I’m experimenting with cutting down my sleep so that I can do more awesome stuff while I’m awake and wanted to write this post to crystallize my tactics for doing so without getting fatigued. Hope you find it helpful.
I’ve broken it down to 2 components: 1) Getting the most out of sleep you do get, and 2) maximizing energy through sources other than sleep.
1.) Getting the most bang for your sleep buck
-Try to have as normal a schedule as possible – wake up and go to sleep at the same time every day
-Measure sleep per week not sleep per day. I generally have one day per week where I sleep a lot – that makes up for lack of sleep the previous week and fuels me for less sleep the following week
-Plan your light sleep days accordingly – don’t make those days as physically or mentally challenging
b. Fall asleep easier
-Avoid screens such as phones or computers before bad – they’ve been shown to cause restlessness
-Avoid work or other stresses before bed
-Don’t do work in your bedroom – You don’t want to have your bed associated with work. Keep it as your place of relaxation
-Don’t drink caffeine too close to bed time
c. Wake up easier (read: What are some good hacks for waking up immediately?)
-Set your alarm clock to play music you love
-Put your alarm clock across the room so you have to get out of bed to turn it off
-Drink coffee or tea immediately upon waking up – eliminates the morning groggy feeling
-Drink water right before you go to sleep – When you wake up you’ll have to go to the bathroom which will make you want to get up and prevent you from falling back to sleep
-Leave your blinds open – the sun will make you up and give you energy
2.) Maximize energy through sources other than sleep
The three primary sources of energy are sleep, food, mind, and body. If you want to reduce sleep and maintain or improve energy, you’ll need to improve your physical and mental health.
-Stick to lean meats, complex carbs, healthy fats, and green vegetables
-Spread consumption across 5-6 meals per day
-Drink plenty of water
-Take supplements – I recommend vitamin D, probiotics, krill oil, and small amounts of caffeine consumed slowly throughout the day
-Avoid large serving sizes of sugar (even from fruit)
-Avoid large serving sizes saturated fat (such as fried foods)
b. Body (fitness)
-Exercise enough but not too much – I’ve been doing 3 days per week at 45 minutes per day and it’s been outstanding
-Endurance running can be harmful to your body
-Weight training – stick to complex exercises with free weights – squats, deadlifts, pullups, bench press, shoulder press, etc.
-Have fun – allocate time to friends and family, hobbies, etc.
-Get exercise (see above)
-Set your alarm clock to play music (read: http://qr.ae/1CnA4)
-Keep your mind stimulated but not overworked
-Try new things – break your routine, learn something new, go on an adventure, etc.
If it turns out that sleeping less results in being too fatigued or losing focus, I will definitely abandon it. I also posted this on Quora here: http://qr.ae/15jIU. Is there anything I missed that you find helpful?