Sleep Cycles: How to Improve your Daily Energy Levels

Sleep Cycles
I recently made a research on the sleep cycles. Sleep is a critical and necessary process of the brain. It restores our energy, clears mental fatigue and speed up healing.


The reason that I searched for 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 groggy. In general, I feel terrible. Frankly, there is an explanation why this happens.

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Feeling Refreshed even with Less Sleep?

The general conception is that getting not enough sleep is the primary 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. The reason is the sleep cycles.


The Sleep Cycles

The Sleep is a procedure where the brain organizes and completes vital tasks. This process is divided into cycles. Each sleep cycle consists 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. Well, there is a lot of research and experimentation on what’s the ideal amount of sleep one may get to feel energized upon waking. I found refuted opinions on this matter, so honestly 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 dreaming and when being at the deep sleep stage. If am in the middle of a dream and the alarm clock rings, 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 to the normal alert state.


The secret: Sleep Time = Multiples of 90 Minutes

Sleep Better with Self Hypnosis

According to my observations, the 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 minutes nap in the evening just after work. My energy levels are very high when I follow this sleep schedule.


The tricky part is to be accurate. You may go to bed on time but not sleep quickly. This pre-sleep stage delays the beginning of your sleep cycles and schedule. Many times I went to bed but had trouble to sleep and the next morning I woke up in the middle of a beautiful dream (disaster).


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 to happen is to wake up just after the REM.


Sleep Optimizers


Some products can calculate what is the best time for you to wake up. Nowadays there is a plethora of activity/fitness trackers that also calculate sleep quality by analyzing your sleep stages. Apart from that they have multiple uses such as pedometer, HR monitoring, smartphone connectivity etc. Amazon is full of sleep trackers, but do your research first before buying anything as high accuracy comes at a price.

Fitbit Activity/Sleep Tracker
Fitbit Charge 2 Activity/Sleep Tracker

Try to find out what’s your sleep cycles’ duration and adapt your total sleeping time according to them. It is very 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.


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48 comments on “Sleep Cycles: How to Improve your Daily Energy Levels

  1. Thank you very much for this article. I normally sleep for 10-12 hours a night. I might lessen that using this article. In fact, last night, I only slept for about 6 hours and I was able to wake up right in time for my class!

  2. THaNK YOU! I have often been told I need to sleep more.. but I sleep 8 – 9 hours a night.. and almost always wake up in the middle of a dream or in a deep sleep. With such vivid dreams I always feel as though I havent slept! I will give this a try.. thank you!

  3. This works! Except, for me, anything under 6 hours means I can’t function very well throughout the day. In a pinch, I will make sure I get in my 6 hours.

  4. If you wake up and you have 60 minutes left before your alarm clock rings, is it useful to sleep the 60 minutes or you’ll waste your time and feel tired after it?

    • No, don’t use the 60 mins. You will enter into your REM stage which can cause sleep inertia making it hard to want to get out of bed. From years of my experience I suggest to make use of the time other than sleeping if you woke on your own. If you are still tired sleep another 20 mins.

      • Thanks! I need to follow this! I take my daughter to the bus stop and go back home to sleep … big mistake because then I can’t get up to go to work. I need to stay up and get ready!!!

      • I am proof of this. I woke at 4:00 am. I was peacefully sleeping for 4.5 hours. I did a little reading and went back to bed for about 45 minutes (not quite sure) and was accidentally awoken by my wife. I have been so sluggish and brain foggy since. When I woke at 4:00 I felt rested and relaxed. I should have just started my day then. Ideally I am thrilled with 6 solid hours however I have had many days where I awoke without an alarm after 4.5 hours and had great energy and focus all day. Again, I prefer 6 as my target but if I wake naturally after a 4.5 I will take it. I do have several 7.5 ish nights of sleep but those are rare special treats.

  5. I was trying to follow correct cycles all the time… I’ve used different Apps to help me with that, but still had problems. Was waking up tired all the time. The problem for me was CO2 poisoning. You can find some info, for example, here:
    Sometimes It is also necessary to take care about you bedroom, not only about yourself.

  6. I have gone through a sleep study. I found that I could track my sleep patterns and it does help but I still feel extremely tired during the day but worse if I disrupt my sleep pattern. I take Adderall to help me stay awake through the day. If I have any time at all of not being engaged with an activity I will fall asleep. I can’t take very high doses of medication because it makes me very irritable.

    • Hey Cheryl!

      Please try taking a brisk walk or doing some type of exercise before that time of day when you know you will feel the most tired. Try to eat lighter foods like fruits, grains, Nuts, and non-starchy veggies. Balance your meals propperly. Meat will take much more energy to get through your system and will make you tired. Drinking half your body weight is essential to your body, it will help your brain focus better. Also, try to keep a strict sleeping schedule. Your body likes routine. Going to to bed at 11, at the latest, will be better as your body will rest better during the darkest abd most quiet parts of the night.

