How can a regular sleep schedule with inconsistent hours of sleep be preferable to consistent 8 hours with inconsistent waking hours?


I have an irregular schedule that allows me to sleep 8 hours a night should I so wish, but I go to sleep at different times each night. Does anybody know what will leave me feeling more rested and what will be better for muscles recovery? I work out frequently and know I need sleep to recover, but everybody around me tells me to wake up at the same time each day despite how late I go to sleep.

In: 8

In general, going to bed early (9 / 11pm) and sleeping 8 hours tends to leave me feeling as if I was thrown out of a moving car… For some reason I feel more energetic if I sleep 6 hours, but go to sleep late, >2am… Although that’s a sleep cycle I can only maintain for a week max

Human mind like routine. Those people are telling you that because “Well uhhh… That’s what you’re supposed to do!” while your body has no idea when you went to sleep and when you woke up. As long as you get 8 hours and it doesn’t affect your personal life just go for it.

TLDR : waking up at the same time builds a habit, which allows your brain to be prepared to when it has to more or less active.

Consistent waking allow your brain to build a habit. If you always wake up at let’s say 6am, after some time (depending on the person), you will wake up at 6am even without any external help.

This is because the brain has an “activity schedule” during some hours the brain knows it can relax, during some it knows it has to focus.
The best example of this is the case of people with attention disorder. There are medications that allow them to focus for some time (although afterwards they are often quite tired). People usually only use those medications for some years because after so long, their symptoms diminish. This is because their brain has gotten used to being focused at the same moment every day.

To come back to sleeping schedule, having you brain be ready to wake up when you do gets rid of the “half-asleep state” that some people are in when they wake up. This works even better if you get up as soon as you wake up (lingering in bed makes all this much less effective). You can be fully functional as soon as you wake up if your consistent. And you can also have different timings between week and weekend, although more might prove hard.

To add a personal note, I have a stable habit of waking up at 6:30am during the week and 9:30 during the weekend, my average sleep being around 7 hours, and I can easily sleep just 2 hours one night without it affecting me until something like 8pm.

It’s most important to have a singular bed time, Dr. Huberman has a good podcast on the things you seem to be curious about