A few years ago I read an interesting book on sleep. (Sorry, I forget the title.) Apparently a lot of interesting experiments have been done on the topic. One point that made an impression on me was some of the research that the military had done on sleep.
The point of their research was how much they could push soldiers and have them remain functional. It turns out that in a stressful situation it turns out that most people can do 48 hour stretch and function all of the way through, but then will crash. It also turns out that most people, when not under pressure, sleep 8-10 hours per night. But if you try you can train them to get by on 6 hours of sleep.
People trained to get by on 6 hours a night show an interesting collection of properties. First of all they claim to be functional. But when people who know them well (eg a spouse) is asked, the spouse says that they are not functional. Judging by the performance on ability tests, the spouses are right and despite the person's self-judgement that they are OK they are impaired.
The issue that when you are running a sleep deficit, one of the first things that is impaired is your self-judgement. With your self-judgement impaired you think you are in far better shape than you are. In today's high-pressure world, most of us most of the time run serious sleep deficits. However a fair amount of research says that if we made a habit of getting enough sleep, we actually will get more done with fewer mistakes!
Well do I know that sometimes this is easier said than done, but keep in mind that heroic efforts often merely lead to heroic mistakes and try to keep up on your sleep...
Interesting. I read about a study (a little more recent, I believe), that concluded that everyone had a 'necessary' amount of sleep that they had to get every night. Nothing new there, but the study shows that if you sleep less than that time you accumulate a sleep deficit (in the the same way bladx would like to accumulate votes).
So getting, say two hours sleep less than you should each weeknight means that by saturday you are functioning about as well as if you hadn't slept Friday night. Naturally if you're tough you can shrug this off for a while, but it's supposed to catch up with you eventually.
I know it caught me eventually. At one point in my studies my classmates actually asked me why I bothered to show to lectures, since I used to come in, sit down and immediately fall asleep (in my screwed state, my poor mind had latched onto the importance of attending lectures without picking up the importance of being awake for them).
I still have a Pavlovian reaction to one lecture theatre. A year later I went to see a Terry Pratchett (great author)talk, walked into said theatre, sat down and FELL ASLEEP.
I didn't believe in evil until I dated it
Oddly, the US Army actually teaches sleeping during Basic Combat Training. In order that they won't seem "soft," though, it's done indirectly, in that one first spends six weeks sleeping less than 6 hours a night (6 hours if you're lucky, but with 3-4 nights of 1-hour duty shifts interrupting during the week), and three days (over 70 hours, yes) with no actual sleep to speak of.
Yes, after 48+ hours, one does start hallucinating. There's just nothing quite like shooting tracer rounds at plastic Communists in the dark when the wraiths are playing bridge in the foxhole beside you and you're pretty sure you saw a white rabbit with a stopwatch.
On the other hand, it's probably a lot cheaper than most street drugs.
But what's this someone said about brain damage? That would explain so much of the code I've been left by those "code faeries" who come after I thought I were asleep...
While I will always be a true perl coder, I am also a physician. Some of my recent training was done outside the U.S., where our schedules were 40 hours on duty, 8 hours off. Doesn't sound too bad, until you wake up and have to start your 2nd 40 hours, then your 3rd....and then keep that going day after day. And those 8 off hours included commuting, eating, showering, and sleeping. Yeah, we never would realize we were impaired, just tired. But considering the situation - a government (i.e.charity) neurosurgical trauma center with a continuous high influx of patients (i.e. no time to sit down, or even eat) - I'm sure our judgement was ridiculously affected. But when you have a neverending line of patients with cracked heads, and you're the only one around, what else can you do but finish one and move onto the next.
The point is - for those of you that live in first-world countries, be glad you live where there are enough doctors that there are laws limiting the number of hours they can work. Same goes for pilots, truck drivers, etc.
Some of you mentioned about the concept of catching up on sleep. What is specifically even more interesting is REM sleep. Sleep research shows that if you are deprived of REM sleep (i.e. dreaming, which ironically is NOT the same as deep sleep), your brain needs to catch up specifically on REM sleep, and you will not theoretically be recovered until you do so.
I had to vote 'Other' because I wasn't aware of the concept of sleeping during the week. You mean, people don't just stay up all night drinking Mountain Dew, downing Pop-Rocks and listening to Zappa backwards?
