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Old 03-19-08, 02:38 PM   #1
daredevil
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Sleep - everybody needs the same?

Saw the "60 Minute" story on sleep last Sunday. it talked about how we are the only species that deprives ourselves of sleep, many times as a badge of honor. The various effects of lack of sleep were mentioned including some not normally associated with lack of sleep... weight gain, poor memory and diminished sex drive.

It made it sound like we ALL needed 8 hours of sleep. I swear on most days I couldn't stay in bed 8 hours if I wanted to. Certainly some of us can survive on less sleep can't we? I think I'm doing OK, sex drive included.

I usually feel good if I get 7. How about you guys? Probably should have done a poll but....oh well.
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Old 03-19-08, 02:51 PM   #2
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Love sleep. Without an alarm clock I wake after nine hours. I'm 40, as a teen I could clock 12.
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Old 03-19-08, 02:55 PM   #3
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It depends from person to person, and by age. Older people can get by with less than 6, kids to young adults (say, 22-ish) need more than 8, adults need 7-8hrs. People that get by with much less sleep than the average for their age group have trained their bodies to need less, which can be really unhealthy.

Me? I can stay in bed 12hrs or more if I want to but that's part of why my friends call me the Neko (cat). Apparently that's unhealthy too...

According to my STRESS!! professor (he does stress research, lol) the time you go to sleep is just as important as the number of hours. The "good" way to sleep is to go to bed a little after sunset (say, 8:30pm-ish) and wake with the sunrise (5am-ish). This is because the body is wired to release critical hormones (for growth, repair, etc.) if your sleeping pattern is like that. I must say, I tried it for a week during a non-busy time of the quarter and it did make me feel better, but I don't know if that was mostly mental.
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Old 03-19-08, 03:07 PM   #4
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Certainly sleep need varies between individuals, as does our preferred rhythm of sleeping. If I was shut up in a cave without a clock, I'd sleep 10 then stay up 20. To keep to an artificial 24-hour schedule, I have to go to bed before I'm really ready to sleep and get up a little earlier than I'd like.

I didn't see the show, but I'd bet the message is not that people's sleep budget is invariable, but that our western culture has made it "cool" to sleep less than you would otherwise. In our culture,you are successful and admired if you're always busy, continually productive, and try to cram as many activities into the day as is possible, even at the expense of getting enough sleep. Conversely, if you're the sort that likes to have lots of free time and gets lots of sleep, you're considered lazy and unambitious.

In the end, it's totally up to the individual, but you just wish our culture (which is heavily driven by advertising) would lighten up and let folks define the lifestyle that best suits them. The exact same thing happens with body weight.

I can say from personal experience that when I had a high-stress job, I regularly got by with perhaps six hours of sleep. Since then, I've moved my profession to be semi-retired/part-time and get as much sleep as I want, typically eight to nine hours. Twelve years later, I look at pictures of myself during that high-stress period and I swear I look five years older than I look now.

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Old 03-19-08, 03:10 PM   #5
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Lets see (days listed are when I wake up):

M-F maybe 6 hrs/night of sleep.
Sat - 10+ hrs
Sun - 9 or so hrs.


So avg = @7 hrs/night through out the whole week
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Old 03-19-08, 03:34 PM   #6
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I don't alter my sleep schedule much for the weekends:

Work nights: in bed at 10:30 or 11pm
Work mornings: awake at 4:30am
Weekend mornings: awake at 5:30am

~6 hours of sleep seems to do just fine for me.
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Old 03-19-08, 03:35 PM   #7
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I can do short bursts with few hours of sleep, or stay up for as much as 36-40 hours at a time, say on a road trip. That however isn't sustainable. I need to catch up.

