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Sleep is for babies

Captain AwesomeftwCaptain Awesomeftw Registered User
edited April 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
I just read The Game, and this whole concept of the uberman sleep regimen, I must say, looks pretty appealing. Has anyone experimented with alternative sleeping patterns? Are they something that's really feasible to implement in a normal lifestyle? What different schedules are there, and which work the best? And is it something that's healthy to do?

Jesus I'm full of questions today.

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Posts

  • EverywhereasignEverywhereasign Registered User
    edited March 2007
    Haven't read The Game, I hear it's decent. Due to work I've been forced to try many different sleep patterns. For example, it's 8:15am, I woke up at 4:00pm yesterday and have been up since then. I'm going to sleep until 4:00pm or so again today. After a few days I'll be used to it, but it will never be the same as sleeping at night. I had my body clock turned around like that for a month once. Although I had lots of energy and felt good, it just wasn't the same. It's that damn circadian rhythm, just can't get away from it.

    I've tried the 20 minute and 30 minute power naps throughout the day/night never giving my body a proper "long" sleep. It works really well for short periods of time. A few days for example. For me at least, it starts to catch up with me after that and I really need a good rest.

    I've tried the "sleep whenever you can" method. You nap when you feel like it, you get up when you feel rested, you don't pay any attention to length of sleep or time of day. I ended up walking around like a Zombie, never waking up totally.

    For me, work controls my sleep. I don't really get much choice. If your job/lifestyle allows you to try out new sleeping patterns, I would give it a shot. You might find something that works well for you.

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  • Lawnboy360Lawnboy360 Registered User
    edited March 2007
    I assume you're talking about : http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2005/10/polyphasic-sleep/

    I'm under the impression that it doesn't work too well even if you stick to it...

    Lawnboy360 on
  • SarcastroSarcastro Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    I have used a 25 hour sleep sched, and found it worked very well. At night, you increase the bedtime by one hour each night for a week. By the end of the week you should start seeing sunrise. when that happens, rather than go to bed an hour after sunrise, just stay up that day and crash in the afternoon/ early evening. You end up getting up very early the next morning (3-4AM) and go do a normal day.

    I found this one when I had to work intermittant graves, and it seemed simpler than losing my sanity. It also cured my insomnia temporarily, because I was always tired when I went to bed.

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  • ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS
    edited March 2007
    Winston Churchill claimed he only slept 4 hours a day during WWII by taking advantage of short naps in the afternoon.

    But the thing about Winston Churchill is that he is sometimes - sometimes - really full of shit.

    Shinto on
  • jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    When I did Army ROTC in college, we regularly only slept for 4 hours per night. It takes a little getting used to, but I had enough energy to get everything done that I needed to.

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  • ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS
    edited March 2007
    jclast wrote: »
    When I did Army ROTC in college, we regularly only slept for 4 hours per night. It takes a little getting used to, but I had enough energy to get everything done that I needed to.

    I used to do mediation retreats where you would only sleep 5 or six hours a night.

    You definately weren't at your peak, but then again, meditating for seven or eight hours per day calls on self discipline more than mental dexterity anyway.

    Shinto on
  • Big DookieBig Dookie Smells great! Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    Winston Churchill claimed he only slept 4 hours a day during WWII by taking advantage of short naps in the afternoon.

    But the thing about Winston Churchill is that he is sometimes - sometimes - really full of shit.
    DON'T TALK ABOUT MY BOY.

    But yeah, 4 hours is probably not doable, even for the demi-god Churchill. That may have been a slight exaggeration (but only for dramatic effect). The lowest amount of sleep I've heard healthy adults can function with is 5 hours, but even that isn't really recommended. I haven't seen much credible info on alternative sleep schedules that shows they are any better than a normal sleep schedule, so I personally don't see the point unless you're working graveyard shifts or something. For most people, they're not going to do anything productive for that eight hours at night anyway, so why not get a good night's sleep in?

