Introduction: How to Sleep Less But Not Feel Sleepless

Picture of How to Sleep Less But Not Feel Sleepless

After much research and using myself as a guinea pig, I'm able to share my findings on how to sleep less, much less.

What do you need:
To realize how much time of your life you spend sleeping
To realize what can you do with 3 more hours a day
To realize that what you need is more energy, not more sleep time
A bed

Step 1: To Optimize Sleeping Time

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You need to have the most natural light you can get.
You can start by leting your sunglasses at home, opening the windows as soon as you wake up and if you spend to much time indors, buy a daylight lamp, the ones that people with Seasonal Affective Dissorder use.

Step 2: The Not So Fun Part

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Drink 2 lt. water a day. This way the body use less effort to make what the body do during the night.

But dont drink or eat two hours before going to bed, so the body can rest without worrying about digestion.

Also (told you this was the not so fun part) avoid coffe and alcohol.

If you find life without coffe and alcohol and with 3 or 4 more hours a day is worth living, keep reading.

Step 3: Optional Stuff

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30 minute phisical activity a day make you sleep better and have more energy.

Also, if you can get a 15 minute nap, you can save easily 2 hours night sleep for each 15 minutes' nap.

Step 4: The Almost More Important Thing

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there is not such a thing as recover the sleep during the weekend. Every day should have the same schedule for the sistem to work.

Step 5: The Most Important Thing

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To wake up as good as you can with the less sleeping time, you nees to find the exact moment when a sleep cycle ends.

If you wake up in the midle of a cycle, you feel dizzy and tired.

To detect this precise time, try wake up 10 minutes early than usual. If you feel tired, try 10 minutes EARLIER.

I use to wake up at 7.00 am and take 2 hours to really wake up. now I wake up at 5.50 AM fresher than ever sleeping 6.20 hours instead of 8. I coud try to stretch my record, but i havent follow my oun instructable so fairly.

BUT YOU COULD!! right?


Hazel19 (author)2016-04-26

I have a different way of looking at sleep due to a medical condition. I have bipolar disorder (also called manic depression). I have found that an approximate 7.5 hours of sleep and waking up to a gentle alarm that mimics the rising sun (kind of like a Sun lamp but gradual and mimicking the sunrise, especially in winter months) wakes me up at the ideal time in my sleep cycle and I am ready to face the day! I recommend this to anyone with a circadian rhythm disorder, it's very helpful. I also agree with the advice above. Everyone is different but with a little bit of trial and error (and maybe the occasional melatonin) you can find what works best for you.

VictoriousVixen (author)Hazel192016-09-15

What type of Alarm are you speaking of? I've never heard of an Alarm that mimics the rising sun. Where did you find it? Or do you mean a sound alarm that starts quietly and increases in volume? Very interested.

Kekshexe (author)VictoriousVixen2017-12-07

Just hit "wake up light" into amazon (or any search engine)

I do have such an alarm and it works great - especially now, when waking up is way before sunrise.

jake3_14 (author)2010-02-21


I'm glad this strategy works for you, but the advice about drinking 2L of water/day has no basis in science.  In fact, the myth of drinking 8 glasses of water/day was recently and, I hope, definitively debunked:

StupidGenius (author)jake3_142010-08-09

According to all 6 of my physicians, (Chiropractor, Phys. Therapist, Internist, Neurosurgeon, Oncologist and Urologist) the average human needs to consume enough water to create a minimum of 2 to 3 liters of urine per day. This is beneficial to cleanse the blood of urea, maintain a healthy metabolism, increase liver function, maintain a good memory, keep your skin healthy, reduce fatigue, reduce kidney stone formations (my fav), increase sexual function and many other benefits. Roughly 80% or more of American citizens are under hydrated daily and nearly all of those get the majority of the fluids from soda which has been proven to reduce overall well being and cause a multitude of health issues. I personally strive to drink at least a gallon per day (mostly for kidney stone prevention as I am a stone machine) but consume at least 2 liters minimum daily. Also it is recommended to get up to urinate at least once through the night to reduce mineral buildup within the kidneys and to help reduce the risk of bladder cancer and urinary tract infection. Your individual mileage may vary.

jake3_14 (author)StupidGenius2010-08-10

Well, of *course* people indoctrinated with nonsense who've dispensed that nonsense all their careers and could be sued for malpractice if they suddenly said anything else are going to keep spouting nonsense. That why they call such nonsense "articles of faith"; because there's no factual basis for believing it.

