A recurring complaint I see among fellow entrepreneurs or artists is how we consistently lack sleep. Most are proud to wear this “badge of honor” because it is seen as a measure of how dedicated you are or hard you’ve worked. But sleep is actually a form of self-care. You know you’ve seen the posts such as “I’ll sleep when I die” and I’m thinking “uhhh you’ll die if you never get a sufficient amount of rest. I say this because it’s really good for your immune system and whatnot, but I’ll digress.” If you don’t believe me, read here about a study showing the adverse effects of inadequate sleep and its linkage to premature death.
Anyway, I’m not judging as I have been duped by this societal pressure, too. However, a change occurred when I realized I was not producing my preferred caliber of work off of little to no sleep. I discovered a cool tool to help you get the most quality sleep regardless of the amount of time.
First, let’s explore a few reasons as to why you aren’t getting enough rest:
Taking care of others
Cannot stop thinking
Creative or most productive peak times vary
Working on multiple projects or job
Society has made sleep deprivation cool and a bragging right
Lack of time-management
Some of these reasons are not under your control, but poor time management is usually the main culprit and something you CAN control.
Ok, so, maybe you’re on the opposite side of the coin. You actually get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep, and still feel fatigued, sluggish, and/or not alert. This could be tied a few things such as diet, mental, and physical health. Or it could be due to the type of sleep you are getting and waking up in between sleep cycles may help give you the energy needed. Now, hear me out because this is actually fascinating.
There are two states of sleep: REM and Non-REM sleep and your body usually cycles between these two. Non- REM sleep is comprised of 4-stages.
1st STAGE: This usually lasts for 5-10 minutes. The eyes are usually closed, but this is the time period in which you may be easily awakened.
2nd STAGE: This is the period of light sleep in which the body’s muscles are starting to relax, heart rates are decreasing and body temperatures lower in preparation for the next two stages.
3rd STAGE: This is the deep sleep stage, also called delta sleep. When awakened in this stage, or the next, you may feel like you are in a state of confusion or disorientation.
4th STAGE: It is basically an even deeper sleep stage. Your body begins to replenish, repair and strengthen the immune system also. Then you go into your REM state of sleep.
Then you have the final REM sleep stage. REM sleep is short for rapid eye movement and this is the stage where dreams usually occur. REM sleep is usually very brief and is attained after the 4 levels of Non-REM are reached and then…..yes, you guessed it, and the cycle repeats itself! Waking up in the middle of cycles may cause extreme tiredness even if you’ve slept for hours.
By now you’re like, “girl if you don’t give me this tool you’re talking about….” Well, there is something that may be helpful if you want to create a sleep cycle schedule to aide in boosting your daily energy. Since sleep cycles average at about 90 minutes or so, the good people behind http://sleepyti.me have created a site that will calculate 3 or 4 different bed times for you based on what time you’d like to wake up or vice versa. It’s akin to alchemy.
Thank me after you wake up!
Adapted from an article, Brittany wrote for examiner.com in February 2012.