    The main thing to keep in mind is that, whatever your sleep schedule, you need to make sure you're getting a good amount of REM sleep in (about 2 hours a day). And considering that REM sleep usually comes at the end of a normal sleep cycle (and lasts for longer amounts of time the longer you stay asleep), this is tough to do if your sleeping is very irregular. It isn't known why REM is so important exactly, but most would agree that it does have some important function, and you need plenty of it to function well.

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  • VirumVirum Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Any psychology text book will say you need around 8 hours of sleep.

    My guess is this probably wouldn't work all that well, but I do see where they are coming from. If you're tired when you're driving and fighting to keep your eyes open, you should take a 30 minute nap or whatever and continue on - the little bit of sleep will leave you feeling refreshed and you can keep going.

    However, you are not receiving the full benefits of sleep; your brain isn't completing the whole chemical process. Long term, I don't see this going too great. A day or two because you didn't study enough for finals, ok. But even then I don't think it'd work that great.

    Virum on
  • ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS
    edited March 2007
    Big Dookie wrote: »
    Shinto wrote: »
    Winston Churchill claimed he only slept 4 hours a day during WWII by taking advantage of short naps in the afternoon.

    But the thing about Winston Churchill is that he is sometimes - sometimes - really full of shit.
    DON'T TALK ABOUT MY BOY.

    GALLIPOLIGALLIPOLIGALLIPOLIGALLIPOLI

    Shinto on
  • Big DookieBig Dookie Smells great! Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    Big Dookie wrote: »
    Shinto wrote: »
    Winston Churchill claimed he only slept 4 hours a day during WWII by taking advantage of short naps in the afternoon.

    But the thing about Winston Churchill is that he is sometimes - sometimes - really full of shit.
    DON'T TALK ABOUT MY BOY.

    GALLIPOLIGALLIPOLIGALLIPOLIGALLIPOLI
    I don't know what you're talking about.... :o:whistle:

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  • QuirkQuirk Registered User
    edited March 2007
    Gotta remember about Churchill, he did apparently take an assload of amphetamines to cope with sleeping that little

    Quirk on
  • ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS
    edited March 2007
    Quirk wrote: »
    Gotta remember about Churchill, he did apparently take an assload of amphetamines to cope with sleeping that little

    Actually, this does explain his fondness for big plans also.

    Shinto on
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Quirk wrote: »
    Gotta remember about Churchill, he did apparently take an assload of amphetamines to cope with sleeping that little

    Yeah we and the Brits handed those things out like candy in WWII.

    DevoutlyApathetic on
  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    The only reason it's even really worthwhile is based on the idea that you can enter REM sleep immediately. So a) if you can stick to the schedule and b) if your body decides to agree with the change, it could potentially be an interesting way to adjust your sleep schedule.

    That being said, there's a reason that the sleep schedule for many animals is based on being asleep for a long period of time, and if you've ever seen charts showing how the sleep cycle works, you'll see that short-changing your sleep cycle can make you seriously tired.

    I've got a guy at work that unconsciously brags about sleeping only 5 hours a day (unconsciously because he'll bring it up whenever anyone talks about sleeping 8 hrs, as if he's normal). He claims he's fine, and doesn't drink coffee or anything... but he falls asleep all the damn time. I had to train the guy and I couldn't talk for more than 10 minutes without him nodding off -- with me sitting there talking to him. He nods off at meetings, as well, and the only way he's able to get any work done is by switching back and forth between actual work and online poker :\

    Anyway, regarding the polyphasic stuff, I've read about it occasionally over the past 6-7 years, and it seems to go in cycles of people saying it's great followed by people saying they tried it for a few months but never felt rested. See, REM sleep is the most important sleep for your mental acuity and memory. Missing REM sleep is what turns people into "zombies" where they're slow to react to conversation and are unable to really process information. However, sleep also allows your muscles to relax and rebuild, your tendons to do their thing, immune system does its job, whatever. It's why after a full day of physical activity you feel exhausted and need to sleep, and sleep a very long time and wake up a little achey. Without that sleep, your body would not have a chance to recuperate.

    So it's theoretically fine if you don't really do much physical activity, but that doesn't jive with the idea of it being an "uber-man" thing.

