The other key component of training
“Improving my sleep has benefitted my mental clarity and my ability to perform, it’s really been a game changer for me.”
With the Specter event almost here, getting the best possible sleep is essential to the team’s preparation. For the past few months, optimizing their sleep habits has been an integral part of the veteran SEALs’ training.
“In the SEAL teams we all struggle with sleep, so do veterans,” Jonny said. “That’s actually how we came to know WHOOP, to better understand why and apply the proper remedy. The WHOOP sleep breakdown helps us identify those that need support.”
“I’ve changed everything about my sleep now that I have this data,” Bob added. “How much I sleep, when I go to bed, my diet, etc. Now I have true accountability for everything that I’m doing. I used to only get four or five hours a night, now I’m closer to seven or eight.”
Beyond simply dedicating more time to sleep, the team members have also put an emphasis on trying to improve sleep consistency (going to bed and waking up at similar times each day) to better the overall quality of their sleep. Below is a recent week-long sample of Bob’s sleep consistency:
From the first month of Specter training to the second, Bob improved his overall sleep consistency by 9%. In particular, he focused on getting to bed earlier on the weekends and maintaining his natural circadian rhythm throughout the week.
WHOOP performance experts noted that Jonny often struggled to fall asleep and spent too much of his time in bed awake. He began doing the following things to help improve the efficiency of his sleep:
– ritualizing his bedtime routine and making it the same each night to let his body know it’s time to sleep
– writing in a journal before bed, emptying his thoughts onto paper to clear his mind and feel at ease
– mindfulness meditation and relaxing breathing
– eating foods high in serotonin (which helps regulate the body’s sleep-wake cycles), in particular kiwi at night
Through July and August, the Specter team members averaged 5:59 of sleep per night, just 65% of their recommended sleep need. In September, they upped those numbers to 6:20 and 70%.
As they make their final efforts to get their bodies ready for this incredibly grueling event, in October the SEALs have slept 7:26 per night on average, hitting 85% of their sleep need.