I’ve discovered something about my sleep patterns.

Let me start with the past: I tend to sleep a lot. When I’m not on a regular schedule (and even sometimes when I am) I sleep for 10+ hours before being able to get up and get moving. And getting up, even then, is hard. I’m groggy and it takes me a while to fully wake up. Ugh. I used to think that I was a borderline narcoleptic.

I would tend to go to bed around 9:00 PM, and then wake up at 5:30 AM or 6:00 AM. Just wasn’t working, which didn’t make sense. That’s at least 8 hours of sleep. What’s the problem?

But for the past couple of weeks, I’ve been trying something different. I’ve done a little research and found out that sleep occurs in cycles, with three different stages in each cycle. So I’ve tried to figure out how long my personal sleep cycle is, and then arranged my bedtime and wake-up time so that it falls near the end of a cycle.

Turns out my sleep cycle appears to be around 3 hours and 20 minutes (it might even be half of that – that might be two full cycles, but I don’t think so.) On my previous schedule, I was trying to wake up in the middle of a cycle, which explains why it was so hard for me to wake up. Alarm goes off, but my body is not ready to wake up yet. Three (or six) full cycles is going to be over 10 hours – and after that much sleep, my body is probably ready to just stay asleep.

So I realized, if I go to bed at 10:30 or even as late as 11:30, I can still get up by 5:30-5:45, and it will be near a natural waking point. My only concern would be: is 6.5-7.0 hours of sleep enough?

For the past two weeks that’s what I’ve been trying to determine. And it turns out, at least short-term, that is is, in fact, enough sleep. I’m not having any trouble focusing during the day, in fact, my mood has somewhat improved and my thinking is as sharp as ever. I feel great, actually!

Who knew that less sleep was the key to curing my over-sleeping problem? I love counter-intuitive answers like that.