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  • 28682868 Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I don't exactly know how you plan to adjust your sleep cycle. Or what your plans are, but I was able to adjust my schedule accidentally when I went on a 2 day liquid "fast." Now don't go fasting or anything without all the proper research and all that yadda yadda, but when I did a 2 day fast I was able to adjust from typically sleeping way too much to getting about 5-6 hours of pretty restful sleep. I don't know why that worked or even what my point is. I used to have insomnia, then I found myself sleeping way too much, then after I started a regular workout I did a 2 day liquid diet on the advice of my trainer and suddenly my sleep schedule worked the way I wanted it to.

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  • meatflowermeatflower Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Actual information from a guy with a doctorate and with real citations.

    Polyphasic Sleep: Facts and Myths

    Sorry for the pre-liming but I actually did a metric ton of research about this about 3 weeks ago and pretty much found that everything on the internet about it is opinion. This was the only instance of factual data I found.

    The main argument out there for why Polyphasic Sleep works is that your body over time learns to compress the sleep cycle and goes into REM sleep immediately. Now in cases of serious sleep deprivation your body will go into REM very quickly, but as for compressing the entire sleep cycle into 30 minutes that is simply not achievable. Now you can survive without REM sleep or the other stages of sleep but you sacrifice a lot. From the article:
    The answer to the question "to sleep or not to sleep polyphasically" will depend on your goals and your chosen criteria. You may want to sleep polyphasically if you want to maximize the frequency of a waking activity (e.g. monitoring the instruments and the horizon in solo yacht racing). Yet you will definitely not want to sleep polyphasically if:

    * you want to maximize your creative output
    * you want to maximize your peak alertness, your average alertness, or minimize the impact of your worst alertness levels
    * you want to maximize the health effects of sleep, etc.

    Paradoxically, not are you even likely to choose polyphasic sleep if you want to maximize the time spent in the waking state! Only when approaching substantial sleep deprivation can polyphasic schedule be superior to biphasic schedule in that respect.

    And the conclusion of the article for those who don't want to read the whole thing.
    1. Healthy humans cannot entrain polyphasic sleep without a degree of sleep deprivation. It is not possible to sleep polyphasically and retain one's maximum creativity, alertness, and health in the long run
    2. Whoever claims to be on a perpetual polyphasic schedule must be either suffering from a sleep disorder, or be a liar, a mutant, or a person with a mulishly stubborn iron-will that lets him plod through the daily torture of sleep deprivation
    3. All the hype surrounding polyphasic sleep can be delegated to the same lunatic basket as miracle diets, scientology, homeopathy, water magnetizers, creation "science", electrolytic detoxifiers, or Sylvia Browne. If you are interested in any of these, visit the most entertaining site on the web run by the indefatigable guru James "The Amazing" Randi
    4. If you do not believe the arguments presented in this article, or if you think the author is biased, ignorant or driven by a hidden agenda, please contact me. If you still plan your own polyphasic experiment, let me offer my best assistance. Let us together measure the effects of polyphasic sleep. Let your torture and lost health pay back in a contribution to science. Use SleepChart to track your progress. Your data, if submitted, will contribute to the understanding of human sleep patterns. Thank you
    5. If you want to maximize the time spent in productive wakefulness, read about free running sleep. Let your biology work for you, not against you

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  • ZekZek Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I don't even understand why you would want to do this, barring extraordinary circumstances. Our society is structured around long nightly sleep sessions. I can't imagine how this system would be practical for someone with a job and a social life, potential health concerns aside.

    Zek on
  • Raiden333Raiden333 Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Zek wrote: »
    I don't even understand why you would want to do this, barring extraordinary circumstances. Our society is structured around long nightly sleep sessions. I can't imagine how this system would be practical for someone with a job and a social life, potential health concerns aside.

    Note the World of Warcraft sig on the OP.

    Just sayin' is all.

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  • crakecrake Registered User
    edited April 2007
    I did 5 hours a night for about 2 years. I didn't really detect it, but I'm sure it was a contributing factor to a nervous break down after the 2 years.

