Sleep Smarter, not Earlier

Debunking the Myth of Early Morning Success

James Halliday

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Photo by Alexander Possingham on Unsplash

The online gurus; they say you need 8 hours of sleep. They also say you need to get up early. Like 04:00.

That this is what all successful people do, implying you’re a loser if you don’t.

But you can’t generalise for the whole planet like that.

More than 7 billion people? We’re not all the same.

For some, 8 isn’t enough. For others, 8 is impossible.

I’m the latter; I sleep in short stints of 1 to 2 hours and get around 6 hours. Sometimes 7 if I’m really tired.

Yes, I’ll be in bed for around 8 hours, so I’m getting physical rest.

But 8 hours sleep?

No.

It doesn’t work for me. I can’t do it.

We need sleep. We all know that.

But figure out what works for you. Not what some online guru tells you you need.

Consistency is key: go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning.

That made a big difference; it dramatically improved my mental health. In addition, I stopped feeling tired on Mondays when I get up early for work, as my regular waking time is also early.

I’m a morning person. So, getting up early is easy for me. And when I’m up, I’m alert immediately — no wandering around, bleary-eyed for an hour.

When I’m at home, I’m out of the house by about 05:45 to take an hour’s walk. Then I’m back for breakfast and a few minutes quiet with a book before the kids awake.

When I’m away, in the office, I’m up at 06:00, heading to work by 06:15, and in the office between 06:30 and 07:00.

But I’m done by 21:00. Falling asleep. Useless.

This routine works for me. I love it.

But I know plenty of people who are the complete opposite. They’ll stay in bed late but are still going strong at midnight or 02:00.

I know one person who’ll happily stay awake until 04:00 but doesn’t get up until the afternoon. She works the late shift, so it suits her.

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James Halliday

Project manager in live television, background in engineering and logistics. Biker, vegan, dad to two tiny terrors. Love travel, food, walking and photography