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 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 asleep. 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!