We spend up to one-third our day sleeping, and the other two-thirds of our day remain dependent on how well our bodies engage in this important biological function. Yet often teammates and colleagues sit yawning, coffee pots are brewing, pills are popping, energy drinks are consumed, and our bodies yearn for naps throughout the day.
I'm building my dream company 24/7 and it requires me to be alert at all times. If you want to be on your game you need to be paying attention to the things that might be impacting the one-third of your life that you spend sleeping. Here is my guide to changing the way you sleep.
Impact of Sleep Deprivation
Sleep deprivation negatively impacts decision-making capabilities, self-control, working memory, and other neurological functions. As we sleep less and less each night, we develop a sleep deficit. This deficit leads to the deprivation that leads to the inability to perform at our peak.
Quality vs. Quantity of Sleep
Quality of sleep is different from an actual deficit. It's whether or not a body goes through the correct sleep phases and spends enough time in deep sleep. Quality directly impacts motivation and performance, as deep sleep is essential in muscle recovery, including the brain. If the body is not going into deep sleep for whatever reason, the body will feel groggy throughout the day and will not be at peak performance.
Another component of sleep is our personal circadian rhythm, which is our body telling us "this is dawn" and "this is midnight" which can be different for each person. Every age group has different circadian rhythms, and perform better at different times of day. A recent study showed workers are more productive when they change their schedule to match their natural circadian rhythms. Circadian rhythms work in 8 hour cycles, which explains why during the afternoon when a cycle is ending, the body and mind typically gets tired.
Using Technology to Sleep Better
The following devices and tools not only help you sleep more efficiently and deeply, but avoid pressing the snooze button, which actually creates a sleep disruption pattern. When you hit snooze, you start the sleep cycle over, causing you to feel worse when you awake as you are in a deep sleep when the snooze alarm goes off again. By using new technology that lightly rouses you at optimal times, start waking up ready for productivity.
Get the Kids to Sleep
If your kids sleep better, you sleep better. Many parents complain their sleep is affected by their children's night terrors, bed wedding, crying, and any other disruption that leads to parental comforting and responsibility. Lully is a new bed device that lulls the child to sleep through a vibration pattern that sends the child into deep sleep, peaceful sleep, and keeps them there. Lully has reduced night terrors in 90% of cases in a clinical study. So if children are the culprit to reduced sleep, Lully might be the solution.
Body & Environmental Management
Temperature can be a culprit when it comes to poor quality sleep, especially if you sleep with a partner and fight over thermostat numbers. Although the Luna Smart Bed isn't yet available (I've pre-ordered one), it's an affordable mattress cover that will help you sleep and let you track your sleeping patterns, and regulate temperature. It also gently wakes users at optimal times during a light sleep at the end of a sleep cycle, so that they feel refreshed, rather than groggy. All the data it collects is sent to a mobile app, which provides users with feedback for better sleep habits. It's ship date to customers is planned for November 2015. Here is a cool video that explains everything.
Beddit monitors resting heart rate, respiration, sleep time, and sleep cycles. Beddit is a strap attached to the bed, and is perfect for those who may be suffering from poor sleep quality from suspected sleep apnea.
A few culprits to creating poor quality sleep can be allergens in the air, noise, and other environmental factors that keep you up at night. Hello's Sense & Sleep Pill simply tracks the ambient environment in your room while you sleep to give you feedback as to why you might be missing the deep REM cycle's you need for productivity. Is it the sirens going off from the nearby firehouse at 2 am you didn't know about? Your neighbor's dog? Perhaps its the allergens in the air restricting your breathing. Whatever it is, awareness is key to fixing the problem. The second piece is the sleep pill you attach to your pillow to track movement, to see what sleep state you're in and give feedback on how movement may also be playing a factor in poor sleep.
Make sure you also have the right pillow. This makes all the difference in the world and can mean the difference between a good nights sleep and a bad nights sleep.
Control Circadian Rhythms
If traveling, night shifts, or other circadian rhythm disruptors are causing poor quality sleep, Neuro:On is developing a blackout sleep mask that creates artificial light conditions to trick your body into sleep cycles. This mask is perfect for frequent fliers who are changing time zones and need to be performing all over the globe. Because it's a blackout mask, it measures eye movement with professional accuracy and provides sleep performance information with medical precision. This mask is also perfect for a quick daytime nap, which has been proven to help with performance when our bodies get tired mid afternoon.
Humans need 7-8 hours of sleep per night to function at their optimal level. Too often life gets in the way, leaving us exhausted and unable to function at our best. Now, you can use technology to get better rest, allowing you to be more effective and present during the day.
What other tips would you recommend to help change the way people sleep?