Live Longer by Sleeping Shorter

Sleep Shorter to Live Longer

Alarm clock

Photo by Marco Verch

When you sleep you are unconscious. If you sleep a few minutes less every day, you gain valuable minutes that are added to your conscious life time. If you keep doing that, it adds up to a lot of time gained. Of course you shouldn’t exagerate and skip too much sleep, but setting the alarm a few minutes earlier every day should not be a problem for most of us, and all these minutes add up to a lot of extra life.

But how much time do you gain if for example you wake up 5 minutes earlier from now on? That depends of course on how many years you will still live. We don’t know that (fortunately), but we can estimate it from your current age and your life expectancy. How much time you gain also depends a bit on how long you are currently sleeping.


Let’s use the following figures: You sleep 8 hours each night and are going to shorten that with 5 minutes. You are 40 years old and you expect to live until you are 80. Now let’s calculate.

You have 80 – 40 = 40 years to go, which is 40 x 365.25 days, which is 14,610 days. Waking up 5 minutes shorter each day will give you an extra 73,050 minutes, which is 1217.5 hours. As you used to sleep 8 hours, you have now 16 hours of conscious life per day. The 5 minutes sleep reduction will thus gain you 1217.5 : 16 = 76 days (of 16 hours). It is as if you live 76 days longer while still dying at the same moment. Setting your alarm 15 minutes earlier would triple this to 228 days (more than 7 months).

I have written a script where you can make this calculation with your own age and life expectancy.

Calculate your own life time gain

Calculate how much life time you can gain by sleeping X minutes shorter each day. Enter the figures and click the “calculate” button.

My age is:

I sleep on average:

I expect to live until I am:

I sleep shorter each day: