Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Eight hours a night isn’t enough, according to a leading sleep scientist (qz.com)
437 points by prostoalex on June 17, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 156 comments

Great article. Sleep is important. I liked that the article went out of its way to dispel several of the "but four hours is fine" myths. Two of my favorites:

>some people are short sleepers: You can do a test to find out if you have genetic makeup that makes you a short sleeper. That’s rare, though, so by and large, people are not getting enough sleep.

Blunt and effective. The outliers who really do fine with just a few hours are just that: outliers. Congratulations if you're one of them, but your genetic gift doesn't make the need for sleep any less real for the rest of us, and talk about these outliers is mostly a distraction.

>I normally get around six to seven hours of sleep a night and feel fine. But is that just because how I feel has become my normal operating mode, and I could really be functioning at a higher level?

>Right. That’s like the fish and the fish bowl phenomenon: The fish doesn’t know that he’s in the fishbowl, nonetheless that he’s in water. Also, when you’re sleep deprived, research has shown that you’re really bad at being able to tell that you’re sleep deprived.

To me that's a great analogy. Most people can grasp the concept of having a problem and dealing/coping/adapting so long that they don't realize they have the problem. It makes sense that this phenomenon can apply to sleep as well.

Intellectually, I know I need to consistently sleep longer. If only knowing that and then acting on it were an easier gap to bridge (as I write this just past midnight...).

I used to habitually play bullet and blitz chess online, which confirmed the necessity of sleep for me. After a 6 hour night of sleep I noticed my rating would drop significantly the next day, and after several low sleep nights in a row it would take days to recover completely. A graph of my bullet rating over time clearly showed the periods of low sleep.

Most people don't have a measurement that objective. After I stopped playing chess so much in college, I even caught myself trying to excuse my poor sleep habits by telling myself I wasn't falling asleep in lectures and I could still finish my homework.

I use online chess tactics problems to assess how good my brain is that day. I estimate there's a 300+ ELO variance, perhaps even more, in my performance between when I'm tired and when I'm rested.

300 ELO points between 2 players means that the higher rates one wins about 9 out of 10 games against the lower rates one. A huge difference in performance.

First thing I do at my computer if I am groggy is to do chess tactics. Based on the results, I take a break or continue with my actual work. I should probably be looking at ELO as well, I just go by numbers at this time !

Sleep seems to be very cyclical and internalized in the body, so it isn't surprising that a drastic change would have such a dramatic effect. I wonder if anyone could gain the ability to only need 6 hours of sleep by very slowly decreasing sleep over a long time (say 6-12 months). But your body will probably never adapt to this 6 hours on the weekdays, 10 hours on the weekends stuff that seems to be common.

The people I know who sleep 5-6 hours a night consistently have been doing it for a very long time and describe the feeling of sleeping 8 hours the same way I would describe sleeping 13 hours. Just feeling slow and almost like being sleep deprived all day.

Speaking a foreign language is that meter for me. If I don't get proper sleep, my tongue doesn't do what I want it to. I slip up more in my pronunciation and I forget words that I need. More sleep has always equalled higher fluency for me.

> I used to habitually play bullet and blitz chess online, which confirmed the necessity of sleep for me

60-minute games made the same apparent to me. Instantaneous drops and rises, solely resulting from sleep (or the lack thereof).

Itsy probably a valuable adaptation tool. When my son was born in went from 8-9 a night to 4-5 for a few months. At a certain point it started feeling like I adapted. I wasn't really miserable. I wasn't dragging myself through the day anymore.

Then when my sleep went back up as my son got older, I had that moment of, "holy crap I forgot what rested felt like. This is amazing. I actually want to go for a pointless walk!"

It almost sounds like, if-when I were to hear my significant other is pregnant, I should start decreasing my sleep. That way, in eight months, I'd be closer to 'adapted' than if I have to develop the new habit of responding to a human alarm _and_ less sleep.

I don't think adapting to it made me more functional. Just made it hurt less. No point lowering your functionality prematurely.

If anything, prepare with more exercise and getting your sleep habits as consistent as possible.

No just enjoy the last days of sleeping you’ll ever have.

Nah, you want to be as fresh as possible when kid arrives. At the beginning, caring for them is a months-long marathon that slowly grinds down your reserves.

I envy you. Going through it now.

>Right. That’s like the fish and the fish bowl phenomenon: The fish doesn’t know that he’s in the fishbowl, nonetheless that he’s in water. Also, when you’re sleep deprived, research has shown that you’re really bad at being able to tell that you’re sleep deprived.

100% this. If you habitually get poor sleep it becomes your new normal and you forget what it's like to be well rested. I used to get between 3 and 6 hours per night for years and my cognitive skills plummeted. At one point I switched to getting 8 hours per night and problems which previously seemed extremely difficult became trivially easy almost immediately.

If you habitually get poor sleep it becomes your new normal and you forget what it's like to be well rested.

And this can be deceptive if the whole effect happens more than once. Suppose you really need 8 hours of sleep but have habitually been getting only 6 for a long time, and that has become your baseline for reference. Then something happens and you're only getting 4 or 5 hours instead for a while, and you feel obviously worse. After some time that effect reverts and you're back to getting 6 hours, and relatively speaking, you feel great! See what a difference it makes when you get enough sleep in a night! But in reality, you still aren't...

I sleep 6 hours during the week and 10 hours on the weekend. I pretty much only remember my dreams on the weekend. I wonder how much that relates to sleep deprivation. I only lucid dream if I sleep for 10 hours on vacation.

I've been this way since high school

The outliers who really do fine with just a few hours are just that: outliers.

Except, people want to believe they are outliers. So no matter how rare you explain that it actually is- well, everybody else is delusional. But me, ME, I really am the outlier! I'm special!

> The outliers who really do fine with just a few hours are just that: outliers.

Or you could look at them as people at the forefront of evolution, leading us to a future where we need less sleep.

I would think that, given the capability to have light after the sun has gone down for hundreds of generations (candles have been around for ~5,000 years), any such trait would have become much more than an outlier by now.

Even if it is a positive evolutionary trait, that doesn't help anybody today. The 4 hour sleepers are still outliers, and the rest of us still need that sleep to operate at full capability.

I wouldn’t be surprised if needing more sleep is a competitive advantage. Increased brain activity leads to increased garbage collection and resetting.

Perhaps the short-sleepers have a concurrent garbage collector ;)

Or just more garbage. The trait might not really be adaptive - the cost might be worse memory for example.

