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How to adjust your sleep schedule to become more productive

Even if the technology you use at work and home makes things easier, there still needs to be an alert human on the other end telling it what to do.

The New Year is here, and almost everyone is working hard to see their resolutions succeed.

For some it's eating better or learning a new skill. For others, it's about being more productive at work and home. Being more productive can be hard, especially if you find yourself lacking energy for your work day. Even if the technology you use at work and home makes things easier, there still needs to be an alert human on the other end telling it what to do. If you're definitely human--but not quite alert--it's likely that you're on the wrong sleep schedule. While 8 hours a night is usually recommended, the outcome of feeling rested in the morning is actually more dependent on you waking up between sleep cycles, rather than in the middle of them. is a Web-based tool that can help you adjust your sleep schedule so you will have a better chance at not interrupting a sleep cycle and waking up feeling groggy. It has two modes of operation--one mode tells you when to go to sleep based on when you have to wake up, and the other tells you when to wake up based on when you're going to fall asleep.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma

Both options are available on the front page of the site, so open your favorite Web browser and navigate to

You want to know when to go to bed

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma

If you're interested in adjusting your bedtime based on when you have to get up (say, to exercise or eat breakfast before work), then you'll want to focus on the top section of the page labeled, "I have to wake up at." Just select the time you need to wake up from the drop-down boxes and hit the calculate button.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma

You will be presented with four potential times for you to start sleeping. Keep in mind (as noted on the site) that you'll need to be asleep at these times, not just hitting the sack. Pick the one that best fits your schedule and wake up feeling refreshed.

You want to know when to wake up

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma

Say your daily schedule is such that you don't really have to wake up early, but you'd still like to adjust your sleep habits so you're alert when you wake up. Hit the Zzz button on the front page to find out when the best times are to wake up.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma

Like the other option, you will be given several different times to wake up. These times assume you're going to bed now and will be asleep in ~14 minutes. Unfortunately this option only works off the time when you hit the button, so it's a little difficult to use this option to plan for later.

It will definitely take time, patience, and experimentation to find the right sleep times for you. There are plenty of factors to take into consideration, such as how long it takes you to fall asleep and any other health issues that may affect your sleeping.