I Got 8 Hours of Sleep Every Night for a Week. Did It Make a Difference?

Turns out, the sleeping part is easier said than done
sleep hours


Before I begin, I feel it’s important I confess: I did not succeed at sleeping for eight hours a night for seven straight days. Turns out, the whole “eight hours a night” thing might be a myth. But regardless, I did try. I gave it an honest go. With eight uninterrupted hours ahead of me, I was ready for sleep on time every night.[slideshow:104657]

But the actual falling asleep part is easier said than done. If you’re someone who has ever struggled with anxiety, or just has a particularly hard time falling asleep at night, you know what I mean. Some nights, I would lay awake for hours waiting for sleep to just happen. And it wouldn’t.

Maybe I should move to the Netherlands. Apparently people sleep more there.

But I gave it my best shot. I slept in on the weekends, went to bed early on weeknights. I tracked my levels of exhaustion, measured my productivity and, for all intents and purposes, made sleep more of a priority than I would normally. Things just got in my way.

Broadly, I know all the science and stuff. Like, your memory suffers, your hunger cues are thrown off, and other biological consequences happen every time you don’t get enough sleep. But as for the effects of getting enough sleep and whether it impacts your day, I can’t help you. My personal experience is more about what happened when I tried (really hard!) to get enough sleep and the small breakthroughs I made along the way. Here’s how it all went down.