Strive to Sleep

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Before I moved into the city, my daily commute was two and a half hours roundtrip. During the shortest days at the office, I would wake up by 6:30 AM and get home around 6:45 PM. The day felt completely limited, even during the long days of summer. Now, with a commute of fourteen minutes roundtrip, I have no excuses.

In the list of activities to prioritize when trying to get fit, one of the most important is sleep. We hear it all the time, but it really does make a difference. So, with my Basis watch, I can actually understand how I sleep:
People are typically in REM 20-30% of their night’s sleep and 15-30% Deep sleep. Most nights, I tend to land right on the lower end of REM (when a person is most likely to dream) and on the higher end of Deep (when a person’s muscles repair). Essentially, this just reaffirms that I sleep like a log and I do not dream enough.

More interestingly, the one day I was sick, the previous Tuesday, not only resulted in a less than spectacular sleep score (79%), but also meant I actually dipped below the expected REM range, albeit by just a hair:
While the toss and turns are similar, the frequency at which I shifted between various stages of sleep was much more rapid when I was under the weather. Certainly some of this insight is intuitive in that if I do not feel well, my sleep will suffer. However, the actual effect it has on sleep patterns is, at least to me, fascinating and important. The next time I am feeling ill, I may be more likely to heed the advice to get some rest and call it an early night.

The takeaway when I am healthy is that I need to get to bed earlier, so that I can start my day before 7:30 AM. Given that I will be incorporating additional workouts in the morning, as my BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) begins to drop with weight, I will need to find a way to call it a night sometime before 11:00 PM most evenings. Otherwise, I will be cutting into either my time to workout or the minimum seven hours of sleep I strive to get at night.

In another post, I’ll discuss my habits via MyBasis and how some, such as taking a certain number of steps, are much easier to do than others, like waking up by 6:30 AM consistently.

Until next time –


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