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Improving our sleep hygiene


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#1 FLASHINGROOSTER

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Posted 12 August 2021 - 03:33 PM

Figured I would start a different thread about sleep rather than crowd up the dream thread, which is more dedicated to talking about our dreams.

 

I have really warmed up to the concept of sleep hygiene over the last few years. It appears that sleep can have quite the effect on your health, be it mental or physical. Outside of our medicinal sleep aids I have found there are things you can do to help ensure better sleep quality.

 

There are so many little things that happen during our days and weeks that can effect our quality of sleep. The trick is everyone is different so you have to find out what works for you. Going to bed earlier, and trying to get close to eight hours of rest a night has helped my feelings of well being. Sure makes getting up for work a hell of a lot easier when well rested

 

A big part of getting to bed on time is trying to follow a routine, and one that often does not stimulate the mind too late into the evening. I find that if its past eight and I am still trying to solve a problem or finish a game or project it will leave my mind racing come bed time. Too much physical activity late at night will cause the same problem. Trying to use the blue light screen filters a little more but not sure if they make much difference or not. I found turning the lights off in the room has a far greater effect on melatonin release.

 

The rare times I get called out to work at midnight you get home at say 2 am and its really hard to get back to sleep. Your mind is still going but your body wants to fall asleep.   I have learned that a wind down at that late hour is required even though I have to get up in four hours. Watch some tv or something until my eyes feel heaving again. Television shows I don't really care about or music works really well for me. Allowing my mind to stop focusing on reality and slowly drift towards the dream state

 

Some of the more well known things like limiting caffeine and trying to avoid a huge meal before bed can effect things like quality and length of sleep. An interesting thing I heard today about caffeine was the idea of its half life, basically how long it will remain active in the average system. He gave and example saying that if you drank a cup of coffee at noon, by midnight you would still have the equivalent of around a quarter cup. Has me reconsidering what time of day to stop drinking that stuff. Usually I would try not to have any after 3 o clock but it has me wondering If I will see a slight improvement if I stick to my two cups early in the morning.

 

Another part of the eating thing is your blood sugar levels, they say that for some people that wake up often in the middle of the night it could be due to this. So they say a spoon full of honey or peanut butter, something small quantity wise but plenty of calories can help you sleep through the night.

 

Mattress and pillow quality, are important, the times I have had pain issues in bed it would dramatically effect it. I felt like a crazy person for buying a 100$ pillow a year or two ago but now it feels well worth the price

 

With the stiff neck, or pain radiating hips I would often waking up way earlier than I wanted to because at that point the uncomfortable toss and turn had taken effect and standing up to relieve the pressure is all you could do by then

 

Another part of it was the discussion around the idea of the sleep bank. Some believe in it and some do not. That being if you missed out on a couple hours sleep the night before one could easily recover it by going to  be earlier the next night. Others recommend that routine is more important and would say to avoid the naps even though you are tired. Going to bed at your regular time that night is better for you body in a sense.

 

We have all noticed the effects of that afternoon nap that ran a little too long. Then come bedtime you find yourself wide awake and wondering how this could happen after feeling so tired.

 

 

 

Anyway curious if you guys have any routines that you like to try to follow to increase you sleep quality?

 


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#2 ElPirana

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Posted 12 August 2021 - 06:25 PM

My only consistent routine is to meditate to sleep.  I really just focus my awareness on my body and so my mind doesn't race off onto thoughts that might otherwise keep me awake.

 

I have a hard time with getting to bed on time or staying asleep.  The evening is often the only time I have to have good quality time with my wife, so that tends to keep me up later than I might otherwise be.  And my youngest son wakes up a lot in the middle of the night, sometimes a couple times a night, and he generally wakes me up.  Not that I mind, it's just something that keeps me from sleeping through the night.


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#3 Skywatcher

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Posted 12 August 2021 - 09:19 PM

Really good info Mr. Rooster.

I agree with pretty much everything you said. I am personally a big fan of a sleep routine. I turn the volume down and dim lights an hour before bedtime.

I eat a small snack around 8-8:30, usually desert like. I get off the internet by 9:00 and just leave mindless tv programs on. All of this is geared to a 10PM bedtime. I sleep well and wake around 5:30 to 6:00 and have not used an alarm for many years.

 

If I get a good night, I can deal with the daily stresses and demands. I also have to say my mood is better in the morning now.


