You know the sleep hacks. You’re laying off caffeine in the afternoon, avoiding blue light, maybe taking a warm bath and having a little stretch before you get between the covers. And yet, even when you get to bed with the right number of hours before your alarm, it can still somehow not be enough.
Sleep opportunity means focusing not on how many hours of sleep you need, but how many hours you need in bed in order to get enough sleep.
Very few of us are sleep savants who fall asleep the moment we’re in bed, even accounting for supine Instagram-scrolling. Walker suggests focusing on giving yourself the sleep opportunity you need, building in a cushion for the time it takes to fall asleep or, say, your dog whining to go out twenty minutes before your alarm. (Eliminating that anxiety, of Oh god, the dog is whining, now I’m not going to get enough sleep, helps, too.)
Walker holds himself to a rigorous eight-hour sleep opportunity, knowing that even if he gets less, he’ll get enough. Your ideal sleep opportunity will vary — everyone needs a different amount of sleep — but this will help you give yourself the chance to actually get it.
How to Get a Tiny Bit More Sleep [The Cut]