Anecdote time. I know one person who matches the description of someone with the gene for not needing sleep. He’s an extremely high functioning individual.

Seconded. The only person I know who sleeps like this is also the highest functioning person I know.

How? Are you planning to prohibit the rest of us from procreating?

Relax, we can still procreate with the short-sleepers.

I want 7 extra hours in a day. 4 for of those would be allocated to sleeping.

If there is one thing in this world I'd like to see, it's the worker's right for an afternoon nap: I really would become highly anxious if deprived long-term of my siesta.

I've been lucky in most of my environments to find somewhere to close my eyes and sleep for 10-15 minutes - I just need somewhere to lie down or recline and something to block the light: if I'm tired enough sound doesn't bother me. Some people tell me they just don't fall asleep quickly enough and don't bother to take any time to rest, so it's good to see the scientist here mention quiet-time and meditation as options.

Since I've worked remotely (from home) for years I can't possibly conceive how most workers are forced into a chair through the entire day. I had the luxury to lay down pretty much any time I wanted. No wonder back problems are so common.

Now running a small office and I put a couch in a separate room specially for resting. Everyone seems to enjoy it for 10-15 minutes a day, nobody abuses it. Whoever thinks people can be productive in a chair 8+ hours a day is deluding himself in my opinion. At least take a decent break then.

As a manager, if I had a weird feeling that someone was "abusing" the couch (by sleeping on it too much), huge red flags would go up for me that I've missed something massive. Like a death in their family, undisclosed problems with a coworker or management, something medical, or general job apathy.

I think I would read "abusing" as something more than just laying on the couch a lot. Like laying on the couch but storing old sandwiches under it. Kicking off shoes with unlaundered smelly socks. Just a general disconnect from the office environment, more than just needing a nap. I would ask the person out to lunch and ask them if they are happy. I think that's always a good place to start to discover/solve complex human problems.

Also, developers are strange compared to normal clock punch jobs. Some of us can't "turn it off" when we get home. This is a work/life balance thing.... but if you've gotta sleep on the couch for a week because you got in a groove where it makes sense, I'm not going to complain. I would probably still quiz on happiness and maybe suggest taking a nap somewhere more comfortable or even taking a few days off and making sure their responsibilities are covered. They might not feel like they could relax because "no one else can solve it" or something. And that in itself is a problem, so time to find a hammock for a few days and come back refreshed with less tickets.

You seem like a great manager.

Thank you! The jury is still out on that, but I try to be a good human first.

I live with ASD and generalized anxiety disorder. Which I think a lot of people in our field (and the world) live with diagnosed or otherwise. I've done pretty well managing people in my own consultancy, but going into my current role I decided to do some digging on Autism in the workplace. I have some traits that aren't great and I wanted to try to get a better set of tools for handling them.

Something that really helped me was this book "Aspergers on the Job"[1]. It's not that people with ASD need special care, it's just that there are tons of things that NT (neurotypical) people can tolerate that would be massively interrupting to someone with ASD. Potentially crippling. Things like meetings with no clear beginning or end, requirements that have shifting goalposts, frequent required all hands meetings, noisy environments, or unclear chain of command.

If I align myself with more of a personal awareness than just a goal based methodology, not only can I get great results from people who aren't NT but that sort of thing is also something that everyone wants and can benefit from. Honestly, most of the productivity killers revolve around meetings and ticket process, but the how and why someone can't participate well varies greatly from person to person.

We want exponential output from our coworkers, collaborators, and partners. In startups that is the difference between living or dying. In my experience, the best way to get that is to be engaging and adaptable. You've gotta play to people's strengths. If you've got a workhorse of a guy who will silently slog through shit you think he hates but the results are fantastic, you might not want to whip that pony to death. If you've got a coworker that doesn't seem to be hitting their own estimates on deliverables, you might need to take a closer look at how those deliverables are being reviewed and communicated, rather than just assuming the person can't hit the mark.

IMO management is more a study in self awareness, compassion, getting things out of the way, and inspiring excitement than it is just making sure tickets are punched. So far I've had good results, but my methodologies aren't exactly well defined so when it fails it can easily be pointed at. Where as no one ever gets fired for managing a scrum with an iron fist.

[1] https://www.audible.com/pd/Business/Aspergers-on-the-Job-Aud...

Are you hiring?

We are. I try not to directly cross my HN account with my job. But we are hiring in Austin and San Francisco for JS/Python programmers and data analysts + customer relations.

We have a GPU driven graph visualization product, it's pretty neat. If you like interesting bleeding edge problems, we have plenty. If you are interested shoot me an email at hackernews(at)mechanicalpanda.com with a resume and I'll give you more details.

I freelanced through college and continued doing that after I graduated. Since I was working from home, I was used to taking afternoon naps.

When I finally did join an office, I was surprised that afternoon napping wasn't a thing.

My 20-30 minute naps completely re-energize me and drastically improve my focus. And for some reason, I have extremely vivid dreams during these naps.

I used to book 'meetings' on my calendar and sneak off to the toilet cubicles for an afternoon nap. After a while I could even sleep through the noise of Dyson hand-dryers.

It still disappoints me that napping at work is stigmatised.

All hail the 10-15 min toilet nap and locks on bathroom doors. Yes our country as a whole underestimates and stigmatizes healthy sleep patterns. People and companies which recognize the great benefits of short mid-day brain resets/toxin flushes (naps) are excellent but uncommon. Two cups of coffee won't accomplish what one 10-15 min afternoon nap achieves. It also matters what and how much you eat for lunch because the wrong foods or amounts can cause drowsiness even in well-rested people. I find that vegetarian meals make me less sleepy than meat-heavy meals.

I'm the opposite as far as vivid dreams go, I have no dreams during a nap at all, and it feels like someone actually scrubbed my brain of any thoughts altogether. Feels like waking up with a clean slate.

But the rejuvenation effect is the same.

I also have increasingly vivid, utterly nonsensical dreams when taking an afternoon nap. I do feel more focused and the random dreams are often a funny bonus.

Half the time I'm worried that I'm mumbling something stupid during my naps. My wife did catch me talking about kicking a football when I was taking my afternoon nap at work!

I'd like to think afternoon naps would be a good thing at work, but my worry is that employers would mandate 30-60 minutes of unpaid nap time at the workplace. Thus we'd end up extending the already bad 9-6 days (because 9-5 is now seemingly a thing of the past) and pushing it up to 9-7.

