Improve Productivity An Extra Seven Hours A Week

I’ve been a little more active on Twitter recently and I noticed something quite interesting.  Starting at around 10pm PST, the chatter goes silent.  I tend to stay up until midnight to 1am and it’s interesting to observe how activity ebbs and flows online.  I usually wake up sometime between 5:30am-6am and spend time checking e-mail, responding to comments, stretching and seeing what’s going on online.  Again, absolute silence until about 7am PST when things start coming alive.  Where is everybody during the silent times?  Sleeping?

There was a time where I’d sleep 7 or more hours a day, but no more.  For the past 10 years, my body automatically gets up after 6 hours of sleep and never later than 6:30am on the weekdays, and 7:30am on the weekends no matter when I go to bed!  Poker until 3am? Good morning sunshine at 7:30am!  Actually, I wish I could sleep in until 9am sometimes, but I just can’t.  Part of the reason for my automatic clock is that I eat regularly, and therefore have the desire to use the restroom regularly.  Time to go, my body says and I get up.  Unconsciously, there must also be a strong feeling of guilt that I’m wasting my life away sleeping.

7 HOURS A WEEK LEADS TO 30+ HOURS MORE A MONTH

Imagine if you had 30 hours more a month to do what you wish.  What could you accomplish?  I bet you could accomplish a whole lot of amazing things.  If you read 60 pages an hour, you could read six, 300 page books a month!  If it takes you one hour to burn off 500 calories, you could shed 15,000 calories or 6-8 pounds a month!  Whether it’s mastering a musical instrument or building a business, an extra 30 hours a week is an incredible competitive advantage.  This is where drive comes in.

It’s a ridiculous fact that we spend 1/3rd of our lives sleeping.  If you live until 90 years old, doesn’t it make you sick that 30 of those years were spent sleeping?  It makes me sick, because I’m so conscience about the brevity of life.  To put it another way, let’s say you want to “increase” the length of your life by extending the conscience portion.  By sleeping one hour less every day, you increase your conscience life by 15% (60 years to 69 years), assuming you sleep 7 hours a day!  Suddenly, it’s as if the 90 year old is living until 104 years old (104 X 66% = 69 years old)!  Perfect.

WORK WHEN OTHERS ARE AT PLAY

Small changes (wake up one hour earlier) leads to great changes over time (a 9 year longer conscience life span).  It may be tough to wake up earlier and sleep only 5-6 hours a day at first, but trust me when I tell you that your body will get used to it and start wanting to wake up.  Maybe you’ll have to cut down your late night drinking and partying, but it’ll be worth it in the end.

My mother used to tell me growing up, “Use your summer vacation wisely and work when others are playing.”  At the time, all I really wanted to do was hang out with my buddies and go skateboarding.  She was right of course, because as soon as I started buckling down and focusing, I was able to exceed expectations.  Yes, you might find me corresponding at 6am PST on certain days, don’t worry.  It’s me, and not an automated robotic sending something out.  In fact, I can’t wait to wake up every single morning and check my messages and see what’s going on in the world.  There’s so much activity, sometimes I wish I didn’t have to sleep at all!

Readers, how many hours a night do you sleep?

What is the minimum amount of hours you think you can sleep and still be functionable?

What would you do with an extra 30 hours a week?

Keigu,

Sam @ Financial Samurai – “Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries”

Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 during the depths of the financial crisis as a way to make sense of chaos. After 13 years working on Wall Street, Sam decided to retire in 2012 to utilize everything he learned in business school to focus on online entrepreneurship.

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Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    I cut my sleep for many years, but I doubt it increased my productivity. I will get a corresponding decline in attention span / concentration, at least some of the day. Recently I have been getting nine hours of sleep, and I feel much better. Maybe a good metric is waking without an alarm clock.

  2. says

    I think that I usually sleep between 5-8hrs .. probably a steady 7 I’ll say. I think the minimum that I could sleep, regularly, and still be functional would be between 4-5..I won’t be happy but I’ll be functional :) That extra 30 hours a week would probably be split between work related stuff ie my consulting practice, and the other half would be for my website..mostly writing great content.

    This was a great post because it made me think of what I’ve been doing with the time that I am awake already. How much is actually work, play, and what time is invested. I think for this week I’m going to challenge myself to get up an hour earlier and be productive with it. Then I’ll post about it and link back to this one. Thanks for the motivation!!
    .-= Nunzio Bruno´s last blog ..Negotiate Your Debt Like A Pro =-.

