16 June 2011

Sleep Number

A while back I read about sleep cycles. I read how they run in 90 minute increments and that if you wanted to get up at a certain time work backwards in 90 minute chunks to determine a reasonable time to go to bed. For example, if you want to get up at 6 am and you wonder if you should go to bed by 9 pm - work backwards.

6 am wakeup

So 9:00 pm would be a good time to go to bed because 6 am would fall at the end of one of the 90 minute cycles. This is the time when you move and wake up just a bit before rolling over and going back to sleep. So to wake up during one of these waking periods makes it much easier to get up.

Since school ended, and I've been working at Walgreens, I've been going to bed between 10 - 11 pm. That's late for me :) But because of the birds I'm still up at 5:30 - 6:00. Although I'm never thrilled to get out of bed, I haven't really had a hard time getting up and I never really thought about it. By looking at the little chart up there though, it all makes sense. By going to bed around 10:30 I'm naturally starting to wake around 5:30 - 6:00 so getting up at that time is not too bad.

Then last night, I was a little tired, and decided to go to bed around 9:30. What a mistake. The birds started screaming around 5:45 and I felt like I was drugged. Completely, wiped out, exhausted. Looking at the little chart up there you don't need Nikon binoculars to see the problem. Going to bed at 9:30 would have thrown everything off by 30 minutes to an hour. If I could have gotten up at 6:30 I probably would have been fine, but the birds wouldn't let me sleep that late.

The moral of this story is, while I think going to bed at 10-10:30 is late, it works for my sleep pattern and I should stick to it.

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