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Matt Reed
Byrne Robotics Security

Robotmod

Joined: 16 April 2004
Posts: 35722
Posted: 30 March 2024 at 3:40pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Simple subject line spurring complex and often fraught discussions.  What is your optimal amount of sleep?  

I ask because, for the last decade or so, I find myself needing less and less sleep.  Never was one of those people that loved to sleep for 10 or 12 hours every night.  As a kid, my mom hated sleeping in and highly discouraged napping since she saw both as equating to being lazy and unproductive.  ďWhy would you sleep when you can read a book!Ē Something I heard often as a kid.  She got that from her mother, and though it didnít stick with my younger brother (he often slept for 12 hours or more when we were under the same roof), it did for me.  I rarely if ever nap. In fact, I canít stand it for me.  Others, I have no problem but I personally hate a nap.  

As an adult, however, I regularly slept for 8 hours or slightly longer per day.  But in recent years wherein I had bosses at production companies who didnít care when I started and ended so long as I got my work done on time, I shifted my schedule from PST to EST such that I regularly woke at 4 AM so that I could start work between 5-6 AM.  Originally, I made that choice so that I could avoid (as best as I was able) horrific LA traffic.  Now it seems that Iíve reset my clock, so to speak, so that I normally fall asleep around 9 PM but wake between 3:30-4 AM.  So my new normal is 6-7 hours.  

I am cursed with both loving to stay up late, which is why I often do my most prolific posting here on ďnon-school nightsĒ  like late Friday and Saturday, while also loving to see the sunrise.  I am often perfectly fine and totally functional with five hours sleep, so anything more than seven feels like a luxury of which I rarely take advantage.  As I fast approach 60, I have heard this is a function of age and that people often sleep less as less as they get older.  Curious if people here have put any thought into their sleep and, if so, what those thoughts are.  
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Doug Centers
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 17 February 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 5458
Posted: 30 March 2024 at 4:18pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I try to get 6 hours, more than 7 and I wake up with a headache, less than 5 and I "hit the wall" around 2pm. So 6 is nominal.

I too do not nap, if my eyes close for 5 minutes while on the recliner mid-day weekend so be it but I don't consider that a nap.

I'm up during the work week by 3:30am to be to work by 4:30 so I try to get in the bed by 9pm and hopefully fall asleep within a half an hour. I absolutely have to use the TV to fall asleep to. Laying there with thoughts racing thru my head keeps me up. Lately it's been TOS or Godzilla movies to put me out. Something that I already know the outcome of, just need the background noise at low volume.
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Brian Miller
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 28 July 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 30884
Posted: 30 March 2024 at 4:23pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I would prefer to get 8 hours but I very regularly only get 5-6. I wake up and
canít go back out. Iíve never been one to ďsleep inĒ but it would be nice to
sleep past 4-5 am once in a while. We were out of town a couple weeks ago
and I had a cocktail that evening before bed. (Extremely rare for me. First
drink Iíd had in probably a couple of years). And that night I slept solid for 8
hours. Best sleep Iíd had in ages. I felt like a million bucks when I got up
that morning. Almost makes me want to have one every night before bed.
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Matt Reed
Byrne Robotics Security

Robotmod

Joined: 16 April 2004
Posts: 35722
Posted: 30 March 2024 at 4:32pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

 Doug Centers wrote:
 I absolutely have to use the TV to fall asleep to. Laying there with thoughts racing thru my head keeps me up.

I have never been able to do that and, in fact, really hate it for me.  For the longest time, I needed absolute silence.  Since I met my wife, 20 years this year, Iíve changed that need somewhat.  She canít sleep my way, so we found a compromise and bought a sound machine.  Weíve used it for so long that now I need that to fall asleep.  Still canít fall asleep with TV or music on as I find my mind concentrates too hard on whatís being said at the expense of actually falling asleep.  
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Steve Coates
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 17 November 2014
Location: Canada
Posts: 745
Posted: 30 March 2024 at 4:46pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

For the past year, I averaged 6 hours and 4 minutes a night with an average wake up time of 4:53 AM. 

