if one doesn’t see any considerable progress.


Getting enough sleep and building resilience both involve an equal amount of effort and practice along with time. A vital part of developing resilience is to get enough sleep that will help make you mentally and emotionally strong. Falling into a regular sleep routine is key, and so is being mindful and cognizant of one’s actions that impart the ability to adapt to challenging situations.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for general information and educational purposes only. It neither provides any medical advice nor intends to substitute professional medical opinion on the treatment, diagnosis, prevention or alleviation of any disease, disorder or disability. Always consult with your doctor or qualified healthcare professional about your health condition and/or concerns and before undertaking a new health care regimen including making any dietary or lifestyle changes.

Sleep Debt: Can You Catch Up On Lost Sleep?

Sleep is undervalued in a world that hails ‘hustle culture’. When you’ve had a few late nights and feel more tired than usual, sleeping in on a Sunday sounds restorative, right? Yet, catching up on lost sleep may not be as simple as it seems. Let’s take a closer look at the truth of sleep debt.


  • The difference between the amount of sleep required by an individual and how much one actually gets is known as sleep debt or sleep deficit,
  • Acute sleep debt is short-term, while chronic sleep debt builds up over years of insufficient sleep,
  • Chronic sleep debt can induce a higher risk of diabetes, obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke, further causing stress levels and potentially leading to anger, depression and irritability,
  • The most effective way to develop sleep hygiene is to have a consistent routine with a fixed bed and waking time. 

Sleep debt: cheating on sleep 

Your body needs a certain number of hours of sleep each night. The difference between this amount and how much you actually get is known as sleep debt or sleep deficit. It’s the amount of rest you “owe” your body when you lose valuable sleeping time. 

Sleep debt accumulates over time. For example, if your body needs eight hours of sleep each night and you’re only averaging six, then over a period of a week, you’ll have a combined deficit of 14 hours. Also, losing an hour each night for a week will have the same negative effect on your body as pulling a single all-nighter. 

Short-term sleep debt can be reversed and it’s rather easy to catch up on. Long-term deficits, however, can have more lasting consequences. Let’s have a look at the differences.

Acute sleep debt is short-term. It’s the amount of sleep you’ve missed in relation to what your body needs over a period of two weeks. It can immediately affect your physical, mental and emotional well-being. Losing important hours of sleep time can instantly impact your waking hours. It can make you feel anxious, irritable or moody. It also weakens your immune system and may give you trouble with your memory, motor skills, reaction time or ability to focus on a task. 

All of this sounds similar to when one is intoxicated, and research has shown that 18 hours without sleep results in the same cognitive impairment as having a blood alcohol level of 0.05 per cent. After 24 hours, that rises to 0.10 per cent—over the legal limit for driving in most countries. The effect is the same as an average-sized man drinking three beers in under an hour. 

Chronic sleep debt is long-term. It builds up over years of insufficient sleep that is never made up for. For example, if you spent many years studying full-time while working evening shifts, you may be chronically sleep-deprived. Losing two to three hours a night over a long period takes its toll.

How sleep debt may harm us

These cumulative effects of chronic sleep debt can result in serious health consequences such as a higher risk of diabetes, obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. A lack of sleep also increases your levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, that can potentially lead to anger, depression and irritability. This is in addition to the acute sleep symptoms on a day-to-day basis which dramatically reduces overall performance, energy levels and productivity. 

As we saw with both acute and chronic sleep debt, not getting enough shut-eye can be very detrimental to your health. Not only does it weaken your immune system, but it also makes you feel tired throughout the day, and your brain struggles to process and store new information. Your career and relationships can be severely impacted. 

A paper published in Current Biology revealed that simply sleeping in on a Sunday morning isn’t enough. The study found that participants who cut their sleep by five hours during the week and caught up on the weekend still paid a price. They ate more after dinner, gained weight, had lower energy levels and their body’s use of insulin was affected. While those that played catch-up with their lost hours on the weekend appeared to have balanced their sleep debt, they actually had similar results to those who remained sleep-deprived. 

Interestingly, however, you don’t always feel tired when you have a sleep deficit. Our bodies have amazing ways of adapting even when it comes to chronic sleep restriction. You may not be yawning in a board meeting or feeling drowsy at all, yet you’ve already had significant declines in mental and physical performance without even being aware of it.

As this hidden exhaustion starts to build up, eventually your body will start to show signs of distress. This can range from snapping in irritation at a colleague to dangerously high blood pressure levels or cardiovascular disease.

How to avert sleep debt 

1. Know your sleep requirements

Everyone is different and will require a different amount of sleep each night. You can learn what is best for you by keeping a sleep diary and noting what time you went to bed, how many hours you slept and how you felt the next day. You can also use a mobile app or fitness device to measure your sleep patterns.

