Sunday, January 24, 2010

Don't interrupt the cycle

I have learned something helpful about sleeping that has made a big difference for me. I read that the average person has several sleep cycles that are each about 1 1/2 hours long and that to wake up in the middle of one of the cycles can be exhausting even if it is in the middle of one of the cycles past the needed amount of sleep. Therefore, effective sleep has to be at the end of one of the sleep cycles. For example, the hours of sleep would then be either 6, 7 1/2, or 9, depending on the person. If I needed a total of 7 1/2 hours of sleep then if say I woke up after 8 1/2, which would be in the middle of the next sleep cycle, I would be more exhausted than if I just got 7 1/2 hours of sleep.

I have followed the suggestion to stop using an alarm clock because it can go off in the middle of and thus disrupt one of the cycles. To let myself just wake up naturally means that I automatically wake up between the cycles, which for me has been either 6 or 7 1/2 hours. Since I have been doing this I wake up singing (kidding, I wouldn't torture my family like that) and I feel so much more rested throughout the day.

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