How long do you sleep? Do you consistently shame yourself for waking up thirty minutes before you need to be at work, knowing if you just woke up a little earlier, you could accomplish so much more in a day?
Well according to The New York Times, scientists and sleep therapists have come up with a simple way to wake up a full hour earlier. All it takes is no kids, no spouse or significant other, and basically no worries (it takes me an extra 45 minutes to stop thinking about all my issues and commit to dream-world).
The fun writers over at Jezebel breakdown the sleep practice as an exercise of extreme self-control, “Basically you’re going to give yourself jetlag without getting to go anywhere fun, and then you’re going to force your body to deal with it until it eventually gives in and adjusts.”
This theory is a night-by-night experiment with your internal clock, tricking yourself into waking up early. Here’s how it works:
- To start, move up your wake-up time by 20 minutes a day. If you regularly rise at 8 a.m., but really want to get moving at 6 a.m., set the alarm for 7:40 on Monday.
- The next day, set it for 7:20 and so on.
- Then, after you wake up, don’t linger in bed. Hit yourself with light.
- In theory, you’ll gradually get sleepy about 20 minutes earlier each night, and you can facilitate the transition by avoiding extra light exposure from computers or televisions as you near bedtime.
It sounds hard but in reality this will be torture. For one, it is extremely hard not linger in the bed after you wake up earlier than your body anticipates. Secondly, I’m not sure how one cannot hate life after a week of this? Where’s the motivation? Lastly, this plan calls for no sleeping in on the weekends because it will throw off your internal clock, requiring you to start the process all over again.
Staying up later on Friday or sleeping in on Saturday sends the brain an entirely new set of scheduling priorities. By Monday, a 6 a.m. alarm will feel like 4 a.m.
According to researchers, once you master this pattern it’s ingrained into your internal clock, and you will officially be able to kick it full time with your grandparents — because they’ll be the only ones up with you on Saturday at 6 a.m..
Sound-off: What is the ideal time for you to wake up? What would you do in the extra time you had?