Smart Sleep not More Sleep

“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”

– Benjamin Franklin
(author, inventor, physicist, & first American millionaire)

While I may interpret the word “early” a bit differently (i.e. early in the morning for both), I definitely agree with his point.

Work while it is day!

However, now the proverbial “day” is a lot longer.  In the modern era, we are no longer limited by lighting and availability of tools at night.

The only roadblock holding us back from staying up all night getting wealthier (finishing more work) and wiser (reading/learning/discussing), is our physical need for sleep.

While I would like to stay up all night if I could, there comes a time when even the most ambitious person will shut down. (side note:  maybe fellow 8pm Warrior Jordan Zimmerman could write a blog post called “You Sleep When You Pass Out”)

I tested it twice this week and ended up falling asleep on my laptop both times.

Sleep happens.

Unfortunately, I hear a lot of folks give people like JZ and I a hard time because they don’t think we sleep enough.

  • “If you don’t sleep more, you WILL die”
  • “It’s not sustainable”
  • “Sooner or later the quality of your work will suffer”


You don’t need more sleep, you need smart sleep.

The strategy is all about timing.  If you wake up between REM (Random Eye Movement) cycles, you will still feel rested even if you get less sleep.  Yes, even waking up at 3:30 am each day, JZ can still feel rested on 4.5 hours of sleep.

If you’re wondering how to figure it out, here’s a tool to use when calculating what time you should wake up based on when you go to bed or vice versa.

It’s called and it will help 8pm Warriors minimize their sleep, get more done, and still feel rested.

In closing, here’s a couple tips to make sure you actually go to sleep when it’s finally time.

  • Make sure you’re tired (work out more or sleep less)
  • No caffeine 5-7 hours before bed time
  • Deal with Sleep Apnea or other sleep disorders

I hope this post can help my fellow 8pm Warriors find a couple more hours in their day while their chasing their dreams.

Have a restful sleep,



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Published by Aaron Biebert

I'm a director, film/video exec producer, leader & 8pm Warrior. I am passionately chasing my goals at all times. I'm listening. Let's talk!

7 comments on “Smart Sleep not More Sleep”

  1. I was just thinking the other day, “There really arent enough hours in the day…” Coming from someone who works a third shift part time job, is a full time student and part time worker (at a second job) I can say that the 8-9 “required” hours of sleep arent always necessary. Great topic, now I can sleep better at night ;)

  2. Trey, I’m glad to hear that it was helpful.

    I’m obviously no doctor, but over the years of pushing the sleep limits I’ve come across these ideas and wanted to finally share them.

    Have a great night!


  3. I don’t doubt the premise that you will feel more rested if you don’t wake up during a sleep cycle. Even given that premise, however, I still see several flaws with this reasoning.

    It assumes that everyone’s sleep cycles are almost exactly the same and never vary. That’s quite an assumption! What if your sleep cycles last 97 minutes instead of 90 minutes? Using this calculator would actually have you waking up right in the middle of a sleep cycle.

    On top of that, you’ll have be in a very regular routine that allows you to predict precisely when you will fall asleep. That’s quite a task for many of us.

    Again, I don’t doubt that this method could work IF you can regularly know when you’ll fall asleep and IF your sleep cycles can be accurately predicted. I just find those to be very big “ifs.”

  4. Jeremy, I think that’s a great point about the variables involved. There are definitely some assumptions being made on my end. The app is only a very basic guide.

    With that said however, I think when you’re talking about smaller amounts of sleep, there is less of a potential impact from a variance in your individual REM cycle timing compared to the program. (i.e. the fewer REM cycles, the less the variance stacks up)

    Regarding the falling asleep on time issue, I have to admit that I might be a bit blind to the issue because I push myself every night until I literally can’t stay awake any longer. Unfortunately, my post may not apply to most people because they do sort of a 11pm to 6:30am type of sleep schedule every day and aren’t truly exhausted at the end of the day.

    This post assumes exhaustion. :-)

    I’d welcome more feedback on the issue and I’d love to hear more thoughts on minimizing sleep and exhaustion at the same time.

  5. I have a very simple theory…Sleep when you need..its never a day or night for you unless its a dependency for anyone else. I take a nap even in morning if need be..and work all night..prefer to get into bed when all my eyes could afford is to shut down :)

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