aperson
 
Reply Wed 4 Jun, 2008 02:39 am
I hate it, but at the same time, I love it. I hate sleep itself, but I love sleeping. I can't live with it. I can't live without it.

Oh what a waste of time it is! In our short lives surely we must make the absolute most of it we can? Lately I've found myself pushed for time, and so a friend recommended that I go to sleep later. Currently I get 9+ hours of sleep per night, but most of my peers (I'm 15) get less than 9. A good friend of mine sleeps less than 7 hours a night. I was shocked to find that the supposed recommended amount of sleep for teenagers was 9-10 hours. No-one sleeps 10 hours, not even me!

I decided to have a look around to see if there is a way of cheating sleep. To my horror I discovered that lack of sleep cuts cognitive performance. I certainly don't want this to happen. It also decreases health in general and stunts physcial and mental growth in those still doing it (that's me). All of these seem logical, but the real life evidence is abscent. My friend is amoung the top acedemic achievers in our school (below me of course), and he seems to suffer no side effects from his sleeping times. I have read about people who sleep very little and simply adapt. I have been told that Donald Trump sleeps only 4 hours a night, and I'm not sure if this is true, but if he can do it and be a highly successful businessman, why can't I?

I read about polyphasic sleep - napping for small amounts of time at regular intervals - but that also warned of stunted growth in those under 20.

My questions are as follow: firstly, could I cut down on sleep without cutting cognitive performance, stunting my growth or increasing my risk of heart disease, and secondly, if I can't, could I do so when I stop growing and my brain has stopped developing?

Yours restlessly,
aperson
 
solipsister
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jun, 2008 04:02 am
you are getting sleepy
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jun, 2008 04:08 am
aperson, listen to your body. It knows what it needs. You experience cravings when your body needs something - a sugar fix, something salty, water, sleep.

I'm not sure that you can or should alter your sleep patterns. As we age, some of us need less and less sleep, others need more. Everyone's different.

It's also true that some people are night owls while others are early birds - morning people. You can change that, but why should you? I've seen people on the wrong "shift" and it can be disastrous.

Studies have been done on people who work different shifts (factory workers, nurses, doctors) and these changed sleep patterns really affect their abilities/functions in a negative way.

Just go with what your body seems to want or need right now and I think you'll find yourself operating at your top capacity.
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jun, 2008 06:40 am
I'm one of those 4 hours a night people. It's not a choice on my part, and I don't often feel tired. I always go to bed when I'm tired and I never try to stay awake on purpose. It's very rare that I can stay asleep for 6 or more hours. Since I seem to function OK, I don't want to use any drugs to make me sleep more. If I'm really tired it is usually more of a body tired than a brain tired. I can go to bed and read for two hours before falling asleep even when my muscles have no urge to move.

I once read a book by Margaret Mead where she talks about tribal sleep patterns. She said the idea of eight hours of sleep per night is not their norm. People in tribal cultures just sleep when they feel like it - it could be a nap in the late morning or afternoon. They might get up at 2 AM and sit around the fire and chat with other "night owls". They might go back to sleep as the sun is coming up. I think I must have a tribal sleep clock. When I don't work in the winter, and I feel tired in the afternoon, I take a two hour nap. I will then go to bed at 11 PM only to be up at 3 AM. I don't own an alarm clock, partly because I make my own work hours and partly because it is rare for me to be asleep at 6 or 7 AM.

I believe the studies that say it is better to get long periods of sleep. I just don't seem to be able to accomplish it. I might also addicted to the peace and quiet that only seems available in the middle of night. I think the worst thing is to make yourself stay awake or function when you are tired.
0 Replies
 
George
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jun, 2008 08:44 am
Sleep may seem a waste of time, but if you sacrifice the sleep you need in
order to get more waking hours, you may find those reclaimed hours not
very pleasant.

Of course, we all get "pushed for time" as you say and in the short term, I
don't think it does any lasting harm to sleep less. In my own case I do much
better by getting up earlier rather than going to bed later. (Was that a groan
I heard?)
0 Replies
 
aperson
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jun, 2008 07:34 pm
Thanks for the posts everyone. Mame, I think your advice is good, and I would agree entirely if I had enough time in my day. I often need more time to do homework or study, and I'm just not getting that time.

Green Witch, I envy you. I wish I only had to sleep that amount. Can I ask you, were you always sleepless, or did you purposefully change your sleep times and then adapt?

Those tribal sleeping patterns are interesting - they remind me of polyphasic sleep.

Yea same thing - I agree with you're last sentence, but I need the time.

George, is it better to have a good short life, or an average long time? I suppose the answer would naturally be the former, but somehow I am magnetized towards the latter. Sleep just one hour less per night equates to several more years of waking time.

Yes, that was a groan.

The whole science of sleep seems a little vague. There seems to be relatively little research and actual data regarding it.
0 Replies
 
George
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jun, 2008 07:43 pm
I agree.
Sleep tight.
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jun, 2008 08:06 pm
aperson wrote:

Green Witch, I envy you. I wish I only had to sleep that amount. Can I ask you, were you always sleepless, or did you purposefully change your sleep times and then adapt?