SethY7 (author)jake3_142017-04-05

Well if you suffer back pain, heat fatigue here in Miami, FL, anxiety, etc., even with a very healthy diet, around 80 ounces of water feels so refreshing. Especially of very purified water; it helps. Here in tap water toxic, air toxic, commonly food toxic, stressful, etc. America. Drinking any less would mean I would feel fatigue in heat easily, especially my parents'hot house. There are different approaches to peoples' health. Being on point and some with my diet, way of life, is very successful, but one may only feel so if one does any way of life, diet, successful. I am like some of the top athletes in that I am vegan. I have usually one or two processed foods in my whole day, if that, and I don't buy it either. I'll take over half a gallon then just when I start to feel really thirsty and the signs are already stating I'm off balance and wasted time not drinking water. (; Cheers.

SethY7 (author)SethY72017-04-05

parents' hot*

pilcinim34 (author)jake3_142017-03-01

I understand how you feel in this, but the science is just not there to back you. Just because you yourself are not a doctor (who go through at least 4 years after college of medical school with a minimum of 3 years of residency after medical school all training them science based medical research) doesn't mean that you should be critical of their knowledge, especially on subjects which you know nothing about.

siafulinux (author)jake3_142011-06-15

I found out a few years ago that almost always when I had a headache and I drank water it would go away. I also discovered that when I start getting a little tired in my day and start yawning, drinking a couple or more cups of water sets me straight.

The fact is, people get admitted into hospitals all the time due to dehydration. Wonder how that happens?

MichaelR5 (author)StupidGenius2016-04-20

Amen to the kidney stone production comments. I've passed seven. I now keep a water container at my desk and drink water throughout the day.

VictoriousVixen (author)jake3_142016-09-15

Your link was broken. Here is the corrected link. :)

CatalinRO (author)jake3_142016-04-23

2 liters of water will help cleaning the "good" stuff we ingested in these modern times

bstraatman (author)jake3_142016-04-19

Thank you sir

JohnTheBeloved (author)jake3_142015-10-16

but don't you know that Water increases Blood volume, and therefore blood flow to the Brain, Always tell my coworkers who feel sleepy after lunch, including my self that its because blood volume has shifted to Digestive system with the brain having less blood volume to work

AmyleaS (author)jake3_142015-03-08

I found that pretty questionable, too. I get headaches and really groggy if I don't hit my gallon or near-gallon watermark too many days in a row. 2L is barely over a half gallon. At first I thought the article meant to drink less fluids.

Noah Enesata (author)2017-01-05

Thanks for revealing this top secrete

, you are mostly bless


Noah Enesata (author)2017-01-05


oziology (author)2016-10-16

Thanks for the knowledge, it's all sound good, and i promise to put it to work from this moment on......

mikes4222 (author)2016-06-10

Actually, I found out that an apple eaten with breakfast will wake you up even better than a cup of coffee or tea, as it has B-vitamins that give a natural energy boost, and carbs that convert into cellular and brain energy. To wake up your brain, feed it! Fully 1/3 (or more!) of your calorie intake will be used by...

...Your Brain!

mikes4222 (author)2016-04-19

Actually, malka1 is right about caffeine-it will make you even more
fatigued during the day, as it interrupts the body's natural adenosine
cycle. ATP, or adenosine tri-phosphate, is the energy of life, and your
body recycles this over and over many times each day. The caffeine molecule closely resembles the adenosine molecule so that when it enters the bloodstream and reaches the brain, it attaches itself to the adenosine receptors there, and fools the body into thinking it has enough adenosine, thus the "energy" boost. In reality, your body is suffering because there isn't enough ATP to fuel cellular replication, healing, and so forth. It also dehydrates you enough to further damage the body, as you need water to help the cells do their thing; Live, create chemicals for various functions, and transport transport waste toxins produced out of the system via the kidneys.

