I used to be exhausted constantly. I was burning the candle at both ends, clocking massive days with no breaks and going home so stressed out that I was lucky to catch a few hours of sleep per night. There just didn’t seem to be enough time in my life.
Lately, though, I’ve been relaxed, alert, and getting work done faster than ever before. Care to know how I did it? Put simply, I started sleeping in an amazing new way.
Basically, I break up my week into 15 individual 11-hour periods called sleep blocks. The idea is to use one sleep block to “save up” sleep so that you can “spend” it in another sleep block. That’s called pre-charging, and it’s the key to the whole system.
For instance, I’ll get four hours of sleep in during my Monday morning sleep block, which counts toward my Tuesday afternoon total. On Monday evening, I get in a couple hours for Wednesday. On Tuesday night, I go to sleep for Thursday, which takes me through to Wednesday evening, so that by the time Thursday rolls around, my body is 100 percent equalized and primed for the next sleep block.
The fact is, human beings just didn’t evolve to sleep eight hours at a time. They evolved to do something like this sleep block system I now swear by.
After work on Thursday, I go home right away and do 10-minute rest increments—10 minutes asleep, 10 minutes awake—on and off for 14 hours. Now, this sleep doesn’t officially “count” toward any block. In the system, it’s actually called independent sleep. But it’s crucial, because when I wake up, it’s Monday again. Not the next Monday. The previous Monday. All the work I did that week? Never happened. But do I feel rested? Very.
I know it sounds complicated, but after trying the system out for three weeks, I literally will not consider going back. It has saved my life.
...human beings just didn’t evolve to sleep eight hours at a time. They evolved to do something like this sleep block system I now swear by.
On Friday, that’s my double-day. There’s two of me then. I’m awake on Friday, but I’m also at home, sleeping for Wednesday. And just to be completely clear: If it’s your Wednesday, it’s my last Wednesday, sleeping for Tuesday. I’m writing this during my Friday morning, but in three hours I’ll be wide awake in the middle of the night, three Saturdays from now.
Do I recommend the system for anyone? Absolutely. It’s a matter of waking up at 11 on Thursday having “saved up” your Friday sleep on the previous Thursday. Don’t sleep in too long, though, or you risk running into your Tuesday self, who is trying to “eliminate” you in order to “balance the sleep equation.” The longer you can avoid your Tuesday self, the better. Twelve hours later, Monday’s here, and you’re already starting to see big-time gains in alertness.
At my work, the results have been immediate. My creativity has increased. I’m seeing things faster, if that makes sense. My legs have started walking on their own, my typing speed has tripled, and I’ve been taking on new projects left and right. Just yesterday (i.e., Thursday/Monday), my boss said he was proud of me. He told me that I work harder than anyone else at the company, including his own son.
It’s not so weird, you know. Ben Franklin did the exact same schedule at the height of his career. In modern-day Pakistan, they sleep 90 times a day, 90 seconds at a time. The 24-hour day is an ideology, plain and simple. Why not a 10-hour day or a two-hour day? Why not a 100-hour day? There’s no logical reason for it other than convention, which is hardly a reason at all.
So, instead of accepting a system that bows to society’s will, I chose one that boosted my output efficiency while putting me back in touch with real, natural sleep, the way our ancestors would have done it if they were still alive.