Chances are, you’ve used ChatGPT—or you’ve at least heard of it. ChatGPT, which stands for Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer, is a language-based AI tool that’s supposed to be able to use facts and other information from its database to actually compile a piece of text for you, whether that be a poem, a recipe, or in my case, a sleep routine.
Yep, that’s right—as a writer for the Sleep Enlightened blog, I thought it would be fun to see what type of sleep tips ChatGPT could give me. Below, see the sleep routine it suggested and find out what a sleep specialist had to say about the information.
ChatGPT for sleep
To put AI to the test, I asked ChatGPT to write me a sleep plan designed to customize my sleep experience. Here’s what it came up with:
1. Establish a consistent sleep schedule
- Determine the ideal duration of sleep for yourself (typically between seven and nine hours for adults).
- Set a fixed bedtime and wake-up time, even on weekends.
- Gradually adjust your sleep schedule if needed, aiming for consistency.
2. Create a restful sleep environment
- Design your bedroom to be conducive to sleep: dark, quiet, and cool.
- Invest in comfortable bedding, pillows, and a supportive mattress.
- Consider using earplugs, an eye mask, or white noise machine to minimize disturbances.
3. Develop a relaxing bedtime routine
- Establish a wind-down period before sleep, ideally 30 to 60 minutes.
- Avoid stimulating activities (such as intense exercise or screentime) close to bedtime.
- Engage in relaxing activities: take a warm bath, read a book, practice deep breathing, or listen to soothing music.
4. Manage your exposure to light
- Expose yourself to natural light during the day to regulate your circadian rhythm.
- Minimize exposure to bright lights, especially from electronic devices, one to two hours before bed.
- Consider using apps or settings that reduce the blue light emitted by screens.
5. Regulate your sleep-related habits
- Avoid consuming caffeine or nicotine in the afternoon or evening.
- Limit alcohol intake as it can disrupt sleep patterns.
- Avoid large meals, spicy foods, and excessive fluid intake close to bedtime.
6. Create a sleep-friendly mindset
- Manage stress through relaxation techniques like meditation or journaling.
- Establish a worry journal to jot down any concerns before bedtime, allowing your mind to let go.
- Consider incorporating mindfulness practices into your daily routine.
7. Exercise regularly
- Engage in regular physical activity, but avoid vigorous exercise close to bedtime.
- Aim for moderate-intensity exercises earlier in the day as this can promote better sleep.
8. Monitor and optimize your sleep environment
- Keep a sleep diary to track your progress and identify patterns or issues.
- Consider using sleep-tracking apps or devices to gather data about your sleep quality.
- Adjust your sleep environment based on the insights gained to maximize comfort and minimize disruptions.
What happened when I tried ChatGPT for sleep
This looks pretty good, doesn’t it? I mean, I’ve already written about curating the perfect sleep environment in the past and tried out dozens of sleep accessories like eye masks, supportive pillows, and more, so I know they work. Additionally, many of the tips I received from ChatGPT are already things I’ve implemented into my sleep regimen.
For example, I already limit light exposure at night, sleep in cool temperatures, avoid caffeine after noon, and journal and exercise regularly. It seemed to me like ChatGPT kind of nailed it on this one.
What an expert thinks about ChatGPT for sleep
To find out for sure if ChatGPT set me up with a clutch bedtime routine, I tapped Shantha Gowda, PsyD, diplomate in behavioral sleep medicine, and licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in sleep. Here’s what Gowda had to say about ChatGPT’s sleep suggestions.
First, recommending a blanket amount of hours for sleep isn’t something Gowda does with her patients. “There are certainly outliers in the population that fall outside of this range,” she explains. “Some people may need less or more than seven to nine hours. They may be striving for too much sleep or depriving themselves of the sleep they need if trying to fit the range listed here.”
Another recommendation that may not work for everyone is sticking to a fixed bedtime. “A fixed wake-up time is a great strategy for most people as it is something we have control over and helps regulate our master clock,” says Gowda. “A fixed bedtime, however, may not be a helpful strategy for everyone.”
If you have insomnia, Gowda notes that forcing a set bedtime can worsen your ability to fall asleep. Instead, you should go to bed when you feel sleepy. “On the flip side, for someone who procrastinates bedtime and doesn’t prioritize it, a fixed bedtime can be helpful in getting the sleep they need,” she adds.
Speaking of insomnia, a sleep diary might not be the best idea in this case. “This can be more hurtful than helpful for people struggling with insomnia, sleep anxiety, and perfectionism about sleep,” says Gowda. “People may get preoccupied with the sleep data on their devices and consequently increase their anxiety and hyper-focus on the information.”
Overall, Gowda rates the sleep strategies as accurate and appropriate for people interested in “cleaning up” and improving their sleep routine. However, she points out that the strategies provided mostly fall under “sleep hygiene” and likely won’t help improve chronic sleep issues or disorders.
Why is sleep good for you?
Sleep affects your body’s health, the appearance of your skin, your brain health, your ability to focus during the day, and so much more. Curating a healthy sleep routine that works for you can help you develop and stick to healthier sleeping habits that benefit your health in the long run.
How much sleep do you need by age?
There are some helpful guidelines for how much sleep people need according to age, but everyone is different and some people, biologically might need more or less than the general recommendations. Typically, though, most adults need somewhere between seven and nine hours of sleep.
What will send me to sleep?
According to research, sleeping in a cooler environment, sleeping with the right pillow and comforting sheets for your needs, and regulating your circadian rhythm can all help improve your sleep if you don’t have a chronic sleep issue. If you suspect you do have a sleep disorder, then you should work with your doctor to curate a special sleep routine that can benefit you.
Are at-home remedies not improving your shuteye? It may be time to visit a sleep specialist. Check out our guide on how to find the right sleep doctor for you.