The 12 Point Plan – 9. Sleep

Sleep, Mind


The first of the points in the Mind realm has such an enormous impact on both your physical and mental wellness that it definitely needs some attention.

Benefits of sleep:

  • Increased life expectancy
  • Improved memory (plus reduced risk of Alzheimers)
  • Increased concentration and ability to learn
  • Reduced risk of diseases, such as Cancer, Type 2 Diabetes etc.
  • Improved capacity to recover from exercise and increased energy
  • Better ability to make healthy food choices
  • Reduced risk of being overweight


A minimum of 7 hours, per night.

In an ideal world, this would be continual, undisturbed sleep.  However, I recognise that sometimes life can throw a curve ball at you.  With the best intentions, some things are out of your control.  I want all of the 12 Points to be easily assessed by you and be black and white as to whether you’ve achieved them or not.  If you hit the pillow but then can’t actually sleep for some reason, it seems unfair to not recognise your efforts at getting to bed on time and trying your best to get the sleep you’re aiming for.  Therefore, record the time you turn off your lights and get into bed and then the time you get up out of bed or your alarm goes off.  Hopefully, this should be over the 7 hours mark. 

Then, to dive deeper down the hole, we can start to look at your sleep quality.  If you’ve led in bed, not able to sleep, or have had to get up in the night lots to go to the toilet, then we want to look at ways of improving your sleep (see below).

Going Deeper:

It’s not just about the quantity of sleep, the quality of your sleep is also really important.  There are stages of sleep (REM and NREM) that you’re designed to go through in a complete sleep cycle that remove unnecessary neural connections and strengthen useful connections.  If you’re waking regularly and not completing these sleep cycles, or aren’t relaxing into the deeper stages, you might be missing out on the full benefits of sleep.

Suggestions to improve sleep:

  • Try to form a routine that you stick to most nights – decide on a bedtime and waking time that you can stick to and allow your body to get used to this over time.
  • Avoid screen time for 90 minutes before bedtime (turn off tv, phones, laptops etc.). 
  • Complete Blackout in bedroom – having blackout curtains and removing electrical equipment from your bedroom can both help you get to sleep quicker and deepen your sleep
  • Sunlight at dawn and dusk – there is evidence that getting some direct sunlight, particularly at these times, can get your circadian rhythm more in alignment with the day.  This can aid sleep patterns.
  • Journal etc. – if things are on your mind that are stopping you from sleeping, use the other Mind Points (Journal, Gratitude & Affirmations, and Meditation) to help you achieve a more peaceful mind, which will aid sleep.