More about sleep cycles! Talk about the best time to wake up and the importance of sleep
There are 2 “modes” of sleep: Slow wave sleep and REM sleep.
Slow Wave Sleep is super deep and is hard to interrupt. When you wake up during this phase, you don’t feel rested and are tired for the rest of the day.
REM sleep is lighter sleep, so it can be easily interrupted. A bonus to waking during a REM phase: remembering your dream and feeling energetic.
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Sources: The Mind’s Machine- my BioPsych textbook (graph). Dr. Lauren Graham- lecture on sleep rhythms and cycles.
Edit: I want to make a comment on the graph:
During the pink “awakening” times is when your REM cycle ends. That’s when you wake up in the middle of the night for a couple minutes and then fall back asleep
REM Cycles repeat roughly every 90 minutes, but it may vary slightly. If you wake up during the REM phase, you’re guaranteed to feel more energetic even if you slept a bit less than recommended (8 hours)
Check out the app Sleepytime for more information and how to calculate your wake up time!
Power Naps are a great way to boost your energy in the middle of the day!
If you are feeling drowsy and tired and still have a ton of homework to do, take a 20-30 minute power nap! It doesn’t take too much time and helps increase productivity.
1. They are most effective if they last 15-20 minutes;
2. They are good of alertness and motor performance
3. BETTER than caffeine. Caffeine just postpones your fatigue, while power naps actually get rid of it.
Best time of day to take a nap: 1-3 p.m. If taken after 4 p.m., you may disturb your sleep at night.
Lately I’ve been so exhausted, it’s crazy. However, I found a simple solution to waking up refreshed and energetic every time: the REM cycle concept.
Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night? Just kind of acknowledged the fact that you’re awake and it’s not yet time to get up, and then went straight back to sleep? Chances are, it wasn’t any noise that woke you up- you simply finished one of your REM cycles. Sometimes what happens to me is if I wake up during the night, hang out for a little bit and try to go back to bed, I’ll feel too awake to fall asleep right away. This means that the key to feeling super awake and energetic in the morning is waking up at the end of any REM cycle.That way, no matter how many hours you have slept (or haven’t slept!), you will not interrupt your sleep in the middle of the cycle and force yourself out of bed.
Another cool thing I learned the other day is that the earlier you go to bed, the more valuable those early hours of sleep are. For example, Napoleon only slept for 5 hours each night, and for a grown man and a crazy awesome leader that’s obviously not enough. The solution to this problem is that the sleep you get from about 9 pm to 10 pm is equivalent to 3 or even 4 hours of sleep at 5 am. So, as the night continues, the value of those hours will drop down. In the end, the time you sleep from 5 am to 6 am will equal to 30 minutes. Maybe that’s why it’s not such a good idea to pull all-nighters before tests!
In addition to that, my boyfriend showed me this wonderful website (first thing Google gives you) called Sleepy Time, which can tell you exactly when to fall asleep (make sure to give yourself 10-15 minutes) if you need to wake up at a certain time.It also works the other way around- if you fall asleep now, when is it “safe” to get up? There is probably a million apps that can do the job as well.
Here is a list of apps that work the same way as Sleepy Time: