Everybody's different. But for everyone, there's a minimum amount of sleep they can feel refreshed with.
The USA non-profit National Sleep Foundation offers a range of 7 to 9 hours for optimum sleep for adults.
Other studies countradict that study, and other studies counteract those studies.
Two things are for sure:
- Not getting enough sleep is bad for your health.
- Getting more sleep than you need wastes time.
There's no refund on your time. I just want to sleep a little less and be a little more productive. I only want to get as much sleep as I need to function and not a minute more! Even if I just save 15 minutes. Imagine what you can do with 15 extra minutes!
Imagine how much time that is in a year. Actually, you don't have to imagine. I have a calculator. 🧮That's 91 hours and 15 minutes—more than two standard American work weeks!
If you want to sleep less and have more hours in your day, I'm going to show you an experiment I did on my sleep schedule. Regarding sleep, the most important thing is consistency. I go to bed at the same time almost every night: 11pm.
Every day I woke up just a few minutes earlier every morning. I took it as far as I could.
My goal was to get as little sleep as possible without compromising my health.
Here's my result (drumroll please 🥁):
I got 60 more minutes back in my day, and I feel better and have more energy than I've had my entire life.
Time is an asset you will never get a refund on, and sleep is a thief of time. But if I reduce my sleep hours to get more time in my day at a level that hurts my health, then I’m gaining hours today but likely stealing from extended years of life when I’m old—or at least stealing from the quality of my day as I slump over my desktop. 🧟
Want to replicate what I did? Follow these guidelines:
1. Go to bed at the same time every night.
It doesn’t matter what’s going on, you have to discipline yourself.
Your body loves consistency. Even if you got 8 hours every night but went to bed and woke up at different times, your body will not feel as rested because this throws off your pattern. It’d be like trying to change your breathing pattern all the time.
This is why doctors for years have said there is no such thing as catching up on sleep. Your body does not function that way. Once a night has passed, your chances of “redeeming” the lack of sleep—or bad sleep—are gone forever. The only thing you can do is move forward on a new, consistent pattern.
One thing that helps me make sure I got to bed at the same time every night is planning my evenings. This is not just about what I must do but also not do.
- No caffeine after 2 pm.
- No Netflix or YouTube binge. Watching at night tempts me to go to bed later.
- No checking email, Slack messages, or anything work-related the last 2 hours of the day. If I do, my brain shifts into battle-mode, and I can’t relax.
- Workout every day. I do something that makes me sweat and hurt. My body will have far more rewarding sleep as a result.
2. The first night, wake up at a time where you know for sure you'll get plenty of sleep.
At this early stage of the experiment, it’s better to error on the side of getting too much sleep rather than not enough.
Let’s say for example you are convinced that 8 hours is more than enough sleep. What I did my first night of this experiment is go to sleep at 11pm and get up at 7am. This sets a nice precedent going forward.
3. Each subsequent morning, wake up 5 minutes earlier than the night before.
It’s vital that every night you continue to go to bed at the same time. It’s weird but my body almost couldn't tell I got less sleep…for a while.
Day 1: 11pm-7am
Day 2: 11pm-6:55am
Day 3: 11pm-6:50am
And so on. You get the idea.
I worked my sleep backward to 7 hours doing this and I feel amazing. If you feel extra tired each morning, then slow it down to waking up 5 minutes earlier every other morning instead of every morning. Give your body time to adjust and you will feel so much better.
4. Hit the reset button when necessary.
As you do this experiment, keep in mind that every day is different. If you have 1 or 2 bad nights of sleep, this doesn't necessarily mean that you slept too little. There are hundreds of factors that impact our sleep. Give the experiment enough time to make sure you are learning what your body needs.
One more tip: don’t compare your sleep amount to others.
When I did this for the first few days, I felt great. I went to bed at a consistent time and woke up at an incrementally earlier time.
By day 10 though, something interesting happened. I was totally thrown off of my schedule. I had gone to bed later than what I intended but tried to make up for it by waking up at a later time. It definitely affected me, but it wasn’t too bad. I learned that consistency really does make a difference.
On day 12, I tried something a little different. So far, I had been cutting out a little bit of time each day and eventually shaved off an hour off my sleep schedule. Then, I went to bed an hour earlier and woke up an hour earlier, but getting the same amount of sleep as I had the night before. I had a lot of trouble getting up. I felt so groggy despite the number of hours of sleep being the same.
On day 13, I went back to my sleep schedule the previous night and felt totally fine. So, the actual time of when you go to sleep versus when you wake up really matters! Consistency is key here.
Overall, I feel that the experiment was a success. I was able to free up an entire hour of my day, which is awesome.
Learn your limitations, Warrior,. Take advantage of the opportunities you can get out of life. This worked for me; it might not work for you. Don’t be discouraged though, you can find ways throughout your day to maximize your time. Especially if you are well-rested.
Remember, we do this to get the most out of life. I learned to sell on Amazon to earn the margin to do the things I love with the people I love. Learn how to make passive income while you sleep with our Amazon FBA Mastery membership.