I think you might have to become peri-menopausal to experience my sleep habits. I first noticed it in my early thirties. A few days each month I would not feel the need to sleep much. I would wake up in the middle of the night with what felt like a caffeine high. The next day I suffered no consequences from my lack of sleep. I am now marching into my late 40's and I find this is an established pattern. I can weeks of just sleeping 4 or 5 hours a night and still function just fine. In my younger years, I could easily sleep through the night for 8 hours. Now I can't remember the last time I slept 8 hours straight. It's just my chemistry and not anything I trained myself to do.
0 Replies
 
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jun, 2008 08:38 pm
oh god.

so THATS what is happening to me..

lack of sleep
hair loss
emotional roller coaster
Odd surges of energy

**** it all.. canI just yank the thing out NOW? Sad
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jun, 2008 08:56 pm
shewolfnm wrote:
oh god.

so THATS what is happening to me..

lack of sleep
hair loss
emotional roller coaster
Odd surges of energy

**** it all.. canI just yank the thing out NOW? Sad


Yup, the sleep thing and weird energy bursts are a sign that things are changing. It doesn't mean menopause is around the corner, but it does mean the baby factory is slowing down.

I still have tons of hair, but I never had a child and pregnancy leads to thinning hair as you get older. I have to say the exception is my legs - hair all gone, haven't had to shave in years. We won't even discuss what parts start to turn gray first. Don't be in a rush to get to menopause - that's when hair will start sprouting from odd places like moles and the tip your nose.

Sorry aperson, didn't mean to turn this into a elderly chick thread.
0 Replies
 
Sglass
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jun, 2008 09:10 pm
now what is wrong with elderly chick threads. I got white patches, just ask my hairdresser.
0 Replies
 
aperson
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jun, 2008 04:02 am
Waho there calm it down grannies.

BACK ON THE TOPIC, I think. I did an experiment - each night I would sleep 1-2 hours less than I normally do. I started on tuesday. Today, saturday, I was so tired at lunch time that I ended up sleeping a 4 hour siesta! So I suppose that while I can skip on sleep during the week with minimal effect, I always have to repay my lost hours.
0 Replies
 
Chai
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Jun, 2008 08:17 am
For me, I've never understood why people consider sleeep a waste of time.

I'm not sure what someone sleeping less is trying to gain....a little bit of immortality? A bit of extra time before the long sleep?

Saying you hate sleep is like saying "I hate the fact my heart has to beat" One could agrue if your heart didn't have to beat, it wouldn't get worn out, and eventually stop.

For those who begrudge sleep because they could be "doing other things"...are these things from the environment outside yourself, things that you are "supposed" to be doing?

Enjoy your sleep, it's one of the pleasures of life. The relaxing is an opportunity to gently remind yourself what is really important.

I'm not trying to be gross or inappropriate here, and not meant as a joke.....but, who doesn't enjoy a good bowel movement?

Do we say "I hate the fact I have to move my bowels" or let's take the precursor to moving your bowels...eating.

I hate that I have to eat, because it takes time away from other things I could/should be doing. Then, after eating, I have to move my bowels, which is such a waste of time.

I hate the fact I have to waste time walking across the room, the time it takes to drive somewhere in my car, waiting while other people in front of me are trying to do the same thing I should be doing. I wish all these things and people would stop "wasting my time"

Trying not to sound corny, but there is truly a season for all things.

There is a time for work, a time for rest.

If you take away your time for rest, eating, moving your bowels, you are not giving more quality to your time for work/play....you are merely throwing everything out of balance.

Cherish your sleep, whether is is naturally 9 hours or 4.

But let your body decide how much time it needs to sleep, not what you decide how much you will allow it.
0 Replies
 
blindsided
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Jun, 2008 04:58 pm
I think the obvious solution to your problem would either be:

A.) Wake up earlier
B.) Stay up later
0 Replies
 
Econdi
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Jun, 2008 07:13 pm
I drop off to sleep, often at odd times of the day, especially when travelling. Its gone past a joke. It happens even on short journeys. Luckily I often wake up just before my required stop. The worse part of it is that even after a good night's sleep it happens the following morning on my way to work.
0 Replies
 
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Jun, 2008 07:20 pm
Your doctor can help you with this. Im sure you know that.

I had this issue not too long ago.
I thought it was from lack of night sleeping. Yet it was day sleeping that set me over the edge.

For a while I could not drive because i was falling asleep almost instantly.
I almost lost a client to it too because I would pull up, pop my trunk,and literally fall asleep on my steering wheel.

( granted.. there was.. ehhh.. some trauma before this so it was directly related to that.. ) but still..
0 Replies
 
blakblak
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Jul, 2008 12:56 am
9 hours of sleep is an abomination!
I find it hard to believe that teenagers of today would find it possible to get 9 hours of sleep. People have stay up late to study for exams. If you don't get enough sleep obviously you will do less during the day and be tired during the day, just try get 7-8 hours sleep a day and see if you are sleepy during the day, you should not be sleepy if you get at least 8 hours.

you won't be able to cheat sleep but I think 6 hours woulldn't significantly hinder cognitive performance but you should never take 6 before an exam.
0 Replies
 
aperson
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Jul, 2008 02:44 am
6 hours are you kidding? That's like going to sleep at 1 in the morning for me. Besides, the teenage brain needs sleep to develop properly. Maybe once I'm older I can start screwing with it, but for now I'm going to play it safe.
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Jul, 2008 09:36 am
Sleep needs vary person-to-person. You can't make rules about Sleep for Sixteen Year Olds any more than you can make rules about Alcoholic Capacity for Sixteen Year Olds or Pole Vaulting Achievements for Sixteen Year Olds.

Kids are different.
0 Replies
 
blakblak
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Jul, 2008 04:13 pm
Last night I went to sleep at 12...I got up at 10 though :wink:
0 Replies
 
 

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