My average sleep quality (measured by the excellent free app Sleep Cycle) over the past 6 years has improved from under 60% to over 90%. The above graph loses the furthest outlying data points, but my lowest sleep quality was around 57% and I have had many nights at 100%. Take note of that dip in mid-2017; that was one of those detours that slowed the completion of this book and I will get into that a bit later. To get a better idea of how my sleep looks today, let’s look at the last 6 months:
The above graph shows my sleep during the last 6 months, which just happens to also be the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic so far. The dip in March is when the pandemic hit. The subsequent spike was from my focusing on sleep even more than usual and being determined to not let the pandemic compound problems by affecting my sleep. The result has been that, even during the pandemic, I have slept extremely well and recorded some of my highest sleep quality levels in the entire 2000 nights since I began collecting data.
You can also see that it is rare for my sleep quality to dip below 90%. While making final revisions to this book, I logged 7 consecutive nights at 100% sleep quality during the pandemic- a personal record for me. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a sort of final exam for me, and I think it is an understatement to say I have passed. I have all the same worries, fears and concerns as everyone else around the world, but I have the distinct advantage that I am sleeping well every night.
This is one of the worst nights of sleep I ever recorded from 2014 when I first started keeping records. Despite being in bed for over 7 hours, I only actually slept somewhere over 4 hours. If you have ever awakened feeling like you were run over by a truck and mentally barely able to even think, that’s what a night like this translates to in the morning. Over the past 6 years, I have come to find any night under about 85% sleep quality to be unacceptable for me.
Above is one of many more recent good nights where my sleep quality was 100%. Notice that I slept through the whole night with a normal, repeating 90-minute cycle between deeper and shallower phases of sleep. I also awakened slightly early at around 6:30AM, but simply went back to sleep until I had a full and proper night’s sleep. I have trained myself to do this over time and will tell you how to do so as well.
As you can see, the improvement I have made is dramatic, consistent, and still ongoing, even after over 6 years. Interestingly, the makers of Sleep Cycle began collecting data from users willing to voluntarily (and anonymously) submit it over the past 5 years or so. While it changes a bit from day to day, generally one country or another remain in the top and bottom spots for significant periods of time. Japan consistently had the worst average sleep quality at around 60% (This is absolutely horrible! I can tell you from having had nights of that quality.) until around April of 2015. At that time, Saudi Arabia became the worst sleeping country with national average sleep quality scores in the low 60 percentage and has remained there very consistently. It is interesting to note that almost to the week when Saudi Arabia moved into this spot, the Tesla Model 3 electric vehicle was announced and began taking orders worldwide selling over 200,000 pre-orders in about a week. Prior to this, during the preceding 2 years or so, the United States became the world’s number one oil producer and Saudi Arabian citizens began having to pay taxes for the first time ever, began paying far more for gasoline, and were no longer eligible for cushy, state subsidized jobs as they have been for decades. It is a telling statistic that I actually anticipated happening, but I never guessed it would have such near exact timing. Saudi Arabia has since dominated the bottom spot for the most part. I don’t know if they are aware of it, but our intelligence agencies could learn much from utilization of global sleep data.
The Netherlands and New Zealand, by contrast, often have the highest sleep quality of any country. I do not know the reasons for this, but it is something I intend to look into in the future.
During the week of April 15th of this year, just after the Pandemic hit and I focused on prioritizing my sleep even more than usual, I had an average sleep quality score of 98% giving me literally one of the best sleep quality score averages in the world – in the top 2%. This was 17% higher than the highest national average in New Zealand, 23% higher than the US average, and 35% higher than the lowest average in Saudi Arabia.
One thing is immediately clear from all of these charts: I have cracked the code to getting consistently good sleep. After seeing my stellar sleep turnaround, if you find yourself pining for deep, restful, restorative sleep, such as I have achieved, the best thing you can do is continue reading and get ready to learn some things and make some changes.
You can order The War On Sleep now from Amazon at https://rb.gy/beanpl