T Nation

Sleep Cycles


I try to shoot for the token 8 hours each night, however, I have found that lately I have been sleeping from about 6 or 7 hours then waking up. At this point I feel pretty refreshed, however, I am able to go back to sleep a little while after this. For example, this morning, I woke up at 6:45 and laid back down, re awaking upon 8:30. At this point, I am completely tired , and have to drag myself out of bed. My question is, is it better to sleep the straight 7 and get up, or sleep the 7 then go back to sleep for the sake of additional hours. Although I want to get as much sleep as possible, I sometimes wonder if it hurts the rythm to go back to sleep after awaking refreshed.


Part of this response is opinion and part is science.

The sleep cycle and getting enough sleep is important because your body needs and wants to turn off at a certain time each day. your body is programmed to start resting and regenerating when your sleeping. So getting 8 hours from 11-7 is way better then getting it from 3 in the afternoon to 11 pm. So if you dont get enough sleep, thats fine for the most part, as long as you are sleeping at the same times each day.

As for waking up, your body comes out of its sleep cycle and has regulated itself. By going back to bed, you are telling your body to start the cycle over. I would say its bad. if you feel bad, then its bad.


I'm not a sleepologist but I have plenty of snooze experience. I wake up sometimes too then fall back to sleep and wake up sleepy but it usually after 10-12 hrs. I believe it has to do with different states of sleep. If you sleep 7 hrs in stage 2 which is light/moderate sleep you never really fall asleep. When you wake up then go back to get that extra hour you could hit stage 4 which is the deepest sleep possible. If you only get an hour of this deep sleep that could be why you wake up feeling tired. I'd buy it if someone told me that. Do you????