I have always been a short sleeper, but I am sensitive to impaired sleep.. My greatest cognitive time is as soon as I wake up. I mean it! If I am busy with complicated projects I can be up and productive is just the time it takes to dress and brew a coffee.

I find naps are necessary for my productivity when I am short of 6 hours sleep. I always set an alarm to restrict the duration of my naps. 15 or 20 minutes is all I need to get my mental acuity to proper levels.




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Conrad Teves
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 28 January 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 2174
Posted: 30 March 2024 at 4:51pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

7-8 hours, or my brain doesn't work as well.  The last year before my dad died, I was massively short on sleep for the whole year and ran on power drinks (which work, but I don't recommend it). On short sleep, my attention span got quite squirrel-like and I recall driving to a strip-mall and spacing the entrance *three times in a row* before I remembered to turn. Scared the crap out of me because I felt fine.  Makes me wonder a lot about the safety of the "residency" hazing ritual doctors have to endure.

The added background level of stress during COVID was affecting my sleep, which after the above started to alarm me.

Luckily, I am extremely susceptible to ASMR (always have been, even before it had a name), so I have a 10+hr playlist on YouTube of videos guaranteed to put me right out in about 15 minutes and keep me out.
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John Byrne

Grumpy Old Guy

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 132234
Posted: 30 March 2024 at 5:36pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Usually around eight hours.
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Brian Miller
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 28 July 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 30884
Posted: 30 March 2024 at 5:40pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Still canít fall asleep with TV or music on as I find my mind concentrates too
hard on whatís being said at the expense of actually falling asleep.
*******
We sleep with either a fan blowing or my wife will play some kind of colored
noise on her phone. Even with that, most nights to fall asleep I will ďplayĒ
songs in my head on drums until I fall asleep. My main problem with that is I
get stuck in a rut and only do the same four of five songs from night to
night. I really have to force myself to add some different tunes. Iím usually
out before the first song ends, but sometimes it takes 2-3 tunes to get me
out.
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Rebecca Jansen
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 12 February 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 4495
Posted: 30 March 2024 at 5:47pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I've never had a problem since somewhere after being introduced to meditation and breathing stuff, once I check myself and practice some of it rather than spin-out. I mostly remember getting anguished about not being able to sleep way back as a little kid.

I like to have total darkness and quiet but have learned to get used to some noise including somebody snoring. Like living near a train line or hospital with Emergency entrance, you can get used to it. I do keep a good supply of clean 3M orange foam earplugs though. I used to get ten hours, sometimes when I got two or whatever I just figured, well, maybe my system is saying it just doesn't need it this time, and then roll with that, or if I sleep in that it needed that. I average seven to eight now usually. A lot of people on the road struggle to keep a schedule and many musicians turn to substances, it's an obvious hazard, plus the partying thing if you are up for that... it might be a mild sleeping pill as an occasional safety net so you're able to do that next show could work but we know of many performers who have died with sleeping pills or similar involved heavily... Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe...

Surf the waves that come. What works works, what doesn't you have to power through or past somehow.

Edited by Rebecca Jansen on 30 March 2024 at 5:48pm
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Robert Bradley
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 20 September 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 4824
Posted: 30 March 2024 at 8:03pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Usually 6 or 7 hours.

Since retiring I've been staying up prettu late (1 or 2 in the morning), but if I sleep in past 8 or 9 I feel like I'm wasting a big chunk of the day.

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Rick Senger
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 9639
Posted: 30 March 2024 at 11:04pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

6ish.
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Michael Penn
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 12 April 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 12429
Posted: 31 March 2024 at 12:26am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I have never been a big sleeper, even as a child. Up early. Now I would say I'm out by midnight and fully awake by 5 am. 
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