Deep Sleep [3-2-1 Formula]
SUPERHUMAN SCORE: 8.25
Society wears sleep deprivation like a badge of honor. Meanwhile, science frames sleep deprivation as a badge of misplaced priorities.
Getting fewer than 7-9 hours of sleep results in diminished cognitive performance (among other consequences).
So, how can we use rest to power our success?
Let me tell you about the 3-2-1 Sleep Formula.
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Sleep is a top-of-funnel activity that has cascading effects on the performance of everything we do.
For this reason, sleeping is one of the highest-leverage activities we can optimize to improve the quality of our lives.
The 3-2-1 Sleep Formula (courtesy of Brendon Burchard):
- 3 hours before bed, no food.
- 2 hours before bed, no work.
- 1 hour before bed, no screens.
Here's why this works:
- No food: Bodily discomfort reduces your chances of falling asleep. Eating late is also associated with weight gain (metabolism is slower when you're stationary).
- No work: Working can trigger stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.
- No Screens: Our phone screens and monitors emit blue light. This suppresses melatonin, a chemical that makes us sleepy. So, you'll want to limit blue light as you approach sleep.
Now some tips for maintaining these 3 habits:
- 3 hours before bed, no food: Be more intentional about when you eat. Time block dinner in your calendar or set an alarm to eat. (Admittedly, this can be challenging, given social activities. Go for progress, not perfection.)
- 2 hours before bed, no work: End the workday with a shutdown ritual (hat-tip to Cal Newport). Close your laptop, plug in the charger, and spend 2 minutes tidying your desk. Then say, “shutdown complete.” Separating your work and life is key.
- 1 hour before bed, no screens: Keep your phone outside the bedroom. This hides the prompt to check your phone (blue light and emotional triggers destroy sleep). Instead, consider swapping in a book. I've been enjoying science fiction books like Dune.
I, like Brendon Burchard, believe these are the big levers for better sleep.
I've also been using Beam (affiliate)—30 mins before bed to help me wind down. Use my code systemsunday for an additional 15% off any order.
If you want to optimize further, read this thread I wrote on 10+ sleep tips.
BRINGING IT HOME
That's a wrap for our system insight of the week! Now you can eat, breathe, AND sleep personal growth.
All systems go,
P.S. If you enjoy System Sunday, you'll love my friend Zain Kahn's newsletter—Superhuman. He focuses on leveraging AI for productivity. Check it out here.
All systems go,
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