Tip: The Best Damn Sleep Tip Ever

It's the single most effective thing you can do to sleep better, feel better, and kick life in the pants.

Your Alarm Clock is Hitler

There's a lot going on while you sleep. The average person goes through four to five sleep cycles every night. Each of those cycles has several stages: four different stages of NREM sleep and one stage of REM sleep. You go from light sleep to deep sleep and back again, over and over.

When your mind and body are fully rested and recharged, the cycles naturally conclude and you wake up. It's elegant and delicate and miraculous... unless you use an alarm clock, which throws a big clanging monkey wrench into the machinery of good sleep.

The Worst Way to Start Your Day

When the alarm goes off, you're forced to wake up in the wrong cycle or stage of sleep. You're disoriented at first, you feel like crap, your natural hormone fluctuations are off kilter, and usually you keep feeling like a used tampon for a good part of the morning.

But people who have trained themselves to sleep and wake naturally without an alarm...

  • Are healthier overall
  • Have less stress
  • Experience fewer junk food cravings
  • Have more energy
  • Generally stay leaner

It Can Be Done

My wife and I ditched the alarm clock years ago. And no, we're never late for anything. In fact, we've usually had a meal, had a workout, walked the dog, and put in an hour's worth of work here at T Nation before 8 AM.

So, how do you do this? It seems impossible at first, I know. But it all starts with going to bed early, consistently. For Dani and I, that means we're in bed by about 8:30 PM. Our wake time fluctuates by 15-30 minutes because we're not forcing it with an alarm.

When the mind and body are fully rebooted by sleep, you wake up naturally. If the sleep process needs 30 minutes more or 30 minutes less, that's allowed to occur organically without interruption. For us the sleep cycle finishes up at 5 to 5:30 AM.

Your schedule will vary of course, but it all starts with hitting the sack earlier than you do now and allowing the sleep machinery to finish its job. Yes, I know you're busy and yes, I know you can't do this with a newborn in the house. (I also know you watch several hours of TV a night.) But at least try to allow yourself a "window" for your wake time rather than setting an alarm for a designated time.

Supplement Help

To help this along, use a natural sleep aide like Biotest's Z-12™ to regulate your sleep cycles and spend more time in the replenishing stages of sleep. What most people find with Z-12™ is that they're better able to complete all the sleep cycles because each one is more efficient and restorative.

Chris Shugart is T Nation's Chief Content Officer and the creator of the Velocity Diet. As part of his investigative journalism for T Nation, Chris was featured on HBO’s "Real Sports with Bryant Gumble." Follow on Instagram