April 8, 2011

"For a small group of people—perhaps just 1% to 3% of the population—sleep is a waste of time."

"'Short sleepers'...typically turn in well after midnight, then get up just a few hours later and barrel through the day without needing to take naps or load up on caffeine."

31 comments:

rhhardin said...

The dog starts complaining that it's bedtime around 10pm.

Dogs need their sleep even if you don't.

If you lie down with dogs, you get up with dogs, by the way.

SteveR said...

Definetly not me

kjbe said...

Good for them.

Dose of Sanity said...

Half the reason law school is less difficult for me, right there. I do constantly load up on caffeine though - but the short sleep was something I've done all my life. Hard to tell if I'm still that way or if its only the caffeine at this point.

I've constantly got a Mt. Dew next to me.

Scott M said...

Guilty. I hit the sack right around midnight, read for about thirty minutes, then I'm up at 0545. Personally, I think it comes from years of working in radio and the insane schedule therein.

The internal jury is still out on long-term health effects. I will freely admit my memory sucks, but I don't know if it's directly attributable.

Smilin' Jack said...

Those people sound really, really annoying.

Henry said...

and then they go trade bond funds.

TWM said...

Not me. I get my full eight hours and a short nap when I can. No more than 30 minutes though - anything more and you tend to feel like crap.

Phil 3:14 said...

Is blogging a "field"?

Geoff Matthews said...

Anyone here read "Beggars in Spain"?

MadisonMan said...

I can go about a week on 6 hours a night. Then I either have to get 12 hours, or I get sick. So I guess I'm not a short sleeper.

bagoh20 said...

Since a kid, I have always hated having to go to bed and tend to put it off until after midnight. In the morning, I can't stay in bed after daylight and sleep with all my blinds wide open on my south facing windows. This is not good for relationships. I've always wished that the daylight was twice as long. I just got too much stuff left over to enjoy each day the way it is. Who set this up anyway?

lemondog said...

To date, only a handful of small studies have looked at short sleepers—in part because they're hard to find.

Most live to the age of 12.

bagoh20 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott M said...

As I mentioned upthread, I get 5-6 per night pretty much every day (weekends included). On the other hand, take the kids out of the equation, which is why I'm up early on the weekends, and I'll sleep until 10 or so easy.

I suppose that would remove me from the short sleeper rolls if bouncing out of bed at first light is part of it.

bagoh20 said...

" Those people sound really, really annoying."

So I'm told, often.

Although I don't sleep long, I can fall asleep instantly almost on command at any time, anywhere. Which just makes me more hated by you moles.

You would think that an animal that developed the ability to stay active around the clock would flourish and that would be the dominant life form, as they simply devoured their sleeping competitors. Bacteria and rust never sleep, and they seem very happy and live everywhere.

shoutingthomas said...

When I was a kid musician hustling in New York, I used to say:

I'll have plenty of time to sleep when I'm dead.

No more.

Now that I'm an old fart, I get my seven hours a night plus a nap.

Being an old fart changes everything.

Did a gig that lasted until 2 a.m. recently. Had to take an extra nap for two days afterward to catch up.

Carol said...

Sure I could sleep short, but I could not do long distance bike riding, or hard uphill XC skiing, or even more moderate workouts. I really feel the difference if I have not slept well.

If you can live without exercise, fine.

Almost Ali said...

It's a real phenomena. I lived with a short sleeper, 3 hours per night - every night, no exceptions. Full of energy, hyper-active. And still at it.

Amazing to witness.

The Crack Emcee said...

That's been me for most of my life. The divorce/murders have altered things somewhat (I definitely know I'm older now) making me wonder if I'll ever get back to my "normal" but I still often find myself awake when others are dozing.

That's true during the day as well, right, Scott M?

The Crack Emcee said...

shoutingthomas,

When I was a kid musician hustling in New York, I used to say:

I'll have plenty of time to sleep when I'm dead.


Yep, me too. Word for word.

Scott M said...

Yep, definitely. The wife will conk out on a dime if we're sans kids and don't have anything going on. Presented with that, I'd rather be doing something that makes noise in the shop...things I can't do at night when everyone's in bed.

edutcher said...

The undead, also known as programmers.

These are the people who live on stuff like Jolt cola (if they still make it) and Spicy Nacho Doritos.

I speak from experience.

carrie said...

My son did a paper on this, or something similar to this, in college. His paper was on people who have hypomania, which is the oessentially the pposite of depression. Hypomanics are workaholics, risk takers and need less sleep than most people. It was my son's theory that hypomanics unfairly raise the performance/achievement bar for everyone else and that that, especially in college, has led to the abuse of drugs like adderall. Kids who are not hypomanic take adderall to level the playing field with those who are hypomanic, at least that was his theory.

Scott M said...

It was my son's theory that hypomanics unfairly raise the performance/achievement bar for everyone else and that that, especially in college, has led to the abuse of drugs like adderall.

Why is it unfair? It's no more unfair than some kids and really put zip on a curve ball, while others can barely get it over the plate.

Any form of human endeavor is going to plot like a bell curve. You'll have outliers on both ends. There doesn't need to be any more leveling to the "playing field" other than the prof handing every single student the exact same syllabus on the first day.

Lance said...

I've met a couple genuine short sleepers. I always thought I was just lazy.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Does short sleeping in increments count?

I go to bed about 9pm to 10pm (maybe read for an hour) wake up at 1 to 2am. Either lay there and stare in complete boredom at the dark ceiling or better yet get up and do something for an hour or so (surf the net, mine for ore in WoW, read some more) then back to sleep about 3am and wake up at 6:30 to 7am.

Maybe an occasional nap during the day for 15 to 30 minutes about 2pm. Like bagoh20 I can fall deeply asleep quicky and a short nap is all I need to be completely recharged. More than 30 minutes and I feel like crap.

I can't remember the last time I ever slept for more than 6 hours at a stretch. I think I was taking cold medication.

shirley elizabeth said...

From about mid-high school through my college career I slept maybe four hours a night and kept up a running schedule of between 4 and 12 miles a day, depending on the day. But then I guess my body went through a change and now if I get less than seven hours of sleep for a few days consecutively I get sick. I've heard your body goes through chemical changes about every seven years. I just attribute it to that.

mm said...

...even though sleep deprivation usually raises the risk of obesity

Well, duh...

The convenience of microwaved nachos and boxed wine is much appreciated at 3 or 4 in the morning. My wife is on a first-name basis with all the 'cops' in our private community as she walks the dogs for an hour about 2. I hate to go to bed - average about 4 hours - no naps.

Methadras said...

I'm so guilty of this.

Shell (misty) Chua said...

Hi, seems like I've found some people who know about sleep!

I have been having trouble going to sleep. I’d like to know what other people are doing and what’s effective (or not) for you.

I have 5 Questions about How You Sleep. If you could share and shed some light, please chime in my blog’s comments for answers. Thanks!

Here’s a link to my 5 Sleep Questions:
http://insomniacuresuk.blogspot.com/2011/04/5-questions-hard-time-sleeping.html