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#4 Baphom3t

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Posted 13 August 2021 - 09:08 AM

I'd love for any of the info in this thread to work for me.
I do have a sleep routine. Mine is not ritualistic in nature like what some people's might be, but my sleep pattern is basically sleep 2 hours, wake up for 4 - 6 hours, sleep 2 hours, wake up for 4 - 6 hours and so on.
Every 24 hour cycle I sleep no more than 4 hours. My mind won't let me. I've always been a lucid dreamer and astral traveler when I sleep, so I think that may be one reason why I have horrible sleep.
Another reason is more of a medical nature. I have refused to have back surgery on the grounds that I was informed by two different surgeons that my recovery diagnosis is 50/50 and those are odds I don't like.


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#5 Cuboid

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Posted 13 August 2021 - 01:58 PM

This is a subject close to my heart, thanks for starting the thread 'rooster.

Whilst it is obviously good to get 'enough' sleep it is harder to define what 'enough' is for any given individual and I suspect it varies for the individual too.

IME the quality of sleep is more important than the quantity of sleep. And the general advice on sleep hygiene is a great place to start for improving quality of sleep IME.

For me suffering 'non restorative' sleep for as long as I could remember it really wasn't making much difference whether I had 4hrs sleep or 10 ! (or any number in between). I'd always feel terrible (groggy/hung over/poisoned) upon waking. In more recent yrs it got so as I'd wake far too early and be in a state of high anxiety almost panic as soon as I was conscious. What made a big difference to this as getting a weighted blanket. I also now use an eye mask - I had  reduced light levels and used blue light filter etc for years in the evenings but not had total darkness to sleep in due to kids/partner insisting on so called night lights on the landing and in their rooms plus keeping our b'room door open (which it needs to be else it's far too stuffy).

 

So for me the list is something like:-

 

Regular bedtime routine, not very strict on specific time but usually in bed around 1030pm

Don't eat late, or only have a small low GI snack say.

I don't consume nicotine, caffeine or alcohol anyway.

Low light/blue filters in evening. Avoid 'exciting' TV/Film or other stuff like work say that'd stimulate mind.

Qi Gong relaxing for deep sleep routine - about 25mins

Cannabis either vaped or ingested

Sleep under weighted blanket with eye mask for total darkness

Room well ventilated and on the cool side

Listen to sleep meditation or Terrance McKenna talks etc...

Not usually any trouble getting to sleep and I do tend to almost feel OK in the morning but still have some issues with anxiety on waking / waking earlier than I'd like.  Struggling to get more than 6hrs sleep most nights.

Get natural light i your eyes soon after getting up to help sync the body clock.

 

Not sure what else I can do improve the sleep quality further (but have been experimenting with Amanita Muscaria tea of an evening to tickle the GABA receptors for the anxiolytic effects - seems to help some).


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#6 FLASHINGROOSTER

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Posted 13 August 2021 - 02:25 PM

Out of likes but appreciate the replies. It really is a deep subject one can dive into and there is plenty to talk about

 

I would agree that quality is probably more important that quantity. My sleep apnia machine is what got me into all this, before that I really didn't realize the benefits of trying to get quality sleep. I drink and its fucked, anything over three or four drinks and I wake up tired,  even though I slept the same amount of time, maybe half hour or so less.

 

I have a hard time with getting to bed on time or staying asleep.  The evening is often the only time I have to have good quality time with my wife, so that tends to keep me up later than I might otherwise be.  And my youngest son wakes up a lot in the middle of the night, sometimes a couple times a night, and he generally wakes me up.  Not that I mind, it's just something that keeps me from sleeping through the night.

 

I think we all struggle with this on some level, even if its as simple as thinking I need to stay up and watch another tv show because sleep is a waste of time. Not sure when I shifted but all of a sudden I started to look at it like an investment rather than a lost opportunity. Speaking for myself, obviously there is more meaning when staying up to spend time with your significant other, making it more complicated

 

Glad to hear you sleep quality has improved a bit Sky I thought I recalled you saying you were having some issues earlier this year. I agree those dessert like snacks really are the best for that time. Lately I have been eating little spoons of mascarpone and a tiny bit of jam or honey, its heaven.

 

Fortunately I have been able to avoid any real bouts of insomnia just the odd night where I can't fall asleep. While I may not be able to imagine the stress it places on you Baphom3t. I can sympathize with bed pain and it causing poor sleep.That was probably the low point of my life for sleeping. Very frustrating indeed. You do what you can and are probably aware that stressing out about it seems to compound the issue. Curious so I don't sound like an idiot, would you consider that insomnia?