2. Identify restorative sleep

Ideally, you will fall asleep easily and wake without the assistance of an alarm clock. 

Take note of the average sleeping time that results in you feeling refreshed upon waking. If you need to adjust your sleep schedule, try and do it slowly in 30-minute increments. 

3. Recover from lost sleep

Sometimes losing sleep is unavoidable. To recover from sleep debt you can: take short naps (not more than half an hour) in the afternoons; sleep in for an hour over the weekends; try to go to bed a little earlier for a few days when your body needs extra sleep. 

Remember, sleep debt—and repaying it—is cumulative. You can catch up rather easily if you make an effort. 

Sleep hygiene: How to sleep well

If you struggle to fall asleep, wake up often during the night or are sleepy during the day, then you may well be suffering from poor sleep hygiene. One of the best ways to overcome this is to have a consistent routine. Having a fixed bed- and waking time is essential. It creates a rhythm that your body gets used to.

It’s also important to develop a routine before bedtime and make your bedroom conducive to restful sleep (blackout curtains, no electronics, cool and quiet environment). You should also avoid caffeine for a few hours before sleep, exercise during the day, and only use your bed for sleeping (no Netflix, eating or laptop/mobile phone activity).

Give yourself around half an hour to wind down before going to sleep. This can include dimming the lights and calming activities like listening to soft music, light stretching, reading or meditation. Ensure that your mattress, pillow and bedding are comfortable, and consider soothing scents such as lavender in your room.

It’s not just about nighttime considerations. Your circadian rhythm also plays a role in how well you sleep. Getting enough sunlight, being physically active, reducing alcohol consumption and not eating dinner too late are all daytime activities that contribute to a good night’s rest.


While you sleep, your brain catalogues information and creates new neural pathways, and you get the time to repair damage to your heart and blood vessels. It’s a restorative activity that is essential for your physical and emotional health.

The effect of how much sleep you lose accumulates over time. Acute sleep debt is short-term, while chronic sleep debt builds up over years of insufficient sleep. It’s important to know your unique sleep requirements and make the necessary adjustments to ensure you’re sleeping well and catching up when your body needs to.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for general information and educational purposes only. It neither provides any medical advice nor intends to substitute professional medical opinion on the treatment, diagnosis, prevention or alleviation of any disease, disorder or disability. Always consult with your doctor or qualified healthcare professional about your health condition and/or concerns and before undertaking a new healthcare regimen including making any dietary or lifestyle changes.



How meal timings affect sleep quality

Evidence from a John Hopkins study suggests that your brain is as active when asleep as it is when awake. So what really is going on when you get some shut-eye?

timings affect weightgain


  • The quantity and quality of sleep vary based on what meals you consume and when you consume them,
  • When people are more tired during the day, they end up eating more throughout the day, which adds to their weight over time,
  • Food consumed closer to the sleeping period, such as dinner and a late-night snack, have been known to negatively impact sleep quality.

While the research is in the preliminary stages and sleep continues to remain a mystery, studies show that sleep re-energizes the body’s cells, supports learning and memory, and clears waste from the brain. It even plays a key role in regulating mood, appetite, and libido. One of the ways that the quantity and the quality of sleep varies is through what meals you consume and when you consume them. A study published in 2012 in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that when people are more tired during the day, they end up eating more, which adds to their weight over time.

Caffine and sugary snacks/drinks, consumed over a long period of time, can affect the quality of your sleep. According to the American Sleep Association, even high-fat diets can affect the way you sleep. A study conducted at the University of Adelaide suggests that men who eat a high-fat diet are more likely to sleep poorly, experience daytime sleepiness, and suffer from sleep apnea. While there’s no set diet that can help you sleep better, there are tiny changes that you can make to achieve a more satisfying snooze.

Meal timings

Studies have concluded that eating at night has a direct correlation with negative effects on the quality of sleep in healthy people. Food consumed closer to the sleeping period, such as dinner and a late-night snack, has been known to negatively impact sleep quality. Many nutritionists and studies recommend that it is better to wait three hours between the last meal of your day and your bedtime to ensure the best quality of sleep. The gap allows the food in your stomach to move into your small intestine. This delay could potentially reduce any involuntary disturbances one might face in their sleep, such as acid reflux and heartburn, etc.

Meal timings – weight loss and gain

Weight gain is predominantly associated with the quality and quantity of food, linking everything to what we consume. Type 2 diabetes and heart disease are often only spoken about in the context of calorie intake and calorie expenditure through exercise. However, there’s growing evidence suggesting that when you consume meals is also important. The timing of our meals and their effects on our body’s response dates back a long time. Ancient Chinese medics held the belief that energy flows around our bodies according to the sun’s movements. They believed that our mealtimes should be in rhythm with the trajectory of the sun. 

