“If you want to be successful, be consistent.” -Unknown
If you see this unattributed quote in pretty font on social media, sleep probably doesn’t come first to mind. You likely know how important sleep is to your health and you want to get more of it (who doesn’t?). But research shows that being consistent with your sleep is just as important, or even more important, than how many hours you spend in bed.
Dr. Michael Breus, also known as The Sleep Doctor™, shared in his recent talk at Upgrade Labs Biohacking Conference that the #1 best thing you can do to improve your sleep is to be consistent. Even as The Sleep Doctor, Dr. Breus says he is a night owl, and goes to bed around midnight. He wakes up rather early; he doesn’t get a full eight hours of sleep, the typical prescription for sleep we’ve all been spoon fed constantly.
But Dr. Breus is consistent about his sleep and wake times seven days a week, and that is a chief contributor to him sleeping well and feeling great. He stated in his presentation that he now wakes at nearly the same time every day without an alarm clock.
There are a slew of factors that can affect what time we rise and what time we go to sleep, from children getting us up far earlier than we would like, to Netflix binges keeping us up an extra hour or three. Due to lifestyle, it can be challenging to go to bed at the same time and rise at the same time consistently. But a few phenomena of modern life prove how important getting consistent about sleep really is.
You may have experienced the adverse effects of jetlag when traveling east to west or vice versa, but you may be shocked to realize that you might be putting yourself through “social jetlag” every week. Elise Facer-Childs, a doctoral researcher specializing in sleep, explains that a lot of our society suffers from social jetlag because we follow a certain schedule during the week for work and follow a different schedule during the weekend, mostly due to staying up late socializing, then snoozing late the next day as a result.
For example, if you typically go to bed at 10 P.M. on weeknights and wake up at 6 A.M. on weekdays for work but stay up on Friday and Saturday evenings past midnight then sleep in late, it’s like traveling between New York and Los Angeles weekly. No wonder Mondays can feel like a drag.
Daylight Savings occurs when we push the clocks forward one hour each spring. One hour may seem minimal, but on the Monday after the shift, Business Insider reports, hospitals report on average a 24% spike in heart-attack visits around the United States (source). In the fall, doctors witness the opposite: the day after we turn back the clocks, heart attack visits drop on average 21% as people enjoy a bit more extra sleep.
Next time you want to stay up an hour later, remember that losing an hour of sleep for a single night isn’t as trivial as we may think.
What to do
Making up for lost sleep on the weekends or after a trip is likely better than taking no action at all, but it is ideal to keep to a consistent sleep schedule whenever possible. The Apollo™ wearable helps you to be more consistent with your sleep by helping to support your circadian rhythm. According to The Sleep Foundation, circadian rhythms are 24-hour cycles that are part of the body’s internal clock, running in the background to carry out essential functions and processes. One of the most important circadian rhythms is the sleep-wake cycle. (source). It creates a cycling, day-night rhythm that makes you feel sleepy or alert at regular times of night and day.
The Apollo wearable allows your body to become more resilient to stress so you sleep better. There will always be days where life gets in the way, your kids are sick, you’re on a work deadline, or you have a late flight, and you can’t stick to consistent sleep-wake times. The Apollo wearable helps reset your circadian rhythm in these times to help you adapt to the new schedule. You know the feeling of being so tired, yet you just can’t fall asleep because you’re still buzzing from the stress of the day? Apollo helps bypass that by resetting your natural rhythm.
Stress is often what keeps us tossing and turning, leaving us exhausted and irritable. Through barely audible, soothing vibrations, the Apollo wearable allows you to unwind from the stress of the day so you can fall asleep on time with less effort and restore your energy in the morning when you wake.
The Apollo device also allows you to achieve other states through different goal-based modes:
- Social and Open - Gives you confidence for that happy hour, creative work session, or date.
- Meditation and Mindfulness - Like sitting on your meditation cushion for 20 minutes, but all you have to do is turn on your wearable.
- Rebuild and Recover - Allows your body and mind to restore and recenter.
Use Apollo modes to transition from day to night
The Apollo wearable provides you with Apollo modes for each part of your day and night.
- 1 hour before bedtime: Relax and Unwind - Think of this as your "me time" setting. Use this during your pre-bed routine.
- When going to sleep: Sleep and Renew - Consider this your silent bedtime story to lull you into slumber. Use this when it's time for lights out.
- Upon waking: Clear and Focused - Like taking an espresso shot, minus the caffeine crash. Use this for heads down work.
By wearing the Apollo device consistently at least three hours a day, five days a week, you can start to make your sleep more consistent, too.
Consistency for the win
When you eat healthy or workout consistently, you feel results. Getting consistent about your sleep is the same. Even as adults, having a consistent bedtime serves us best. Use your Apollo wearable to help you regulate the times you wind down, go to sleep, wake up, and more, and feel the shift in your body and mind.