Sleep Interventions: from strongest to weakest evidence


Sleep Interventions: from strongest to weakest evidence


waking up too early insomnia


Alcohol: Avoid alcohol within 4 hours of sleep if possible. No more than 3 standard drinks within 4 hour window. More than this within four hours of sleep decreases deep wave sleep by 20-50%.

Reduce caffeine: REM sleep reduces from an average of 107 minutes (no caffeine) to 86 minutes (1 coffee) to 72 minutes (2 cups) etc.



Melatonin: Prolonged release melatonin has weak but substantial evidence for the treatment of insomnia. Requires at least 4 weeks of use.

Huperzine-A:  200 milligrams 30 minutes before bed. Can increase total REM by 20-30%. Side effects include insomnia. Dosage: less than 3x per week. 

California Poppy extract: 15+ drops daily. Can increases deep wave sleep up to 20%. 

Nuts & Flaxseed Oil:  Before bed eat two tablespoons of nut-based butter (organic almond butter recommended) plus 1-2 tablespoons of flaxseed oil. Can be eaten on celery sticks before bed. Avoids low blood sugar overnight.


Can't get to sleep insomnia


Alcohol: See above in Early Waking Insomnia

Reduce caffeine: See above in Early Waking Insomnia


Temperature: Keep your bedroom temperature between 19 and 21 degrees. Socks of different thicknesses can be used to control heat loss.

High Fat / Protein Dinner: At least 800 milligrams of cholesterol (4+ eggs) and 40 grams of protein within 3 hours of bed time.

Exercise: High weight repetitions to muscle failure on a 10 second cycle (5 up and 5 down). Recommend weight ranges that allow 7 -10 repetitions. No repeat sets needed. Home exercise routines available at

Nightwave: Bedside light that has some research showing that it can improve sleep onset latency.

Light Replacement Therapy: Use a sun lamp for 15mins in the morning at an angle of 30 degrees set up next to your computer. Try to use this to replace coffee if possible. Recommended: Philips goLITE.



Zeo Mobile Sleep Manager: Device for tracking sleep quality that provides recommendations on how to improve sleep.

Daytum: Mobile phone app allows you to enter data and create graphs to track change.