I would prefer to go to bed when tired and wake up when my body says so. That's not the society we live in though.
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Old 03-19-08, 03:41 PM   #8
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I am usually good with 7 hours, or even 6. Although with 6 hours it will start to catch up after a few days. If I get more then 8 hours I feel very lethargic for the rest of the day.
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Old 03-19-08, 03:41 PM   #9
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... weight gain, poor memory and diminished sex drive...
+1

Been there.
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Old 03-19-08, 03:45 PM   #10
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I usually get enough sleep. My problem is I stay out so late on my off days, that the night before I have to go to work, I usually end up only getting 3 or 4 hours of sleep, and then drag ass all day
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Old 03-20-08, 11:01 AM   #11
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*yawn*



I take naps. Thats how I manage to get by on 6hrs a night.
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Old 03-20-08, 11:30 AM   #12
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I'm 30 and last time i slept for 8 hours it was because I had the flu or something I'm sure. I get about 5-6.5 a night and wake with out an alarm. Yesterday I went hiking, and worked out in the yard all day. I went to sleep about 1am and woke on my own at 6:45, and was outside working with in about an hour of waking.
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Old 03-20-08, 11:36 AM   #13
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I wish i could get 8 hours every night and wake up without an alarm clock.

Mostly it's 5-6 hours (10pm-4am) though i make it a point to sleep in until i wake up on my own on the weekends.

If i do happen to somehow get to bed early on a weeknight and get 8 or 9 hours of sleep, i'm usually uber productive at work the next day.
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Old 03-20-08, 11:38 AM   #14
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8 HOURS!! I need it. I usually get the same amount over the weekends too.
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Old 03-20-08, 12:31 PM   #15
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Who Needs Sleep and this is a cover, to keep with the whole sleep theme.
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Old 03-20-08, 12:36 PM   #16
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i just wish i could fall asleep earlier. i'm in bed for about 8 hours, but only get about 6.5 or 7 hours of total sleep a night.
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Old 03-20-08, 12:36 PM   #17
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I need the magic number of 8 to feel complete. I notice a distinct difference that and 7, which is enough but still leaves me feeling under-rested. Less than 7 and I need to make up the sleep the next day. The day can be really tough with 6 or fewer hours.

My sister and law routinely gets by on only 4-5. I think it's a difference in wiring from person to person.
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Old 03-20-08, 12:50 PM   #18
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7 to 8 for me, any less I feel like crap and any more, well lets just say I don't sleep in much.
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Old 03-20-08, 12:53 PM   #19
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7 for me but I can function with 5 or so. Strangely enough, I feel worse if I sleep too much. Not that it is possible to do so with a puppy in a crate, another dog, and a 4 year old child who wakes when the sun comes up.
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Old 03-20-08, 01:52 PM   #20
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2 - 3 hours a night in broken intervals, since Monday. My fiancee had surgery that ended up being more extensive than initially planned, and the pain has been keeping her from sleeping well. Which means that since I'm the only one who can easily get around, I'm the go-to guy around the house. For both our sakes, I hope she's feeling better soon. (nearing hallucinatory stages of sleep dep, and I think I'm starting to scare the dog.)
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Old 03-20-08, 02:34 PM   #21
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During the winter months I'll get about 9-10 hours of sleep on days that I work. It gets dark so early that it seems a lot later than it actually is.

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Old 03-20-08, 02:40 PM   #22
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All you really need is one complete cycle through REM and Alpha (deep) sleep. If you wake up midcycle, you'll feel groggy, though. It helps if you've ever had a sleep study to find your sleep cycle and sorta plan it out so you at least get one complete cycle, but you are better with 3 complete cycles.

REM = Dreaming phase and Alpha is cognitive reboot time.
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Old 03-20-08, 02:55 PM   #23
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Exactly. If i never get to the REM stage, i feel like crap for a while after waking up... If i had a dream, then yes, i made it to the REM stage.
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Old 03-20-08, 02:58 PM   #24
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chronically sleep deprived....
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Old 03-20-08, 02:59 PM   #25
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Minimum of 8 hours for me and 9-10 is much better. If I get 7 hours then a nap midday is mandatory.
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