In the first installment of this series, I described the process of field stripping a handgun (essentially the disassembly and cleaning of a firearm to protect or correct performance) as a metaphor for a limited scope, targeted reboot of your life.
I also promised that I would subsequently cover three critical, game changing steps that must be achieved to reap the benefits of the field stripping concept.
The three major steps in field stripping your life for the better are: (1) sleep better, (2) eat better, and (3) breathe better. If you can manage to make these powerful changes to your life, you will feel and perform at amazing and previously unthinkable levels. To start this process off, we can explore the most accessible of the three concepts – sleep better.
Although I know that many people have trouble sleeping, my aim here is to offer the facts around sleep, according to a myriad of sleep studies (to better inform our community). Without going into the many technical aspects of sleep – of which I am not an expert – below are some very real facts about sleep.
Consider the following fact-based data:
- Sleep, as a subject of research, is the only human study where every legitimate study (and corresponding data) always reports the same findings. Think about how extraordinary that fact really is in the context and scope of research. People have a variety of chemistry and biology that often prompts results from studies that vary widely based on any number of factors. Not sleep – it’s always the same.
- Adults need a minimum of 7 hours of sleep per night to function optimally, and children need between 9-10 hours of sleep per night to support growth and maturity of the body and mind.
- For every hour – on average – that an adult misses the recommended number of hours of sleep per night by one hour (over the course of a year), the average net gain in body weight is 15 pounds.
- Adults adjusting to one hour of sleep per night less than their traditional average also report “adjusting” to the sleep shortfall after 7-14 days while also recording 2-4 times the amount of errors during the day. In short, sleeping less creates many more errors during daytime performance without any recognition that the error rate has risen precipitously by those making the errors (who claim to have “adjusted” to lack of sleep).
Sleep is a miraculous and foundational need for every human being. So powerfully important is sleep that Naval Special Warfare Command has its own sleep team supporting Tier One units such as SEAL teams to ensure these teams function at optimal levels of performance. So, set your alarm and get to bed in time to book a solid 7 hours every night – you’ll be glad you did.