How to Add 182 Hours to Your Life Each Year

Our goal at Uncommon Wisdom Daily is to help you stay healthy, wealthy and wise.

After all, your financial success depends on having a healthy body and mind.

Today, we’re covering one of the most important aspects of everyone’s life, sleep. Experts say too little sleep can increase risk of heart attack and stroke … sabotage your immune system … and cause accelerated aging.

The standard advice seems to be that we need eight hours of sleep a night to stay “healthy.” Yet even people who actually get to sleep eight hours a night can still wake up tired and groggy.

So is ‘Eight Hours’ Really Optimal?

Human sleep consists of five unique stages. As we progress down each stage we fall into deeper sleep and our brain waves, body temperature, and heart rate all slow down.

Stage five is called the REM stage for “rapid eye movement.” During REM our eyes move sporadically, our heart rate and breathing accelerates, and we experience dreams.

When your alarm clock goes off, it interrupts whatever sleep stage you are in at that moment.

Sleep scientists say it’s best to wake up right at the beginning of REM stage. That is when we feel the most refreshed and won’t have to hit the snooze button twice.

So How Can You Wake Up in This Desired REM Stage?

Studies show that the length of sleep is not what leaves us refreshed upon waking. The key factor is the number of complete sleep cycles we enjoy, and scientists have actually been able to put the sleep cycle on a timeline they’ve concluded lasts approximately 90 minutes.

Waking up at the end of this 90-minute sleep cycle helps us feel our best.

According to our body’s sleep cycle, eight hours may not be the optimal amount of sleep.

Because a cycle lasts around 90 minutes, you may need either 7.5 hours or nine hours of sleep in order to wake up in that REM stage.

For me, six hours a sleep per night is better than eight. I find that sleeping six hours lets me wake up with more energy than I get from eight hours in bed.

Plus, I have an extra two hours in my day.

Just sleeping 7.5 hours instead of eight can save you over 182 hours each year, and you may feel better, too.

Some people do have serious sleep disorders, so please check with your physician before you change your habits. You may need some kind of treatment if you are not sleeping well.

Assuming you are otherwise healthy, try setting your alarm clock so your sleep period ends after either six, 7.5, or nine hours in bed. So if you usually fall asleep at 10 o’clock at night, you might want to wake up at 5:30 in the morning to get the best quality sleep.

And for those of you who need a little more rest in the middle of the day …  a 90-minute power nap can help you feel rejuvenated.

There are even multiple free smartphone apps that will do this calculation for you. For iOS users, just head to the iTunes app store and download an app called “Sleep Cycle Calculator.” It will tell you what wake up time is optimal.

Android users can find a similar app called “Bedtime Calculator” in the Play store.

Improve your sleep and you can improve your life. Alert investors usually have better results. Try it and let me know what happens.

Brad Hoppmann


Uncommon Wisdom Daily

Your thoughts on “How to Add 182 Hours to Your Life Each Year”

  1. Hi Brad, A very interesting article. I’m one who does best with 9 hours of sleep. I am now 68 and have been physically active all my life, although I’m slowing down. When I was very active (farming) i would often get a
    nap in the afternoon and the ideal time was 12 minutes- but 6 minutes was almost as good. I never set an alarm- I just woke up and went back to work. At night time I need to have the bedroom completely dark and quiet. My wife and I built a new house in 2005 and we soundproofed the wall between our bedroom and kitchen. In the last year or so the light and noise seem to be less of a problem and my naps seem to be longer.
    I’m grateful for being in “late middle age” now!!

  2. many thanks , I wonder if you made a mistake about the 90 minute power nap , that’s not a nap , that’s a full blown siesta, it would leave me feeling groggy for the rest of the afternoon – if I have a nap during the day it’s for 30 minutes , perhaps 45 mins on the weekend

    Hans in Montreal

  3. Hello Brad: Enjoyed the topic of sleep reduction in your article. In college, (long ago), I did research on sleep deprivation. My conclusion was a subject could gain more waking hours per week by reducing sleep for consecutive days, then over-compensating.

    For example. Instead of sleeping 56 hours per week, (8 hours a night X 7), one could sleep 5 hours Mon – Fri, then 10 hours on Sat and Sun. This totals 45 hours, which gives the subject 11 additional waking hours compared to the 8 hour a night sleeper, with almost no negatives present.

    Although that reduced sleep schedule worked fine for me in my early 20’s, I must admit now that I’m in my 50’s and I’m not certain it would still apply. However your article inspired me to give it a try again.

    Thanks- Mike W

  4. Brad,

    Enjoyed your article. Yesterday I saw a quote from a recent medical article which said that the ideal length of sleep is 6-8 hours. People who sleep more than eight hours a night have a 46% greater chance of dying I think of a stroke. If less than six hours about 18% greater chance. See quote below.

    “The Los Angeles Times (2/26, Kaplan) reports that sleep may be an indicator for one’s risk of suffering a stroke. According to a study published in Neurology, mature adults sleeping eight hours or more are 46 percent more likely to have a stroke within the next decade than those who sleep between six to eight hours. Conversely, those sleeping less than six hours were found to be 18 percent more likely. The conclusions were drawn from data acquired from 9,692 people over a 9.5 year period. Women were “somewhat” more likely than man to show a stronger relationship between stroke risk and amount of sleep.”

    I enjoy your health articles even though I don’t always agree.

    James D. Smith, MD

  5. Hi Brad,

    Thanks for the health articles, I always enjoy them!

    There are two more aspects to healthy sleep that very few people know:
    1) Minimize ‘dirty electricity” in the bedroom by removing surge protectors or electric cords under or around the bed. Electric cords emanate electrical fields which our bodies absorb on a subtle level, causing voltage to be running through our bodies, which we want to avoid. As you might know, there are often cancer clusters near those high voltage power lines that transport electricity.

    2) Its optimal to shut down wireless routers in your home so your body gets a break from wireless radiation as we sleep and regenerate overnight. The wireless signals ping our cells, causing cellular stress, so the body can’t truly relax as its being pinged by these signals. Its as easy as hooking your wifi router up to an electric lamp timer to turn off wifi overnight and auto start in the morning. Please note that the wifi routers cover your entire house radiating 200-300 feet, not just the bedroom, so all routers in house need to be shut off. Similarly, avoid sleeping with your smartphone and use a battery operated clock instead.

    Read more about the health implications of all wireless devices and dirty electricity here, including those mentioned:

    thanks & all the best, TB

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