  3. says

    Cut my sleep to 5 or 6 hours a night!? No Way! I need my full 8 hours. I get up around 6 am and am in bed no later than 10 pm. I have very vivid dreams most nights, so I’m fine that I’m missing out on those extra waking hours of productivity. Actually, my dreams are very productive, many times I work out problems in my sleep. If I’m involved in a website project but can’t figure out a design, I usually will literally dream something up. The next day, I remember some of my dream and can begin the project. And I do have to get up around 3 or 4 am to “go” (I think it’s due to getting a little older ;)), but I practically sleep walk through it and am back in bed in less than a minute.
    .-= Little House´s last blog ..Livable Living Expenses =-.

    • says

      Ummm, if you have the talent to problem solve in your sleep, and remember all your dreams, that is TRULY a GIFT! I wonder if those moments spent sleep-solving can be considered conscience work? :) Awesome!
      .-= admin´s last blog ..Where Did All The Time Go? =-.

  4. Geek says

    I guess some of us don’t need sleep. But respect those that do. Anything less than 7 hours and my day is gone to zone outs and drifting mind….

  5. says

    During the week I work on about 6 hours of sleep. Something happens around 11pm for me and I get WIRED to do work. It is really not good for me, but it is what it is. Sorry I stop conversing on twitter, but its 1am here in NY at your 10PST!

    On the weekend, I usually end up sleeping WAY IN, but with a kid on the way I am sure that’ll change.
    .-= Evan´s last blog ..Be Careful When Attempting Faith Based Investing =-.

  6. Powell says

    Most people who say they need 8 hours of sleep are probably those who are easily influenced by society.

    The best method is to see what your natural alarm clock is by going to bed when tired and awaking on your own. I’m pretty sure most people don’t need 8 hours of sleep, or let alone 7.

    I sleep about 5.5 hours a night, and do just fine. I wonder if those who sleep 8 or more hours a night reaize they are way behind others? You can’t complain about why you aren’t making more, doing more, having more, enjoying more if you sleep 7-14 hrs more a week than the next person!!

    • Geek says

      Without an alarm clock, all on my own, I sleep about 9-10. I did this every summer when there was no school, or no college. I do this on vacation.
      So really, getting 7 instead of 9-10 is a huge productivity improvement! Thank you society!

  7. says

    I usually go to bed between midnight – 1:00am EST (or 9:00pm – 10:00pm West Coast time).

    I typically get up at 6:00am, so I run a little thin too… with respect to the proper amount of sleep. I do this trick by downing coffee in the morning (usually from the free pot at work). Unfortunately, my body isn’t made for so little sleep and I feel it. But like you, I hate to waste the hours sleeping too (I blog at night…)

    I think 7 hours would be plenty for me though, I don’t need 8 hrs.
    .-= Money Reasons´s last blog ..People That Are Rich But Act Poor =-.

  8. says

    I have a 6 month old son, and man, if you want your sleep schedule to be challenged, having children is the time! :) But it’s a good time. I aim for 6-7 hours of sleep. I think we are so socially programmed that if we wake up at 4 am and feel ok…our mind kicks in, and says, it’s too early…go back to sleep. And, we do.

    I guess the real challenge for me is setting the goal to wake up early and actually keeping it on a consistent basis.

  9. says

    great way to highlight the fact that small changes can lead to big results. the great thing about getting up earlier in the day is that you can be more productive than during hte day because its usually just you, because eveyrone else is sleeping. less traffic, less crowds, with everything. a good example for me is the gym. if i go at 6am, its dead, and i can get my workout done very quicky. if i go after work, its always packed and it takes me a lot longer to finish my workout.

    Preferred Financial Services

  10. says

    Great topic Sam. My jobs shift my sleep pattern a ton. Today I was at work at 2am, tues and wed will be the same. Thurs and Fri will be 6am and then Fri and Sat work ends at 1am. I really don’t notice the crazy time anymore, I get from 3-6 hours depending on the day. I can live on 4 hrs without a problem. So much can be done with the extra time. I’ll drop you a tweet about 11p pst tonight :-)
    .-= Jeff´s last blog ..Friday Frugal Tips – DIY to Save BUCKS =-.