 

Heard of some difficult stories people have had when talking about having to take those invasive surgeries like fusing your discs together. Heck it might have even been you that was talking about it. The idea that the surgery wont do anything or could even make it worse would be a difficult decision indeed.

 

You know one thing they do talk about is that everyone is different. There really is something to that whole morning person, night person, or somewhere in between person. Unfortunately our society is so geared towards the early riser. Leaving those with lets say a genetic predisposition for the evening left feeling like they are doing something wrong.

 

Sounds like you are well on your way Cuboid. I did get a weighted blanked as well  but dammit it puts too much pressure on my hips as a side sleeper. They are really nice when I am in the mood for it though. You mentioned a very important one, temperature. Some people even recommend taking a hot shower to stimulate the bodies feeling of temperature loss when you cool down from it.

 

Overheating is the main reason I bought that weighted blanked but I feel its a bit of fake cooling factor. Its cool when you first put it on but once your body temp heats up the glass beads it feels as hot as any blanket. These days I only use the thin sheet. But it is a strange battle as your body temp natural decreases until midpoint around 3 or 4 am I think. Then it starts to climb again for the day. I can't completely cover my body either or I wont fall asleep or wake up constantly sweating.  Then you feel cool without a bit of blanket its a bit of a mess lately to be honest.

 

It is the one nice thing about winter, much easier to control the temperature in my house. I can't seem to get that part locked down. I wanted to buy this blanket that was like a bunch of big ass noodles tied together, so it was solid but still had air gaps to allow for venting. Somewhat similar to slashing a bunch of small holes in a sheet I suppose. I have been thinking about trying that.

 

Too add to that point about everyone needs different levels of sleep. They say as most people get older they seem to require less sleep. Maybe it is not so much about childish laziness, as it is about physical interactions that actually make it harder to get up without more sleep when we are younger. I mean not many youths have to worry about their back or side going numb during sleep either so that must help them sleep in too. Part of me wonders how much of that early riser that is in me, is from decades of conditioning from having to get up at 6 for work. Like you said Sky no alarm needed for me I usually wake up before it goes off.  I have noticed in long bouts of not working, it shifts a bit.  I tend to stay up later and sleep in, rolling the clock back to my teenage summer days


Edited by FLASHINGROOSTER, 13 August 2021 - 02:34 PM.

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#7 Skywatcher

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Posted 13 August 2021 - 03:22 PM

I have to say temperature is really critical for me. If I am too hot or stuffy, I'll keep waking up all night in a sweat and feel drained by morning.

The best thing I have found for me are the "Polar Fleece" sheets. They are not heavy, but the softest fine fleece on your skin. In the summer I keep the room no hotter than 74 at night. (Thankful for solar so I can run air conditioning 24/7 in the hot months. What I really like is in the summer the sheet alone is all I want over me and it does not get too hot. In the winter however when the house is cold, the very second I get into bed the sheets go to body temperature, so it feels comfortable right away. I still feel a sigh of comfort and relief when I climb into bed and have been using these sheets now for over a year.

 

I do use a sleeping helper. I was also one who couldn't stay asleep, and would wake up at around 2AM in a Panic or stress state which would not let me go back to sleep. It got so bad that I was barely getting a total of 4 to 5 hours of sleep a night for weeks at a time.

I sleep so well now with a kind of mental training to expect a good night, that I am not sure if I really even need the helper anymore, but a fear of going back to that old cycle keeps me from trying to test the without help.

 

I am a side sleeper so heavy weight on me would be a problem, Once I got a good mattress pad that breathes, I notice I don't flip near as much between sides anymore.

 

I am also a fan of "white noise" to sleep more soundly. I am a light sleeper by nature, so any little unusual noise at night would wake me up, even when I had no conscious knowledge of what I heard. I started using a humidifier because the air is really dry here. It has a soft hum, and a kind of watery sound when it runs, not loud, but enough to make a constant backgound that feels relaxing. Add the slow undulating sound of the ceiling fan, and it makes it perfect for me to go deeply asleep and not notice outside noise or sounds.


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#8 Ringo

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Posted 13 August 2021 - 04:39 PM

I have not slept more than 2 hours in a row in 8 years. Pain and pee. LOL One or the other wakes me up almost every hour.


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#9 rockyfungus

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Posted 13 August 2021 - 06:57 PM

I think I'm on one of those weird biphasic or odd patterns. Haven't looked into in years. I never remember sleeping well, as a young kid on road trips my dad would tell me to go to sleep. I was glued to watching him and the road. Or if the whole family was sleeping in a hotel, everyone fell asleep quickly and I was up just wondering why I couldn't stop my brain.

