What a revelation this challenge has been. I tend to stick pretty close the the “You can’t manage what you don’t measure mantra” and use an app called Sleepcycle which is great for tracking the hours you’ve slept and also the quality of your sleep.

The nightmare

Leading in to this challenge, over 122 sleeps, I had an average sleep time of 6:24 hours with an average sleep quality of 67%. Not bad you might think but that 6:24 hours was more like 5:00 hours during the week and much much more on the weekends.

A disastrous cycle of sleep deprivation during the week, huge chunks of catch up sleep on the weekend and then recovering from self imposed “weekend jetlag” through the start of the week. Crazy. Not that I knew it. This has been my sleeping pattern for so long, I knew nothing else. It felt normal.

“Sleep is the best meditation.” Dalai Lama

The dream

The last 30 days have been huge. I’ve increased my average sleep time by 24% to 7:55 hours, my sleep quality by 14% to 76% and have moved from a continual yet largely ignorant state of sleep deprivation to being rested, alert, more focused and happier.

Getting to sleep after the weekend is no longer a struggle because I haven’t needed to spend 10 – 12 hours over the weekend catching up on the sleep I didn’t get during the week and thereby giving myself weekend jetlag.

I have noticed that I’ve gotten less done during the weekday evenings because of my earlier bed time but this has been more than made up for by additional time on the weekend and far greater productivity generally during the day.


I’ve written previously about habit loops and how to create and modify them and am very happy that a regular bed time has now become habitual—something I’m absolutely going to continue with in the future.

I’ve also learnt a ton about sleep while I’ve been doing this challenge and have some great tips for improving your sleep.

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