Sleep is so important that most Americans say they would change their morning routine to get more rest.

29% would skip breakfast and a third would opt for finger food only to save time. 29% would forgo their morning showers, and 27% would even skip brushing their teeth! 

On the other hand, the 10-3-2-1-0 sleep rule doesn’t ask you to sacrifice anything (well, only one thing). What it does offer is a consistent routine to follow.

Read on to learn about each number in the 10-3-2-1-0 sleep rule and find out how it could help you sleep better.

10: The Number of Hours Before Bed When You Should Stop Drinking Caffeine

When you think of sleep tips, the first one that comes to mind may be limiting caffeine. It’s a common piece of advice because of the way it affects the body.

Caffeine enters your bloodstream 30-60 minutes after you consume it. It has a half-life of 3-5 hours. 

Caffeine affects your body by blocking adenosine receptors that make you sleepy and reducing slow-wave sleep. It can also increase anxiety and restlessness. 

Coffee lovers and chocolate fiends, don’t despair. The 10-3-2-1-0 rule doesn’t require you to cut out caffeine completely. Instead, be mindful about when you consume it so it has time to works its way out of your system before bed.

3: The Number of Hours Before Bed You Should Limit Food and Alcohol

Eating before bed is a dangerous habit to get into. It affects your concentration and can cause digestive issues.

Studies have also found that sleeping less can make you eat more throughout the day – thus develops a vicious cycle.

Avoiding alcohol before bed will also help you sleep better. You’ll get full REM sleep and wake up refreshed.

2: The Number of Hours Before Bed You Should Stop Working

Working before bed heightens your anxiety and overstimulates your brain. The screens you’re using also emit blue light that makes your body think it’s time to wake up.

If the anxiety of having more to do is keeping you up, try creating a to-do list instead. You’ll be rested and ready to go back to them the next day.

1: The Number of Hours Before Bed You Should Avoid Screen Time

On average, Americans spend 50 minutes on their phone before bed, and most keep an electronic device in their bedroom. 

The problem goes deeper than the blue light that screens emit. The information you’re receiving stimulates your brain and can make you anxious — both adversaries of a good night’s sleep.

Managing this is an important part of sleep hygiene. Keep your devices out of your room or at least put them on silent mode.

0: The Number of Times You Should Hit the Snooze Button

Most sleepers who hit the snooze button think it’ll improve their mental health, but the unfortunate truth is that they’re wrong.

Pressing the button disrupts REM sleep. It can even trigger a fight-or-flight response.

If you’re having trouble resisting that button, try moving your alarm clock further away from you. You’ll have to get up to turn off that annoying noise and won’t want to stay in bed.

Where to Find Professional Help to Sleep Better

The 10-3-2-1-0 sleep rule isn’t really a rule at all – it’s a routine. It regulates when you should stop doing certain activities before your normal bedtime to ensure proper rest. To recap:

  • Cut out caffeine 10 hours before bed.
  • Don’t eat or drink alcohol 3 hours before bed.
  • Stop working 2 hours before bed.
  • Get away from your screens 2 hours before bed.
  • Hit the snooze button zero times.

Sleep Dynamics offers even more ways to help you sleep better. Check out our sleep services today.