Sleep sets up success. Without enough of the former, you may not experience any of the latter. No wonder high achievers jealously protect their scheduled hours of slumber. The average teen needs about 9.25 hours of sleep a night for optimal performance. But, in sleep as in all other things, quality is as important as quantity.
Craig Ballantyne, the Editor of Early to Rise, seems to have cracked the code to quality slumber. His 10-3-2-1-0 formula establishes the conditions to facilitate getting to bed on time, sleeping better, and waking up the next morning well rested and ready for a great day.
10 hours before bed – No more caffeine
3 hours before bed – No more food (or alcohol, obviously!)
2 hours before bed – No more work
1 hour before bed – No more screen time
0 – The number of times you will hit the snooze button in the morning
Basically, your plan for peak performance demands that you quit caffeinated beverages before lunch, if you drink them at all. Eat a healthy dinner, then stop eating entirely. Plan your homework before leisure activities so you can start to wind down two hours before bedtime, then quit texting, calling, emailing, video-chatting, or anything else that requires a screen an hour before you finally call it a night.
Why does turning off all phones, TVs and computers an hour before bed make a HUGE difference in sleep quality? Not only do our personal screens deliver emotional content that may trigger emotional and hormonal responses that impair our ability to fall and stay asleep, but the light emitted by electronic devices can disrupt circadian rhythms, increasing alertness and disrupting our sleep-wake cycle.
The last step to lock in superior slumber is to wake up on time. Do not linger in bed, hitting the snooze button or dozing back off. Instead, be like the sun: rise and shine. After all, sleep only sets up success; you still have to earn your daily victories. As model Chanel Iman says, “A good night’s sleep is always the best way to wake up and go to work.”