Power Sleep by James Mass


“Most of us need at least one more hour of sleep every night than we get. The consequences of gradual yet continuous sleep deprivation might not be readily apparent at first glance, but over time, the insidious sleepiness will begin to take its toll on your mood, your performance, and your health.” – James Mass
Mass provided a checklist of things that indicate that you do not have enough sleep. For me, I’m getting about 6-7 hours of sleep a day and I’m also trying to get a 20 minute nap in as well. I don’t think I’m sleep deprived, but hey, I’m going to read the rest of this PN before I decide on my course of action.


“Ten hours of sleep is operationally defined as our need because that’s what is often required for optimal performance.” – James Mass
Mass goes on saying that prior to the invention of the lightbulb, we were sleeping an average of 10 hours as that was the moment when the sun went down to the moment the sun came up. He goes on saying that the average now is 7 hours with 1/3 of the population going for under 6. While I agree that you can probably go live on 4 hours of sleep, your brain will be no where close to performing optimally. I however, am very skeptical on the getting 10 hours for optimal performance argument – I believe it was more because of circumstance as oppose to a need (what else would you do if you could not see anything after the sun set?)


“We do not understand the need for sleep and the consequences of sleep deprivation. We must learn to value sleep as much as we value the importance of proper nutrition and exercise.” – James Mass
Not much information was given on what was meant to power sleep in this PN. I think the idea here is to start getting 8 – 10 hours of sleep.


“It’s important to keep your biological clock in absolute synchrony with your daily routine. In this way the hours you spend in bed will correspond with the sleepy phase of your circadian rhythm and the hours you spend out of bed will correspond with the awake phase of your circadian rhythm.” – James Mass
I do agree with having a regular sleep schedule. Heck, today is a Saturday and I woke up at 6am, like every other day. I find it much easier to wake up early constantly than sleeping in on weekends and then expecting myself to get up during the weekdays. That and I have a list of morning routines to get through (including summarizing a PN before going to work).


“1. Get an adequate amount of sleep every night.
2. Establish a regular sleep schedule.
3. Get continuous sleep.
4. Make up for lost sleep.” – James Mass
Not much was talked about in the PN – I wonder if he gives tips in the book.


  1. reduce stress as much as possible
  2. exercise to stay fit
  3. keep mentally stimulated during the day
  4. eat a proper diet
  5. stop smoking
  6. reduce caffine intake
  7. avoid alcohol near bedtime
  8. take a warm bath before bed
  9. maintain a relaxing atmosphere in the bedroom
  10. establish a bedtime ritual

According to the PN, the book has 20 or so more tips for getting great sleep. For the most case, the only one that I do not do is 8 as I take my showers when I wake up (well after I get some physical exercise in after waking up). I’d be interested in knowing what the other 10 strategies are.

My Take Aways

When I found this PN, I was super excited to take a read as I know there’s still a lot about sleep that I have to learn. However,I guess I had my expectations set too high. Power Sleep might have been written for the person who is struggling in life due to drowsiness. From what I gathered from this PN, it seems like quantity is focused on ad not quality. That and I think the conflicting idea of how much sleep is required got me a little skeptical.

That said, I should pick up this book, see what else it talks about and see if it makes more sense / inspires me to take action. However, if you are the type of person who is struggling right now, I do think that most of the concepts covered have a lot of value. If you are looking for more “hacks”, I suggest the book by Shawn Stevenson called Sleep Smarter: 21 Proven Tips to Sleep Your Way To a Better Body, Better Health and Bigger Success. I got this book a few months ago and although I haven’t implemented all of the ideas, I have installed some black out curtains and do find myself getting better quality sleep. Anyway, check out those books if you’re interested (please note that I will be getting a small amount from Amazon, though it does not affect how much you pay – Amazon just makes less money than if you were to go onto the website yourself). I also suggest you check out the actual Philosopher’s Notes (note they even have courses that consolidate many of the concepts in the books that Brian Joshnson covers and puts them into videos that are really easy to digest). This is the first program that I’ve signed up for and am definitely getting my money’s worth!

Otherwise, do keep yourself healthy by getting a reasonable amount of sleep. Actually, I’d be curious to hear about how much sleep you’re getting, what you’re doing to ensure quality, and your own thoughts of what you need to work on. Comment below!


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