“Exhausted all the time” was how one client described his general disposition to Robert McCabe, a personal trainer in London. This, despite his claims of sleeping well. “His performance in and out of the [fitness] club was suffering,” says McCabe. After tracking his sleep, the client discovered he was getting fewer than his stated seven hours a night and so he booked a 12-week sleep coaching programme at Equinox, his high-end gym, at a cost of £750. Through this programme, McCabe helped the client increase his sleep by two hours a night. The effect? As well as feeling rested, he raised the weights in his Turkish Get Up (a kettlebell exercise) from 16kg to 30kg over 12 weeks. Such premium sleep coaching programmes are just one strand of the booming exhaustion economy. According to a 2017 report by McKinsey, the US sleep-health industry is “estimated to be worth $30bn-$40bn and is growing, with few signs of slowing down”. Nap pillows and pods, calming sprays, coaches and prescription ...

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