Getting arround with less than 6 Hours of Sleep per day
After having the best year of my life, due to my birthday, I came up with a resolution. To make the next year an even better one. And the first thing that came to my mind was: I only can have fun while I am awake. So I got this sleeping experiment started.
Have a nice sleep in Weeks 3 to 5
Simplifying the sleeping pattern
After taking one day of the sleeping pattern, which was on my junk food day, it was a bit harder to get back to the sleeping pattern. But I had the day with the shortest bedtime throughout the sleep experiment, with 4:30 hours bedtime only. So here comes my review, how to make it easy and how to have a nice sleep. To get started with a sleep rhythm like this, it is helpful to have the freedom to schedule your time. Anyway, it takes a lot of discipline, but I learned discipline is a kind of self-love. Knowing this makes it a lot easier!
Theoretically one also could do it on a 9 to 5 job
Getting up at 5 a. m. and preparing at least 3 snacks. This should contain your breakfast, your morning snack, and lunch before you are leaving for work. You should arrive at work 45 to 60 minutes before your work starts, so you can have your morning snack and sleep e.g. in your car. During your lunch break, you take lunch and go for your lunch sleep. After finishing work you take another little snack and a short sleep before you are heading back home.
If you use public transportation to get there, and if the ride is long enough, you might even sleep on the bus or train. The evening sleeps maybe after dinner and then you got another 3:30 hours to go, where you might do some easy routines, socializing or getting some work done while enjoying the quietness of the night. Due to the fact, that I do not have a 9 to 5 job, I have no experience with this. But I would be happy if you would share yours in the comments below.
Simon’s tactic to fall asleep within 1 minute
The other evening I got to know Simon in a restaurant. I asked him: “How long do you need to fall asleep?”
To my big surprise, he responded: “I fall asleep within 1 minute”.
So I asked him if he would be willing to share his tactic to fall asleep within 1 minute, of course, he was:
“I try and get myself ready for sleep about half an hour before I go to bed. I tell myself it’s another adventure, when I go to the other side, where anything can happen through dreams. So I have mundane thoughts and think about trivial things, like brushing teeth or about a movie. I have several positions I lie down and go to sleep in, I think about which one I choose.
It works for me.”
Have a nice sleep with less discipline
Not sticking to the schedule as strictly as at the beginning made things easier, because it requires less discipline, so I can use it for something else, e. g. fitness training, nutrition plan, or my work. Most of the days I only took 3 naps during the day plus the longer one at night. I started choosing the sleeping times according to my condition and taking the naps when I was tired. This reduced the time to fall asleep and the bedtime for another 30 minutes per day. Doing so, I got an average daily bedtime of about 5:30 hours, which was above 6 hours the week before.
I kept feeling more comfortable throughout the day, and my productivity rose a lot due to the extra hours which are now available during the week. I finished an SEO (search engine optimization) project for my webpage in about one week, which I procrastinated for a long time. Additionally, I created lots of new content on the webpage (about 20 blogs including this one). It was stressful my dear friend Jenny, who does the proofreading for me. Additionally, I hired a personal trainer. She helps me to prepare for the triathlon in October in a town called Forster (yes, like my surname) NSW, Australia. With her support, I increased also the training intensity.
Have a nice Sleep and measure your sleeping rhythm
I kept using the sleep cycle app, which gave me a pretty clear picture of the time I spent in bed. The waking up mechanism during a shallow sleep phase works pretty well. Due to utilizing the microphone to analyze it, the app conflicts with any application that uses the phone’s speaker. So either I had to use the headset to listen to a guided meditation to fall asleep, or I had to do it on my own. Most of the time I chose to do it by myself. And one thing pisses me off about the sleep cycle app: For no understandable reason, it puts the speaker volume to zero, when it terminates the sleeping time. So I keep hearing nothing when a call comes in, nor navigation announcements. Due to that, I will not use it anymore.
Due to guided meditation 4-5 times a day to fall asleep, I got pretty good at calming down my mind consciously. On the other hand, if I felt tired, but kept on working until my next sleeping time. Sometimes I experienced to hear my tinnitus. It is not a big surprise that this routine and the lack of sleep puts some extra stress on the body. Having 2 to 4 cups of coffee during the day, especially when waking up and feeling sleepy helped, but it increased the stress which causes the appearance of the tinnitus. I guess it is better to reduce the coffee to 1 to 2 cups a day, and only utilize it if I am really having a hard time to get to full energy after a sleep. Thank you tinnitus, for reminding me!