    • says

      You’re probably one of the few that I’m amazed about how little sleep you need! To work full time and then work until the early hours delivering pizza is incredible energy. And then wake up to take care and have fun with the family is awesome!
      .-= admin´s last blog ..The Dark Side Of Early Retirement =-.

  11. says

    a solid 8.. if i had more time i would probably go out partying somewhere. or if i didn’t get so tired i would work longer days and open more accounts.

  12. says

    I need a full 7-8 hours of sleep to function well. Less than that, I might be awake, but my productivity will suffer. My work shifts do a number of my sleeping pattern, however — Mondays, I can be at work until 3-4 am Eastern.

    My husband only requires 5 hours, and is a total morning person. I’m the night owl (and I know exactly what you mean about the Twitter lull — after midnight Eastern, it’s pretty dead).
    .-= Rainy-Day Saver´s last blog ..Giveaway Winners! =-.

  13. cm says

    @Powell
    I doubt it. Since the invention of electric light, then telephone, radio, television, internet, texting, etc., you KNOW if it were possible to get by on 5 hours of sleep a night and be alert and fully functional, all young people would be doing that now. The fact is, they are TRYING it, but they are finding that it is not biologically possible for most people. You can see students who are obviously sleepy and out of it and are only able to get by in class because of coffee or soda or Red Bull.

    No, I think the science strongly shows that for most people, about 8 hours is biologically mandated. All the personal development websites in the world will not change that. However, there is a recent paper that showed a mother and daughter who shared a gene variant that seems to allow them to get by on about 5 hours of sleep. Maybe you have that gene variant. If so, great for you.

    But for me, 16-17 hours is about all I can take of any day on Earth anyway. :D

    • Powell says

      I really, really don’t think all young people are trying to be more productive an sleep less. All I did in college was want to sleep in until 9am. I couldn’t even take an 8am class b/c I wanted to sleep more!

      I don’t have the gene variant. I have the let’s get stuff done like Sam variant!

      • cm says

        No, I didn’t mean they were trying to be more productive. I meant they were trying to stay up late goofing off (TV, internet, texting, etc.) but then were *forced* by evil college registrars to get up for 8am or 9am classes or final exams. A lot of time they can’t even do this and sleep through classes, even though many of them tell me they really didn’t want to.

        How do you know you don’t have the gene variant? I hope you do, because if the science is right, and you and Sam are pushing yourself on less sleep then your brain/body needs, those chickens could come home to roost for you both in the form of a *decreased* overall lifespan (at worst case, of course). I just don’t know the data on this, but I do think one ought to respect the god Hypnos on this one and get what your body actually needs instead of what your idea of life demands.

        Happy waking!

  14. says

    @Powell

    Most nights, I don’t set an alarm clock. My body naturally wakes up after 7-9 hours….all those sleep studies are probably true, but there are some lucky freaks of nature that can get away w/ 4-5 hours. When I started studying for the CPA, I developed a bad bout of insomnia and would get 4-5 hours per night and my whole life was turned upside down. I got sick all the time, my skin wasn’t glowing, I was irritable, etc.. With 7-9, my quality of life is MUCH better. And I was sleeping 4-5 for quite awhile and my body never got used to it. ;) Consider yourself lucky if you can get away with that kind of sleep! ;)

  15. says

    I definitely need at least 8 hours of sleep a night and sometimes even 9. I went for far too long trying to get by on about 4 hours a night and I just can’t function optimally with less than 8.

    If I have an extra hard workout then I also doubly need the 8 hours. “Getting by” on less than 8 hours for me is certainly possible but both the quality and even the quantity of what I can get done improve with a full nights sleep.

    I do my best work late at night though and so since I make my own schedule it is not uncommon for me to work until 3 or 4 AM and then just wake up 8 hours later – whenever that happens to be.

    Everyone is different though as I have heard somewhere that I think Kobe Bryant only sleeps 4 hours a night and can’t sleep longer than 4 hours even if he tries.
    .-= Credit Card Chaser´s last blog ..Sick of Airline Baggage Fees? Delta & American Express Have a Solution =-.

  16. San says

    Interesting topic and I love your blog.

    I’ve made these calculations too and countless others over the past years, occupational hazard, I’m an engineer.
    But I’ve come to the conclusion that these calculations miss one really important part: the human factor. We aren’t machines! We need time to dream and recover. Every person is different and has different needs and needs different hours of sleep and different food and music and friends and (fill in to your delight).

