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There is no hope for a civilization which starts each day to the sound of an alarm clock. -Author Unknown
Super-Replicating Belief: A Belief that has some property which facilitates its own transmission, which makes it be held by an increasing number of minds.
There is a super-replicating false belief in our society that sleeping in is lazy. Sleeping in is not lazy- many individuals would actually be more productive if they slept in versus waking up early. But as a whole, promoting the belief that sleeping in is lazy serves the needs of a stable society, in which individuals are all on similar schedules.
What are some of the ways that society makes us feel guilty for sleeping in?
- “Early to Bed, Early to Rise, Makes a Man Healthy Wealthy and Wise”
- Early risers are considered more productive than those who sleep in
- We are only supposed to need 8 hours of sleep, and people often brag about getting by on less
- If we sleep in, we may feel out of synch with the 9-5 society
- The online community, including bloggers Steve Pavlina and Leo Babauta, promote becoming early risers
There is no need to feel guilty or lazy- here are 5 reasons why sleeping in will boost your productivity:
5 Reasons Why Sleeping In Every Day Will Boost your Productivity
1) Depending on your chronotype, you may be a Night Owl living in a Morning Lark’s world
Morning Lark: Morning person, naturally wakes up 2 hours earlier than the majority of the population, is ready for sleep between 8pm – 10pm. Cope more easily with early shifts.
Night Owl: Night person, naturally wakes up 2 hours later than the majority of the population, doesn’t feel sleepy until 12am – 2am. Cope more easily with late shifts.
Many creative types, such as writers, actors, and computer programmers, tend to be Night Owls. If they don’t have to get up early for work, many Night Owls choose to go along with there inherent sleep schedule and work until very late at night.
2) Most people need more than 8 hours of sleep
Before the invention of the electric light in 1879, most people slept 10 hours each night, and this has recently been discovered as the ideal amount of sleep for optimum performance. Additionally, people in cultures that are free from the demands of modern society typically sleep 10 hours each night. There are big benefits to sleeping ten hours per night:
Research Center of the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, have demonstrated that alertness significantly increases when eight-hour sleepers who claim to be well rested get an additional two hours of sleep. Energy, vigilance, and the ability to effectively process information are all enhanced, as are critical thinking skills and creativity.
-James B. Maas, Power Sleep
3) Sleep consistency is important; the time you wake up is not (unless you must get up for work)
Sleep consistency is key- this is why I named this post “5 Reasons Why Sleeping In Every Day Will Boost your Productivity”. But the time you wake up is not important:
In 1757 Benjamin Franklin gave us the epigram “early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” It would be more accurate to say “Consistently to bed and consistently to rise….” As long as you fulfill your sleep requirement without interruption, it doesn’t really matter what time you go to bed or get up.
-James B. Maas, Power Sleep
4) Sleeping in can improve your long-term memory retention, memory organization, and learning
REM Sleep: Stage of sleep with predominant eye movements and dreaming. During REM, brain neuronal pathways are fired randomly, and REM sleep causes strengthening of memory circuits similar to lifting weights causes strengthening of muscles.
When you fall asleep at night, you go through 4 stages of sleep every 90 to 110 minutes. You typically go through 4-5 cycles of these stages each night. With each successive cycle, more time is spent in REM stage. During later sleep cycles, REM sleep increases from twenty to as much as sixty minutes.
Whenever you have a short night of sleep, you eliminate the long REM periods that come toward morning. This can have significant negative consequences in terms of your learning, thinking, memory, and performance. The only solution is for you to get more sleep.
5) Sleeping in allows you to catch up on sleep debt
Sleeping is a way for you to catch up on sleep debt (Hours of sleep you need per night – Hours of sleep you actually get). In my sleep debt post, I recommend that instead of sleeping in, you catch up on sleep debt by going to bed earlier. However, if you can’t get to bed early, and can’t get enough sleep in your normal schedule, it’s smart to sleep in to catch up on sleep debt when you are able to.
Bonus Reason) Sleeping in allows for more time to practice Lucid Dreaming, allowing you to control your dreams and rehearse for waking life
A lucid dream is a dream in which you are aware that you are dreaming. There are many reasons people decide to try lucid dreaming. Here are a few of the more popular reasons:
- Fun (ex. flying, superhero abilities)
- Treatment for nightmares
- Rehearsing an activity for your waking life (ex. sport, musical performance)
- Self knowledge and personal growth
To learn more about lucid dreaming, sign up for your Free Lucid Dreaming Starter Handbook.
Now that you know the benefits, here are three tips for becoming a late riser:
How to Become a Late Riser
Note: If you are a Morning Lark, and easily awaken at an early hour, you will generally not be able to become a late riser. This advice is for Night Owls who do not wake up easily for work.
For freelancers and those in control of their own work schedule, sleeping in is an easy habit to adopt. But what about the rest of us? Here are some solutions for the regular worker:
1) Talk to your employer about flextime
Flextime allows you to determine when you work, so you can sleep in every day if you negotiate coming in late with your employer.
2) Talk to your employer about working from home
Talk to your boss about working from home one day of the week. Prove that you can be trusted, and then negotiate working from home full-time. As part of this arrangement, make sure to negotiate working on your own hours (so you can sleep in).
3) No flextime and can’t work from home? Quit your job
If your employer doesn’t allow flextime or working from home, and you are a Night Owl, and getting up early each morning is hell for you, why not consider some alternatives? You could find another employer that is more flexible, or you could start your own business. Either way, you would be more productive working your own hours, versus the hours that society chooses for you.
4) No flextime, can’t work from home, and don’t want to quit your job? Sleep in and face the consequences
A late riser in North Korea:
This post is part of the Sleep Evolver Series
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