Well, I'm a weirdo. However, I usually go to bed around 7 or 8pm and wake up at 1-2am. I hack until around 7am and then get ready for work and work till 3, come home, have some dinner, and go to bed. I wound up on this schedule because my girlfriend snores. Usually she comes to bed around 12-1am. I am told this is a lot like the way sailors sleep on submarines, "hot bunking."
Nice bell curve there. Hmm, says something. Not sure what, but something. Be interestign to cross reference that with the old poll about user age...
Back when I was in college, I used to subscribe to the theory that sleep was wasted life, and would push myself beyond all reasonable boundaries, even for a college student. I scoffed at friends who suggested that they "felt better and more awake" when getting 10 hours of sleep a night. Averaging about 4 (and that only because I'd crash every few days), I scoffed at them "loosing" 25% of each day (6 hours = difference in amount of sleep).
This was, as the moral of the story goes, was until I tried it myself. Now I get a good 7 on a regular basis, sometimes eight. I find myself sharper, and more able to think. I wake up at the same time even without an alarm, and I'm awake, as opposed to the bleary eyed 3 dwarf routine (Sleepy, Dopey, and Grumpy) that I used to be when my alarm went off. All in all, I feel better for it.
Of course, I still have the useful talent I picked up with my no-sleep years, the ability to fall asleep anywhere at anytime I want. I understand you pick up the same skill in the military from a few of my friends. Now, I consider this the real "saver of wasted time".
I probably slept the most when I was in college, though
for some time I would stay awake for 24 hours, then sleep
for 12, repeat. Worked great for getting things done, but
sucked for any set schedule.
I didn't continue that in the "real" world, but noted
that waking up at 10am and getting to work at 11 worked
well and I would keep that schedule on weekends as well.
Due to pressure from management, I shifted to coming in
earlier. My work suffered, but as long as I was there by
8:30 my boss' didn't care.
Now, I wake up at 5:15 am to avoid the traffic, but wind
up leaving work at 4 pm. (My last job, I did the same wake
up, but didn't leave until 8pm.) I can't get to sleep until
at least 11. On weekends, I tend to sleep lots.
Since I've had the last couple weeks off, I've screwed
my schedule horribly. Up at 1pm central time, walk down to
Cafe Du Monde', have the required snack, wander the french
quarter, take a nap, walk around some more, meet people at
midnight at Cafe Du Monde', wander, sleep, repeat.
...waking up at 10am and getting to work at 11 worked well
I agree whole heartedly lemming. I have a similar schedule now and I really like it.
Due to pressure from management, I shifted to coming in earlier. My work suffered, but as long as I was there by 8:30 my boss' didn't care.
It's sad that management doesn't understand that programmers desire to get things done. They think we all just want to surf the web and read Perlmonks... I don't know where they'd get an idea like that ;)
Furthermore and moreover, it really is unimportant to be on-site while the accounting deptartment( for example ) is doing their "paperwork".
Coding is difficult when you're not awake and not ready to tackle a given problem. Why not just let us work whenever we want? We'll get the job done on time with better results. That's what I think.
Ok... this is turning into a rant so I'll say goodnight... errr morning... errr g'day mate...
I still do the same thing, 36 hours shifts are good to get the job done (+/- 24 up and 12 sleeping). Fortunately, my job is open to such horary and i can keep it for now.
When i try to get "normal" sleeping rates (16h up/8h sleeping, as my girl friend says "normal"), i mess up the whole day, and really looks like a tired guy.
Dunno why, but 36h shifts are good to me.
"I'll sleep when I'm dead." - Warren Zevon
I always wondered who said that, thanks.
I get less sleep than I'd like but rather waiting until I'm dead; I was going to catch up when I get to the nursing home.
BTW, be nice to your kids, for they will choose your nursing home :)
puts down the chalk and walks away from the board, wiping chalk dust on my new corderoys.
When i was a student i slept approximately from 5 am to noon every day of the week. (Don't ask about morning classes). Now I have a day job it's about 12:30 am to 7:30 am during the week and 1 am to 11 am on the weekends. Fairly mundane now, I'm afraid!
I keep hearing about people who used to have sleep schedules like I currently do (4 to 5 hours during week, 10 on weekends), and all of them say that I would feel better on 7 or 8 a day. I thought, "great -- I'll give that a try!"
