I encourage all readers to try the experiment I did.

Every day, for at least ten consecutive days, go to sleep at least 1.5 hours earlier than you usually do. Wake up as usual, or when you naturally wake up.

I’ve read before that most people are in a state of sleep debt, and let me tell you, being paid off feels like nothing else. I wouldn’t exactly say I woke up feeling refreshed, but after the initial morning fuzz, I felt alert and in the moment in a way can’t remember feeling before.

Why? In my case, a changed eyeglasses prescription resulted in a crazy amount of eye strain, which is closely related to feeling tired and wiped out. It’s the “I need to rest my eyes” kind of tired more so than fatigue or mental fatigue. If by the end of the day I can hardly stand to read or look at a computer screen, then why not kick in early?

It took me about a week (or 1.5 * 7 = 10.5 hours of sleep) to really get caught up. It feels incredible.

Voluntarily cutting 1.5 prime hours of your day also has the nice side-effect of truly focusing your time-management skills. Even with tired eyes, I would still write, often with eyes closed. In order to do so, I had to severely cut back on other activities. Like what? Largely TV-watching time, and to a lesser extent internet-wasted time. These two the the empty calories of time management.

Gradually, my sleep schedule is drifting back to what it was once before. I’m getting separate compute glasses to address the original problem.

I’m interested in pushing sleep experiments to the next level, including something called segmented sleep, which involves an awake period between the two major chunks of nighttime sleep, but that will be the subject of a different posting.