I learned that music and physical exhaustion is the best sleep aid for me. I've tried all the sleep aids and they either leave me groggy, blacked out doing crazy shit, or wide awake to a terrible version of a psychedelic (must be deliriant). Later in life they said it was ADHD, seems to match up quite well.

 

I'm on my feet most of the day at work, but it's not active enough for me. I skate 3-4x a day, 5-10miles.

 

Cannabis is impossible to find a strain to be consistent. Or a vape temperature that can guarantee to not make me racy. I've been trying to cut back on my caffeine but self-medicating ADHD is going to happen one way or another. I'm also trying to cut weed out completely. Recently I picked up fucking cigarettes again and I'm sleeping like a baby. Nicotine is such an amazing weird fucking chemical. Read about nicotine...it's a known brain enhancer. To good to abstain...treats ADHD perfectly. Guess I should just bite the bullet and stay on the patch long-term. Snus is great too...

 

I used to fall asleep closer to 2am and wake up at like 6am on the dot without an alarm for years. Started really screwing my worklife up so I started trying to sleep with my wife at 9pm. I'd get pissed she would fall asleep immediately. Eventually I'd sleep closer to 10 or 11 and wake up at 2-3am. When I was up in the AM (almost like adrenaline/cortisol peaks then for me), I started vaping a shit ton of cannabis to knock myself out, just got me more awake. Instead of smoking I started just exploring my garden. Looking at my diff patches of mush and veggies. Or just stare at the cosmos or just listen to the quietude. Eventually eyelids get heavy and I go back to sleep for another 3-4 hours and get up typically around 5-7am. 

At first I thought cats were waking me up or the dog. Nah, just gasping for air. Probably would benefit from a cPAP.

 

 

Exercise, music or white noise, meditation, yoga, a purring pussy (weighted blanket), 68F I believe (keep it cold), if you got a partner have some sexytime/rub one out

If you wake up in the middle of the night get outside or somewhere quiet and still. No devices/blue light


Edited by rockyfungus, 13 August 2021 - 06:58 PM.

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#10 Ringo

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Posted 13 August 2021 - 09:34 PM

I am very similar in that I have always slept better with noise. TV or music. Quiet just makes my mind louder. Perhaps the brain listening to the TV or music kept it busy so the raciness was not as bad.

 

Quiet definitely sucks. So does dark. I can hallucinate like mad in the dark with no drugs at all. LOL


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#11 Arathu

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Posted 14 August 2021 - 09:33 AM

Sleep indeed......In my youth I didn't really care at all. In fact I regularly went on multi day binges and marathon sessions of various debaucheries with very little more than naps and the occasional mandatory pharmacological crash.....

 

Young adulthood with responsibilities and ethics/professional reputation brought about a deliberate changing of ways. Various scheduling schemes at different jobs has exposed me to all manners of sleep patterns and disruptions...

 

Broken or interrupted sleep tends to make me feel like absolute shit.....waking me up for stupidity will get you a response that is likely quite negative (kids don't have stupid reasons in my views, "adults" is another kettle of fish entirely)

 

Swing shift almost killed me and had serious effects on my overall health......so I quit that job....... I'm no longer willing to trade my health for money and I'm quite vocal and adamant about it.....

 

I find that quality AND quantity are key to restorative sleep for me....like the electrical power equation shows, voltage AND current deliver power to the load......

 

Things I find important for sleeping; keeping ones conscience clear, and the worries WAY down, fears and emotions in general deeply understood and addressed, reaching a place of physical external and spiritual internal PEACE...... a level of personal security helps greatly with such things too. The absence of threats, real and perceived, is paramount IMHO. Learning to forgive others AND oneself.....cry when you need to....

 

Running water white noise especially in surround sound, and to me especially a stream pouring over a log into a deep pool, and tree frogs/insect sounds of the night.....complete darkness....(I want to get a good digital recorder and make some of my own as well) 

 

I meditate every night before bed after my pranayama and stretching work.....side sleep with like 38 pillows and props to remove as much of the pressure and pain points as possible.......good bedding and linens fucking rule! Clean cool air is absolute, I'm a furnace that radiates heat like a pot bellied stove with a blaze going in it......wife sleeps WELL away from me and still bitches about it....stop eating as early as you can train yourself to do (surely subjective but going to bed hungry/empty seems to work well for me) I want the "buzz" to be mostly worn off or gone before laying down.....focus on breath, the third eye, and higher self on the way into the astral.....I like 7 - 8 hours and have not used an alarm clock deliberately for many years..... Quitting smoking radically improved my breathing and sleeping.....

