About sleep

Brace yourselves, this is a big one!

I’ve always figured out that there 24 hours a day. You sleep six hours and have 18 hours left. Now, I know there are some of you out there that say well, wait a minute, I sleep eight hours or nine hours. Well, then, just sleep faster, I would recommend.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

I love this quote by Arnold which comes from a speech he gave at the University of Southern California on May 15th 2009. Not only is Arnold Schwarzenegger a perfect example of a successful person that does not sleep much, the speech also shows that even under great pressure (both for the mind and the body) you can do a shitload of amazing stuff. In fact: Without asking much from your body you won’t be able to sleep less. Here goes why:

Everyone knows the feeling of sleep that comes over you and you just can’t do anything about it. May it be in college or school or at work, sometimes you just feel like your fainting. The point is: Would you be with your buddies at that time or would you engage in a hobby you like, you would face no problem whatsoever! That is why many people are tired and worn-out at work but can party for hours after that. As long as you occupy your brain with awesome stuff to do you can manage to stay awake much more easily, but as soon as you get bored your head goes like ‘Nah, I’d much rather sleep now‘, so don’t go there!

So let’s keep in mind: In order to reduce sleep time you need to have stuff to do! Nice hobbies, a social circle, awesome job, whatever, just get something on your mind that keeps you happy and busy!

Being bored makes your brain wanna sleep

Next important point: Experiment with your sleep. Don’t take the sleeping pattern you have right now for normal and natural! I’ve found myself experimenting with many different sleep schedules for the past year including really drastic ones like the uberman sleep schedule, giving my body extremely few hours of daily sleep and this has not only helped me in finding good ways to manage my sleep but it also helped to enhance the quality of my sleep in general. I fall asleep when I want to even in broad daylight and I sleep much more sound, dreaming more intense. On top of that I realised (not only thought, but felt) that my body could work with much less sleep than 8 hours daily. The problem is that many people think they need 8 hours because everyone says so and therefore they think they have to be tired whenever they don’t sleep that long. This mindest is not only bullshit it also shows how your feeling of being fresh or being tired is directly related not only to your body but to your head and therefore you can work on it!

A problem with sleeping few hours is that you either have to get to bed very late or get up very early. I recommend getting up early because I love daylight and sunrises, but that’s up to you. Anyway, you have to be disciplined! Sleeping less means having more time and that results in waking up and thinking ‘Hmm I don’t have to rush to schoo/class/work, I could sleep some more hours.’ And that’s the crucial moment. Here you HAVE  to get up, get fresh and start your day. In the end you will have a great day but the magic minutes after waking up are the problem.

Sunrises, I love them!

The magic minutes
There is this problem I refer to as the magic minutes. In these firts minutes (from 1-20 minutes depending on the person) after waking up your mind is just a crazy retard. It does not listen to your thoughts from yesterday and it does not give any fuck about your plans for the day. It only cares about getting back in your comfy bed. So you HAVE to stay awake and conquer the magic minutes, then you’re golden! Here are some suggestions to help you with overcoming your personal magic minutes:

  • When you go to bed think about how long you want to sleep and when you want to wake up. Then set your alarm according to this time and be sure that you trust your body and mind to be able to work with this amount of sleep
  • Write yourself a note before you go to sleep reasuring your next day’s self that ‘YOU CAN DO THIS, TRUST ME!
  • Put your alarm clock as far away from your bed as possible and thereby make it a necessity to get up in order to shut it off
  • Before you shut it off bring some light in. Hit the light switch, open the windows, whatever
  • After shutting off the alarm clock make sure to stay awake and more importantly MOVE, meaning do sit-ups, do push-ups, stretch, stuff like that. You don’t have to do a workout or something but doing exercises will get the blood rushing through your body and help fastening your wakeup process
  • If you know you have to wake up early drink lots of water prior to your sleep. This is a good thing because it forces you to empty your bladder in the morning which kills a bit of the magic minutes
  • A rather extreme one: If you can, put away your pillows or blanket right when you get up. Stuff them wherever they fit and make sure it would be work to make your bed again. Make your bed as uncomfy as possible! (Why not poor cold water on the sheets?)

So yeah, those are some basic ideas of how to avoid sleeping in. Of course the list is not near complete but it may provide some useful tips. Another big one:
Cut the drugs short! Meaning alcohol and coffeine. What I found out during several experiments with sleep is that both fuck with your body in a sick way. Not only for the next day but for several days, interfering with your whole sleep cycle. I mean it’s okay to drink both, alcohol and coffeine, but especially when you get started with sleeping few hours you should really avoid getting extremely hammered or drinking more then 2 cups of coffee a day (especially in the morning and right before sleep). Sounds strange especially for the readers in college age but believe me the discipline is worth it. Instead drink huge amounts of water! One main reason for fatigue is dehidration. So drink a lot of pure water not only before you go to sleep but also and especially right after you wake up.

Fresh and awake without much sleep? YOU CAN DO IT!

Why even bother?
Well as a last part I want to cover the question of sense and necessity of this post. Why should you sleep less? Well it is easy, you don’t do shit when you sleep! Sleep is important to relax, it is important to refresh hour energy and it is important for the head to get some time-out. But enough is enough and when you sleep through more than a third of every day you miss out on so many awesome things! Having more time is just awesome and gives you plenty of opportunities, especially today in an age where all people complain about having no time! Important after all is: Have a life, meaning have something to do! Cutting down the sleep time in order to procrastinate on reddit and facebook won’t do the trick, you should really pull yourself together if you put in this amount of effort.

Another last reminder: If this post convinced you of sleeping less, be patient! It takes time getting used to this because the human body loves its habits. Have the discipline to keep it up for a certain time and you will get results. Maybe write a protocol or give yourself nice rewards.

Good luck on your hunt after more time!

/phil

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5 thoughts on “About sleep

  1. Some very useful information and thoughts, thank you.

    For me the best way to get up is to set 2 alarm clocks. First – near my bed for 4:00am, second – in common place for 4:12am. The second clock will wake everyone in the house if I don’t shut it down in time. That’s a huge motivator for me and I just can’t stay in bed, knowing that I would wake everyone up if I don’t get up.

  2. May I just say that this article was right on the key points that keeps people and even myself from waking up. You did a good job on that but also provided the positive effects on waking up early.
    For that, I give you my respect!

  3. This is irresponsible advice. Sleep is incredibly important to your health. That last thing people need is to get less sleep. They need a solid amount of quality sleep. That number differs between people, but if you’re cutting sleep and feeling like crap for it – that’s counter-productive.

    Sleeping less will catch up to you, and that won’t be motivating at all. It will increase your susceptibility to illness and leave you feeling grumpy and resentful.

    You really have to look at what you would be giving up sleep for and re-evaluate your priorities.
    Cutting out sleep to work more? How about sleep more so you’re healthy enough to function and ensure you’ll live a long life to be around for your friends and family.

  4. Pingback: Steigern Sie Ihre Produktivität im Schlaf | Zeitgeek

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