You're right: in general, corporate structures do not trust the worker to independently handle her own time and energy.

Quite common in China, actually.

Yes. I remember in the 90s when I was in kindergarten, a 1-hour afternoon nap is "mandatory". I hated it.

Not just China: in Vietnam it is completely normal to see people take a short nap at their desk after lunch.

Sleep is a twilight zone where personal problems get either amplified so that they become tangible or even get solved. He's right about one thing: it's not only 8 hours minimum you need, you should care about the quality of sleep you get. Especially that tendency of some people being completely K.O. and unproductive after lunch is a thing you should solve the right way.

Though, the facts that he's a TED talks resident and that he's selling apps doesn't do much damage to his actual research, but it definitely explains why he's "the most talked about sleep scientist". I must admit that I don't trust a scientist who deliberately draws attention to their work instead of being just that good to generate buzz.

If you think that coverage of scientific work can come entirely from merit and require no advocacy work on the part of the scientist, you must be very new to science or human society.

There's a lot of noise, misinformation, and advertising that real science has to punch through. It doesn't happen by accident.

> completely K.O. and unproductive after lunch

That's totally me. At that point I have no choice than to entirely skip lunch to be productive in the afternoon. Even eating a little can make me dramatically less productive.

> you should solve the right way.

What's the way to solve this?

Sleeping more helps me but only a bit and I still get K.O. after lunch.

I've researched this many times but never found any solution. Would love so much to fix that.


Same here, I get so tired after lunch. I did a full blood panel and nothing abnormal. I eat low carb, healthy lunches and I still get tired. The only thing that helps is a strong coffee or a nap.

In addition to this, the JRE podcast with Matthew Walker has tons of fascinating insights into sleep (and how essential it is for health, longevity, etc.). Highly recommend just about everyone listen to it:

Joe Rogan Experience #1109 - Matthew Walker https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwaWilO_Pig

The bit that really stuck with me from this podcast was how overworked some medical professionals are, especially those in residency. Which ends up contributing to them making mistakes with their patients, including deadly ones. Shift work is already extremely taxing on the human body, on top of the large amounts of stress nurses and doctors are already under; but on top of that, we're working the newbies 80 hours a week!?

According to Matthew Walker, this phenomenon started with one influential guy who thought it was important for the residents to "prove themselves" by working these insane hours, and it's just kind of stuck since then. Scary stuff, and basically no reason for it.

Medical residents do stupid work hours, and medicine is the one profession ought to know better. Pilots and truck drivers are legally restricted in the number of hours they can work, and doctors should be also. We know the effects of sleep deprivation, but doctors are 'special'.

There is no reason for it that I can see, apart from a general shortage of cheap, early-career doctors, due to their stupid guild-like methods of limiting inputs. That and their stupid machismo of proving themselves, as you say.

> William Halsted, the first chief of surgery at Johns Hopkins in the 1890s and a founder of modern medical training, required his residents to be on call 362 days a year (only later was it revealed that Halsted fueled his manic work ethic with cocaine), and for the next 100 years the attitude of the medical establishment was more or less the same.


I think the same about consulting.

Most people work insane hours there.

I'm pretty sure they could provide the same output in better quality if they learn to work 6 to 8 hours on one thing. ( And learn how to priotize)

Great episode! I just posted another comment about Matthew Walker on the Kevin Rose podcast. There was definitely overlap with JRE #1109, but some new things, too.

Link: https://www.kevinrose.com/single-post/matthew-walker

Also overlaps with JRE and probably the one you linked, but I really liked this Rhonda Patrick podcast with Dan Pardi too.


Also can be found on Rhonda's Apple Podcasts channel.

> There’s this new finding where playing sounds at a certain frequency when your brain is in deep sleep actually increases the percentage of time spent in deep sleep. We’re publishing this paper in Society for Neuroscience Conference in a couple of weeks, and it’s basically what my TED talk is about. Playing these pulses at the same frequency as your deep-sleep brainwaves primes more deep sleep. Scientifically speaking, it’s a similar process as transcranial direct-current stimulation, except it doesn’t use electricity—just sound. Sound gets transmitted into electricity because you’re picking up on the auditory cortex while you’re sleeping.

I've tried the open source app Binaural Beats[0] a few days ago, mainly just as a noise blocker, but I was surprised to notice it working quite well with getting me into a deep sleep too. I don't know if it uses these frequencies though.

[0] https://f-droid.org/en/packages/com.github.axet.binauralbeat...

Do you use phone speaker or sleep with headphones?

Binaural beats don't quite work without headphones (unless you got a carefully positioned speaker setup, and even then the effect probably isn't optimal).

It's a psycho-acoustic effect of hearing a beat frequency when playing two slightly differently tuned sounds in each ear. It's like the regular beat frequency effect that you use for tuning a guitar, play a 440Hz and 442Hz tone simultaneously and you'll hear a 2Hz beating frequency because the soundwaves physically cancel out twice per second. The binaural trick is that you play one tone in the left ear and the other in the right ear. So the tones never physically meet, yet your brain hallucinates the corresponding beat frequency regardless. You can easily test this for yourself if you're handy with audio software (try two sine waves first--careful with the volume though, pure sine waves can carry a lot of energy in headphones). Your brain is doing some really cool signal processing :)

The other part is something called "brainwave synchronisation" or "entrainment". Parts of your brain pulse at a certain frequency between 3Hz and 12Hz or thereabouts. 12/10Hz is when you're active and awake, 3Hz corresponds to very deep sleep (I think of the dreamless kind, but it's been a while). The specific frequency ranges have names of Greek letters (12/10Hz = alpha/beta), but from what I can tell and given that it's super hard to measure, thinking about it as "active" to "less active" is just about as useful (IIRC think 8-10Hz is supposed to be more "creative" or something).

The idea being that you start a session at roughly your current brain frequency, so probably in the 10-12Hz "active" range. And then it slowly slides down to the desired relaxation frequency over the course of 10-30 minutes or so. Some programs have specific sequences, going up and down, probably inspired by sleep cycles switching between deep sleep and more active states. A full sleep cycle is about 4.5 hours and brainsync sessions are usually much shorter.

