Dr. David Bardsley

Dr. David Bardsley

Is lack of sleep making you less smart?

Is lack of sleep effect your mental ability?

How to get a better night’s sleep.

Studies have shown that if you have just one night of disturbed sleep you will have a measurable decrease in your mental ability the next day. Military personal who are given a cognitive test and then deprived of sleep so they receive six or less hours sleep, for five consecutive nights and retested, will have a sixty percent decrease in their test scores.

If you follow these four simple steps I can guarantee you will achieve a good nights sleep.

  1. Room temperature. Studies have shown that the optimal room temperature for sleeping is:  60 – 66 F;  if you do not like getting out of bed in a cold room, install a programmable thermostat. This will allow the room to start heating up 30 minutes before your wake-up alarm.
  2. Alarms. You need to set three alarms:
  • Wake up alarm:– the time you wish to wake up
  • Go to bed alarm: — the time you should be in bed. Set this alarm eight hours before the wake-up alarm.
  • Preparation alarm: — start getting ready for bed. Turn off all screens and finish up any projects you have underway. This alarm should be 30 minutes before the “go to bed” alarm.


  1. Wake up alarm 6:00 am
  2. Go to bed alarm 10:00 pm
  3. Preparation for bed alarm 9:30 pm
  1. Meditation app or audiobook. Engaging your auditory sense is an excellent way of inducing sleep. There are many meditation apps some use music, others use human voice. I prefer audiobooks. The goal is not to learn or remember information from the book, it is simply a means of inducing sleep. We read stories to children to induce sleep, we are no different. Meditation apps and audiobooks have a timer which can be set so it is not playing the entire night. Keep this close to the bed so if you awaken during the night and cannot return to sleep, simply play the meditation or audiobook for another 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Melatonin. This is a hormone produced in the brain which helps induce and maintain sleep. Like many hormones in the human body, the production tends to lessen as we age. Many people find taking melatonin 30 minutes before bedtime is an excellent way of inducing and maintaining sleep. It can be purchased without a prescription at any pharmacy or store which sells vitamins and supplements. It is available in 3, 5 and 10 milligrams tablets. Some 10 mg tablets are available in a sustained release formula, providing a more even release over an eight hour period.

If you follow these four steps you will definitely have a better nights sleep.