Sleep. It’s the one thing almost everyone does just not very well.
And it’s something we all inwardly know we need and should improve but just rarely seems to be a focus.
Everyone has two sleep numbers and most people have absolutely no clue what they are.
But when you do know, it makes a HUGE difference in two specific ways:
- What you can expect to get out of your day
- How much energy you will have throughout your day
So, what is a personal sleep number?
It’s the high and low of the amount of sleep required for you on any given day.
Sadly, most people do not have consistency in their sleep except that it’s inconsistent.
They view sleep as a necessary evil that gets in the way of productivity then wonder why they’re always tired and not producing at an optimal level. Thank you, Dr. Obvious.
There are two specific numbers you need to know in order to have the proper energy:
Bare Minimum Sleep – Think Functional
This sleep is the rock bottom amount you can have to personally make it through the day being one minute from a Zombie.
Bare Minimum Sleep is NOT what you want to run on consistently but can get away with once in awhile.
Again, once in awhile. This is the exception not the rule. We all go through different seasons of work and life but Bare Minimum Sleep is not ideal.
- losing your train of thought
- tasks taking too long or longer than normal
- day dreaming far more than usual
- nodding off
- quickly irritated and in a lousy mood just cause
Life happens and you’ll have to fall back on this number.
For example, when I travel and on someone else’s agenda, it’s incredibly helpful to know my Basic Minimum Sleep Number (BMS) so I get at least that amount to be of any contributing value the next day.
Know thyself. If I run on Bare Minimum Sleep for more than two nights in a row, my energy will be compromised severely or I will absolutely crash after the trip and good to no one. Rarely worth the price.
But all too common I meet or coach high performers who live consistently far too close to the bare minimum sleep number FAR more than they should. And their body, mind, and productivity are all paying for it.
Chances are you know this number much quicker then the next sleep number…
Ideal Maximum Sleep – Think Optimal
This sleep is the perfect amount for you to maximize every moment of your day. You feel fully energized and ready for anything.
Ideal Maximum Sleep (IMS) is EXACTLY what you want to run on consistently to perform at an optimal level. This is the rule not the exception.
- your body feels rested
- your mind is sharp
- you’re in “the zone” or “flow” quickly and much longer than usual
- you’re simply in a better mood
Research by K. Anders Ericsson referenced in the book, Eat Move Sleep, showed the best athletes and musicians did two things that set them apart compared to others: practiced and slept more.
Did you catch that? We would expect practice, but sleep? They averaged 8 hours and 36 minutes per night when the average American, by comparison, gets just 6 hours and 51 minutes of sleep on weeknights. Can you say “Ideal Maximum Sleep?”
Once I converted over to Ideal Maximum Sleep, my energy has rebounded and it’s amazing how quickly things just get done and I enjoy them SO much more.
So, What Next?
- Find out both sleep numbers – As you’ve learned, both numbers are important, so make sure you know what they are for you personally. You may already know your Bare Minimum Sleep by too much experience, but may have to experiment to find your Ideal Maximum Sleep number.
- Do whatever you can to maximize Ideal Maximum Sleep (IMS) and minimize Bare Minimum Sleep (BMS) – know your schedule, plan ahead. The more of a priority you put on sleep, the more likely you are to work from Ideal Maximum Sleep. And when you do, you will find an energy edge you never knew you had and will never want to lose.
I encourage, even challenge you to find your personal sleep numbers. If you’ve not downloaded the free resource, Sleep Your Way to the Top: 10 Secrets to Getting Better Sleep, I encourage you to do so. Try one or all of the secrets! You can find it on the home page of my site.
Your energy and productivity will dramatically change once you take sleep seriously.
Sleep on it and find out.