A bad night’s sleep can ruin the rest of your day. From a relentless newborn to a snoring partner and even the next door neighbour’s bloody dog – there are so many factors working against you when all you want is a solid block of shut-eye.
If you’re not getting quality sleep then this idea dreamed up by a couple of mates might give you the motivation you need to start focusing on sleep as an important part of your lifestyle. They’re not here to lecture us about going to bed early – this is about making sleep more fun and they call it Sleep Racing.
So is this for real or just a very involved joke. “Hopefully both,” says Shane Thompson. “Sleep Racing sounds like an oxymoron doesn’t it? But so does ‘fun run’ and we know which one we’d rather be doing!”
Todd Deacon, Damian Png and Shane dreamed up this idea during Covid lockdown because… why not. The whole world is literally going bat-shit crazy and when you’ve got nothing to do, you know – the mind starts to wander. With each of their respective backgrounds in sport, tech and design, they had the drive and skills to put together the very first World Sleep Championships. Starting on October 19, competitors from all over the world will compete for the title. It’s been no surprise that it’s become an overnight sensation. Within 24 hours of creation it became the world’s most participated sport – over 7.8 billion people are now recognised by the WSC, in training and able to compete.
The championship starts with a three night seeding round and then five rounds of head-to-head competition, so eight sleep racing nights in total. There is a one-day break between rounds for necessary rest and recovery.
The format is a little like a tennis grand-slam combined with round robin – every sleep racer competes over eight nights and advances through the competition. But by the end of the two weeks, all will have an official world ranking and one will be crowned the official World Sleep Champion.
To win a round, you simply need to post a better sleep score than the Sleep Racer you are facing off against. In their first championship event competitors will use an Oura ring to measure this – highest score is the champ for that round.
The morning after each competition night, sleep racers enter their Oura sleep scores via the World Sleep Championship app.
“You’ve probably got all the equipment you need but the pro’s are talking about silk sleeping masks, custom ear plugs, homeopathic pillows, weighted blankets, melatonin supplements, double socking and microwavable lavender-scented plush toys – just so you know what you’re up against,” says Shane.
The guys have created something fun and irreverent and ask that even if you don’t compete – at least do some reading around the importance of sleep and find some information that resonates with you. Bad sleep can be caused by a wide range of factors and fortunately there is enough new research out there that is easily accessible with wide relevance. You might want to go deep and learn about your circadian rhythm or you might just gets tips on sleep prep – either way you’ll be better for it.
Want to take a shot at the World Title? Think you’ve got what it takes? Have you been training your whole life for this moment…to be finally recognised for your natural ability? Give it a go – it’s only as serious as you want to make it.
Registrations are still open and you can find out more on their website – www.worldsleepchampionships.com