Now, the funny thing here is, that there is actually NO reason that you need binaural beats to do this brainwave synchronisation. It's two entirely unrelated phenomena (if I'm mistaken and they are somehow related, PLEASE comment or link me :) I'm fascinated by this stuff, even though sceptical). It always seemed to me they focused on binaural beats simply because it has this extra "woo factor" of being about frequencies that "aren't really there" (the hallucinated beat frequencies). There's another technique called "isochronic tones", which are just beeps or clicks repeating at the desired 3-12Hz frequency, that works just as well (or perhaps better because it is direct stimulation instead of being deduced in the brain).

Binaural beats have one advantage though, that isochronic tones are SUPER annoying to listen to. And with the proper DSP plugin, you can apply binaural beats over any existing audio track, with minimal artifacts or distortion. So it's just much more nicer to have this soothing ambient soundscape, that also happens to have binaural beats embedded in it.

Except the problem is, which really muddles my conclusion of "does this even work", most people I hear reporting about binaural beats, don't actually listen using headphones. They just play it on their sound system while sleeping, which are often two tiny speakers near eachother, on the other side of the room. They report it really helps them sleep. I'm 99.99% sure that they're just falling asleep because of the nice ambient soundtracks binaural beats are laid over. There's just no way the binaural beat effect carries accurately over a room from cheap speakers.

If headphones, I'd be curious which ones. All the ones I've tried give me a headache after a few hours.

I've slept with LG Tone headphones as well as Beats X. I'd say the LG Tone was more comfortable to sleep with, since the connection to the neck part is very thin and moves around easily, and the neck part is free to move around loosely as you move. It never seems to get in the way, and the buds aren't ripped out. The BeatsX had a bigger problem with their stiffer neck part, if I moved they'd be pulled from my ears. Plus their at-best 8 hour battery life doesn't always last a full night, so I've been woken up by the sudden lack of white noise.

Then again, when the Tone dies, it screams "LOW BATTERY PLEASE CHARGE NOW" at you over and over again, which might wake you up :)

ATH-M50x. I don't mind over-ear headphones with soft-padding like this one, and it has a very good sound quality/price ratio (if you don't mind the lack of bluetooth).

The thing is that I was using the app for meditation, but I accidentally fell asleep. Woke up extremely refreshed though!

Small quibble: the headline should be "in bed for more than eight hours"

The expert says 8.5 hours in bed (trying to sleep) to sleep 8, since we don't sleep the whole time.

So, if you have an accurate sleep tracker, "8" is still the number.

Was ready to say the same.

Over 8 hours of sleep starts reaching into the "hell no" territory for me, typically resulting in a headache all day. But I'm usually in bed before then, so it does work out much closer to what I actually go for.

>A professor I collaborate with at Penn State named Orfeu Buxton says that 8.5 hours of sleep is the new eight hours. In order to get a healthy eight hours of sleep, which is the amount that many people need, you need to be in bed for 8.5 hours.

So, the title is misleading. It means you should lie in bed for 8.5 hours in order to actually be asleep for 8 hours.

That said, this article has plenty of good insight and is well-written.

>So, the title is misleading. It means you should lie in bed for 8.5 hours in order to actually be asleep for 8 hours.

No, the title is not misleading.

Sleep is not just the time you're actually asleep. It's the whole time that you're in bed.

If you are in bed for only 8 hours a night, do you account for the times you woke up mid-sleep and went to have a piss, for example?

Ah, I assumed that was obvious.

> Bose just released an earbud that you can sleep with, for example

Wait, what? These are 249.95$. Why not just use simple earplugs? In Germany, we have Ohropax, made from wax, which sell for less than 3€ for a set of 12: http://www.ohropax.de/en.html

Because earplugs also tune out the sounds of an alarm clock. This isn't an issue if I never have to wake before 11 or noon. A 6am waking time means I continually run the risk of simply not hearing the alarm, even with good sleeping habits and not sleeping in on weekends.

Of course, most of the earbuds that say they are designed for sleep only hold a charge for an average of 6 hours, and at the most 8. These actually have 16 hours, but unfortunately it seems they won't stream music instead of their pre-set sounds.

I've used Ohropax for the past couple of years, and they're absolutely amazing. None of the regular earplugs fit my ears, or are uncomfortable. Ohropax is just bees wax I think, and there's other brands that work just as well.

I also use an alarm if I have work to show up for, and I've never missed the alarm, the alarms on my phone are annoying as hell and never fail to wake me.

If you're so tired that you fall back asleep after your alarm, then you've messed up, and you probably were so tired that you could've fallen asleep without the earplugs anyway. I know I had many of those mornings during school/university.

mornings for me is akin to most folks trying to work a late shift. I'm fine if I have an adequately late waking time: 11 is pretty natural. I can do 9 with good sleep. 6am? My actual quality of sleep suffers.

And I think you misunderstand: I don't fall back asleep. I fail to hear the alarm at all. Or the phone. While we were dating, my now spouse called me to wake me up since he realized he didn't see me online. I did wake... on the 17th phone call. This simply happens with early wakings, regardless of sleep hygiene.

I use a “silent alarm” on my Pebble (you also have something similar on Fitbit models). It basically vibrates on your wrist until you wake up. No sound needed.

I've seriously considered a vibrating alarm, though I'd always looked into models that shake the pillow or mattress.

I use an Amazfit Bip wristwatch, and now I don't use sound for alarms, just the watch vibration. It wakes me right up.

What time do you go to sleep that your body wants to sleep until 11 or 12? You might be staying up too late and not getting enough sleep.

I'd like to point out that I'm about a month shy of 40 next month, so none of this represents a phase or age. When I was a child, I actually refused to wake up for Santa's presents on christmas morning, choosing instead to go to grandmother's house and open Santa gifts when we got home later in the day.

When I follow a natural sleep/wake cycle, I sleep around 3 or 4 and wake around 11 or 12. I can get good quality sleep waking at 9 (going to be earlier, of course), but can't consistently wake naturally this way and must use an alarm. Usually this coincides with hormonal changes once a month. I'm obviously female.

If I wake at 6 or 7 am, things get tricky. Even with good sleep habits (no screens in the bedroom, quiet dark, cool environment, no sleeping in on weekends), my sleep suffers. I'll get a good night or two in, then can't fall asleep until midnight the next night. I always run the risk of not hearing the alarm clock. I'm working against my body clock. I've had to adjust the "good sleep habits" so that I can get more sleep on the weekends lest I wind up with depression due to lack of sleep.

I do what I can to work later shifts, but I can't always avoid mornings.

edited for clarity

i feel i am in the same boat. any tips that have helped ?

