6 thoughts on “Sleep Dep

  1. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) may be kind of out there for some (I might even get some flak for posting this), but from its standpoint the consequences of sleep deprivation aren’t so mysterious. This article http://centerfortruehealing.xod.ca/feeling-lost-and-directionless-in-life-you-might-not-be-sleeping-at-the-right-time/ has a basic but good illustration and explanation of why/which internal organ “needs rest” at which time of the day.
    If you’re ever interested in delving more into TCM approach to health, I suggest this book as a primer: http://www.amazon.com/Between-Heaven-Earth-Chinese-Medicine/dp/0345379748

  2. Matt, was it in Florence you began your experiment? There is a Florence phenomenon, which I will try to locate the reference.

  3. I’ve been experimenting with sleep a lot and i discovered a few things.

    Mattress and pillow play a big role in the quality of sleep. Needs

    Caffeine intake after 6PM doesn’t help. That is due to caffeine’s 5-6h half life. A single espresso has around 70-80mg of caffeine. That means that having one at 6PM, half of the caffeine will be bio available until midnight. One can go to bed and sleep but the quality of the sleep will not be optimal.

    Red light 10-15min before going to bed. I use Philips Living Colors for that. There are countless studies on the topic.

    Always have the bedroom door open for air to circulate. Especially if there is someone else in the room (partner or pet). CO emissions sky rocket during sleep. With the bedroom door closed that means that the room has less oxygen and more CO, which results in not optimal sleep due to lack of O.

    Temperature also plays a big role. The comfort zone varies. This requires lots of experimentation. Temperature affects body hydration.

    Minimising noise and light exposure. That’s a tough one. Especially for noise.

    When i’m very stressed i take Theanine (the amino acid – no thianin the vitamin) to help me relax and “prepare” the brain for alpha waves.

    Exercising during the day helps immensely.

    Eating something sweet before going to bed helps as well.

  4. Spot on article……..I was up almost 3 straight days with my wife when my first son was born. I was so full of adrenaline when during labor i didn’t have much of a problem staying up, however after holding him in my arms I decided to make the 30 mile drive home for a good nights rest. Its incredible what your mind can do when you haven’t had any rest in 72 hours. I was seeing dogs, deer and other things jumping in front of my car at constant intervals…it was crazy…….i knew i was hallucinating so i would pull over for a few mins and run around the car, then drive 5 more miles, stop and do the same thing . Its been 20 years now since that happened and if i had to do it all over again I would have just slept right next to my wife and son and kept the car parked.

    Great Read


  5. This sounds like my story, even the same motives at play, although I never did something as extreme as the author of this story. And like most everyone else I did marathon sessions during finals in college and graduate school.

    I think sleep deprivation is a huge problem among creative types, whether artists, musicians or programmers. I got out of IT (I was a programmer) but I’m a musician and often think I do my best work after midnight. Crazy. That only really works if I’ve had a “power nap” at some other point in the day. And then I discovered WP and I’m back to old habits–I need to try some of the tactics that Titanas is suggesting.

    Driven people do crazy things to achieve their goals, when maybe the path would be easier and shorter if we just paid more attention to our physical needs and rhythms. I know a PHD physicist who’s required to spend three months a year on rotating shifts: 1 week on mornings, 1 week on “swing” and 1 week on nights–rinse and repeat. He’s already clearly “different” after one round of the rotation.

    Could this explain some of the recent unpleasantness in the WP community? Or the country? Get some sleep, people! 🙂