- - free running sleep
|tadeas ||11-04-2006 08:50 PM |
free running sleep
I'd like to present another way of managing your sleep. It is called free-running sleep. The idea is very simple - just let your inborn sleep manager do it's job: go to sleep when you're tired, wake up naturally without an alarm clock.
This might seem impossible at first, mainly because the habit of using an alarm clock is quite deeply rooted in our society.
I myself have been a free-running sleeper for about 14 months now. It took me approx. a week to adjust to this "system" and then much longer to change my habits like not staying up late, not sitting in front of the computer right before going to sleep etc.
The main advantages I've observed: lots of energy, far better concentration and mood, also helps when you're about to get sick (I sleep longer and the body seems to always get over it very quickly). Not interrupting the sleep is also of an enormous importance when one studies a lot.
I recommend these articles very much... they're very long but don't be put off. They've been of a great benefit to me.
* Good sleep, good learning, good life
(esp. the part on free running sleep
* Formula for healthy sleep
by the same author.
If you have any questions, please ask. It's quite difficult to convince people of the benefits (however, I converted one of my friends (; ), but you never know until you try.
|thef0x ||11-04-2006 08:57 PM |
I've been interested in experimenting with this method as I tend to nap when tired (which is so healthy) and stay up when I'm energetic. My issue is living in a social community that requires me to have deadlines. I think Steve's method is fantastic.
|Scott ||11-04-2006 09:55 PM |
It's fairly well-established that free-running sleep is the healthiest pattern for the brain. Ever since I read Supermemo's "Myths of Polyphasic Sleep" article, though, I haven't trusted that website. Not to mention that it's horribly ugly... but that's just my opinion. :p
|Mark Lapierre ||11-04-2006 10:00 PM |
Whenever I can sleep this way I feel much more alert and energised than usual.
Unfortunately I work in a corporate environment and that requires being at work at 9am, so if my body clock wants to wake me up at 8:30am I'm going to be late for work :(
|Moony ||11-04-2006 10:03 PM |
I'm going to have to agree with him, also I tend to oversleep a lot when I don't have an good reason to wake up. It could be a youth thing, but 10 hours isn't unusual at all for me when I do let myself sleep as much as I like.
|tadeas ||11-04-2006 10:22 PM |
Originally Posted by thef0x
I tend to nap when tired (which is so healthy) and stay up when I'm energetic.
Yeah, naps are a great thing. I have a low alertness period in the early afternoon, but when I take the nap as my body tells me, I wake absolutely refreshed.
Originally Posted by Scott
Ever since I read Supermemo's "Myths of Polyphasic Sleep" article, though, I haven't trusted that website.
I was waiting for someone to mention that. :) But nonetheless it does in no way discredit other information (and the supermemo method which is great, btw.)
Originally Posted by Mark Lapierre
I work in a corporate environment and that requires being at work at 9am
That's because none of the leaders are freerunning sleepers ;) If they were, they'd know it can pay off immensely in productivity.
The above mentioned problem of oversleeping disappears after a few days on condition that you follow your natural rhythm. Just persist :)
|Henry ||11-04-2006 10:42 PM |
Even if you "can" wake up naturally, you should set an alarm clock 30 minutes after your natural time just in case your body decides it wants to sleep more.
|Levent Okyay ||11-05-2006 11:15 PM |
I'm not sure if I agree Henry, as tadeas said, when you are sick you need more sleep, so it would be more useful to let your body sleep overtime if it has too.
I personally have always used a freerunning sleep. Though somedays when i need to wake up early to get somewhere, I set a quiet alarm about 7 hours after I go to sleep (and make sure i go to sleep early enough so I can wake up on time) which then wakes me after 5 full cycles of sleep, waking me when I'm in a light sleeping stage, which always ensures that I wake up refrshed and not groggy as you would when waking from deep sleep.