> Because earplugs also tune out the sounds of an alarm clock.

No criticism! I just find it funny in the context of this article. An alarm clock is the last thing one should use if natural and healthy length of sleep is a priority. I know that society creates the pressure, but just to stay in the context of the article...

Myself, I have not used an alarm clock in years and I would rather face huge pay cuts (which is exactly what is happening) or even worse rather than ever go back to forced wake-up, which I would now consider a direct violent attack on my person. Exceptions are fine, but no way I would let that be imposed on me as "normal part of life" ever again.

By the way, the brain, i.e. its zeitgebers are really good at waking you up.

I had to take a chelator (binds to heavy metals in the body and makes them excretable; details are in my recent comment history) regularly (keeping a low steady dose in blood instead of pulse-dosing). It meant waking up every 4 hours at the latest. I soon didn't need an alarm clock even for that any more! My brain would wake me up, and it would even take into account my overall health status. When according to my symptoms I had more metals circling I would wake up after maybe 1.5 or 2 hours, when I felt fine I would wake up after 3.8 hours or so, just before the scheduled 4 hour mark. I did that for years, it was completely automatic. Also, when I went off the chelator for a week I would instantly, starting that same following night, sleep through and not wake up! My brain (the zeitgebers) even took into account if I took the chelators and needed to wake up or not. Amazing thing, that brain.

After years of my not quite voluntary experiments I trust my brain a lot more when it comes to decisions such as the sleep schedule. It's far more fine-tuned and takes into account so much more, it's not a blunt regulation at all but highly sophisticated. In my experience, not just with sleep but there's more such "involuntary experiments" I got into through my heavy metal issue, the brain's regulatory circuits not connected to consciousness nevertheless actually do incorporate a lot of information most people might think are for our conscious self only, we just don't usually realize it (or trust it). My conclusion is that while the conscious part cannot (easily, directly) access information from the areas outside of consciousness, the opposite is not true and the rest of the brain uses all information. It's almost as if my brain always knows what I'm up to, spooky :-)

By the way, in my sleep experience much amplified by the health issues caused by heavy metal poisoning, the first 1-3 hours of sleep and the very last part - the one that many people are missing out on - stand out. When I was at the peak of my (mercury) problems I might be okay all day, but I would wake up between 2 and 3 am knowing with absolute certainty I had cancer, or something really bad. My conscious self knew that was nonsense, at least after a while of observing those patterns, but the feeling was there. Those first 2 or 3 hours also were the ones were my body had the most problems. Everything was fine and nice after that first part of sleep. The last part, hours 6-8 or even just 7-8, stand out because if you wake up just before that you feel fine and fresh, but if you wake up after that part you may actually feel a bit worse. However, and as I said I experienced the effects much amplified because of the specific issues I had at the time, without that last part of sleep something was missing, something.. essential. It was like - and that is not a literal description because I have no idea what my body did! - as if the body had thrown out a ton of "garbage" in that very last phase. So if you missed it you might feel better because that "garbage" wasn't in your blood, but long term it was better to not skip "garbage duty". That's only my "by feel" description!

That feeling is similar to what more people may know as what happens when yo have to sleep during the day, and instead of just superficially napping you actually fall into "real" sleep. When you wake up you may feel groggy for an hour. With my involuntarily gained experience I would now advise to go through with it, if your body does that it has a reason! I always felt worse short term but much better long term with that very last sleep phase.

I went through such phases over almost a decade of recovery, and the more I got better overall, with clinically proven (unexpected) successes, the less my body wanted any of that. I only had the desire to sleep during the day when I really needed it, it got less and less the farther I got overall. So I would not treat the body's desire to sleep at any time lightly, even during daytime. Most of your brain involved in regulating your body is not accessible to consciousness, but it has a lot more data and you should think twice if you really want to use the consciousness' ability to override some things. Instead, isn't it reasonable to hand over control to where the data is, i.e. to let such things like sleep pattern not be regulated by alarm clocks and social pressures but by your "inner self"? This reminds me, when I worked there (contractor) there was a "sleep room" in Oracle building 100 (Redwood Shores)...

... I would rather face huge pay cuts (which is exactly what is happening) or even worse rather than ever go back to forced wake-up, which I would now consider a direct violent attack on my person. Exceptions are fine, but no way I would let that be imposed on me as "normal part of life" ever again.

I do understand this! I do what I can to avoid jobs with an early start. :)

Simple, I put one in and sleep on the other side. The pillow is good in attenuating noises but I can still hear the alarm clock.

Ohropax are the best. I discovered them in Vienna. Thanks to the internet, you can now get them anywhere :)

We have cheap earplugs too. These are earbuds, as in they play music through them

Attenuation isn’t nearly as effective as masking with white noise.

Haven’t followed the link in the article but I guess those are noise canceling.

Noise masking, not cancelling. As in, you will hear waves, rivers, rain etc.

Does anyone know much about the source, Daniel Gartenberg? The credentials in the article are not great for a "leading" scientist, but perhaps others know more:

"assistant adjunct professor ... at Penn State"

"one of the world’s most-talked-about sleep scientist" (emphasis added) - most talked about?

"entrepreneur who has launched several cognitive-behavioral-therapy apps"

There's this place called Google, and it's literally a click on his name away:




>"assistant adjunct professor ... at Penn State" (...) "one of the world’s most-talked-about sleep scientist" (emphasis added) - most talked about? (...) "entrepreneur who has launched several cognitive-behavioral-therapy apps"

Basically: "someone we saw at TED and which has several videos of him attempting a career as a popularizer".

I believe I'm one of the "short sleepers" they mention in the article. I've bought wirstband mostly to track my sleep patterns. Even though article says that devices like fitbit are not accurate enough in tracking different phases of sleep, my goal was largley to see how much time do I spend sleeping. In the last four months, I average out at 6,1hrs.

90% of the time I will wake up before the alarm and will sleep the same amount of time over the weekends, when I usually don't go to bed as early as I do during the working part of the week. The thing that I constantly think about is - could I benefit from those 2 extra hours to get to that magic number 8? I would really like to try it, but I keep waking up after 6 hrs. :)

I've started to think it's because of not so healthy lifestile - no exerxice, sub optimal diet, irregular bed time. Is it possible that my poor lifestyle results in me waking up after only 6 hrs of sleep and while feeling OK (it became normal to me), I could feel better if I slept longer? That was always something I pondered about. How to know if you really are a short sleeper, or you're just a person that gets by with sleeping less than recommended while not feeling as good as they could if they slept longer?

