Harvard Business Review surveyed 180 business leaders and found that four out of 10 (43%) said they do not get enough sleep at least four nights a week

Is sleep the one performance metric you let yourself down on?

Always disregarded, always compromised, rarely considered.

What are you doing to manage your sleep-wake cycle?

In most cases, the answer is nothing.

For years, the primary metric we’ve defined sleep quality by has been duration simply because it was measurable.

Although a simple target, 14% of people in the UK get under 5 hours of sleep duration a night, with 71% of UK adults not even getting the proposed seven to nine hours.

Bring into that equation the quality of that sleep, and we’re a nation with serious sleep problems and a nation that routinely abuses stimulants, depressants and sedatives.

If we have sleep problems we also concurrently have wake problems with lack of sleep contributing to fatigue, reduced cognitive function, mood changes, impaired motor skills, compromised immune systems, weight gain and an increased risk of chronic disease.

Health and performance all being compromised.


Sleep comprises four major components that we must consider: sleep latency, duration, consistency and architecture, all of which play into what high-quality sleep is, and the dawn of non-invasive wearables for sleep tracking has also added to our ability to score or track all of these components.

All of these markers were also those that we looked to improve through our education and the ingredients used in our products.

So what are they?

Sleep latency refers to the time it takes to fall asleep after getting into bed. Ideally, a shorter sleep latency, typically around 10 to 20 minutes, indicates sound sleep onset. If it takes too long to fall asleep, it may suggest issues with sleep onset insomnia or other sleep disorders. Falling quickly and easily can lead to a more restful night's sleep.

Sleep Duration: Sleep duration refers to the total time spent asleep during the night. Most adults require around 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night for optimal health and functioning. Consistently achieving the appropriate amount of sleep is crucial for cognitive, emotional, and physical well-being. Adequate sleep duration allows the body to complete essential restorative processes, including memory consolidation, tissue repair, and hormone regulation.

Sleep Consistency: Sleep consistency involves maintaining a regular sleep schedule, including consistent bedtime and wake-up times, throughout the week. Consistency in sleep patterns helps regulate the body's internal clock, promoting better sleep quality. Irregular sleep schedules can disrupt circadian rhythms, leading to difficulties falling asleep and staying asleep.

According to sleep expert Dr. Allison Brager, maintaining a solid schedule and sleep consistency is “the only true way to optimise the release of melatonin,” 

Sleep Architecture: Sleep architecture refers to the cyclical pattern of sleep stages experienced throughout the night. A well-rounded sleep cycle consists of multiple stages, including non-REM (rapid eye movement) and REM sleep.

Each stage plays a distinct biological role.

Most adults typically require around 4 to 6 sleep cycles per night (each typically 90-110 minutes) to feel fully rested, refreshed and for the body's glymphatic system to becomes more active, helping to clear adenosine and other waste products from the brain.

Each sleep cycle has several stages, including non-REM (rapid eye movement) and REM sleep. Here's what each sleep cycle should ideally consist of:

Stage 1 (NREM): This is the transition from wakefulness to sleep, characterised by light sleep. During this stage, muscle activity decreases, and eye movements slow down. This stage usually lasts for about 5 to 10 minutes.

Stage 2 (NREM): This stage is considered actual sleep, characterised by decreased heart rate and body temperature. Brain waves become slower, and brief bursts of rapid brain activity known as sleep spindles and K-complexes occur. Stage 2 typically lasts for about 10 to 25 minutes.

Stages 3 and 4 (NREM): These are deep sleep stages, also known as slow-wave sleep (SWS). Brain waves slow down even further during these stages, and the body undergoes significant physical restoration and repair. Muscle activity decreases, and it becomes more difficult to wake someone up. These stages are crucial for physical recovery, hormone regulation, and immune function. Stages 3 and 4 usually last for about 20 to 40 minutes each.

REM Sleep: Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep is characterised by vivid dreaming, rapid eye movements, and increased brain activity. Despite the name, muscle activity is actually suppressed during REM sleep, except for the muscles involved in eye movement and breathing. REM sleep is essential for cognitive processing, memory consolidation, and emotional regulation. REM sleep typically occurs in cycles throughout the night, with each REM period becoming longer as the night progresses. The first REM period usually lasts about 10 minutes, but it can extend up to an hour or more during later cycles.

Achieving multiple complete sleep cycles allows the body to undergo essential physical and mental processes for overall health and well-being. Not only that but it ensures we perform at our very best with limited cost to physiological and psychological function.