Now that I have your attention - who really thinks they get enough sleep? Many CEOs now indicate adequate rest is critical to their success! Who prioritizes rest over work or even exercise? For years, I have been obsessed by my sleep, or lack thereof. Recently my wife and I had the privilege and the pleasure of hanging out over cocktails in Laguna Beach with our new friend Dr. Michael Breus, Ph.D., known internationally as The Sleep Doctor. According to Dr. Breus, how you manage your sleep is as important as how long you sleep! This is called sleep hygiene. Read on to learn what else I discovered.
We All Sleep Differently - sleep is highly individual. No recommended amount of sleep generically applies to an individual, group of people, or even age cohort. The key is sleep efficiency, which is essentially the ratio of how much good sleep you achieve during the total time you are in bed. There is an ideal bedtime. According to the good Doctor, we sleep in 90-minute cycles, and ideally, we average five each night. You determine your ideal bedtime by working backwards from your necessary wake up time, and the formulas for both your efficiency and ideal bedtime are here. As I was writing this, I asked Dr. Breus the most important element of sleep, and he told me this. “IF YOU DO ONE THING, KEEP A CONSISTENT WAKE UP TIME, THIS FORCES YOUR CIRCADIAN RYTHMS TO STAY ALLIGNED AND ALLOWS YOUR BRAIN TO FALL ASLEEP MORE QUICKLY AND GET INTO DEEPER SLEEP FASTER.” Thanks Dr. B!
In his book, The Power of When, Dr. Breus describes chronotypes, which relate to our biological programming and indicate the best time to sleep, exercise, negotiate, have sex, and more. I took the Power of When Quiz, and my chronotype is Dolphin. They sleep with half their brain awake at all times, so they can be constantly alert for a shark visit. I am still not sure what that says about me, but it resonates based on my sleep patterns and constantly active mind. My wife is a Bear, AKA a great sleeper!
He also shares things like strategic napping, jet lag strategies, apps, and supplements to consider. In fact, my wife and I are trying out his Aktive Sleep Booster right now.
After meeting Michael, I began to look into his work further and found that one of his good friends, Ariana Huffington, has written a book and is building a business to promote her belief that our country is in a sleep crisis. She makes a compelling case that our obsession with success is causing an erosion of quality of life.
I prefer to keep this blog note short and intentionally provide numerous links to Dr. Breus’ work and research. I hope you will take advantage of the information, as I have, and look for ways to improve your own sleep routine and ultimately, your health.
Blueprint is a rules-based investment firm and it is evident to us that the data all point to one thing - we need a systematic and repeatable process to manage our sleep in order to be at our best for our families, colleagues and our friends. Rest well!!
For thoughts on ways to optimize and systematize your investment approach, visit www.blueprintip.com
The Power of When, by Michael Breus, Ph.D.
Senior Executives Get More Sleep Than Everyone Else, Harvard Business Review
More Sleep, Not Less, Is the Secret Of Success, Forbes.com
Why We Sleep, and Why We Often Can’t, The New Yorker
(At the 24 minute mark Lebron talks about the importance of sleep in his routine!)