I’m the same way. Exercise and eating healthy just makes my body want even less sleep. When I’m firing on all cylinders, eating right and working out, I can get away with 5.5-6 and feel better than I ever do trying to push up past 7 by going back to sleep in the morning.

I my experience, the most important thing is, wake up when you wake up. Don’t go back to sleep because you feel like you should, or the alarm has 20 more minutes. If you’re awake, get moving.

I feel like going back down signals to my body that this is going to be a lazy day and it should settle in, instead of firing up all systems.

How much do you exercise? Because when I exercise to the point that I am really tired, sweating and have sore muscles next day, I sleep more then normally. The theories I read on internet seem to confirm the same - your body rebuilds when you sleep, exercise is sort of damaging it (it is damage good for you, but I dont know better term), so if you exercise you should sleep more.

You have asked the correct question. "Exercise" is a wide spectrum of intensity levels and energy expenditure depending on who is exercising and for what reason. If you are training like an athlete then 8 hours of sleep usually isn't enough.

You mention you bought a wristband. Tracking my sleep is one of those things I want to start doing. Do you have any recommendations?

I don't particularly want to remember to put it on every night. I know Nokia launched a mattress pad recently (https://health.nokia.com/gr/en/sleep) but I'm concerned about how reliable this is if I don't sleep exactly on top of it. (Plus I don't know how this could actually tell anything like sleep cycles and what not, or even detect that I'm asleep vs. watching TV in bed)

Hi. I'm a software engineer at Fitbit. It is not my job to speak for Fitbit or to sell Fitbits, but I'm answering you because it gives me the chance to point out three reasons why this article's quote about Fitbits not being accurate about sleep stages is wrong.

1. The researcher is also an entrepreneur whose product's sales depend on people thinking Fitbit isn't good enough. https://sonicsleepcoach.com/about-dr-dan/ 2. The quote lumps Fitbit and Apple Watch together in terms of how frequently heart rate is measured, when there's a 60x difference. A sincere quote would be more along the lines of "Apple Watch's 1-5 minute sample rate certainly isn't enough, but even Fitbit's 1-5 second sample rate won't give the accuracy you need..." 3. He doesn't say what's wrong with any published study showing sleep stage accuracy of Fitbit, notably https://academic.oup.com/sleep/article/40/suppl_1/A26/378095...

Not the parent, but I've been using the Oura ring (https://ouraring.com/) for almost a year and it works very well for sleep tracking. It's a sleep tracker above all, and has rather limited exercise tracking. It tracks resting heart rate, sleep phases, body temperature, and breathing. There's also an API to download data from their cloud service, although I haven't tried it.

I haven't yet received the newer model, but it seems to solve the issue of limited battery life in the previous model and the ring is also significantly smaller.

Woah, that's cool. I'll try it out, thanks for the pointer!

I was looking for something cheap with as much packed features as I can get and settled on Huawei Band Pro 2 (https://consumer.huawei.com/en/wearables/band2). You can get it for 70 bucks, and it tracks your sleep, heart rate and even has built in GPS if you want to jog or cycle.

The easiest win for your sleep might be removing the TV from your bedroom

I wonder if you considered that my concern is still valid when replacing "watching TV" with "reading a book".

I wonder if you considered that maybe I use my bed throughout the day for non-sleep-related activities.

I wonder if you considered that "watching TV" might have been an example, and I don't actually have a TV in my bedroom.

Try going without an alarm at all for awhile, and then measure your sleep.

I've noticed that I have much more energy throughout the day when I get up as soon as my body wakes up. If I decide to sleep in because it's too early, I will usually have less energy.

I have to assume getting up at the end of a REM cycle is far better than starting another you cannot finish.

I'm jealous of folks who have the luxury of being able to have their bodies let them sleep 8 or more hours. I'm not sitting there with a phone next to my pillow, and I have no problems falling asleep. But I always wake up too early, before the alarm, meaning I can't get more than 6.5-7.5 hours because my body is too sensitive to light, noise and everything else: I'm cursed genetically as a light sleeper.

Worst part is, I'm in an unsympathetic world of non-light sleepers who play music, stomp around at odd hours, etc.

You should try earplugs and/or sleeping masks. They both take a little getting used to but they will definitely improve your sleep quality if external stimulation is your main problem.

I use earplugs almost every night. Earplugs don't block thumping from bass music or footsteps or slamming doors unfortunately. :-(

I live in Manhattan next to an intersection where people are beeping all night long. White noise machine on = I don't hear anything.

move to another place

The article understates how important pure darkness is, just a crack of light under a door can whack lab animals' melatonin levels. Also for constant biphasic sleep (which you want) 8.5 hrs isn't really enough, certainly not year 'round (I do skimp a bit during summer, near equinox.)

But is it worth the time?

I've seen the studies showing how people who get more sleep live longer, but I always wonder, if you were measuring "total number of waking hours lived", would they come out to more or less equal?

(My curiosity has never been strong enough to make me actually do the calculation.)

From my experience* yes, it is worth it. But not in "total number of waking hours lived", but in performance in those waking hours - every hour cut from my optimal 8-8.5h sleep reduces my awareness / perf at work / social skills by 10% or more.

* I worked both in menial jobs and as a programmer, both with periods of short & long sleep.

EDIT: I can of course force myself to perform at higher level even with shorter sleep, but that very often leads to need for even longer sleep or health issues.

What if one always finds oneself waking up spontaneously, in a moderately alert state, after about 5-6 hours' sleep and can then only achieve fitful, unrefreshing sleep for the rest of the night?

In my youth, in the absence of an alarm, I would consistently get 8-9 hours of deep, unbroken sleep, but since my early 20s, I've found it impossible to get more than about six hours in one block. If I do succeed in returning to sleep after a premature awakening, I'll wake up again no more than 30 minutes later from what feels like a very non-restorative light sleep.

Schedule permitting, what seems to work best for me is a biphasic routine where the bulk of my sleep, typically about 5-6 hours, is had at night together with a short siesta in the afternoon, usually after lunch.

How is your exercise? Are you limiting your intake of artificial light?

I've experimented with all the commonly suggested stuff: blue-light blocking, sublingual melatonin (dosed appropriately and timed according to the phase response curve), exercise, meditation, etc., simultaneously and in isolation, and nothing extended my sleep significantly.