However, I ran into one big problem. I could not go to sleep. I would get 8 hours of sleep (say, 12-8am). I would wake up, go to class and work, do my homework, surf the Internet; and, finally, try to go to bed again around midnight. But, I couldn't. I would lie in bed with my eyes closed until 4am or so. No matter how hard I try, sans the use of substances, I could not achieve a stable 8 hours-a-day sleep schedule. Doing the 8 hours a night thing would mean my schedule being constantly rotated as my body wants to stay awake for 20 hours after getting 8 hours of sleep. Only after going 5 days on 20-25 total hours of sleep can I actually crash on the weekend and get a good night's rest.
Maybe this will all change once I leave college, but for right now I am a slave to my screwed up circadian rhythm (or, lack thereof).
Unfortunately, that's not the way I think it's gonna work out, at least it isn't the way it did for me.
I do the exact same thing, and fit the job into it. I typically go to sleep sometime around 3:30am on weekdays, get up at 8:30, then on weekends I'm out really goddamned late, 4-5 at least, and crash until early afternoon. Mondays are pain, but I get through em. if i don't stick to this schedule, i don't sleep, and get annoyed at wasting time trying. =)
If you want to go to sleep early, try working out during the day. When your body is tired from exercise, your
mind shouldn't race like that. (Unless you work out late
at night, which might just invigorate you.) Do it regularly for a while and you should be able to train your body to a new sleep cycle. Also, maybe consider (changing|upgrading) your (bed|pillows).
I try dayly to get more than 6 hours of sleep, but it usually doesn't work out. My main problem is that i have serious problems leaving my workstation. On weekends I just try to stay up as long as somehow possible and than sleep so long that it actually makes me tired again ;) It's kinda hard to fall asleep at midnight on sundays when you got up at 1pm, but I can push myself that far.. And sometime I gonna find a job and a boss that let me work/sleep whenever I feel like it (as long as I bring the results they want).. Any offers? *grin*
-- GED/CC d-- s:- a--- C++(+++) UL+++ P++++$ L++>++++ E--- W+++@ N o? K? w-- O- M-(+) V? !PS !PE !Y PGP+(++) t-- 5 X+ R+(+++) tv+(++) b++@ DI+() D+ G++ e->+++ h!++ r+(++) y+
Hey jeorgen, you know those nights when you can't remember
dreaming? It's probably because the dream sucked and wasn't
worth remembering. Your statement would only apply if you
are able to lucidly dream (but then, in most of those cases,
the dreamer only questions the dream if it seems unreal).
Sleep? You mean sleep EXPR as described in PERLFUNC? I don't only use that at night, but whenever I want one of my programs to wait for a couple of seconds. But multiple hours? I somehow don't quite get that...
As described on everything2.com (http://everything2.com/index.pl?node=sleep): A periodic suspension of consciousness. Usually refreshes, envigorates, and makes people less grumpy.An inconvenience that most hackers / coders would rather do without. Avoidance mechanisms normally involve large doses of stimulating substances such as caffeine.
GED/CC d-- s:- a--- C++(+++) UL+++ P++++$ L++>++++ E--- W+++@ N o? K? w-- O- M-(+) V? !PS !PE !Y PGP+(++) t-- 5 X+ R+(+++) tv+(++) b++@ DI+() D+ G++ e->+++ h!++ r+(++) y+
Devoted practitioners of transcendental meditation will know that once trained, in 30* mins you can achieve comparable results to about 6-8* hours of sleep by going into 'deep sleep'. (*numbers will vary, limited stock, batteries not included)
Don't believe it? - Try it.
Doing this in total place of sleep will not quite do it on its own unless you are REALLY into it, its mostly for 'catching up'.
This is a really weird one to vote on... yet my answer will always be more or less 4...
In my final year at school I would stay up until around 2am, and then get up at 6am, so that was four hours... Waht was I doing? Well, I didn't know a proper programming language then, so
I was trying to convert some old quick and dirty QBasic programs to the DOS Edition of Visual Basic.
In my first year at Uni I pretty much did the same, whilst trying to do my assignments in Java!
Now, as I place my academic career on hold, I am awake all night, from 22:30 to 07:00 -- working night-shift, and usually only sleep from either around 10:00 to 15:00, or from 16:00 to 20:00...
"I'll sleep when I'm dead"... hmmmm, W.Zevon said that first?
My drill instructor at Parris Island would tell me that, (and a few other words of wisdom and motivation.. just rent "Full Metal Jacket" and watch the first half for more encouraging phrases), when we would think that 3 hours of sleep was not enough...
Now working in the 'commercial world' of big money, where life is all cushy and good... now I sleep in late, 7 am!!!
Do quick power naps under the desk count?