 

Waking with the robins and other birds is the ultimate to me but a winter chill can also be quite invigorating......

 

Just my own personal motivations and observations.....

 

A


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#12 FLASHINGROOSTER

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Posted 14 August 2021 - 10:54 AM

Might have to try that type of sheet out Sky, like Arathu I run hot like a furnace, no snuggling for this guy I will be a sweaty mess in around ten minutes. My search for summer sheets appear to be my weak point at the moment.

 

There is that weird transition period for me of basically running fans all summer, getting used to that white noise. Then come fall before the furnace really kicks in the house feels so silent and yeah it takes a bit of adjustment. Sometimes running the fan against the wall just for white noise factor if I find I can't fall asleep.

I rely on cannabis as a crutch for getting to sleep, often dozing off trying to stay awake before bedtime. I can understand the apprehension to get off sleep aids when they seem to be working well. I found that on vacations without any weed my brain would stress out about not falling asleep, so I would have a few drinks to get me down. But those seem to always backfire as a sleep aid in my case, that 3 or 4 am wake up. Overheated and feeling thirsty, tossing and turning for an hour before falling back asleep.


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#13 ElPirana

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Posted 14 August 2021 - 11:57 AM

After reading this thread, I'm realizing how little I actually do to help my sleep.  My mattress is old, my pillow is an old one re-purposed from a sofa we used to have. I use maybe one blanket most of the time and sometimes I just grab one that's meant to be a throw at the end of the bed, my feet are sticking out at the end lol.  I used to sleep on my side, I think I read that it is preferable, but over the last months I've begun sleeping on my back, now that I think about it that has been since I've started meditating as I fall asleep.  I used to get a lot of pain in my body from the mattress but strange thing is that I haven't noticed body pains in a few months now, maybe sleeping on my side was actually aggravating the body pains.

 

For those of you who smoke cannabis or drink alcohol, have you considered temporarily taking a break to see how it might improve sleep quality?  I'm not saying you should quit, just suggesting it might provide some more insight into how sleep quality might change.  I only smoke once or twice a month maximum at this point, and only buy some beer two or three times a year, so I can't try this out myself.  I've read about how both can really disrupt the normal dream cycles, and maybe this could be a big factor in feeling well rested. 


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#14 Cuboid

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Posted 14 August 2021 - 12:31 PM

As far as I can tell, for me certainly:-

Alcohol is not good for sleep quality, whilst it may help with initial getting to sleep it tends to result in 'rebound insomnia' i.e. waking a few hrs later and not being able to then get back to sleep.

Cannabis helps me get to sleep and stay asleep and does not stop me dreaming.


Edited by Cuboid, 14 August 2021 - 12:32 PM.

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#15 Ringo

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Posted 14 August 2021 - 04:38 PM

For many many years a common saying of mine was from a Rodney Dangerfield movie, Easy Money....... "I don't sleep, I pass out."

 

It might have been funny then. But, it's a sad truth in reality. I was drunk from 1972 until 1985. Every year. Every month. Every day. Every minute. Every second.

 

On a good note, those were probably the most fun years of my life. LOL

 

Oddly enough, when I was a kid I slept until Noon every day. Not sure why Mom would let me do that but in the Summer, all the kids would be out playing all day and I would be sound asleep in bed until Noon every day. LOL Weird, looking back. Probably, in some way, connected to my poor sleep habits, today.

 

Nice thread. Sleep is very important.


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#16 FLASHINGROOSTER

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Posted 14 August 2021 - 08:00 PM

There is a certain lets call it groggy factor to weed. I have found that setting a bedtime of when I smoke has a big difference on that feeling. So I usually refrain from smoking anything past 9pm.

