This is a result of my “Throat Punch Thursday” post Why you should NOT sleep 8 hours.
If you want sleep less, you can. It’s not easy in the beginning, but it is simple. And since people always ask how I get by on such little sleep all the time and still train as hard as I do, here it is… How I trained myself to sleep less than 8 hours/night. For a while I was at 4hrs / night, but I found that my sweet spot is right around 5.27ish hours depending on what I eat. AND… 99.9% of the time it doesn’t matter how hard I train. Not sure why. Maybe I’m a freak.
I’ve said it before… Listen to “your” body and do what works best for “you”.
Pre-requisites and game plan for the sleeping less thing
- Eat Right (Required): How’s that for a generic statement. Ha! This means eat what works for YOUR body. How do you know? Pay attention!! If I eat meat and veggies and barely and sugar, I wake up feeling awesome. If I eat a lot of processed carbs and other garbage, I usually sleep terrible and wake up feeling like garbage.
- Keep a sleep journal: Keep track of what you’re eating and start a journal if you need, where you can record what you eat for the day and then in the morning how you feel and how restful your sleep was.
– How long did it take you to fall asleep?
– Was it quality sleep. Did you feel rested?
– What did you eat that day?
– Was there any added stress during the day?
There is also some great technology out now that will analyze your sleep. I’ll be looking into that more and put out some info on what I find.
- Set a Sleep schedule: If you’re not on a consistent sleep schedule now, get on one for at least a few weeks before you try to sleep less. Just like anything, you need a solid base to build on and if you’re sleep schedule is all jacked up you’re not gonna make it better by trying to sleep less. Turn off all electronics (yes, that means TV’s and computers and iPads and and) and do something relaxing at least one hour before you plan to go to sleep. If you think you need to watch TV to fall asleep, that’s probably part of your problem. I’ve never found anyone that falls asleep watching TV that talks about how awesome they sleep (“everyday”). Plus, most of the people that I know that watch TV to fall asleep, spend 1 to 2 to 3 hours watching TV before falling asleep.
- Meditate or do some type of relaxation at least once/day: I sorta kinda did this in the beginning. I literally would visualize myself sleeping and going through all 4 stages of sleep. (Oh the odd things you do when you’re 18). I’ve found real meditation really helps. A couple resources that I’m currently using are Brain.fm, Holosync, Dr. Joe Dispenza’s books/methods. (Dispenza’s stuff is on the edge of woowoo but it works).
- Sleep less: Darrrr, right? So here’s a generic outline you can tweak. It’s super complex. HA! It’s sorta what I did, but more conservative.
Weeks 1-3: Go to bed 15 min later or get up 15 min early
Weeks 4-6: Go to bed 15 min later or get up 15 min early (now you’re 30 min later than week 1)
Weeks 7-9: Go to bed 15 min later or get up 15 min early (45 min later than week 1)
Etc… etc… till you find your limit
Like I said you may need to tweak this just a bit for your circumstances. Ie, you may need to do 5 or 10 min instead
Final Notes: Now I don’t really have a set sleep schedule. I have a “window”. As long as I can get the allocated amount of sleep in, I’m good. For example, I sometimes go to bed around 1am and wake up around 6:30am, but there are several nights/week that I stay up till 3 or 4am. ALSO… I RARELY set an alarm ever. I just wake up after ~5.27hrs.
If you want to do something really interesting, try out “Polyphasic Sleep“. I first tested it out about 13 years ago, and have done it again a couple times. Just never ended up being practical. Was fun though!