SkematiC (author)mikes42222016-06-10

Thank you SO much for breaking this down in a scientific format. I try to tell people that when they drink coffee, it's like when they take out a payday loan with interest rates that are almost usury! It's the same thing!

joshiii92 (author)mikes42222016-04-20

I'm obvious backwards... I've had a coffee for before bed since I was a kid and it helps me sleep.

If I get more than 5 or 6 hours sleep in one night, the next night I almost always sleep less. If I want to sleep more, I have to use tablets with codeine in them, which is legal in Australia.

On the subject of drinking water, what I do know (in my experience) is that if I drink a glass of water every hour or so, I don't feel any different... but AFTER I stop drinking the water, I realise how much better I felt when I was drinking lots of water, if that makes sense? I just hate having to pee so much, it's especially bad in winter....

ty520 (author)2016-05-12

I think it is important to note that no amount of tricks will actually make up for a proper night's sleep, especially for people who have a strenuous day (labor, working out ,etc) The body needs to amount of time it needs to recover and rebuild, and tricks and gimmicks don't change this

SkematiC (author)ty5202016-06-10

Saying a lot without saying anything here. A proper rest cycle with NREM and REM is 90 mins. The mind needs 3 cycles to be fully rested. Biphasic sleeping (two periods of rest interrupted by a short active period) is proven to be the natural and healthy way humans rest. Finally, sleeping isn't about recouping or recovering; it's about organising one's daily activities, thoughts into something manageable for archival. Sort of like defragging a hard disk or rearranging your closet or clothes drawers.

BorgOvermind (author)2016-04-29

Use regeneration instead of sleeping. You get down to 90 minutes / 24h of regeneration.

JohnG220 (author)2016-04-27

Good article. Will have to consider doing some of that, or maybe all of it if I can, eventually. I eat too close to sleeping so that is probably hurting me.

Regarding the spelling, please keep in mind he may have learned or be learning English as a second, or even third, language. If you can spell perfectly in multiple languages, then I guess you have room to talk. If not, then maybe cut him (her?) some slack.

Solidsnayke (author)2016-04-26

Good instructable, very informative. Your spelling is atrocious though.

PeđaJ (author)2016-04-26

Water true

Daylight and Sun true

Naturaly come to strach yourself and so

I take 30 min. nap

:D glad to hear that someone else discover, I wasn't sure is good but hey ;)

LachoT (author)2016-04-25

I have an easier instruction - find good vitamins - that will allow you to sleep 5-6 hours without any of the other effort :) I've found that certain brands work for my organism very noticably while they don't do the same on other people and vice versa. And yes - waking up just after your dream ends makes it much easier.

Azzurro (author)2016-04-19

I don't get step 2. Why should i drink less?

sszorin. (author)Azzurro2016-04-19

Azzurro - You truly did not get it - nowhere in the article does it say that you should drink less. In fact it says the opposite.

Azzurro (author)sszorin.2016-04-19

2 litre? that is far less than what i drink now.

indiananana (author)Azzurro2016-04-21

How on earth do you remember/find the time? I try hard to make myself drink and a litre bottle of water would last me at least two days.

Azzurro (author)indiananana2016-04-22

First i have large mugs that i fill with tea for breakfast, and once more before i go to sleep. (lemon balm tea in the evening) By large i mean 7 dl.

And while i work, i have a bottle on my desk and i drink from it from time to time, it's like a habit. Then it gets empty, i refill it at the tap. Easy. I also make tea at work, plus coffe, etc. I hope that helped. :) Tip: if you are bored with plain water, add some lemon jiuce, it's a lot better that way

AntiTek (author)2016-04-21

As someone who normally sleeps 4-6 hours a night, I generally do about everything Malka1 has posted. I always wake after 4 hours. All that water ensures it. This is when I decide to stay up or catch a couple more hours.

