Waking up in the morning should be pleasant and leave you energized. The unfortunate truth is that few people feel that way. Instead, waking up tired and yawning is all too common. But it doesn't have to be that way. You can reclaim your morning energy when you try this experiment.
What things do I need to try this experiment?
This sleep experiment is simple. Don't worry - we won't have you doing anything unusual or going on any strange diets! The only items you need to try the experiment are: you, a bed to sleep on, and an alarm clock. Sound simple? It is!
What is the theory behind it?
The theory behind this sleep experiment is that each person has their own natural sleep cycle. The goal of the experiment is to find out exactly what your sleep cycle is. If you adhere to your natural sleep cycle, then you will wake up refreshed and energetic. If on the other hand you sleep at a time that is not your natural sleep cycle, then you'll wake up feeling tired, even though you might have actually slept for a reasonable amount of time.
Step 1: No alarm clock for the first two days
Before beginning you will need to have two successive days without any early morning commitments. For most people this would be in the weekend, although obviously that will all depend on what days you have to work in your particular job.
The first step is that the night before, you simply switch off the alarm clock. It's as easy as that! Please note for the success of the experiment that you will need to go to sleep at a more or less 'normal' time. In other words, don't stay up late just because your alarm clock is off! Go to bed at a time that will allow you to sleep 6 to 8 hours.
Then when you wake up on the first morning (without an alarm clock) you are not allowed to stay in bed. When you wake up, simply get up straight away and start your normal routine.
That evening, you will need to go to bed at the same time as before. Again, do not use the alarm clock. In the morning when you wake up, get up immediately, as you did before. If you wake up that morning at a roughly similar time as you did the previous morning, then you have found your natural sleep cycle! This of course assumes that you had 6 to 8 hours of sleep those nights.
Step 2: Set the alarm clock
Now for the next night, set the alarm clock for the time you determined in the first step. Remember to get up immediately when your alarm goes off.
And don't hit 'snooze' on your alarm: this will convince you that you that you don't have to wake up right away and as a result your body will feel tired.
Step 3: Stay with these habits
At this step, your sleep cycle has now been set. Go to bed at the same time and set your alarm for the same wake up time the same. You may even find that your body already 'knows' when to wake up and you may not need an alarm clock. This tells you that your body has had plenty of sleep. You'll also notice that you feel rested, refreshed and energized in the mornings.
Why is it so important to find out my natural sleep cycle?
As an example, if your natural sleep cycle is from 10pm to 6am, but if you have been sleeping from 12pm to 8am, then you will feel tired. Even though they both correspond to the same total amount of sleep, you will only feel refreshed if the sleep coincides with your natural sleep cycle. This is why it's so important to find out your natural sleep cycle.
It's also possible and in fact quite likely that you are simply not getting enough sleep. In such situations this experiment will also help by identifying how many hours of sleep you naturally need.
You may be surprised to find out your natural sleep cycle, but it will be a pleasant surprise! This is an experiment very much worth trying if you were waking up tired.
How do I adjust my life to the new cycle?
Suppose you used to sleep from 12pm to 8am, but you find out that your natural sleep cycle is from 10pm to 6am. You may be wondering how you will fit in your evening hobbies or chores that you used to do then. It's simple: just move those activities to the morning. While it might initially sound strange to you to surf the internet or do laundry at 6am, there is nothing wrong with that.
You'll still accomplish the same amount of productivity in your life; it's simply that the activities are done at different times of the day than previously. In fact, you are likely to be even more productive on your new sleep cycle, because you'll wake up alert and have more energy all day long.
Of course, if you have an absolutely non-negotiable commitment that clashes with your sleep cycle (e.g. your job starts earlier in the day than your natural wake up time) then you can't avoid that. But in those situations, you can still benefit when you stick as closely to your sleep cycle as possible. So don't give up; just go to bed a little earlier and wake up a little earlier so that you're still able to get to your job on time.
Another tip to wake up refreshed
To feel fully rested in the morning, you also need to ensure you are sleeping on a good quality mattress and bed. If you have an old or sagging mattress, then the sleep you get just won't be restful, even if it's during your natural sleep cycle.
So if are seeking to renew your vitality through your sleep, then you should make sure to select a comfortable mattress, a high quality bed base and a really good pillow.
Say goodbye to morning tiredness!
Try the experiment suggested here, and enjoy your renewed energy. You'll also feel happier, which will help make for smoother and more harmonious interpersonal relationships. Enjoy saying goodbye to waking up tired!