  1. 7- 9 am was dedicated to the stomach, which meant this was the time when the largest meal of the day had to be consumed.
  2. 9 -11 am centred around the pancreas and the spleen.
  3. 11 am -1 pm was focused on the heart.
  4. 5 pm-7 pm was considered dinner time, and a light meal was recommended. This time also revolved around the kidney.
meal timings affect

Circadian rhythm and meal timings

When you look at newer research, it’s not far off from what our ancestors believed. Our sleep-wake cycle is regulated by something known as the circadian rhythm, a natural, internal process that repeats approximately every 24 hours. It is, in essence, our biological clock. It allows organisms to anticipate changes in the light-dark environment, between day and night and also regulates and influences sleep, arousal, feeding, and metabolism.

The circadian rhythm is tethered to the rotation of the earth. Today, we’re able to understand better than ever how it affects our metabolic health. Circadian eating, meaning eating early, has been shown to have better results for weight loss, with participants having early and large breakfasts in comparison to participants who had heavy dinners.

sleep productive guide 1

A molecular clock that modulates the timing of every physiological process like the secretion of hormones and neurotransmitters, the immune cell activity, and the time you feel sleepy, alert, or depressed, keeps ticking within every cell of the body. These timekeepers work in harmony with each other and with the time of the day. This synchronicity is achieved through the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), a small speckle of brain tissue. It functions in tandem with photoreceptive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs), light-receptive cells behind the eye.

The purpose of these clocks is to foresee and prepare for consistent events in the environment. Varied biochemical reactions are at work at different times of day, facilitating our internal organs to switch gears and recover. “Unless we have access to light, we struggle to stay awake and eat at the wrong time,” asserts Satchin Panda, a circadian biologist. This explains the discomfort and digestive problems arising from jet lag. The timings of our meals can also turn the hands of the clocks in the liver and digestive organs, even though the timepieces in our brain cells are unchanged.

Melatonin and metabolism

Can Melatonin make you gain weight?

Melatonin is a type of hormone known for controlling our sleep cycle in the circadian rhythm. It’s a signal to our bodies that it is time to go to bed. It is also involved in the way our metabolism works. Increased levels of melatonin at dinner time can impair glucose tolerance. That means that eating late, when our bodies are tuned to being asleep and not awake, can have detrimental effects on our metabolic health. According to various studies, having a late dinner or eating late at night is associated with increased risks of obesity, dyslipidemia, hyperglycemia, and metabolic syndrome. Many other studies focused on eating late at night show an increased risk of diabetes as well because of nocturnal hypoglycemia.

In fact, an interesting 12-week experimental study of overweight/obese women with metabolic syndrome split into two weight loss groups found that the subjects with the highest consumption of calories during dinner had greater insulin resistance than those with the highest caloric intake during breakfast. It suggested that consuming fewer calories at dinner was beneficial and might be a useful aide to the management of metabolic syndrome.

Meal timing for deep sleep


While there might be contradictory beliefs about whether to skip breakfast or not, one thing is certain—having a large breakfast and a small dinner is more beneficial than its reverse, especially for weight loss. 


People who eat lunch late – after 3 pm, tend to lose less weight than early lunch eaters – before 3 pm, despite having similar profiles in terms of age, appetite hormones, energy intake, and sleep duration.


Having a small dinner 3 hours before bedtime is proven to be good for sleep, reducing the chances of reflux and heartburn, which in turn gives your body enough time to rest and recover. Early dinner also helps sync and maximise the circadian rhythm. It avoids clashing with elevating melatonin, which hampers efficient glucose metabolism. 


While there are many variables that still need more research, such as genetics and how they would affect individuals differently when it comes to meal timings, there is strong evidence that meal timings affect weight loss, weight gain, and quality of sleep. Keeping the available data in mind, each individual should decide how they would like to regulate their meals to get the best sleep they possibly can. A sleep doctor or a general physician can also be consulted, in case of an underlying condition and depending on the severity of the problem.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for general information and educational purposes only. It neither provides any medical advice nor intends to substitute professional medical opinion on the treatment, diagnosis, prevention or alleviation of any disease, disorder or disability. Always consult with your doctor or qualified healthcare professional about your health condition and/or concerns before undertaking a new healthcare regimen including making any dietary or lifestyle changes.


