Why you should plan for sleep all day – and how

Length: short

Topic: how to structure your daily activities around sleep (manage and plan for sleep all day)

Executive summary: Sleeping is the holy grail, the fountain of youth. Sitting is to sleeping what the anti-Christ is to God; what sugar is to salmon.

People claim to know and understand how important sleeping is, but they do next to nothing more than pay lip service to the fact. This article tells you how you should start planning for next night’s sleep as soon as you get up (even before, really; no alarm)

Sleep is incredibly important

Sleeping too little affects your intelligence, concentration, memory, ability to learn and make decisions

So what?

Sleeping too little reduces the positive effects of working out (makes you less muscular, e.g.)

So what?

Sleeping too little increases the risk of diabetes, alzheimer’s, stroke, cardiovascular disease, cancer, depression etc.

So what?

Sleeping too little hampers your will power and makes you hungrier, and more susceptible to hedonistic temptations (sugar, coffee, alcohol, TV, snacks). In short, you risk getting unhealthy and fat which make you sleep even worse. 

So what?

Sleeping too little has adverse effects on your immune system

So what?

All of the above make it difficult to sleep, thus creating a vicious cycle, making you an increasingly fat, lazy, depressed and stupid, not to mention tired, version of yourself

So what?

You risk getting a cold if you sleep too little

Oh! My! God! Tell me what I should do.

Sleep enough

-start with the average need of 8 hours a night, wake up without an alarm and pay attention to how you feel. Then adjust from there.

Yes, yes, OK, but how?

Manage your sleep all day long

-This is where it gets really interesting

Take care of your sleep throughout the day:

  1. Eat right for your microbiome
    1. Your bacteria controls much of your behavior, immune system, sleep and hunger hormones etc., and your food governs the microbiome diversity
    2. Eat a varied and fiber rich diet of beans, leafy greens, fatty fish, nuts, fruits
  2. Manage your caffeine and alcohol intake
    1. Avoid caffeine much later than mid-day
    2. Don’t drink coffee too early in the morning
    3. use coffee for focus, not to force yourself awake when suffering from sleep deficit
    4. Alcohol ruins the quality of your sleep; don’t regularly drink alcohol close to bed time
  3. Expose yourself to sunlight, as much as possible during the day
    1. The circadian (=approximately a day) rhythm needs sunlight to function properly
      1. it’s also associated with early day DNA repair and the body’s daily battle against cancer
    2. Take walking meetings outside if possible
    3. Eat outside
  4. Avoid sitting
    1. Sitting is to sleeping what the anti-Christ is to God; what sugar is to salmon
    2. cardiovascular disease, neurological diseases, cognition, depression, etc. What sitting causes, sleep remedies 
  5. Lift weights, run and do mobility exercises
    1. Poor circulation, weak muscles, poor posture negatively affect your sleep, and can even cause Willis-Ekbom’s disease (restless legs – here is how to fix that by the way)
    2. Inactivity makes you apathetic but not sleepy
  6. Sleep enough
    1. Plan your day around sleep not the other way around; make room in your schedule for sleeping enough.
    2. …but refrain from taking too long naps during the day, if it affects your ability to sleep at night
    3. To really drive the point home, sleeping too little makes you mismanage points 1 to 5
      1. eating more sugar and bad fats; sleeping too little catalyzes “the munchies” through the same pathways as the use of cannabis
      2. drinking more coffee and alcohol
      3. staying inside (tired and apathetic and thus less prone to walk outside, less effective and consequently staying by the computer)
      4. sitting more
      5. skipping gym

Here you’ll find an earlier post by me about sleep: 18 points to make you sleep better

And, if you’re Swedish, check out Styrkelabbet’s excellent podcast episode about sleep.



Start with your sleep requirements.

Then plan everything else around that, such as where to live (commute), what to eat and drink, work and meeting habits, screen time, choice of furniture, outdoor exercise routines.

Don’t turn sleep on its head, making it a mere residual of work, play and gluttony


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16 Replies to “Why you should plan for sleep all day – and how”

  1. Great tips, although you have mentioned most of them before. I have a hard problem keeping the circadian rhythm being a student and all. It always works for a while before I oversleep and after that I have to use chronotherapy to regain my sleep pattern.
    How do you regain and keep you circadian rhythm? I guess you are not waking up early after a night out etc?

    1. I DO get up pretty early to walk the dog. Sometimes I go to bed again afterward but the sleep quality isn’t as good then. hence, I’m tired and ready for bed at my usual time in the evening and thus back to schedule. I have no other tricks. The dog gets me up and outside 3hrs a day; THAT’s probably part of the secret.

  2. Do you even sit bro
    Haha, do you recommend to avoid it at all if possible? Or just normal 5 min breaks each hour?

    1. Never sit at all (in a chair, sofa etc.) if possible. Stand, walk or squat unless you’re sleeping or for due to an injury or infection.

  3. Hey Mike,

    I have changed keystone habits after noticing my lack of commitment to sleep. Late night boozing with a dash of Cannabis begun disturbing my sleep patterns, despite sleeping the recommended 8 hours.

    What catches my attention lately is the majorities lack of understanding surrounding sleep. An female friend of mine, with the potential to become more than friendly, became upset when I respected sleep by abruptly turning my phone off during a conversation. She is one of those “dramatic” women who was having trouble with her present boyfriend, which obviously rousted her ego.

    After explaining those actions the next morning she couldn’t understand why I do not compromise sleep for anyone or anything when effectively managing my habits. I’ve been a people pleaser far too long and it felt cathartic to dump that conversation in place of sleep.

    TL;DR: Women are emotional and in addition irrational. It feels fucking wonderful to prioritize myself after bending over backwards for the ex wife.

    Long live sleep and ego-centric determinism.

  4. I like the idea of waking up without an alarm, but I tend to get up around 5 am when it is still dark to go to the gym. Even if I fall asleep around 10, I don’t think I would trust my body to wake up on time without an alarm.

    How do you combat this? Any way to ease into waking up sans-alarm?

    1. It won’t work unless you sleep enough. And I definitely can see how having to get up earlier than the sun can be a problem.

      My suggestion is to set an alarm at the latest possible time you can get up and still make it to the gym in time – but hope for waking up by yourself earlier than that.

  5. I looked up Chronotherapy and I it’s something I need but what could I do if I am:
    a) extra sensitive to light (physically)
    b) generally hate bright environments (psychologically)

    I recently began to take a 30 minute walk everyday as a way to combat future diseases (and avoid sitting!) but I tend to prefer doing them during dusk as the light change during that time is very soothing.

    I love the idea of not using an alarm clock but it’s simply impossible if you have work or school. You would have to live a ridiculous routine to not offset only a few minutes every night and even then I believe I’m one of those that sleep optimally when I get to push my circadian rhythm every day by a small amount. Problem is it’s impossible to push back.

    1. Get up when you wake up – don’t snooze just because there is time for it.

      Set an alarm as a safety feature, at the latest possible time you can afford to wake up.

      Go to bed at the same time every evening – use all the typical tricks to get tired by then (lead a stimulating life, working out, walking, being out in the sun, reading, learning, turning down the lights an hour or two before, not using screens, etc. )

  6. How about mothers of infants. I get up 3,4 times per night at 30 to 60 minutes each time. How can I manage my sleep. I have insomnia.

    1. Hi

      Sorry to hear about your situation. I have of course no answer to your predicament. Well, no answer you’d like, that is. :D

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