 

It would be interesting to really try to journal my dreams and see if that first few hours of say 10 pm - 2 am are lacking of dreams. I know I dream constantly, however remembering said dreams is the difficulty. Would I say the bulk is towards the morning, probably, but I also think that is a function of me waking up more during that period. Usually I stay asleep until around the 2am mark, waking for a side shift and instantly back to sleep. Then there might be the 4am pee/ refill water cup. I have gotten so used to waking up in the middle of the night I have zero fear of falling back asleep in seconds

 

Another interesting thing about sleep is the link to our memories. We sort of think of sleep as a time for our body to shut down, but the mind remains fairly active. It is a good time to sort out the things collected for the day, and some theorize even time to subconsciously think about them. Sort of like the defrag option on your windows. You usually run it at night to avoid chewing up memory. It turns out that old adage, " I am going to sleep on it" has some really good science behind it. I cant recall which famous scientist would often say that he would go to bed thinking about a particular problem and could sometimes awake and have the answer



#17 ElPirana

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Posted 15 August 2021 - 10:02 AM

This TED talk was pretty interesting.  It's about 20 minutes long and hits on a number of subjects related to sleep.

 

[Direct Link]

 

Our culture seems to value action over sleep.  As long as you go, go, go...do as much as you can, your are making the most of your life.  But even when in that mindset, I think we all kind of realize how wrong it seems.  I can't count how many times I've seen someone come back to work after a week-long (or more) vacation and say how exhausted they are, which always felt so counterintuitive for what a vacation should be.

 

The video above talked about Thomas Edison, who I hadn't previously realized was so opposed to sleep.  I came across this article, which wasn't all that interesting until it finally got to the part about Thomas Edison.  The article is from The Atlantic, Thomas Edison and the Cult of Sleep Deprivation (this is an excerpt):

 

 

* * *

post-158979-0-34550200-1629039464.jpg

 

It’s fitting that Thomas Edison, the father of artificial light, was also a staunch opponent of sleep. As Derickson writes in his book Dangerously Sleepy: Overworked Americans and the Cult of Manly Wakefulness, “Edison spent considerable amounts of his own and his staff’s energy on in publicizing the idea that success depended in no small part in staying awake to stay ahead of the technological and economic competition.”

 

No one, Derickson argues, “did more to frame the issue as a simple choice between productive work and unproductive rest.”

 

Early newspaper accounts touted Edison’s willingness to work “at all hours, night or day,” to frequently rack up more than a hundred hours of work in a week, and his tendency to select his subordinates based largely on their physical endurance.

 

In an 1889 interview with Scientific American, Edison claimed he slept no more than four hours a day, and he apparently enforced the same vigilance among his employees.

“At first the boys had some difficulty in keeping awake, and would go to sleep under stairways and in corners,” Edison said. “We employed watchers to bring them out, and in time they got used to it.”

 

Edison’s assistants were “expected to keep pace with him,” John Hubert Greusel wrote in 1913. “When they fell from sheer exhaustion he seemed to begrudge the brief hours they were sleeping.”

 

Over time, children’s books and magazines began to promote this type of Edisonian asceticism. “One juvenile motivational text featured a photo of Edison with a group of workers identified as his Insomnia Squad,” Derickson writes. Early 20th century biographies of Edison featured him interviewing job candidates at 4 a.m. and cat-napping on lab benches between marathon work sessions.

 

Some short-sleepers might have shrugged and said they were simply biologically lucky. But Edison encouraged all Americans to follow his lead, claiming that sleeping eight hours a night was a waste and even harmful.

 

“There is really no reason why men should go to bed at all,” he said in 1914.

 

As Edison hero-worship hit its peak, Charles Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic in 1927, a feat that required him to remain alert and piloting for 33 hours straight. When he landed, he claimed he had experienced “no trouble keeping awake.”

 

Early psychologists, such as Colgate University’s Donald Laird, relied on celebrity examples like Edison and Lindbergh to make the case that less sleep was more. (At one point, Laird argued that “99 percent of cases of sleeplessness are a blessing,” Derickson wrote.)

 

Self-help gurus ran with the message from there. “We don’t even know if we have to sleep at all!” chirped Dale Carnegie in How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.

The enthusiasm for insomnia didn’t taper until the booming late 1950s, when few felt the need to go without, including without sleep. But sleeplessness ramped up again with the uber-competitive economy of the late 1970s and 80s.

 

“From the end of the second World War to the mid-70s, America is riding high and people could lead a more reasonable life,” Derickson told me in an interview. “But the party ends in the mid-70s. You have the oil shock, the rise of the Japanese economy, and an upturn in globalization. America starts freaking out.”

 

In Derickson’s estimation, our sleep-deprived mania has only worsened since then. He quotes The Accidental Billionaires, Ben Mezrich’s Facebook creation story, as evidence:

 

“Eduardo [Saverin] was pretty sure Mark hadn’t slept much in the past week,” Mezrich writes. “He had been working round the clock, light to dark to light.”

 

 

 

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