Sleep Cycles: How to Improve your Daily Energy Levels
I recently made a research about the sleep cycles. Sleep is a very important and necessary process of the brain. It restores our energy, clears mental fatigue and speed up healing.
The reason that I searched about sleep is that sometimes instead of waking up completely refreshed and full of energy, I feel more tired than I was before going to bed. People, who are forced to wake up early in the morning, may have experienced this sluggishness more often.
If I wake up tired then in most cases my day is ruined. I am bored all the time, I cannot think clearly and I feel sleepy. In general I feel terrible. Well, let’s see why this happens.
Feeling Refreshed even with Less Sleep?
It was believed that getting not enough sleep is the main cause of feeling tired after waking up. If you sleep for a short time, less than 5 hours, then it is natural to be sluggish the next day. But, I have observed that sometimes even with lesser sleep I wake up more energized. Well, the reason is the sleep cycles.
Sleep is a procedure where the brain organizes and completes vital tasks. This procedure is divided into cycles. Each sleep cycle consist of five sleep stages. These are the following:
o Stage 1 – Sleepiness
o Stage 2 – Light Sleep
o Stage 3 & 4 – Deep sleep
o REM – Rapid Eye Movement (dreaming state)
A sleep cycle lasts 90 minutes on average. After a sleep cycle you enter REM. Well, there is a lot of research and experimentation on what’s the ideal amount of sleep one may get in order to feel energized upon waking. I found refuted opinions on this matter, so I don’t really know which or whether any of these beliefs is correct. I can only tell you what works for me.
I have observed that I have the greatest difficulty to wake up in two cases; when I dream and when I am at the deep sleep stage. If the alarm clock rings and I am in the middle of a dream then I feel very groggy, disoriented and tired. I feel like I had never slept.
If the alarm rings when I am in the deep sleep stage, I cannot believe that I have to get up. It is very difficult and I need more time than usual to get on the normal alert state.
The secret: Sleep Time = Multiples of 90 Minutes
Well, according to the above observations what is best for me is to sleep as many hours as I can, provided that the total amount is multiples of 90 minutes.
So, according to how many hours I have available for sleeping each night, I sleep 3, 4:30, 6, 7:30 or 9 hours. If I sleep less than 7:30 hours then I usually take a 20-30 min power nap on evening just after work. My energy levels are very high when I follow this sleep schedule.
The difficult thing is to be accurate. You may fell on bed but not sleep quickly. This delays the start of your sleep cycles and your sleep schedule. Many times I went to bed but had trouble to sleep and the next morning I woke up in the middle of a nice dream…
It would be better for me to wake up earlier and prevent entering the REM state, than to wake up in the middle of it. Of course the best thing is to wake up just after the REM.
There are some products that can calculate what is the best time for you to wake. I am now testing WakeMate and I write a review soon. I will let you know if it works. Below are also some other products you can check:
Try to find out what’s your sleep cycles’ duration and adapt your total sleeping time according to them. It is vary likely to see better energy levels throughout the day. Of course I cannot guarantee that you will see results but you don’t lose anything for trying.