In case you are wondering what it’s like to be around me on a daily basis, it’s a lot like you may expect.
I am constantly talking about sleep and sleep habits. My wife, family, and friends expect it and roll their eyes quite a bit and I am okay with that. There is something at work that is bigger than me so I just keep going one day at a time.
The reason I mention this is because I am often told I have a lot of passion, energy, and drive. After a few encounters, you will come to understand this is not a mask. There is no smoke and mirrors. I live this way because I began down a path of maximizing my sleep. One of my hallmark sleep sources is Shawn Stephenson’s book Sleep Smarter: 21 Ways to Maximize Your Sleep. It’s my American Express, I never leave home without it. In his book, Shawn points out that old school “healthy” was an equation that identified diet, exercise, and sleep as three equal pillars. Let’s say you do a great job with your diet, exercise, and sleep on a given day; then each pillar could have a value of up to 5. Eat poorly, score a one. Eat healthy, score a five. You tracking me?
So here is how the old school equation looks in mathematical terms: Diet + Exercise + Sleep = Healthy. So if you score high on all three pillars, your equation looks like this:5+5+5=15. The number 15 I call your power level because it sounds cool.
Old school, your maximum power level being 15 was good. However, science and technology has shown us that 15 was not great. Nowadays, the pillars are no longer considered equal by some experts. And according to Shawn, he considers sleep a multiplier. This changes everything! Here is how the modern day version of the healthy equation looks like: (Diet + Exercise) x Sleep = Healthy. And today, a person who eats great, gets some exercise, and gets good quality sleep has a new maximum power level. Check this out: (5+5) x 5 = 50! The power level of a mighty warrior!
If you don’t believe me or you think I’m doing some bad math, you need to stop and look around. Back in the 80’s and 90’s, when people turned 40 years old, their friends got them together and threw over the hill parties. How does that saying go? It’s all downhill from here. Dude, hard no. In our 21st century world, 60 is the new 40. We have gained a lot from modern medicine and nutrition. And recently in the last decade, we are finally starting to understand how sleep works to enhance our bodies and preserve our youth.
I live by this equation. In 2023, I am tracking my daily digits. I have begun to realize that over the past 15 years my weight has gone up and down. I find 25 lbs, I lose 25 lbs, I find it again. Now that rollercoaster is over. As long as you focus on sleep, you can still hit power levels above the old school equation. Let’s say I go crazy and eat terribly tomorrow. Lot’s of fried food and a couple vegetables here and there. I also get almost zero exercise. I sit and play video games almost the entire day. I will score a two in both diet and exercise. However I don’t eat two hours before bed and I held to my caffeine curfew of 9:30 AM and I go to sleep on schedule. Here’s my power level: (2+2) x 5 = 20. My octane might be a bit low but that is still more energy than you might think!
Let’s flip this around and look at how much not sleeping can truly exhaust you. Let’s say I eat great tomorrow and get a 30 minute workout out to fit into my day. I will score a five in both diet and exercise. But I stayed up too late. I drank a beer before bed and ate an ice cream sandwich so I will score a two. Here we go: (5+5) x 2 = 20. Huh, I got the same power level. Do you think this means I will have the same amount of energy? Not by a long shot and here’s why.
Do you know how much energy, self discipline, and motivation it will take to get to the gym? And if I get hungry, I will need to eat nutritious food and not take a shortcut and get fast food. I will need to prepare meals, make a game plan, execute that plan. That ain’t easy and doing that with a power level of 20 is less likely to be done effectively. Not to mention, I need to make sure I have emotional bandwidth to make time to focus on my family. What if my wife has a bad day and needs to vent? Will I be patient and aware of her needs after spending all my energy on the other stuff I have to do all day? Inversely, it’s effortless to sit around and eat terribly. I can fit listening and being a good husband with that power level 20.
So this year I am tracking my daily digits. I game plan my sleep and look for my power level to measure how I’m doing. If one of my numbers is low again and again, I can shift things around. Reprioritize. And get back to my peak performance mode! Lately, I’ve been hitting max at least four or five days a week and it feels amazing. Have you tried measuring your own daily digits? Take a second and plug your numbers into the equation. And before you score yourself for sleep, come talk to me. You can text me at 704-706-2436. If you score yourself a five but you actually got a three, the equation will do you no good. You need to make sure you are not only getting to bed on time, but also increase the quality of your sleep. When you hit max power level enough times in a row, you’ll start to be awake like a superhero!
Good morning superpower seekers! My name is Mattman SirCapesAlot. I’m the comfortable caped crusader. I teach and preach the Game Plan for Better Sleep! I’m the resident Sleep Superhero on the Sweet Dreams Mattress & Furniture of Lake Norman Dream Team. I am also part of the FAM crew from FAM.news where you can find mattress and furniture industry info, intel, and good people! If you are interested in growing your local independent business, check it out! And be sure to tune into the audio version of this article for a deeper dive into the information and happenings in a day in the life of a Sleep Superhero.
And speaking of Superheroes, Dreams 4 All needs help to serve more people! If you would like to make a monetary donation to the Dreams 4 All Foundation that believes nobody deserves to sleep on the floor, please text us at 704-706-2436. You can text us if you would like to see about doing this in your local community as well! We are always looking for more superheroes to join the ranks!