Have a Nice Sleep in week 5
In week 5 a miracle happened after my junk food day, on which I had plenty of sleep. I woke up at 5 a. m., went to the beach for a run, followed by a workout in the gym and my breakfast. After a short sleeping break, I got onto the computer and started improving my webpage. I worked with only 3 breaks for lunch, dinner, and breakfast for about 30 hours until the early afternoon the day later. Being completely in the flow, I enjoyed my work so much that neither time nor sleep did matter to me. I was so full of energy. This was the first day with less than 4 hours of sleep.
Meanwhile, I got a pretty stable routine and I am enjoying the additional time. It adds so much extra value to my life, which I wanted in my birthday resolution, and it doesn’t seem to be too hard on my body. Even if it looks pretty challenging to get permanently to 4 hours or less, I want to continue with it … until I find something better. I will let you know when I am going to experience some more breakthroughs, so stay tuned!
Have a nice sleep and sleep quickly, so that you got plenty of time to enjoy your dream!
Week 2: Adaptation of The Sleep Rhythm
In my posts from last week about reducing the sleeping time I shared the principles and some techniques I utilized to do so. Here comes my assumption of the second week of my experiment.
Most of the days I was able to stick with my sleep rhythm during the day. Sometimes I skipped one sleep. But during the night I always needed a longer sleeping period. Mostly I got around with about 6 hours of sleep. Further, I did not find a good reason to stay awake all night and realized that getting up at 4:30 🕟 a.m. was not so effective. The 8 o’clock sleep was in conflict with my fitness training🏋️♀️, and 12 noon with my lunch 🥗.
Tuning the sleep rhythm
So I changed my sleep rhythm, having a long sleeping phase from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. and having subsequent phases at 9 a.m., 1 p.m., 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. for up to 30 minutes each, which is up to 6 hours in total. Which already adds 2 to 4 hours to my days, compared to my former sleeping habit of 8 to 10 hours. Even if I found that the long sleeping phase was not more relaxing than the short ones, and I got awake several times during the night.
I found out that making love 💕 is a good way to get awake after sleeping 😴, as well as to fall asleep. Obviously, you won’t be able to utilize it for each sleeping phase of the sleep rhythm… but for the long one, it is quite pleasant, and on top of it, it’s pretty satisfying!
Measuring the sleep rhythm
To enable tracking of my sleep rhythm I downloaded the app “Sleep Cycle” on my phone. It listens to my breathing while I am sleeping and based on that it analyses the bedtime and the sleeping depth. The biggest benefit was, that I was able to choose a wake-up time window. It chooses a lighter sleep phase to wake me up within 30 minutes before the chosen time and promises, that you don’t feel as sleepy as waking up from an alarm during your deep sleeping phase. My first impression is, that this works, but I do not use it long enough to be completely confident about it. Unfortunately, it does not support short naps, nor sleep rhythms with multiple sleeping phases during the day, so I have to adapt the wake-up time each time I go to sleep.
On Saturday, which is my junk food day, I took a day off from this sleep rhythm, not taking any sleeping breaks during the day, and sleeping at night as long as my body wants to sleep. I assume that it will support me being disciplined with my sleeping the sleep rhythm on the other days because the junk food day helps me to stick to my healthy diet for the rest of the week. So I am modeling an effective habit, I already use in a different field. Modeling is actually the quickest way of learning. Now I am curious how it will affect my sleep rhythm in the future.
Analyzing the sleep rhythm
Using the Sleep Cycle app made me aware how much time I spent in bed during the day: Even if I was able to reduce the sleeping time with my strategy, I got aware, that I spent almost as much time in bed, as with only one daily sleeping cycle of 8 to 10 hours. I have the feeling, things are getting pretty complicated now, which fucks up every business, habit, and strategy. I probably have to focus on some simplifications of the sleep rhythm, I expect my day off will help me to think about that. So far I couldn’t make it with less than 6 hours. Let’s see how the next week goes with the modifications to my schedule, and which ideas I will find to simplify the strategy.
Getting Around With 2-4 Hours of Sleep a Day – Part 5
1-4-2 calming breath to fall asleep quickly
Insights about this calming breath pattern, to fall asleep within 2 to 5 minutes
Please let me share with you why this kind of calming breath is so beneficial for your body, beyond falling asleep quickly. The actual intention of this deep breathing exercise is to make the lymph moving in your body. Most people think the most amount of fluid in our body is blood. But it’s not. We got about twice as much lymph fluid than blood. Our blood is the supplier of our organs. It carries the oxygen and the nutrition that feeds our brains, organs, and muscles with energy and keep them going.
What is the lymph good for?