    I've done the "sleep when you want, as long as you want" My sleeping fluctuated too wildly and I couldn't seem to organize and complete tasks properly.

    Currently, I'm doing this 3am-11am thing and it's working really nicely. My energy level went up, I was much more alert and on the ball. I think perhaps once you discover your body's prefered clock, things really perk up.

    crake on
  • meatflowermeatflower Registered User
    edited April 2007
    crake wrote: »
    I did 5 hours a night for about 2 years. I didn't really detect it, but I'm sure it was a contributing factor to a nervous break down after the 2 years.

    I've done the "sleep when you want, as long as you want" My sleeping fluctuated too wildly and I couldn't seem to organize and complete tasks properly.

    Currently, I'm doing this 3am-11am thing and it's working really nicely. My energy level went up, I was much more alert and on the ball. I think perhaps once you discover your body's prefered clock, things really perk up.

    I do the 3am-11am thing. I've always been a night owl/late riser. It helps being in college since I can schedule my classes to accomodate this. I don't have a class earlier than noon and that's just twice a week. Otherwise I can pretty much sleep in until 2 or 3 o'clock if need be. I've found I naturally gravitate to the 3 or 4am-11am though.

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  • NoneoftheaboveNoneoftheabove Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    You know when they say a person is a "night person", I considered it nothing more than a statement about making a habit of staying up late beyond normal sleeping periods. However I begin to see an exception in my case.

    The odd thing about myself is when I reach a certain level of sleep depravation, but not dead on my feet; I begin to feel as though I have greater levels of alertness and intellectual capacity. Or perhaps it is just my own false perception. But I feel relaxed in a way without worry or consideration that I would normally feel if I were rested. Although not in a reckless sense, but a witty, devil may care attitude - If that makes any sense.

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  • FyreWulffFyreWulff Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited April 2007
    that's your "Second wind", but after that you are DEFINITELY tired and cannot do that again. I've done it when I've had to stay up for a whole day once or twice. You feel awake and energized, but you are in no way alert.

    My problem is that whenever I go to sleep, that becomes my new sleep schedule. If I accidentally stay up too late (like now..) I'll sleep for 8 hours and start wanting to go to sleep at the same time the next day. The only way for me to fix it is to force myself to go to sleep early (hard) or stay up later to fix it (easier)

    FyreWulff on
  • Captain AwesomeftwCaptain Awesomeftw Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Raiden333 wrote: »
    Zek wrote: »
    I don't even understand why you would want to do this, barring extraordinary circumstances. Our society is structured around long nightly sleep sessions. I can't imagine how this system would be practical for someone with a job and a social life, potential health concerns aside.

    Note the World of Warcraft sig on the OP.

    Just sayin' is all.

    I actually don't play WoW (or any video games) I just happen to love MacHall :-P

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  • lowlylowlycooklowlylowlycook Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    If you want to look into the limits of what can be done as far as sleep, solo round the world sailboat racing would be worth investigation. To avoid being hit by other ships, the sailors have to be awake every 10-15 minutes since that is the time it would take a ship to move from the horizon to right on top of you.

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  • Hotlead JunkieHotlead Junkie Registered User
    edited April 2007
    A little off-topic, but to anyone who suffers from insomnia, how does it stop you from sleeping exactly? Whenever I can't sleep its usually because I'v got a lot of things running in my head, like ideas, plans for the next day, etc, so I just grab my drawing pad, put on some fast-paced music and draw until I cannot be bothered, then bam, I'm asleep. Only takes about half an hour or more of that to put me to sleep when I can't, but when you have insomnia, is it just a case of trying to sleep but with no thoughts running through your head? A simple case of that you can't switch off your brain even though you are not really thinking of much?

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  • Steel AngelSteel Angel Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    A little off-topic, but to anyone who suffers from insomnia, how does it stop you from sleeping exactly? Whenever I can't sleep its usually because I'v got a lot of things running in my head, like ideas, plans for the next day, etc, so I just grab my drawing pad, put on some fast-paced music and draw until I cannot be bothered, then bam, I'm asleep. Only takes about half an hour or more of that to put me to sleep when I can't, but when you have insomnia, is it just a case of trying to sleep but with no thoughts running through your head? A simple case of that you can't switch off your brain even though you are not really thinking of much?

