The Deep Sleep Experiment – Week 4 | The Lab
Oi oiiiii, last week of the Deep Sleep Experiment is here!
Over the last month I have been trying four different techniques each week to improve my deep sleep and documenting their effectiveness. Last week involved me spending 20 minutes outside each morning and this week is listening to a hypnosis recording before bed.
The main reason I picked hypnosis is because it's easy. It takes very little effort to stuff some headphones in each night and press play, in comparison to say braving British winter mornings and sitting outside for 20 minutes. So if you are at a place where your sleep is rubbish, hopefully this will provide you with some hope!
There are a huuuge amount of 'hypnosis' tracks available on Youtube, in the app store and on Spotify. I personally picked one I had received back when I actually took part in some hypnotherapy. Basically because I felt like it was of high quality (essentially a placebo but important).
Having said that I am sure that there are tons of great free sleep hypnosis recordings available! So, let's get cracking.
Week 4 – Listening to a Hypnosis Recording Before Bed
I woke up today feeling pretty lousy. I had a free morning so I thought I'd practise what I preach and indulge in the sickly term those damn, liberal snowflakes call 'self-care'. I popped on a yoga video with my fav gal and did actually feel a lot better after finishing it.
I was up in London to see You Me At Six in Brixton in the evening, it was a great gig but I found myself yawning rather excessively towards the end which might mirror my higher fatigue levels over the weekend.
We didn't get back till about 1am (lads, lads, lads) so not expecting amazing sleep tonight!
I woke up fairly fresh considering I only had five hours and 45 minutes worth of sleep under my belt.
The weather was far brighter today, so I noticed when out and about I felt less tired than the last few days. Love me some of that freeeeeesh blue sky.
I have another interview tomorrow morning so going to bed a little earlier to read for about 30 minutes and then whack on the hypnosis recording.
Deep Sleep Score: 15%
You know what, I've always said if I could have one superpower, it be to teleport. I'm going on the record now and changing it to controlling the weather.
I hate myself for complaining about it as I know on every level it's out of my control (until I get my superpower, that is) but it does have such an impact on me. Despite my disdain toward the sky I woke up fairly well and got myself a tidy deep sleep score of 15.5%.
I shot off for my interview and arrived at the car park to find only one ticket machine working. There were about 5 people ahead of me in the queue, most of them of an older generation who were baffled by the touchscreen monitor. I really should have politely asked if I could jump ahead as I had a job interview but being British, I said nothing and stewed.
Absolutely exhausted tonight and have settled into bed at the rock n' roll time of half 9.
Deep Sleep Score: 15.5%
Despite getting 10 hours of sleep last night, I somehow woke up desperate for more. WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO PLEASE YOU, LADY SLEEP?!
Sadly my Fitbit has let me down again and only recorded my basic sleep and not deep sleep. I've had a firm word and been promised there'll be no more slip ups.
My energy levels increased as the day went on so those 10 hours of snoozle time may have helped. Finished late today so went home, indulged in a pasta bake and watched some Office before heading to bed.
Deep Sleep Score: N/A
So, I have an apology to make to my body. I've been giving it a hard time this week for constantly wanting to sleep and rest. Woke up this morning with a raging sore throat and blocked nose. I've clearly been brewing a cold over the last few days and my good ol' body was trying to warn me, bless 'em.
Due to the sniffles, I woke up a little listless but headed to the gym for a light workout and then some relaxaaaaaation time in the spa area.
Went to bed around 10:30pm, read for a bit then put on the hypnosis recording. I'm not actually sure I've ever made it to the end without falling asleep.
Deep Sleep Score: 15.6%
I don't actually remember my dreams last night (super rare) so it makes sense my deep sleep score was a tasty 17.6% and my REM score was a little lower than normal.
I did feel kinda sleepy throughout the day but I think the finger can be pointed at the cold for that.
Had my work's Christmas partaaay this evening and didn't get back till 3am (two nights in one week past midnight, absolute lad). I got into bed and despite being shattered, I listened to the whole hypnosis track and didn't fall asleep!
Deep Sleep Score: 17.6%
For whatever reason my mind and body decided that just over 4 hours of sleep was sufficient enough as I woke up at half 7.
I managed to get 18% deep sleep however. I've been reading Matthew Walker's Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams and according to various studies most of our deep sleep (NREM) takes place in the first half of our slumber and then is followed by REM. This is supported by Saturday's sleep as my REM score was only 11% (usually around 20%).
Despite the lack of sleep I had a very productive day. I went and got a new phone (dropped my old one down the toilet at the work party – and yes, I don't drink, go figure). Went to the gym and then cooked my lunches for the week!
So I think what I'm saying is, all we need is 4 hours sleep each night and we'll be fine! (That. Is. A. Joke. People.)
Deep Sleep Score: 18%
There we go, week 4 done and dusted.
All in all, good week for the deep sleep and that shines through in the deep sleep average of 16.3%.
Had been feeling quite tired in general but that's definitely more due to the cold than poor sleep. I've learnt this week that sometimes your body is telling you to slow down for a reason!
It has definitely been the easiest week of the overall experiment, I would recommend giving a hypnosis track a whirl if you are currently struggling to sleep. I found it gave me some much needed comfort at the end of the day and allowed my mind to gently switch off without much effort on my behalf (always a bonus).
So, what are you waiting for? Go Derren Brown yourself to sleep!
Average Weekly Deep Sleep Level: 16.3%