On June 1st, I started a 30 day trial to experiment with sleeping 8h per day.
(Following the inspiration from Kriszta11.)
My conditions were:
- 8h, no matter what
- Preferably during the night, but I can catch up later during the day
- If not 8h on a given day, might add extra the next day to save it back
- Cannot stock sleep for the day ahead
- I do it for 30 days, and then decide what to do afterwards
I made a written contract for myself, and a tracking calendar, that I scotched next to my bed. I found an easy way to track the time spent sleeping during the day - I use a simple casio watch's stopper (15 USD - I got it from a friend as a gift).
I managed to sleep 8h almost every day. There were 3 days off, when I was on a conference, and our program was just too heavily charged. Start at 7.00am, and we were left to go to bed at 2300 in the evening. Of course, with shower, brushing teeth, changing clothes, some down time, etc. - 8h never fits in that.
1. My overall energy level increased tremendously
2. My after work head ache has gone
3. I am more active during the work day in general
4. I am more rested when back home after work, the recovery time is shorter
5. I learned to sleep with earplugs and eyeshades
6. When travelling, train, bus allows some extra sleeping time
7. My optimal time is around 7h20-7h30 minutes.
8. Sleeping exactly 8h can leave me more tired in the end
9. In general, the time lost by sleeping, is gained back by being more alive the other times
10. I eat less during the day - just less appetite
11. The saturday morning farmer's market under my window is not a challenge anymore - I just don't wake up, thanks to the earplugs
12. Earplugs also help me to sleep with the window open all night - fresh air is so much better (before I closed the window to cut out the noise of the square)
COULD BE IMPROVED
1. Fix time to go to bed at the same time of the day
2. Develop a go-to-bed routine, time it
3. I often wake up at night, would be interesting to experiment what influences this, and move towards sleeping the whole night trough
4. Optimise my sleeping cycle, to wake up at "refreshing" phases vs. "leaves me tired" phases
5. I tend to wake up at the same time in the morning, no matter how much sleep I had. To fit in enough sleep, I need to go to bed earlier.
6. One reason to stay up late is watching movies - probably shorter things, like TV series would fit better, to get the benefit of enjoying watching it, but not necessarily for 2+ hours.
7. I already don't drink coffee and coke after 3pm, but I should also limit exercise to max 3h before sleep. A decent evening run can keep me awake easily until 0200am.
If you want to try 8h sleeps, my recommendations:
1. Commit to do it over a periof of 30 days, no matter what
2. Set the start date, probably in a few days
3. Set the end date.
4. Prepare what you need to make it happen:
- earplugs (it took me 10 different brands to find a comfortable one: Macks silicone),
- eyeshades (the 3rd version was finally comfortable: Daydream B-1002),
- window covers,
- tracking calendar (self printed),
- new bed,
- calculate when you need to go to bed,
- which days will be hard
And get this done before you start, so when you have started, you have everything in place, and can focus on sleeping. Maybe allocate 30 min to prepare.
Stopwatch to track - I have about an hour to sleep for today to complete.
The Saturday morning farmer's market in Gleisdorf