Why “Sleep Opportunity” Might Be the Key To Feeling More Rested

As I get older and more tired and cranky, I’ve become very invested in my sleep routine. I don’t drink coffee after 3 pm, I buy more Trader Joe’s melatonin than I care to admit, and fully believe in the power of the pre-sleep bath. But try as I might, I’m still tired and cranky more often than not. As Melissa Dahl pointed out over on The Cut, perhaps the best solution to my sleep problems is a simple one.

“Sleep Opportunity” was coined by Matthew Walker, the director of the Center for Human Sleep Science at the University of California, Berkeley. It refers to the padding around the time you actually fall asleep, when you’re in bed with your eyes closed, but not actually asleep.

Walker says that most people aren’t giving themselves enough sleep opportunity, and are subsequently underslept. Unless you possess the ability to fall asleep immediately (lucky you), you aren’t actually getting eight hours of sleep if you hit the hay at 11am to wake up at 7am. If you’re hoping to get seven hours of sleep you should give yourself eight hours of sleep opportunity, so you have plenty of time to actually doze off or wake up for a bathroom run in the middle of the night.

So simple, but so smart.

What are your bedtime routines?

h/t The Cut

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