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#2 of 48 Sleep Life Hacks – How to Get the Best Sleep Every Night!

2: Learn More About Sleep Cycles


Almost 100 years ago, scientists discovered that humans sleep in cycles of 90 minutes. These cycles have five stages, including light sleep, deep sleep, and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.


The stages of a 90-minute sleep cycle look like this:

Stage 1 – Sleepiness

Stage 2 – Light Sleep

Stages 3 & 4 – Deep Sleep

Stage 5 – REM/dreaming


The key to this sleep cycle hack is to remember that each sequence is 90 minutes long, and if you can schedule your bedtime so that you wake up at the end of a 90-minute interval, you’ll feel more refreshed when the alarm goes off. This is because Stage 1, the start of a cycle, is the lightest stage and it’s much easier to wake up from a light than a deep sleep.


If you try waking up in the middle of a cycle, you’ll feel groggy, and the temptation to hit the snooze button will be overwhelming. What’s interesting about this is that you can feel better rested by sleeping 6 hours in a night than for 7 hours. This is because 6 hours is equal to 4 full sleep cycles, while 7 hours fall short of five full cycles.


The main challenge people face when implementing this hack is if they have difficulty falling asleep quickly. Taking too much time to fall asleep, or not being able to predictably fall asleep within a set timeframe, can throw off your ability to plan waking up at the start of a new sleep cycle. For tips on how to fall asleep quickly, see Hacks 33 and 35.


From Sleep Advisor.

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