Unfortunately impractical in this scheduled society. :( I would do it if I could. Maybe in less strict ones, like south/middle American ones? At least with polyphasic sleep you could fit in within the cracks or at least make it consistent by having consistent times for naps and what not.
The best kind of free sleep is what I call "motivated free sleep". When I just completely free sleep I'll stay in my bed 9-10h every day even though I don't need that much sleep.
|jbischke ||01-25-2007 07:05 AM |
So this intuitively appeals to me. The fact that we wake up when our bodies tell us too rather than artificially. And fortunately I can pretty much set my own hours so it's not a big deal. But here's the problem...
Ideally I'd love to get up early every day (around 6 AM) and that also seems natural (given when it's sunny out and how we'd behave in the absence of artificial light). However, I find that I get so excited about what I'm doing that I often stay up late at night. Free running sleep to me means go to bed when you are tired right? So if I'm not tired then I stay up and can't get up early in the morning.
So I guess I'm trying to find the balance between two seemingly natural things: waking up and going to sleep when your body tells you vs. spending most of your sleep time in the dark and all of your waking hours in the light.
|tadeas ||01-25-2007 08:37 AM |
I think this is a common problem, especially among students :)
It just needs a bit of planning. When I am doing something exciting I always tell myself I can continue right from the moment I get up, rather than postponing my sleep. I know from experience that putting it off just doesn't work well. It puts me out of sync and I don't feel as good as I could.
Also, it is much harder to push the rhythm to earlier hours than the other way around.
|openeyes ||01-25-2007 06:21 PM |
When I've stayed at meditation retreats, away from tv/computer screens and most artificial light, it feels normal to fall asleep at 8 or 9 pm, and getting up early isn't a problem. When I'm back in the normal western electronic world I do often stay up much later, but I usually wake up before my alarm goes off. I often set it to go off just early enough to help keep me from being late, but have ample time to naturally wake up. Even when I set it for earlier times, as I often do now, it's normal to wake up a few seconds before the alarm starts going off :) I wonder if programming yourself to wake up early without an alarm clock going off still counts as free running sleep.
|tadeas ||01-25-2007 09:52 PM |
I think that if the programmed proccess of getting up rises your stress level too much, then it doesn't. :)
But there's no point in trying to distinguish that. Ideally you could make a chart of your sleep pattern, each day you mark bedtime, wake up time, and then it's good to stick to that with only gradual shifts. I mean that one doesn' t go to sleep an hour later, because that's likely to disrupt the rhythm and make it harder to free run your sleep. Most people are used to the 24 hour rhythm so by having the chart and knowing your bedtime hour you can filter out the disruptions caused by hightech lifestyle :)
|bushu ||04-30-2008 03:13 AM |
I followed the link to free-running sleep to this site. I have disturbed sleep patterns and I'm interested in trying free running sleep to find the pattern of sleep that's best for me.
|AnonymousOne ||05-01-2008 07:49 AM |
I have a question- on average, how much do you sleep in a 24-hour period?
Besides my primary work, I sometimes take nightshifts at the local policestation.
In the weekends I sometimes have to catch up.
So my sleeping hours vary from 3-4 hours to 12-14 hours depending on how little sleep I got during my "double-work" days.
|Calculusaurus ||05-03-2008 10:51 PM |
Originally Posted by AnonymousOne
I have a question- on average, how much do you sleep in a 24-hour period?
Yeah, I've always wondered how free-running sleep affects sleep duration. On one hand, sleeping without an alarm clock would increase your sleep time. On the other hand, free-running sleep (supposedly) increases sleep quality, which might reduce the total time in bed.
Have you ever kept a record, if so could you share it with us?
|elmox ||05-31-2008 10:40 PM |
Originally Posted by Moony
It could be a youth thing, but 10 hours isn't unusual at all for me when I do let myself sleep as much as I like.
Agreed. while I like the idea of just giving control to my body and letting it do what it needs, when I do that I always sleep for about 11 hours and as a result feel drowsy for the rest of the day.
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