I suspect if I went through a grueling few weeks of sleep restriction, I would eventually see an increase in the duration of my sleep, but I'm content for now to stick with my biphasic protocol.

I suffer from nocturia (diagnosed as non pathological after many rounds of tests all turning up negative).

In a typical night I get five hours max of contiguous sleep and have started sleeping (by that I mean the in bed duration) nine to ten hours as an attempt to compensate for not being able to stay asleep.

I've always been curious about the difference between time spent in bed and actual time in deep sleep and their equivalence.

Also for anyone with an Android phone that is interested in tracking sleep the app Sleep As Android is really great.https://sleep.urbandroid.org/

I think we are only beginning to understand the importance of a good night's sleep.

I just recently listened to a fantastic episode of the Kevin Rose podcast featuring sleep scientist Matthew Walker [0], and found it very enlightening.

[0] https://www.kevinrose.com/single-post/matthew-walker

>Jobs used to be very manual, but as jobs are becoming more and more cognitive, I think caring for your cognition is going to become increasingly important for the work.

That's an interesting point, it will become less about not sitting in the same position for a long period of time, and more about making sure you don't strain your brain

your muscles wont grow and your body goes kaput if you sleep insufficiently and do physical labor.

Employees didn't care about that though, as they could get another cheap hired hand to do your work went you went kaput. Plus it didn't take much clarity or muscle to do most factory, farm etc work, just tedious persistence -- so you could be overtired all the time and they would still get productive work out of you.

With mental work it's not so simple (e.g. there are bigger costs in training you and in employee churn).

>> Lightsabers?

>> Zeitgebers! It’s this weird German word. There’s a lot of cool words in sleep: like the photo receptors control the release of melatonin by sending signals to the suprachiasmatic nucleus, just like supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

See kids? Science is this really cool thing with all those cool words. And stuff.


It's about quality not quantity.

"You people do not sleep correctly ..." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIxNgQ-CwPo&t=65

I must be a genetic short sleeper: 4 hours and I'm awake, as in my eyes won't stay shut. 5 hours and I'm groggy. Been this way for quite a while, and I used to stress about it, but now I just get up and get things done. I do take a nap here and there, but maybe once a month? However, I am somewhat of a health nut, crunches and core stuff during compiles, and a hard cardio mid afternoon. All this while coding 10 to 14 hours a day. Working from home, no commute, and a boss 12 time zones away, I've been able to get pretty extreme because I really like my work.

Has anyone seen research into letting your body sleep as long as it wants by not setting an alarm? I don't set an alarm anymore and reason that my body will wake up when it wants to. However doctors have told me that just because I don't "artificially" wake up, I might not be getting enough sleep.

my body will wake up when it wants to.

That only works if you can completely control your external environment. Even when I don't set an alarm clock I often wake up at least partially due to external light/noise/temperature.

I wonder if there are any studies of the effect on the quality and quantity of people's sleep and their general wellbeing since this recent surge of "sleep shaming" in the press started.

It's always the same thing: "You are not sleeping in exactly this way and you should feel bad." Nope, sorry. I don't.

>It's always the same thing: "You are not sleeping in exactly this way and you should feel bad." Nope, sorry. I don't.

The article already mentions that sleep deprived people, up to a certain point at least, don't feel bad.

Their inferior performance and clarity becomes their "new normal" -- like people who have shortsightedness and don't know it, and think everybody just sees that way.

you get used to feeling bad. i suppose we've worn out the usefulnes of the word now.

This headline couldn't have been worse. People always overstate the importance of what they study. Pretty much period.

Obviously doesn't mean there isn't something to this; but "topic x is something everyone neglects, according to person studying x" is enough to set me on defensive. Hard.

"You actually have genes that dictate whether you’re a morning person or an evening person."

The workplace constantly discriminates against night owls. How long will it take for cultures to finally catch up in this respect?

Is there some way I can test if I have this short sleeper gene? I have a hard time sleeping more than 5 to 6 hours and these articles all make me think I’m going to die early, lose memories, and every other affliction possible.

check 23andme

Ever since my teens I considered sleep the most difficult thing in my life, and the most detrimental to my health. For me falling asleep has been a difficult assignment that usually takes 1-3 hours. It's been a negative feedback loop where when I am tired I lose discipline and stay awake longer, which makes me even more tired the next day, which makes me stay awake even longer. It makes no sense at all and frequently throws me in bouts of grogginess that last days.

It's been that way for more than ten years now, and I've read and talked a lot about sleeping but nothing ever made me get rid of this problem of not being able to fall asleep. A couple of weeks ago however I read two HN articles that together seem to have finally given me some grip on falling asleep more quickly (i.e. in less than 1 hour).

Reading back that last paragraph makes me feel like I'm about to introduce a "doctors hate this one trick" product.. Anyway, the first article is the one about WW2 pilots having to fall asleep in two minutes:


The key takeaway from that is kind of obvious, but it's nice to be made conscious of it, and that is that it's important to actively make yourself relax. Relax both your muscles, and your mind.

I can't seem to find the second article, maybe it didn't have sleep in the title or something, but it was the missing link for me. The article was a little bit controversial because it had a linkbaity title implying sleep is not important. The main point of that article was that since stress and stressful thinking inhibits sleep, you sleep better if you don't worry about sleeping. It's the old ice bear problem, you have to sleep, but you're not allowed to think about having to sleep.

I combined those two articles into a simple strategy that seems to be fairly succesful so far. First step is to get into a position where all my limbs are relaxed, and I actively relax my body.

The next step is to stop my mind from racing through the realization and acceptation that the most important thing right now is to sleep. That means that my ideas are unimportant, that my organization of tomorrows tasks are unimportant, that sudden realizations are unimportant, that nothing matters, not even falling asleep. I kill any brain activity with "it doesn't matter", almost as a mantra. When something pops up in my brain, I force myself to think "it doesn't matter" and cease working on the idea.

Maybe it sounds a bit silly, but I think it might help someone in the same situation as me. I think I let myself feel my thoughts were important for too long. I really enjoy thinking about how to do things, and apparently it's become a point of discipline to make myself stop thinking about things.

> ...misconceptions... Even that eating cheese before snoozing causes nightmares.

Stilton definitely does cause weird dreams -- the fungus in it is psychoactive, I am absolutely sure of it.

