Saturday, July 30, 2011

Optimizing Your REM Cycle

As a college student and dental school hopeful, sleep is something that is often put on the back burner. Between taking 18 units, studying for the next midterm, writing a 10 page paper, part time jobs, extracurricular activities, trying out new restaurants in Los Angeles, and those chaotic Thursday night parties, there isn't much time left for sleep.

This summer is particularly grisly.

I wake up at 6am and start heading out on my one-hour drive on the 405 around 6:50am. I have physics from 8am - 12:15pm before making the traffic-ridden drive back to the city. I have a part time job from 3:30pm - 10pm, after which I return to my apartment, crank out a lab report, work on a few Mastering Physics problems, and collapse in bed by 1:00am.

That gives me a grand total 5 hours of sleep every day.

My supervisor recommended, a program that lets you optimize your REM cycle. You tell the program when you plan to wake up and it tells you when you should go to bed.  Or vice versa - you tell the program when you are going to bed and it will tell you when you should wake up. The great thing is that it seems to be working for me (at least psychologically). Despite getting minimal sleep each day, I don't feel quite as tired and groggy after waking up anymore!

p.s. I bought a new Nikon 35mm 1.4 lens last week. It put quite a dent in my savings account but I don't regret the purchase. I'm having someone hold it hostage for me until after my physics midterm on Tuesday but I can't wait to play with it! 

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