    Insomnia is kind of a catchall term I believe. Given that the causes can vary quite a bit, I would suspect that symptoms would as well.

    In my case, it's kind of like the things running through my head deal except it happens every single night unless I'm dead on my feet tired.

    Back to the original topic, it's worth remembering that some people basically are mutants when it comes to sleeping and can get away with much shorter sleep periods. I recall that when Thomas Edison was working on the light bulb, he had hopes that having light at night would allow other people to adopt the same extremely low sleep schedule he was able to function on. Obviously most people simply can't.

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  • meatflowermeatflower Registered User
    edited April 2007
    There's a lot of myths surrounding Thomas Edison's sleep schedule (and others), one being that he polyphasically slept. It is known that he had a cot set up in his lab for naps but it's never been proven that he was on anything similar to Uberman. What's probably most accurate is that he was on a free sleeping schedule (sleep when you feel like it, no alarm clock, ends up being 1-4 hour naps all around the clock).

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  • NoneoftheaboveNoneoftheabove Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    FyreWulff wrote: »
    that's your "Second wind", but after that you are DEFINITELY tired and cannot do that again. I've done it when I've had to stay up for a whole day once or twice. You feel awake and energized, but you are in no way alert.

    My problem is that whenever I go to sleep, that becomes my new sleep schedule. If I accidentally stay up too late (like now..) I'll sleep for 8 hours and start wanting to go to sleep at the same time the next day. The only way for me to fix it is to force myself to go to sleep early (hard) or stay up later to fix it (easier)

    That is pretty much how I react to staying up too late, too. The only way I can break it is to torturously stay up even longer and break that cycle before it begins.

    Noneoftheabove on
  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    So I was reading the Wiki article on sleep, and I discovered that 75 to 80 percent of sleep periods are non REM sleep periods. Since I generally like to dream, what are the best ways to get into a REM state of sleep fast enough, or just at all generally?

    My future line of work is going to require a great deal of creative thinking, and sometimes the craziest things and best ideas come to me in a dream.

    Godfather on
  • DragDrag Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Godfather wrote: »
    So I was reading the Wiki article on sleep, and I discovered that 75 to 80 percent of sleep periods are non REM sleep periods. Since I generally like to dream, what are the best ways to get into a REM state of sleep fast enough, or just at all generally?

    My future line of work is going to require a great deal of creative thinking, and sometimes the craziest things and best ideas come to me in a dream.

    I don't know if it's really possible to get to REM faster, but a good idea is to get at least 9 hours of sleep a night.

    I think that reading just before bed can give you pretty strange dreams, depending on what you were reading. I used to read fantasy books just before lights-out and then get as much sleep as possible to try and trigger interesting dreams and it usually worked pretty well.

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  • Xenocide GeekXenocide Geek Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Drag wrote: »
    Godfather wrote: »
    So I was reading the Wiki article on sleep, and I discovered that 75 to 80 percent of sleep periods are non REM sleep periods. Since I generally like to dream, what are the best ways to get into a REM state of sleep fast enough, or just at all generally?

    My future line of work is going to require a great deal of creative thinking, and sometimes the craziest things and best ideas come to me in a dream.

    I don't know if it's really possible to get to REM faster, but a good idea is to get at least 9 hours of sleep a night.

    I think that reading just before bed can give you pretty strange dreams, depending on what you were reading. I used to read fantasy books just before lights-out and then get as much sleep as possible to try and trigger interesting dreams and it usually worked pretty well.

    Interesting - for me, I've found that reading for half an hour-to an hour, then going to sleep, actually gives me a better nights sleep. In fact, my sleep has been suffering greatly from not reading before bed... because I have no books to read. :/

    It's this whole overactive mind thing - million things going through your mind, and reading is very relaxing/mind clearing.

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  • ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS
    edited April 2007
    Years ago I remember reading this The Scientist article about how your body gains 80% of the benefits of sleep during the first 5 hours of sleep.

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