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Friday, November 19, 2010

How much sleep is too little?

I'm writing this at 1 AM. This is my typical bed time. I'm usually up between 7:00 and 7:30, though I have a conference call at 7:30 tomorrow so it could be a bit earlier. 5-6 hours is a typical weeknight, with 7-8 hours usually only coming on weekends.

Some of you are tracking with me. You burn the midnight oil regularly. Others are in bed by 10 (or 9) every night with no exceptions. 8 hours is the MINIMUM.

I've always been able to function on little to no sleep. I had a semester in college where I pulled an estimated 20 all-nighters while I worked 2 demanding jobs, took 18 credits, and hung out with friends. I occasionally crashed in class or grabbed a power nap the following afternoon but more often than not I somehow held myself together. On a road trip this summer we drove through the night 3 times, including one night (and day) where I drove for 17 hours.

Naturally, anytime I see a story on the evidence behind how much sleep one should get, I'm interested, but I have yet to see one that changed my behavior.

How about you? How much sleep do you need to have to function? Do you lie awake for 20 minutes if you go to bed as early as 1 AM or do you crash at 8 PM?

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8 Comments:

Anonymous dustin declared,

My typical bed time is 11p and I wake up at 5am. On weekends I feel I can stay up later and stay up until 1am and the kids STILL get up at 630am or 7am. I get 6-6.5hrs of sleep.

I'm tired.

11/19/2010 6:49 AM  
Anonymous Bill Roehl declared,

I need about 8 hours of sleep or I'm all messed up.

I can sleep anywhere at any time without a problem. If I close my eyes I'll be out in seconds.

11/19/2010 7:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous declared,

I'll let you know as soon as I finish my nap.

Dstew

11/19/2010 11:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous declared,

I feel like I need 9 hours a night... it's probably because I don't usually get it. When i do get 9 once in a while, I feel like I can conquer the world!
Heather

11/19/2010 11:39 AM  
Anonymous Daniel declared,

minimum 6, I usually shoot for 7, 8 is the max and usually a luxury. 10-5 is what I ideally shoot for. I can occasionally make it happen with less than 6, but that leads to a downward spiral of lots of coffee and the occasional 5hourenergy.

about every 3 months or so I hit a deadline where I end up working through the night. my favorite was painting for 20 hours straight until 7am, 2 hour "nap", then 5 hours of outside lawn work, then hit the road and drove til Madison when Ellen took over, (on our way to MI). not ideal.

11/19/2010 1:28 PM  
Blogger Joey declared,

Daniel, that sounds like a night you had painting someone else's house...I still can't believe we (and by "we" I mean you) did all of that in such a short amount of time.

11/19/2010 2:15 PM  
Anonymous Dez declared,

I usually get between 5 & 7 hours of sleep during the week. Weekend sleep depends on my stress level during the week and can go anywhere from 5 to 10 hours of sleep.

Also, regarding the road trips I can drive for pretty much 24 hours straight if I take a 2-3 hour nap prior to leaving. Leaving in the morning for me almost never works out well for that first day.

11/19/2010 2:28 PM  
Blogger Benjamin declared,

I get 5-7.5 with 6 being typical. I get a migraine if i do 8 or more.

I used to be able to drive non stop no problem but now a days I get groggy really quickly. It doesn't matter how tired I am. It like I get hypnotized by the road or something.

11/20/2010 12:37 AM  

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