    Sleep only SEEMS to take productive time from us. If your body doesn’t get the rest it needs, you deprive it slowly of it’s ability to cope with everything our modern lifestyle throws at us (including Twitter and Blogsphere). It might take years for it to break down, but eventually it will. That’s when you get cancer or alzheimer or whatever else. I definitely don’t need THAT!

    Don’t see the sleep hours as a loss in lifetime, but as maintenance time and stress relieve, because that’s exactly what it is. Again we are human not machines. (But even machines need maintenance or they break down.)

    Cheers from Germany
    .-= San´s last blog ..Landfill Gröbern – near Leipzig =-.

    • says

      San, welcome to California from Germany! We aren’t machines and each has their own needs.

      I guess the theory would be that those human machines that need less maintenance/sleep are the more advanced machines? I know guys who only need 3 hours of sleep, and I’m like wow… and they just do so much.

      Hope to see you around!
      .-= admin´s last blog ..The Dark Side Of Early Retirement =-.

  17. says

    @Powell

    Hey Powell,

    How much exercise do you get? I run five days a week and lift weights 3-4 days a week. I also ride my bike to work a couple of days a week. I think that (for me) I have to sleep 8 hours a night. And my guess is that someone on a regular exercise schedule (unless they’re really young) could only get away with 5 hours a night for a short while, until they start getting sick.

    Of course, you might have done 20 marathons on your sleep schedule for all I know. What do others think?
    .-= Andrew Hallam´s last blog ..Vanguard Investments for Canadians – Why Not? =-.

  18. says

    I go to sleep around 10-10:30 (after reading for a bit) and then get up around 4 or 5 am (usually 4:30 lately). Getting up early has really improved my productivity. I also feel better about things because I’ve already accomplished something before I’ve even left the house. As far as how much sleep I really need though? I’m going to say 9 hours a day. That’s my natural sleep schedule, left alone.
    .-= Jackie´s last blog ..How to Get What You Want Most =-.

  19. says

    I used to need only 6 to 6.5 hours of sleep, and I miss my old self. I don’t know what has happened to me, but it is hard for me to drag myself out of bed anymore. I used to love the morning hours where it was just me; I could get so much done. I do exercise most days and all my blood work is fine, so it is just me. I need to make a plan to change this.

    Anyway, if I had 30 more hours, I would read, a lot. I would also put the 5 million pictures I have in shoeboxes in photo albums.

    Thanks for the post, I am feeling motivated now!!
    .-= Kris´s last blog ..Tips for Traveling With Kids =-.

  20. says

    I sleep an average of 7-8 hours a day. When i sleep 8 hours, i feel very refreshed in the morning. When i get 7, i feel OK. when i get less than that, I get groggy and cranky and want to be left alone all day. I always get excited on friday nights because that’s the only day I can sleep in. But lately, after 8 hours or so, I wake up. Sometimes I get upset for not being able to sleep in but in reality, it’s a blessing in disguise.

  21. Sandy L says

    I agree with Andrew. I find the amount of sleep I need is directly related to how much physical and mental activity in my life. I need more if I’m working out a lot..or the job is really stressful. It truly is a way to recharge.

    I went for years on 6 hours..not by choice but because I was working and going to school FT. It was not enough and I cherish the days when I can get 8 or 9 hours uninterrupted…especially now with little kids waking me constantly…it is something you start to covet if it’s taken from you unwillingly.

    My husband does the 5 hour sleep thing and he says he’s been like that since he’s been a kid. He’d read books under his bedcovers with a flashlight while his brother slept hours more every night. I think there definitely is a genetic component. I even see a difference in my two kids.

    • says

      Hmmm, good insight regarding your hubbie and your kids. That’s such a joyful picture in my head of a kid reading under the blankets with a flashlight!

      I wonder in retirement, when I don’t have an exact daily deadline whether I’ll then start sleeping my life away more? Hmm.
      .-= admin´s last blog ..The Dark Side Of Early Retirement =-.