It transports the waste and poison out of our body. Other than our blood circulation, which is driven by the heart, there is no pump which makes the lymph moving. Have you ever seen a lake without a water exchange? Pretty soon it turns into a stinking pond or cloaca and it is poisoning itself. So what makes it go? The motion of our body. So the more you exercise the better the waste gets removed out of your body. Without motion, your rubbish collection is on strike! The most effective way to make it moving is your diaphragm, which is the muscle located between your lung and stomach. Deep breathing is driven by this diaphragm. That’s why deep breathing is so valuable. It supplies your body with more oxygen, plus it makes your waste collection going at the same time.
I woke up at 6 o clock and went for a beach run, continued writing my blog and I was pretty disciplined during the day. After my lunch nap, I went to the beach and went snorkeling, went for a beach walk and had a rest at 4 p. m. in a hammock at the beach.
And as you can easily see, the sunset was so ugly, that I needed a beer to make it look nice …
and another one to flush down my dinner 😉
I went to sleep at 9 pm and forgot to enable my alarm. So I slept all night like a baby until 7 a.m. the next day… I think my body needed a long rest, after a lot of days with much less sleep, than I was used to. I am feeling really grateful for it, even though it took me much longer to get up to speed than after the short naps, I used to take during the day. I guess the alcohol was not very beneficial.
Let’s start into the second week of the experiment, the day on which I make it, and stick all day to the schedule should not be too far away anymore. I’ll keep you posted …
In part 1 of this post I described, that I expected on the 4th day I will make it. But when I got to sleep for my 4 a.m. sleep, I slept all the way through to 9 a.m.
It worked almost all night, after sticking to my schedule during the day, but I had a long sleep between 4 and 8 am. It was the first time since I started the experiment, that I had a very productive day. I felt relatively fit during my awake phases, which was hardly ever the case in the first 4 days of this experiment.
Due to the fact, that I slept in the past usually about 8-10 hours a day, sleeping 4 times a day for 30 Minutes and once for 4 hours is already a big step, which gives me 2 to 4 additional hours per day, or 1.000 hours a year. This is more than half the time people with a 9 to 5 job on a 5-day working week spend at work!
I am still not used to it, but I want to make it a habit, so I want to go on. I have to do it still consciously and it needs a lot of discipline to lay down on time and get up according to the schedule, even if I still feel tired after my nap.
If it is physically implemented as a habit, what is approximately after 21 days the case, it should become automatic and easy. But if you count each awake phase as a day, you are already at the 4th day done, but it does not feel like that.
1-4-2 deep breathing exercise
After trying different things how to fall asleep quickly, I found that the 1-4-2 deep breath exercise worked the best.
I used the deep breathing exercise in combination with tightening my pelvic floor while imagining the kundalini energy flows up along the backbone into the crown chakra. During deep breathing in, I relaxed my pelvic floor and I tightened it while holding the breath and breathing out. This is a kind of Progressive Muscle Relaxation technique.
Additionally, I kept using a progressive breathing method, by reducing the breathing frequency with each breath. So I extended the number of heartbeats for each breathing phase:
- 1st breath:
- 4 heartbeats of a deep breath in
- 16 heartbeats holding the breath
- 8 heartbeats breathing out
- 2nd breath:
- 5 heartbeats of a deep breath in
- 20 hold
- 10 out
- 3rd: 6-24-12
- 4th: 7-28-14
- 5th: 8-32-16
- 6th: …
I guess you got the pattern?!
Mostly within 5 to 8 deep breaths, I am falling asleep, during the phase in which I hold the breath, waking up again from the respiratory reflex. As soon as that happens, I just continued breathing normally and subconsciously. Then it is only a matter of a second until I am falling asleep. You can use this, of course, also if not on the 2-4 hour sleeping plan, but anytime you got problems to fall asleep.
Doing so I managed to sleep on the ferry, while waiting for public transport, after sunset at the beach bar, and on the sunbed at the pool.
I changed the approach to two alarms per sleeping phase and just used one to go to sleep. Too often it was not possible to sleep right away, which always required to readjust the wake-up time. So for the wake-up time, I used a timer, which I set to 30 minutes as soon as I started my sleeping phase, which turned out to be much more flexible.
Breath of fire deep breathing exercise
I kept feeling better during the wake time, and the time to get back to power got a bit shorter. To wake up I tried a Bikram yoga deep breathing exercise called “breath of fire”.
If available jumping in the pool, going for a run and get up to speed with a coffee also helps. Due to the variety of the methods and that it got better in general, I cannot say which method works the best. So just “listen to your breath”, as the yogis used to say.
I thought it’s my first day, sticking to the schedule, but then a new challenge appeared. I will keep you posted how I fucked it up …
Further, I will record a video about this breathing pattern and provide you with an mp3-audio file download so that you can also utilize it, even if you are not online.