Most of us don't get enough sleep. With massive to do lists, kids, families, financial pressures, businesses to run, it's enough work just keeping our heads above the water. The last thing we want to think about is how much sleep we should be getting. A good 8+ hours seems like a pipe dream, right?
And yet humans can't survive without sleep (what an inconvenience!) And your lack of it is probably having an impact on the quality of your life, relationships and ability to get things done each day (how ironic.)
Here are the steps to take to determine your WLC sleep prescription:
1. How much sleep do you get now? This is the place to start. Not what is optimal, but how much do you actually get? I'm sure it varies from day to day... so what's your average?
2. How much could you get, on average, realistically? This is where the rubber meets the road... This number should be a small stretch for you. Something that is achievable, but represents an improvement from what you're doing now.
3. THIS is the number you enter into your profile for your daily sleep prescription. Remember, on days where you achieve it, you'll earn your 5 points... on days that you don't, its a "no" and 0 points. There is no "middle ground".
1. You sleep only 5 hours during the week, but 8 hours on the weekend, making your average, 5 hours; 50 minutes. Committing even to 5:50 would be rough, since it would mean, based on your current habits, that 5 out of 7 days, you'd get a "no" for sleep in the Challenge. You decide that an improvement would be to increase the amount of sleep you get during the week to 5:10. Realistic. Achievable. A small stretch. While it's much less than your average, it's a number that would work well for your for the Challenge.
2. You sleep about 6 hours 30 minutes per night, no matter what day of the week it is. You decide that an optimal night's sleep for you, where you feel your best when you wake up, is 7:45. This simply isn't realistic - to jump from 6:30 to 7:45, so you decide to take a baby step... committing to 6 hours 45 minutes for the Challenge. Perfect.
3. On nights where you go to bed before 10:30pm, you get 7 hours 30 minutes of sleep - which, you decide, is optimal for you. On nights where you go to bed later than that (about 4 days per week), you get 6:30. Rather than committing to getting 7:30 of sleep each night during the WLC, you decide to focus on the nights where you're not getting to bed early enough. You believe it would be possible to get to bed 15 minutes earlier on those nights. A stretch, slightly uncomfortable, but you could do it. So, you use 6:45 as your sleep prescription for the WLC.