  22. says

    I have found that saying, The older you get, the less sleep you need, to be bunk. I definitely need more. At least 8 hours. I’ve always been envious of all those people who flourish with only a few hours of sleep at night. How great to have all those productive hours. Although I do agree with an earlier comment about sleep itself being productive in its own way…tapping into deeper regions than our waking hours.
    .-= savvysavingbytes´s last blog ..Tales of Big Apple Shoplifters =-.

  23. says

    I used to get by on only 4-5 hours of sleep all the time up to about 35 y.o. and was one of the ‘party all night go straight to work’ types in my 20’s too.

    It took me at least 6 months to train myself to get 6.5-7.5 hours a night, which is about where I’m at now.

    I thought I was being much more productive, yet once I realized that I’d rather be 100% alert and work smarter (and less) rather than being 70% alert and just putting more hours in, it was a no brainer to try and sleep more. I also did a lot of research into the sleep research at the time and can tell you honestly that whoever thinks they’re being more efficient on less sleep is probably lying to themselves (there are exceptions like you Sam, or people in the manic phase that are bipolar). :-) People could test themselves by playing a game like Brain Age and see how well they do rested vs. not. I know my brain is a lot “older” when I’m tired.

    There’s been cases where people have been so dopey going into work, thinking they were okay and left their kid in the car, forgetting to drop them off at daycare. You can imagine the effects of that in 100 degree heat. There are over 100,000 accidents and 1500 auto deaths per year due to people driving while sleep deprived. It’s not worth it, might as well be driving drunk.

    Besides, Martha Stewart only gets 4 hours of sleep a night and look how cranky she is.
    .-= Single Mom Rich Mom´s last blog ..The Average Joe Financial Show (and tell) =-.

    • says

      Interesting stuff. So you actually “trained” yourself to get 6.5-7.5 hrs a night? Were you sleeping more or less before?

      I honestly can’t sleep past 6:30am, hence why i never use an alarm clock anymore on the weekdays. I really don’t know what it is, I’m just excited to wake up, and my body just snaps into life!

      If one is cranky and stuff, that’s definitely a no no to sleep less. Sleep more. Everybody is built differently.
      .-= admin´s last blog ..The Dark Side Of Early Retirement =-.

  24. says

    I love this topic! I try to get between 6 and 7 hours of sleep a night. I used to religiously get 8 hours a night, thinking that that was the magic number for me. Well 8 hours of sleep after working 10 hour days and an hour long commute home leave me with hardly any free time. So I started getting between 6 and 7 and I actually feel BETTER at work. Weird, I feel more awake with less sleep! Works for me!:)

    I would LOVE the extra time, I wish I could go off just 4 hours of sleep! Just THINK of the possibilities!:)

  25. Live Richly says

    My research shows that most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Sleep deprivation can lead to diabetes, a depressed immune system, high blood pressure, obesity, low energy, poor memory and even traffic accidents. Most people I know who get by on less are coffee addicts and are chronically sick.

  26. says

    I’m a big believer in getting enough sleep, and not shortchanging yourself in that area. Health, Wealth, and Relationships are all interrelated in my opinion. If you don’t sleep enough, you impact your health, which has effects that could cascade throughout your life.

    That said, I don’t always get enough sleep:) So, its a classic case of do as I say and not as I do.

    If I get 8 hours of sleep, I feel noticeably more alert and energetic throughout the day vs when I get 6.5 hours of sleep.

    If I NATURALLY needed less sleep, I would spend the time on creative projects, learning, and fitness. I’m assuming that this “extra” time would be while kids are sleeping. Otherwise, that’s where my time would go – and happily so, I might add!
    .-= Squirrelers´s last blog ..List of Tips on How to Save on Taxes – Now =-.

  27. says

    There’s one thing I was thinking about everyone. It’s not so much how many hours a night you sleep, it’s whether we can all each CUT the amount of sleep we currently have by one hour? If we can, whether it’s going from 8 to 7, or 9 to 8, we can be that much more productive, and I don’t think our bodies will really know after a certain amount of time.

    Best, Sam
    .-= admin´s last blog ..The Dark Side Of Early Retirement =-.

  28. Charlie says

    I like this concept! 30 extra hours sounds like a lot, that’d be nice. I average about 8 hours of sleep. Not sure I could feel good with just 7 a day every day but there are definitely days when I only get 7.

  29. says

    My sleep is sacred and when I try to go under 8 hours for a while, I ALWAYS end up paying later–usually be sleeping through an entire weekend at some point. I think it’s just my body.