Sallybinzwigs (author)2016-04-21

Sounds like u got the right idea. But I prefer to sleep rather than have those extra hours. My dreams are really awesome and just as great as
my waking life most of the time. Sometimes, it's even better!

BarbK2 (author)2016-04-20

I can't go without sunglasses during the summer in Florida. Would burn my eyes out. My eye doctor strongly recommends sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV light.

MichaelR5 (author)2016-04-20

If you read no further in my response, at least look up the term "sleep hygiene", for recent, scientific knowledge to help with sleep.

To help my body produce melatonin before bed, I purchased a pair of Blue Blockers sunglasses, and put them on over my regular glasses one hour before bed, especially if I'm watching TV or using any electronic screen (computer, smart phone, etc).

When I get that tired, "must sleep" feeling, I go to bed. I found that if I don't, then when I do, I've missed my window and I will have difficulty getting to sleep and sleeping that night.

While a certain amount of water is required for best function of your body, and it does go through your systems differently than liquids with nutrients, there is not a "one size fits all" amount of water. It depends on how much you sweat (which is usually done without feeling sweaty, since it evaporates), how active you are, and many other factors. I do agree with drinking water throughout the day, and learning what works for you.

Naps, again, cannot be set at a hard 15 minutes. And some people don't be wired for naps. I can lay down, without an alarm, and I'll sleep for 20-35 minutes. The better shape I'm in, physically and cardio-vascular, the less I need to nap. You may find that you can enhance getting relaxed and to sleep with things like binaural beats, to help get your brain waves into the right pattern. (I suspect it is more or less effective with different people).

There are smart phone apps which monitor your sleep and, given a time window, will wake you when you get into the lighter period of sleep during the time window. I use a sunrise alarm, which over a period of a half-hour, slowly brightens a light. I also set a regular alarm as a backup, since sometimes I'll have a night of poor sleep and won't wake up by the light alone and still get to work on time.

HarrietR2 (author)2016-04-20

15 minute naps are not a sufficient substitute for two hours of deep sleep

tvrban (author)2016-04-20

How about: screw capitalism, sleep more and seize the means of production! :D

MarkovP (author)tvrban2016-04-20

Yeah! And don't let them privatize the rain (

or poison the water (with glyphosate, lead, etc) that everybody here is commenting on. Rage against the machine.

crashd (author)2016-04-19

Will try your tips! Thank you for sharing!

AndiA5 (author)2016-04-19

use to calculate your cycle. It divides your time of sleep into 90 minutes, and sometimes you'll see it's easier to get up earlier but at the end of a cycle, than later but in the middle of a cycle. :)

3967 (author)2016-04-19

One thing i found out, is it does matter what your last thoughts are before you start to sleep . for example you should think about something positive and that its worth to stay up next day because you will do something you like. (Most people will find it difficult if they have a job they hate :) )

E.A.T (author)2016-04-19

Thanks. Really good advice. I know there are apps out there that measure your sleep cycle, but you put it all together succinctly. Thanks again from all of us sleep-deprived!

KevinB151 (author)2016-04-19

Great job! I will be trying this out starting tomorrow. Thanks for a great suggestion!

SimonD30 (author)2015-11-24

Isn't it just great?
Seeing people moan about spelling... Only for them to have their own spelling and grammar mistakes(The majority of the "you've spelt it all wrong" comments are like this from what I can see, they always contain a mistake as well)!

I don't complain about the spelling of others, unless I can't understand it and want clarification, of course. Learn to spell yourself before rubbing your inflated egos against someone with less English skill than yourself. Chances are, they know a second language - hence the broken English. Can you say the same?

ΈρικΚ (author)SimonD302016-04-19

I amm stil moning about speling!
(Note: This is not my regulare speling)

Is this good or bad? (see my choice first)

Riehl_One (author)SimonD302016-04-19

Maybe English is not malka1's native language, in which case I give him or her full credit for trying. Where are YOUR perfect posts? Be Nice. malka1, thank you for a helpful and informative post, well done!

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