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  • Let's be real here.

  • You and I both know

  • that the one singular difference

  • between you and people like

  • JK Rowling Elon Musk and Saitama

  • isn't your smarts, it isn't your motivation

  • and it isn't even your work ethic.

  • The one difference between you

  • and them is that you are constantly tired.

  • Right if not for that one teensy little difference

  • then you'd easily be able

  • to crank out a couple of chapters

  • in the next great American novel each morning

  • before heading out to fight crime

  • and lesser tasks like studying for exams

  • and not subsisting

  • entirely after Totino's pizza rolls

  • would be trivially easy

  • but as it stands you can't do those things

  • because you are basically a zombie.

  • Well maybe not like a literal zombie

  • like in that one episode of Space Dandy

  • but the similarities are mounting.

  • You got bags under your eyes.

  • You feel sluggish and there's

  • that inexplicable craving for raw meat

  • but more importantly

  • you just don't have the energy

  • to do the things you want to do

  • on a daily basis.

  • So what I want to do today

  • is explore some methods

  • for breaking that cycle of constant tiredness

  • and getting back your daily energy reserves.

  • Now before we get started

  • I do want to mention

  • that I am not talking about conditions

  • like chronic fatigue syndrome

  • and SEID which affect millions

  • of people here in the US alone

  • and are very difficult to cure

  • and pin down.

  • What I am talking about

  • is that much more common feeling

  • of general tiredness

  • that affects many many more people

  • and is entirely preventable

  • through adopting healthier habits,

  • chief among them being to get better sleep.

  • Now you've probably seen the recommendations

  • put out by the National Sleep Foundation

  • about how many hours

  • you should be sleeping each night

  • based on your age

  • but even if you're using those figures

  • to set your alarm clock

  • you still might be waking up in the morning

  • feeling like you just got hit by a truck

  • and if that's the case

  • it's probably because you're not

  • respecting your body's sleep cycle.

  • See, during the night sleep happens

  • in several different stages

  • that each correspond to different levels

  • of brain activity

  • and together these are known as the sleep cycle.

  • Now I'll link to some sources down below

  • if you want to go more in depth on this

  • but what you need to know right now

  • is that if you wake up in the wrong stage

  • of the sleep cycle

  • you're gonna feel absolutely awful

  • and that's a risk you run

  • when you use an alarm clock.

  • For most of human history

  • we didn't have access to alarm clocks

  • or electric lights for that matter.

  • Our sleep patterns were much more

  • in tune with the cycle of day and night

  • and they're also governed

  • by the body's sleep cycle itself.

  • Someone living before the invention

  • of the alarm clock

  • would almost always wake up

  • at the completion of a sleep cycle

  • unless they were disturbed by something

  • like a rooster's crow

  • or an invasion of Mongol's.

  • And because of that

  • they'd almost always wake up

  • feeling well-rested.

  • By contrast if you let alarm clocks

  • startle you awake in the middle of a sleep cycle

  • then you're gonna be waking up in Zombie mode.

  • As Pierce J Howard put it in his book

  • The Owners Manual for the Brain,

  • a person who sleeps only four cycles

  • or six hours will feel more rested

  • than someone who has slept

  • for eight to ten hours

  • but who has not been allowed

  • to complete any one cycle

  • because of being wakened

  • before it was completed.

  • Now each of these sleep cycles

  • takes an average of 90 minutes to complete

  • and in the past I recommended a site

  • called sleepytime.me

  • which uses that number to help you figure out

  • when you should wake up

  • based on your bedtime.

  • But one thing I've learned recently

  • is that this 90 minute figure

  • really is just an average

  • and it can vary by up to 30 minutes

  • in either direction.

  • So instead of just setting your alarm

  • based on that 90 minute ballpark figure

  • you should instead work to figure out

  • when you naturally wake up.

  • This might take a while for you learn

  • but once you know what it is

  • you can then use your alarm

  • as a backup method

  • and ideally you'd wake up

  • at the completion of your final sleep cycle

  • before it goes off

  • in a natural well-rested state.

  • The alarm is just there to make sure

  • you do get up on time if something goes wrong.

  • Of course that also means

  • you need to get to the habit

  • of actually going to bed on time

  • to wake up before that alarm goes off

  • and if you have trouble doing this

  • like I do I did make an entire video

  • that I'll link to in the description down below

  • but the main key habit you to establish now

  • is building a winddown ritual.

  • Basically you want to disengage

  • from anything you typically get sucked into

  • well before your bedtime.

  • For me this means turning off my computer

  • around 9 p.m.

  • Each night,

  • otherwise I'll convince myself

  • I can answer a couple of emails

  • and then I'll inevitably get sucked

  • into a click hole quiz

  • to see if I have what it takes

  • to train Freddy Krueger to be a barista.

  • Spoilers I really really don't.

  • Now even if you have got

  • a rock-solid sleep schedule

  • you might still be suffering

  • from a couple of problems

  • that are really common to students

  • and that are related,

  • a lack of sunlight exposure

  • and a lack of exercise.

  • We're gonna get into some science

  • here in a second

  • but first I do want to note

  • that when I feel tired during the day

  • when I get those feelings of brain fog

  • going outside for a 20 minute walk

  • always works.

  • It is the number one method

  • that can get me out of that state.

  • So I definitely recommend trying it out.

  • And honestly this makes intuitive sense

  • because our bodies were designed to move.

  • Humans used to trek miles

  • and miles to catch their prey

  • and even when we turn to agriculture

  • for food production

  • that still involved being outside for most a day

  • doing hard work

  • and plus you get to wear stylish overalls.