Man... some Rarebit an hour or two before going to bed (eggs, cheese, mustard, Worcestershire and a couple other spices)... that is a guaranteed way for me to have totally messed up dreams. They’re generally not nightmares so much as super vivid and weird.

At least I’m not the only one: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dream_of_the_Rarebit_Fiend

I never use an alarm clock and rarely sleep more than six hours. I've been trying to sleep eight for as long as I can remember and it never seems to happen

How someone with no sleep issues can choose to sleep less than 8 hours is beyond me. I would be in heaven if I could consistently pull off more than 8 hours.

The article claims that catching up on sleep during the weekend doesn't work. This is most likely wrong information, as shown in this very recent study [0].

[0] https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/jsr.12712

As far as I can tell your linked study says that "possibly, long weekend sleep may compensate for short weekday sleep" in terms of mortality but says nothing about qualify of life.

You can catchup/reset but the days you don't sleep enough you'll do worse.

Yes, different priorities lead to different results. If you are looking at life satisfaction, then 8 hours a day is claimed to be optimal [0].

[0] https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12232-016-0256-1

The "very recent study" is just a recent study. It needs to be repeated, critiqued by other researchers and studies, and so on to be verified. Until then it's worth nothing.

The processor, on the other hand, summarized our research knowledge so far, in other words, tons of study results and a large body of knowledge.

Where can we get the actual research paper?

I get along just fine on 6.

Probably missed the part of the interview where they explained that people that get less sleep become less able to tell whether they're sleep deprived or not.

Their new, less than perfect, functioning, becomes "the new normal".

(That, or you're one of the outliers with the genes for "short sleeping").

Zeitgeber isn't "like totally this weird German word OMG." (Foreign languages aren't, as a rule, inherently super fucked up just because you don't speak them.) It just means "time-giver" - a cue (like the sunrise) that tells your body what time it is.

>Foreign languages aren't, as a rule, inherently super fucked up just because you don't speak them

No, but German kinda is. It almost always sounds like someone in authority is screaming at you :)


Speaking as a German here, the German words in that video were pronounced that way for the sole purpose to ridicule our language. No German would ever pronounce them like that.

Not to mention that the supposedly German in that video looks like a Bavarian and believe me here, Bavarians are not Germans and they're not representative of Germany as a whole. Officially and geographically they are, but in reality the Free State of Bavaria is more like its own nation with its own language and culture. They even have their own political party, the CSU, that only campaigns in Bavaria.

The video is just an exaggeration, a caricature, of an existing feature. There is a grain of truth behind it, particularly 'High German', but the video definitely exaggerates it. If anything, as an outsider, Bavarian and Low German sound much softer.

I lived in Germany for about 5 years (still go back at least once a year) but mostly always spoke English for the job, though obviously I was surrounded by the language. Germanic languages (English included) do contain quite a lot more 'sharp' sounds and generally are spoken in a deeper register than romantic languages.

Mongrel languages like English contain characteristics of both, though I'd say English sounds way more like Low German to me.

Going from memory - in 'High German' sharper sounds like 'echt', 'icht', gutteral 'um', 'zee', ' tzim', gutteral 'uct', 'acht', gutteral 'tur', gutteral 'ch' and 'schmeh' are just a few common examples that are often spoken with emphasised or strong pronunciation even in northern Germany (where I worked but actually now spend more time in Bavaria) and can easily given an impression of a 'harsher' tone to the language to us outsiders. I certainly remember them standing out enough to recall them now.

I guess this comes from the strong pronunciation of each syllable in German, which certainly seems to be more common than something like French or Italian where sounds can be rolled together.

I do agree with you though that emphasis can change the characteristic of the language. To use an example from English, a Glaswegian accent sounds very aggressive. Yet, listen to someone from Aberdeenshire or parts of Wales and English becomes quite mellifluous. Talk to someone from Northern Ireland and you might become concerned they're suicidal such is the cadence and tone of the language.

But it's based on the perception of the outside observer. You DO sound angry even though you are having fun when you talk. Ofcourse there are less loud, angry sounding people but in general when listening to people conversing, it sounds like they are angry with eachother. I'm a swede with german wife so lots of biased experience. When she and her friends talk, they always sound angry. Even people at the store sounds angry.

It really doesn't. If anything German is a fairly soft, camp-sounding language. The whole shouting thing seems to be based on World War II stereotypes.

There is a characteristic gentle sound when many German people speak English as well. They also tend to enunciate more carefully than many native English speakers, so they are usually very easy to understand.

I find that same careful enunciation means German spoken by natives often has a slightly sharper sound than English, but that could just be because many everyday German words use sounds like ch, ck, b, d and z, and as a native English speaker and non-native German speaker I notice those more. As you say, this has nothing to do with shouting, though.

>It really doesn't. If anything German is a fairly soft, camp-sounding language

Not for us non-Germans listening to it (though the video exaggerates of course). There's a reason behind the stereotype, and that's not WWII.

Even the mere written form of the words is more somber and threatening looking: schmetterling vs butterfly or farfala for example, or Wissenschaft vs science.

Can't compare with something like Italian or French.

> No, but German kinda is. It almost always sounds like someone in authority is screaming at you

I disagree, I find German very clear and as Silhouette explains "They also tend to enunciate more carefully than many native English speakers, so they are usually very easy to understand"

I find the Dutch I deal with always seem to be firmly instructing you. It's not shouting but more their translation where they say thing like "you will do ?????". Hard for me to describe, personally I'm fine with it but I know some people find it difficult. I've not found this with Germans.

Only to Americans and some Englishmen. As an Eastern European, German sounds fine to me. Perhaps you are the weird ones :)

As a European myself, I still find German non-melodic and menacing compared.

Besides, "only to Americans and some Englishmen"? Ask a frenchman, an Italian, or a spaniard about how German sound to them...

"What I study is important and everyone else should value it more too"

man, do i have a funny...

despite being a genius i just couldn't do skool. Eventually i concluded that the topics just bored me. It just now struck me that they bored me because i barely slept before school. in the weekends i would sleep 14 hours then did things mentally that blew my own mind. to borrow an example from the discussion: i could look at a chessboard and explore openings without moving a piece, all the way to the end game then the next variation. there was this huge inconsistency with my one ear in other ear out school performance.

I've always felt there was a dramatic difference in my mental performance/IQ/genius-level thinking when I got a full 9 hours of sleep versus just 7-8 hours. Very noticeable in school or the early years of work.

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact