100 MINUTES of extra sleep weekly
This target calls for you to add 100 minutes of extra sleep a week.
When you add 100 minutes of sleep to your week, you have the energy and stamina you need to succeed. You refresh your body, and help stabilize the action of hormones that regulate appetite, satiety, and metabolism.
Study after study reveals that those who sleep less than seven hours a night weigh more, gain more weight over time, and have a harder time losing weight. When we get less than seven hours of sleep, our levels of the appetite-boosting hormone ghrelin increase by about 15 percent while appetite-suppressing leptin decreases by the same amount. And it only takes about four days of sleep deprivation to throw off your body’s response to insulin. Insulin is the hormone that tells your body that your blood sugar is high enough and signals it to store fat.
Uncover the right amount of sleep for you by keeping track of your sleep and how you feel the next day. If you are one of the rare people who is getting enough sleep, you can use this target to focus on the quality of that sleep instead of adding minutes—most of us, however, will need to do both. As I dig in with my clients, I almost always find multiple sleep issues. Adding minutes will force you to address factors, like bedtime routines, that also impact the quality of your sleep. Looking for ways to improve the quality of your sleep will make it easier for you to fall asleep and stay that way, ultimately adding sleep minutes.
You will have to do some investigation into your own sleep patterns. Do you find that the sun wakes you too early? Are you too hot at night? Do you wake up frequently on nights when you drink alcohol? Are you unable to fall asleep due to anxiety over the day ahead?
Our sleep struggles are as individual as we are, but every one of us can benefit from better sleep, and there are endless ways to improve it.
THE OTHER FIVE TARGETS
Buy a good, old-fashioned alarm clock instead of using your phone, or at least keep your phone plugged in across the room so you're not tempted to check email or social media “just once more” before falling asleep.
I know all too well the disruption of checking email “for the last time,” only to find a message from your boss that sends your stress levels through the roof. That is a surefire sleep killer. And guess what? Your email will still be there in the morning. We have gotten into the habit of signing over our nonwork hours to our jobs, but I am betting you do not get paid so much that it is worth sacrificing your health.