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.
Uncommon Wisdom Daily