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Ask HN: What is your sleep cycle?
29 points by duch 5 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 19 comments
My sleep cycle is fucked (3-8AM) and I spend most of my time in the office (10AM-6PM) half asleep. Every couple of days, come home early to get a couple of hours of sleep in the evening.

I find myself very productive in the night, after 11 PM (reading/programming), but I'm now resolved to change my sleep cycle to an optimal one.

I was wondering what your sleep cycle is, and how do you maintain it over time. It would be great if you can answer,

- What is your typical sleep cycle? How many hours of sleep do you need to feel fresh in the morning? - Is it different over the weekend? Do you find it difficult to switch back to "normal" cycle on Mondays? - Do you think your sleep cycle is optimal for you? If you can change it, what would it be? - Are you productive at night or are you a morning person? - Your best productive hours?

I have a very similar sleep cycle and I'm guessing it's pretty common among programmers I think(1).

I too tried to fight it a lot, tried everything under the sun to fix it but couldn't keep up for more than a few days. Now I've made my peace with it. If it's any consolation acceptance that I work better at night has been far more rewarding to me than trying to fight it and fix it.

(1) https://swizec.com/blog/why-programmers-work-at-night/swizec...

Week/ends are all the same for me. I have found it personally challenging to be on two different schedules and switch between them every week.

I go to bed between 10p-12a and wake up between 5-5:30a.

Even if I go out for a night of drinking with friends and don’t knock out until 2a...I still wake up at 5 :/ Not too popular with the ladies...

Do you just take small naps through the day then? Or are you just a zombie the next day?

I have been trying to get into the 530am game (7.5 hours from 10pm) but I also tend to stay up until 12pm naturally and if engaged in a project can stay up until 3am.

Yep - I will either take a 1-2hr nap around 2pm, or I will end up going to sleep earlier, around maybe 9pm. Even when I'm up at 5 that next morning, I never feel less productive, but I will definitely hit the cliff early afternoon.

My circadian cycle has been screwed for years. Even with militant reduction of device use, avoidance of caffeine, sugar or stimulants, for whatever reason, no matter how tired I am, I wake up fully around 9pm, feeling clear and generally “awake”. It’s hell. I did have success for a limited period of time by getting up at 4am and shifting my cycle from “late night” to “early morning”. It did feel better, but I was still out of sync with the 9-5 cycle which is by itself, completely out of sync with seasonal time. I don’t know about you, but the older I have become, the more sensitive I seem to be seasonal changes! I suppose once choice is to try early starts or late nights?

7am alarm every day (even weekends). Most nights asleep before 12pm. I shoot for 1030-11pm.

I found that getting up at the same exact time every day was much more stabilizing than forcing myself to go to bed at the same time every night. Once I got used to waking up at the same time, falling asleep around the same time came naturally.

If something out of the ordinary happens, or I stay out on a Friday/Saturday night, I stick to my 7am alarm and then nap to catch up as needed.

I've been sleeping from 1:30 AM to 6:15 AM on weekdays and at least 12 to 14 hours from Friday to Saturday and Saturday to Sunday. Been doing it for 4 years since I changed schedule. I don't feel tired or impaired at all. Usually able to start working around 7:30 AM (feel really sleepy before that).

Recently (couple of weeks) had a shift and now stay up to 3 AM on some days and catch a 1 and a half or 2-hour nap around 5 PM. I feel tired and impaired after waking up. Only get back to normal the other day.

My sleep is determined by the fact that besides a full time job, I'm pursuing a Doctorate and consistently try to get solid 9~10 hours of work+study every day, with 14-hour workdays every once in a while.

The amount of work I do or effort that I spend has absolutely nothing to do with how much or how well I sleep.

The amount of exercise I do, no matter how little, has a great impact.

My sleep cycle is fairly standard, most of the time 11:00PM-7:30AM ... I can manage 1AM-9AM ~twice a week without too muhch of a performance hit, and if I am getting sick, I can usually mitigate by sleeping 9PM-8AM.

When tired I did experiment with having a siesta (~45 min rest at 14PM), but the logistics are weird (i.e. having a place to lay down, eye-mask for darkness, ear-plugs or withe-noise generator ...)

My best productive hours are weird :D 7AM to 10AM and 7PM to 10PM ... this unfortunately isn't really compatible with having any sort of social life :D

My wife is more of a night-owl, fine going to sleep at 2AM but not feeling rested unless she was asleep between 8AM-10AM, which is tricky with our kid going to kindergarden in mornings.