  1. High caloric intake at breakfast vs. dinner differentially influences weight loss of overweight and obese women
  2. Meal frequency and timing in health and disease
  3. Association of night eating habits with metabolic syndrome and its components: a longitudinal study
  4. Acute melatonin administration in humans impairs glucose tolerance in both the morning and evening
  5. Circadian topology of metabolism

Naps: The Best Productivity Tool

Have you heard of the wild phenomena called “the afternoon naps”? Have you heard tales of people telling you it is the best part of their day? How they await that sweet siesta right after lunch? Then you’re definitely not alone! Napping is a cross-cultural phenomenon, and in our modern world, when life can get exhausting, napping is required more than ever to help us recharge and relax. 

Making the time for a quick snooze offers us countless benefits, such as improving cognitive function, memory performance, creative thinking, as well as relieving stress and uplifting our mood. Napping gives us a chance to recover, repair, as well as reset. Now, let us take a look at the numerous benefits napping has to offer, as well as the importance of incorporating naps into your schedule. 

Benefits of napping

Benefits of napping 

Sleep experts have concluded that daytime naps can aid us in many things, such as improving heart function and reducing the risk of heart attack, increasing alertness, boosting creativity, enhanced perception, boosting stamina, reducing stress, improved memory function, as well as enhancing our sex life and brightening our mood. Let us delve into some of the most important benefits: 

  1. Memory – Naps have been shown to aid the process of learning. In a study conducted by the University of Lubeck, volunteers were made to memorize illustrated cards to test their memory. After memorizing the cards, the groups were divided into two. One group was allowed to take a 40-minute nap, and the other group stayed awake. Subsequently, both groups were tested on their memory of the cards. The group who had napped, retained 85% of the information, while the group who stayed awake, only retained 60% of the information, illustrating that napping significantly aids in boosting our memory. 
  2. Learning – Napping is beneficial in clearing information from our brain’s temporary storage units, making it easier to absorb new information better. A study conducted by the University of California tasked participants with conducting challenging tasks around midday, which required a lot of information intake. At around 2 pm, half of the volunteers were allowed to nap, while the other half stayed awake. At 6 pm in the evening, the same challenging tasks were put forth to the participants, out of which, the group who had napped performed significantly better. To add to this, the napping group performed better than they did, earlier in the morning. 
  3. Anti-ageing – The simplest skincare routine one can undertake is as easy as lying down and taking a nap! Beauty sleep is no urban myth, and there’s a definite science to support it. While we sleep, our body is in the process of repair. During sleep, there is an increase in blood flow to the epidermis, which is the outer layer of our skin, which in turn, reduces wrinkles and age spots, repairs UV damage, as well as strengthening our collagen. 
  4. Immunity – Napping boosts our immunity vastly. Napping during the day improves cellular function, thus improving the immune system. In a study conducted by The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 11 men were made to sleep for 2 hours one night. The next day, they were made to nap for 30 minutes during the day, followed by a full night’s rest. After testing their immune system subsequently, the naps helped reduce harmful inflammatory cytokines and norepinephrine, which are chemicals that control immunity. 
  5. Stamina – Napping has a positive impact on physical performance and increased stamina. A study undertaken by the Journal of Sports Sciences conducted a series of sprints for 10 healthy, young men, before and after a 30-minute nap. Sprint times improved vastly post-nap, showing an increase in mental alertness, as well as physical performance. 
  6. Cardiovascular Health – Naps have a positive effect on our cardiovascular health. A study conducted by Medical News Today revealed that people who napped at least 1-2 a week were 48% less likely to suffer from cardiovascular problems, such as heart attacks, stroke, heart failure, etc. 
perfect time nap

Wondering what is the perfect time to take a nap? And for how long? 

  1. Napping between 1-3 pm in the afternoon, post-lunch hits the right spot.
  2. Taking a nap at around 1-3 pm also doesn’t affect our nightly sleep schedule. Anything before 1 pm and our body is not ready for more sleep, and anytime post 3 pm might make it harder for us to sleep at night. 


  1. Jeff Rodgers DMD, a certified sleep expert with the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine and the American Sleep and Breathing Academy says that for most people, the 20-30 minute ‘power nap’ is the sweet spot for boosting alertness and focus.
  2. 30 minutes after falling asleep for a nap ensures that we’re in the early stages of the sleep cycle and won’t feel groggy upon waking. Try a nap story on the Ultrahuman app to help you slip into a quick snooze and wake up refreshed. 
  3. Nap-time and length are key factors in getting the right midday rest, but there are also other factors that help us optimize our naps better. 
  4. The ideal sleep environment also plays a key role. It is advisable to set our nap environment to be quiet, stress-free with a cool temperature and minimal distractions. 
  5. It also helps to make a habit out of napping. Napping at the same time every day, for the same length of time will help our body get accustomed to it, making it easier for us to get used to it and plugging it into our schedules. 

So try and squeeze in a quick snooze into your schedules because naps are beneficial to the body and mind and make you more productive in your daily life. 



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