The optimal amount of sleep and the right wake-up time

. 2 min read

I was told a gazillion years ago that you should sleep exactly 8 hours a night because that's what studies show to be the right amount. It's equally true that it's wrong to wake up at 2 am to do your thing. Stay up too late? Wrong. Sleep 6 hours a night? Wrong. You sleep 8 hours, from 11 pm to 7 am, and that is it, the only right way to do it.

What a truckload of bullcrap!

I've talked about this before but it's worth mentioning again: there's one highly crucial thing these studies don't take into account, and that's individual differences. There is no way all people need the same amount of sleep, or that no one is truly either a night owl or an early bird.

There's even this experiment I read about in The Game by Neil Strauss - it wasn't invented by him though - where you sleep for 20 minutes every 4 hours, thus ending up sleeping only a total of 2 hours during a 24-hour period. (If sleeping 6 hours a night was wrong, sleeping 2 hours must be so horrifying that a medical intervention should be imposed on the sleeper. Imagine sarcastic eyeroll.)

Personally, I wake up super tired if I sleep around 8 hours. I also like to wake up early depending on the season, a little later in the winter and earlier in the summer. This is the way that works for me. What does any scientific study have to say about that?

Absolutely and unconditionally regardless of who you are or what you do or how you think, choose your sleeping patterns yourself. You can choose the way the studies suggest if it works for you, but you can also construct a system that is perfectly tailored to your needs. You can even sleep irregularly - for example, 4 hours every other night and a random number of hours the rest - or you can ditch sleep altogether and then let your body turn off at random places whenever it feels like it. I don't care. The studies won't care. The world doesn't care.

The only people who might care are the haters - the ones that resent you for forging your own way while they don't have the courage to do so.

The only person who should care is you.