      Your body will thank you if you make these lifestyle choices! I hope you can find

      • That’s drinking half your body weight in ounces, right? As in, if I weigh 150 lbs, I should drink 75 oz. of water…

      • Does anyone notice if they went through a trauma or a lot of ongoing stress that it’s messed up sleep?

        I’ve always been able to get to sleep within minutes. I still do… but I also notice now I wake up, and or don’t feel like I’m actually sleeping deeply and soundly.

        Since then I notice I’m walking around all day long with a lack of alertness, spacyness, fuzzy mental clarity, sensitive to bright light. It’s like I just don’t have a full sense of wakefulness and can no longer drink coffee or stimulants too as I’m way too sensitive. Feels like I’m sort of in a dream. And not sure if sleep could be the main culprit and go ‘that far’

        I’ve been to the doctors and at least according to tests I’m healthy otherwise.

        Either way, this has me worried. Has this happened to anyone else? If so, did anything gently or non addicting work?

        I’ve read articles does that lack of sleep can give you health issues which I have none of. Thanks.

        • I found a lot of symptons lime fatigue, mental fog, vision disturbances, muscle burning from simple everyday activities. After seeing my obgyn, endocrinologist, opthamologist, who all told me Inwas perfectly healthy, a naturopath who used muscle testing told me I had gluten sensitivity. I cut all gluten from my diet and within 60 days all of my symptoms had cleared. It may be worth checking your food sensitivities. I have heard similar stories from many other people.

  7. Most of the time feel very tired upon waking up. Dont feel like i am getting a rested sleep. I have undergone cervical decompression surgery for spinal cord. Can this affect my sleep?

  8. I’ve heard of this solution before and your reminder has just encouraged me to try it. For as many years as I can remember, I have been waking up like a zombie – far more tired than when I go to bed in the evening. I tend to sleep through the night, from around 11.30 or midnight, until the alarm goes at 7am. It takes me another half hour just to feel normal. And I always remember my dreams, which seems to indicate that I am waking during the REM phase. Doctors here in the UK are useless. If it’s not sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome, they don’t want to know and you end up being discharged from any sleep clinic. Thank you for prompting me to try this 90-minute cycle once more. Right now, I’m beginning to feel that nothing will ever work.

    • Doctors around the world are useless not just Uk my friend. That’s because they are generalists even when specialized and most of them see it as a job not a hobby, therefore the books they learned by 20 years ago are fine.

  9. Thanks for this article, explanation and method. I found it today while searching “waking up during REM”. I work this morning in the middle of a dream and I feel like CRAP now…even though I got almost 7 hrs total.

  10. Thank you so much, IT IS REALLY WORKING!!!!!!!

    I sleep at 10pm wake up 11:30pm, sleep at 11:30 pm wake at 1:am, sleep at 1am wake up at 3:30 am, and I will fell energetic the whole day. I facing difficult project I cant sleep any more.I will never sleep more than 5 hours until I get what I want. I have been trying to sleep only 5 hrs since beginning of last year but it was difficult until I found the Secret called (90 minute cycle).

      • I.E if you want to wake up at 6am you have to ensure that you time it so one 90 min cycle ends at 6am but you dont wake up every 90 min lool

  11. This doesn’t make any sense.
    It starts out by telling us that a sleep cycle is 90 minutes and is followed by REM sleep.
    That waking up in the middle of REM sleep is when you will feel the worst.
    THEN it says to sleep in multiples of 90 minutes.
    Well… with that theory you are actually forcing yourself to wake up right in the middle of REM sleep…. which follows the 90 minute cycle!

    • Shelly you are right. Thanks for noting this mistake, I will correct it. What I actually mean is that the REM is included in the cycle and it is the last stage. So the 90 minute includes the REM.

      As I have said in the article the routine is not accurate and it may be different from person to person. The general conception is that the REM is occurring after 70-90 minutes. So you may fine tune until you find the perfect timing for you.

      Sorry for the confusion.

  12. Hi i have a problem hoping some1 might brain has been put into sleep mode threw the day while im awake n want it to stop as this is very horrible..could any giv ideas asto stoppin this sleep while awake cycle…

  13. I work at night so my sleep is broken up, I get off I come home eat change my clothes head to the gym,leave go home then ,i have to cook ,shower eat try to get some sleep then, I get up to eat my dinner then try to get some sleep before ,i get up to go to work.So it”s very hard for me to get so decent sleep.

  14. So theoretically if we sleep and wake up just after one sleep cycle has passed (90 minutes) will we feel refreshed? Or is there is a number of cycle that we must go through?

  15. I found out if you consume all your energy a day , specially midday so you will be so tired and begging for sleep then try sleeping ,you will find out how energetic you will be after you wake up , i still dont understand how this really work , let me share a weird experience , i literally worked out and jerked off prior to my sleep time and make sure that i was really tired and sleepy after my sleep , when i woke up i felt like a superman ,energetic and unbelievably full of joy actually just wanna speak about anything and i feel like i can do anything ,well this feeling lasts for around 6 to 7 hours .
    Unfortunately it doesn’t happen every time ,thats why am still wondering is there something wrong with my method ,i mean may be i need too consume my energy gradually or .,.,.,.
    so i will leave to you guys and i will really love to know how that actually works ?!!!!!
    It really feels amazing when you get up on that mood so its worth it to try everything to know the secret .

  16. Idk why but if I sleep late at night, maybe at 2 or 1 and I wake up at 5 or 6. I feel so energetic that whole day. I started believing that sleeping late and sleeping less helps me to be productive. Is that true? Will this bring ant health problems? Am I supposed to sleep less than 5 or 4 hours of sleep? I’m a 16 years old girl.

  17. Hi there.
    I can’t believe I didn’t learn about this sooner in my life. I am 39 and like you, on days when I wake up tired and groggy, my ENTIRE day is shot. It’s seriously debilitating and I feel like people think I’m just a wimp when it comes to sleep.
    For years I’ve been trying to figure out why I feel amazing on some days, and god awful on others. Now I know exactly why and since I found this page I’ve been trying to sleep in the 90 min. increments.
    I have a question though. Let’s say I get woken up in the middle of a dream by the dog, and I only have 45 more minutes before I have to get up. Do I go back to sleep for that time, or stay up?
    It’s pretty common I’ll get awoken in deep or dream sleep due to something else, and not have a full 90+ minutes of time left before I need to be up.
    Anyway, thank you so much. I guess some of us are just way more sensitive to waking up in the middle of sleep cycles than others!

  18. I feel as if sleeping is boring and a waste of my time. I know it is essential for my health but I can rarely ever bring myself to sleep without falling asleep on my own. I’ve only been sleeping about 3 hours each night. I’m a 16 year old girl. Will this cause any serious problems?

  19. I’m trying to find something to help my sleep, there’s something wrong with me, it’s 1am in the morning I’m so tired my eyes are heavy and I can’t get to sleep, and I have to wake up for school at 7

  20. For years I suffered from undiagnosed sleep apnea, no matter how much or how little I slept I’d wake up tired, groggy,cloudy. It was sheer will power that got me up. I snored like nobody else!
    As a result of sleep apnea, very busy schedule that also dictated when and what I ate I gained weight, which makes sleep apnea even worse.
    If you or someone you know snores, and wakes up tired, and the symptoms I described earlier, please look into a sleep test and see if you need the aid of a CPAP, or BIPAP machine and or possibly oxygen.

  21. I always thought the idea was to not be woken up?

    For some reason when I’m woken up I can’t really seem to get back into a deep sleep. And now I feel like I’m half asleep and half awake.

  22. Bullshit. Sleep cycles may be constant in length through the night, but the proportion spent in R.E.M. increases relative to the other phases. After 7 or so hours of sleep, the majority of each cycle is REM. Unless the author either a) sleeps in a sleep lab every night with a skilled sleep technician watching when they are in or out of R.E.M. and uses that data to decide when to wake them (must be a rich author – there’s a 6 month wait for a session in the sleep lab at my public hospital, unless you’re really rich and can afford the $5000 / night for the private sleep lab in town) or b) is really good at knowing when they’re in one of their early morning 10 minute-long periods of stage 1 or 2 sleep, and is able to wake precisely during these periods. As I said, bullshit.

    • Sure, you can’t be always precise and wake up on the sweet spot but you may find a pattern that increases your chances to do so. Just that. Your first and last phrases are unnecessary.

  23. Hi, this is a great article..and very valuable..
    Could you please give me suggestions, as I usually sleep late at night Ana wake up late in the morning does this have any affect my health and memory etc?
    By the way thanks for such a great article..

  24. actually , the cycle is not of 90 minutes but of multiple of 30 minutes.. that’s why u experience refreshed even when u take a nap of 30 minutes..

  25. Hey, some great work here! Have any of you tried nighttime PEMF for deeper sleep? It can enhance mitochondrial function and increase rate of repair for the whole body too. Proper biorhythmic sleep is much more than just shut eye!

  26. Wow, this is the best research article regarding the sleep issues that I have read. I have had the exact issue as the article described since this early year… if I waked up in the middle of the deep dream in the morning, I had severe brain foggy with extreme fatigue and felt drowse and spaced out… basically I could not function normally. This article’s explanation of the reason to caused the issue is really make scene. Thanks!!! Fran

  27. I am a 55 yr old woman who never remembers dreaming or has nightmares. I often have trouble getting off to sleep, and no matter how long I sleep for, I always wake up feeling like I have not slept at all. I have been like this for most of my life, and quite frankly it is absolutely exhausting
    every night I lay down to sleep, I dread knowing I’m going to wake up feeling half dead, to the point of wishing I didn’t have to fall asleep at all, because I feel at my best before I do
    I wont take medication, and ive tried everything I can including being monitored by a sleep clinic which was a total waste of time.
    I truly wish there was an end to this living nightmare

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