If she is tired enough, she can manage the similar trick of being in bed before 10PM to avoid getting sick.

You should be looking to get around 8 hours of sleep a day to feel normal and awake. If you want to be a morning person there are a few rules of thumb that I follow. You should have an alarm for the same time every day of the week. Sleeping in on weekends is a good way to mess up your sleep cycle. No caffeine after 2pm. No computer/tv time after 10pm. Try to remove as much blue light/LED as possible (I'll unplug a few things). Lower the amount of alcohol you drink at night.

For those who want to start the transition, one thing I found helpful was using Flux for Mac. There's less blue light and there are reminders that you should be going to bed soon.

Programming after 9 (your brain can't stop) and taking an extra nap will affect your sleep cycle.

I go to sleep when I feel sleepy, usually it's around 12:30AM. If it is weekday, I wake up at 8:15am. If it is weekend, I wake up at around 9:30am. I still feel tired on the whole day but that doesn't stop me to be productive. I think I feel tired because I get some pressures in my life.

My best productive hours is from 10:30am to 12:00am. I was productive in the night, but I stopped working in the night few years ago, because that affects my sleep cycle. I solved programming problems even in the dream.

I sleep from 10:30PM - 5:15am weekends and weekends no regular schedule.

I play tennis from 5:30am to 7:30am so I feel tired at 10:30pm and need to sleep immediately. But I never require alarm to wake up, somehow I end up waking up at 5:15am for sure

I have some kind of advanced sleep phase condition that puts me from 8PM-6AM. Just as "fall back" is a much bigger pain to adjust on a clock with two buttons during daylight savings than "spring forward", melatonin doesn't seem to do much but trigger headaches and grogginess.

Workwise, I feel alert and energetic during working hours, and can run circles around devs half my age. Socially, it's pretty awkward. Being out 'til midnight doesn't require too much adjustment, but entertaining at home is right out.

Luckily, 8pm-6am is very compatible with remote teams on the east coast and Europe.

I try to get 7-8 solid hours of sleep every night, and on weekends I make a point not to set any alarms to make sure my body wakes up when it's been fully recharged.

In the beginning I had trouble going to sleep at night, but for the last year I've been making sure to work out so that I'm actually tired when going to bed.

If I go under 6 hours I tend to become worse at my profession for the following day. The code is more prone to need heavy refactoring and the tests usually become kind of sloppy.

Following this regime I've actually become a "morning person" even if I considered myself a night owl before.

I'm in bed at 10pm + or - 15 minutes Sunday-Thursday, I get up at 545 to alarm Monday-Friday and the weekends I usually wake up around 7 without an alarm.

I function fine and feel as if I get enough sleep.

I think I am super productive at 2:00 am, but trying to change that.

There isn't even an ounce of discipline yet, but I would love to be in bed around midnight and up by 7:00 am.

Besides, I found out that I had sleep apnea a couple of years ago and have been using a CPAP since. It has been life-changing! I think I am decently recovered from decades of tiredness from improper sleep, and look forward to being completely normal. :)

A good routine does help, but it's hard for me to maintain.

10.30 PM - 8 AM. I am well rested during the day. It took me many months (perhaps over half a year) to settle into this schedule - mainly thanks to a day job with a morning standup that I can't miss. Without the requirement to get up at a consistent time, I'd probably still struggle, as I did for many years.

The iPhone has a "Bedtime" feature that might help. There's no trick to it though. It's just a matter of committing to living in a healthy way.

There are like six factors: Do: diet, exercise, sleep. Don't: drink, smoke, drug.

- Typical sleep cycle: 2AM-8AM

- Hours of sleep to feel fresh: at least 8 hours

I'm on a similar sleep cycle to you and find it extremely difficult to change. Getting to sleep before midnight is almost impossible for me.

Its unfortunate because similar to you, most of the work in my office is accomplished during the morning hours. Furthermore, I am studying my masters as well and the libraries here in Germany close at 8 PM.

I find myself most awake and productive after leaving the office around 6 PM so I often go home and do some more work from my house.

I've found my colleagues are actually impressed when they see work emails timestamped from around midnight. They think I'm putting in extra effort, but the truth is I'm making up for my lack of productivity during the early work day.

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