    That said, I agree with you on getting an early start and working when others are not. My husband and I have always been early risers. We’d go into work by 6AM on a regular basis because we had somewhat flexible hours. When you get to work before anyone else is there, you can save so much time, it’s ridiculous. Just ridiculous. I think that colleagues can be the ultimate distraction/time wasters. When you’ve got a project to work on, this kind of thing can work wonders. Then, if people try to schmooze you later in the day, it’s not such a big deal because you’re already ahead of the game.
    .-= Simple in France´s last blog ..Where would you pinch pennies if you had to? =-.

  30. says

    I think I’ve been the proud beneficiary of some of your early morning emails. I had to check the timezone once to try to work out how you could be up!

    Personally I sleep a pretty consistent 7 hours. I’d like to get 7.5 hours as I think I’m better for it, but I’d never sleep more than that. I rise like clockwork too — about 7.45am each day.

    I have friends whose greatest luxury at the weekend is to sleep through both mornings. If they’re working all week to buy some unconsciousness at the weekend then in my view something has gone very wrong indeed.

    (Alcohol-related unconsciousness once in a while is acceptable! ;) )
    .-= Monevator´s last blog ..Naked short selling: All shout, no trousers =-.

  31. says

    Ha ha Sam, you are probably one of a few advocating for less sleep. My sleep varies. Right now I sleep around 6 hours a night, sometimes when i feel unrested I let that go back up to 8 hours or so. If I have to I can get by on 4 for a while but I don’t like it.

    I honestly think everyone is different but they key is not how much sleep but how much god sleep. Heavy exercise and healthy eating, plus less life stress will lead to better nights sleep where a 6 hour rest feels better than 10 bad hours…. I am not the best sleeper as my mind is always working. I got up at 3 last night to see if it was easy to make cheddar cheese at home, turns out it’s not so easy but Mozzarella may be an option :)…. Was a little groggy this morning sadly.
    .-= Forest´s last blog ..A Pledge To Never Take Credit Again! =-.

  32. says

    I aim for at least seven hours. I’m happier when I get eight hours. I’m even happier than that if I get eight and a half or nine hours.
    I’ve found that I get more done late at night, but I can’t train my body not to wake up when the light hits the window. That means if I work until 2 a.m., I’m awake first at 6 a.m. and for good by 7:30 or 8 a.m. Not enough sleep. If I want to make deadline, I have to force myself to bed no later than midnight.
    .-= Donna Freedman´s last blog ..Carnival knowledge. Also: A new way to subscribe. =-.

  33. says

    Very well written, Sam!

    I sleep approximately 5-6 hours in the past 6 years to increase my productivity. the first 4 of them I did that to study, and now I do that to contribute to my side projects or to learn something new!

    I also totally agree with your mother! Work while others are at play – kinda what I did. Last few summers I spend much of the time learning new programming skills and developing applications. Now I am selling copies of them! I generated much revenue with them and that makes me fulfilled.

    Now I don’t even have to learn that much so that I could one day sell the software, but I still need to learn so that I upgrade my skills as technologies tend to change very fast.

    Besides, my money resides in a bank account, working hard for me to become financially free :-)

  34. says

    @Monevator
    Sleeping for so long is a waste of time! People spend 1/3 of their lifetime in sleep. You want to go above that average ? I really think you should reinvest your time in something else

  35. Positive Brotehr says

    thank you so much for sharing this article. it inspired me to now sleep 6 hours. I have discovered over the past 2 days that my body is ok with it as long as I am motivated and excited to wake up to work on something cool or to build upon something great.

    Looking at my friends, I have an 8-day week because of the way I have arranged my time – i get an extra 24 hours compared to them! Hope you don’t mind me quoting you here: http://positivebrother.blogspot.com/2011/02/8-day-week-how-i-plan-to-unlock-24.html

  36. says

    This is really interesting! I used to get at least 8 hours and LOVED my sleep. Now I get much less as my youngest daughter wakes up at 6.30am or earlier, sometimes as early as 5am. I very rarely get to bed before midnight as my partner works late and if I go to bed early we don’t see each other, so I get between 5-7 hours sleep but I always feel so tired! I have to get one early night a week or I think I would collapse :-)

    I always used to wish that I was one of those people that could cope on 4 hours of sleep a night, but then during my second pregnancy I got insomnia and couldn’t sleep and it is a very lonely existance when everyone else is in bed and you are wide awake at 4am! It gets boring very quickly.

    I don’t think we think we need 8 hours sleep because that it what society tells us (that is just an average) but I do think we should listen and look at our bodies. Quite often we ignore the signs that are telling us we need to catch up on some sleep because facebook or our favourite tv show is more interesting.

    Mel

  37. says

    I can function on 5-6 for a few days, but anything under 8 for more than a week starts to wear on me. I don’t feel quite at peak performance unless I’ve slept for 9 to 10 hours. I guess everyone is different! :)

    In college, I had a night job that took a toll on my body. I would walk around like a zombie on 2-3 hours of sleep, and my body fell into a constant state of depression. I think part of my sleeping habits these days is still paying for that.

    • says

      Yeah, 2-3 hours would be tough. Perhaps one strategy is to make everyone sleeping 9-10 hours a day, so that your 8 hours a day then blows everyone out of the water! Everything is relative.

  38. Untemplater says

    I average about 7. I feel really good if I get 9 but then the day goes too fast so I tend to only sleep more than 7 if I’m fighting a cold. I try not to nap much either because I get too groggy afterwards and always end up napping for longer than I intended. -Sydney

  39. says

    I once read a science fiction book (love ‘em) where everyone in the world except the first person speaker in the book had some kind of shot that let them stay up 24/7. Mostly those folks just frittered away the time. And of course the poor guy without the no-sleep shot couldn’t get any sleep due to all the racket the rest of them were making!

    My point? Get the sleep your body needs and use the rest of the time you have the best way possible.

  40. says

    I sleep for 5 – 6 hours, and, my wife is saying I developed dark circles and wrinkles. At the age of 35 its due to lack of sleep. I need to sleep more or else body won’t take it any more. I have to give up 30 hrs a month, looks like

    • says

      Bad wife! lol. 5-6 hours is not much. The real test is, how long can you sleep until you naturally wake up. I’m at 6-7 hours max…. so that’s what I go with. I never have to set an alarm again.

  41. says

    I’m with you on this one!

    I actually wake up at 4:30am 4 times a week (when I work!) and go to bed around 10:30pm. 6 hours of sleep is more than enough if you are in good shape and eat well. You can do a lot more than others with those extra hours in your day!

    On top of that, I have noticed that people sleeping 8,9 hours are always looking to sleep more. Therefore, they feel more tired than me!

  42. says

    I just can’t do it Sam. I biologically need 7 to 8 hours of sleep and feel like total shit if I’ve been on 6 hours or less for more than a couple of days. At the same time I also feel like shit if I oversleep to 9 or 10 hours, so I think 7 to 8 is the sweet spot for me.

  43. says

    I’m with you 100% on the sleep thing. Tim Ferriss said it best with this line: “scientists know embarrassingly little bout why we spend roughly one-third of our lives asleep.

    A few months back I spent a weekend out of town partying with a cousin. We went out into the late hours of the night and had a blast. I woke up, ate, worked out, wrote a blog post, responded to emails, and he was still asleep. I was shocked by how much I could do before he woke up.

    My problem growing up was that I couldn’t fall asleep.. and then I couldn’t wake up! What I do now is work myself until I know that I’m going to pass out. Then I wake up after 4-6 hours. If I’m every really tired, I believe in taking power naps of 20 mins or so.

    • says

      Right on man! It seems so OBVIOUS how to get ahead, I just don’t get folks who complain sometimes. When the world is sleeping on average 8 hours a day, you can make huge progress with just 7 more hours a week!

  44. Mer says

    While getting less sleep may seem like it makes you more productive due to the increase in number of conscious hours, it can have some major health implications ranging from reduced focus and cognition to an increase in risk for heart disease. Neither of which actually makes you more productive and can actually reduce a person’s overall productivity.

    Yes, some people can function well on a few hours of sleep, but it’s not for everyone. Just be careful with depriving yourself too much. :)

    http://www.forbes.com/2007/09/24/health-sleep-quiz-forbeslife-cx_avd_0924health.html

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/08/AR2005100801405.html

    • says

      I wake up without an alarm everyday. I’m just following my body’s own natural lock.

      A good way to increase productivity is to scare people into sleeping more though. I agree with that approach and am all for it !

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