That's just ridiculous and I will never ever again click on or upvote anything that has a scribd URL. Scribd truely shows the ugliest face of the ad funded web. It's innovation turned on its head. Ruin something just to extract some money from "fixing" it in a horrible way. It's pathetic and it's an intellectual disgrace.
that's just as bad, if not worse, than scribd.
The worst thing about Scribd is the way it obligates people to ruin perfectly good HN threads with meta-commentary.
"It is estimated that 70% of the population is lactose intolerant (dairy). 33% have yeast sensitivity. 15% have gluten sensitivity (wheat). And 35% have fructose or sugar sensitivity."
Really? Any references to back that up?
"Some raw-foodists say they need less sleep on a raw food diet compared to a cooked food diet."
Again no evidence, or references. And they would say that wouldn't they?
One source he does link to (on the page the above quote comes from) is Stanley Bass, a proponent of Natural Hygiene, and Orthopathy - very much in the realms of alternative medicine (if you look at the website linked to - http://www.drbass.com/, it is obvious quackery,and an assault on the eyes).
Of course, if the majority of the people you know are white (European), then of course 70% looks fudged.
It's likely the same for many of the other stats, though I can't say.
In total I must have gotten 12 hours of sleep over the weekend due to family being in from out of town, but I still got up and worked a full day without an ounce of tiredness. It wasn't until around 10:30pm that my body demanded sleep.
I also noted that I have similar creative productivity at 6am as I used to at 1am when I was on night-owl hours. So I now use my extra morning time to get writing done that I find hard to get to later in the day.
Try the olympics lifts: power cleans and snatches and squat cleans and snatches. Or their components: deadlifts, front squats, presses. Or back squats and thrusters. Do a bunch of those in rapid succession and your whole body will be much more tired than doing a 5k run, guaranteed.
Check out Mark Rippetoe's "Starting Strength"  for more info. Great program for anyone new to weightlifting.
There is a lot of misinformation out on the web about polyphasic sleep, both by its proponents as well as its detractors. Some of the things that have been written (polyphasic sleepers only get REM, for example) are just false. One problem is that there isn't a very large body of peer reviewed literature on the subject; the canonical reference is a volume of conference proceedings from 1991 which can be hard to lay hands on. The fact that (a) adaptation takes a long time (on the order of weeks) and (b) the polyphasic schedule is incompatible with the way most people live their lives has made researching it difficult.
I'm currently involved in a polyphasic sleep experiment organized by the folks at Zeo. They asked for some volunteers to use their hardware to monitor our sleep as we either adapt to a polyphasic schedule or (for those already adapted) function on one. We're not following any kind of rigorous experimental protocol, so this isn't going to be publishable research, but it will at least provide us with some measured anecdotes.
I'd consider polyphasic sleep as working if after within two weeks of starting the schedule a significant number of people could start going instantly into REM sleep when they nap and could stay reasonably alert and functional with these naps for several weeks. This should be easy enough to test in a lab.
My guesses are that it can really work (but I'm not sure if it can work for most or for not that many people) and that it's likely to impair mental performance a bit even after successful adaptation. I haven't read many polyphasic sleep accounts from people involved in seriously brainpower and creativity intensive work like mathematics research. Also, I'm a bit wary of cutting away non-REM sleep, since it seems to be the time when the body heals best. I keep thinking that the body might be using the NREM sleep to clean out cells turning into cancer in addition to healing wounds and fighting sickness, which would make long-term NREM deprivation life-expectancy shortening.
I'm not going to go dig up some research (though the PDF seems to agree we're at least biphasic) so you're free to take this as opinion, but I'm sure I've read some out there suggesting that humans are naturally polyphasic and evolved that way in the ancestral environment. A just-so story could be that those who slept less or in bursts avoided deadly danger better than those who got 8 solid hours each night.
There's also this man: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Wright_%28sleep_deprivatio... whose theory is roughly that the left and right hemispheres of the brain have different sleep requirements, and you can operate on one while the other rests.
Edit: I should mention that my most successful sleep pattern (that is, me feeling my best) was with free-running sleep.
I take it as "ZMA", which is a blend of zinc/magnesium/vitamin B designed to help rest & recovery from physical activity, but the same sleep benefit comes from regular zinc tablets from the chemist.
For other clearly wrong, or wrongly interpreted information: While 70% of the population is lactose intolerant, that doesn't mean you are. We do know that about 99% of the Chinese population is lactose intolerant (which proooobably skews the numbers a bit), yet, for example, only about 1% of Dutch people are lactose intolerant. Northern Europeans and other people from historically very dairy-rich cultures have a very high degree of lactose tolerance, and persistent lactase production (the enzyme that digests lactose and makes you lactose tolerant). Very interesting genetics topic :) Statistics will not say anything useful about whether you are likely to be lactose intolerant, but ethnicity will. Get tested if you are in doubt. It's a simple test. Just make sure you go to a qualified medical practitioner.
As for gluten insensitivity, this is called coeliac disease and is very serious. Thankfully, the highest estimate for prevalence is about 1%, not 15%. The anti-gluten brigade has been on it for years, but non-coeliac people can and should eat gluten. It's a good protein of high quality and makes your bread dough stick together. That's why it's hell trying to bake gluten-free bread or pizza dough.
Casein, a milk protein, is also not a bad protein. While there are many scare stories about casein (it being blamed for autism, cancer, et cetera), they don't hold up very well. Casein is a nice, slow-digesting protein with a very good quality, as any body builder who does the diet/protein thing will be able to tell you. Drink your milk if you can tolerate it, and eat more cheese :)
As for multiple sclerosis, we actually don't know what causes it other than that there likely is a genetic component, but that other factors also interfere. For the actual, REAL long term effects of coeliac disease, see here: http://celiacdisease.about.com/od/symptomsofceliacdisease/a/...
As for cortisol, your body regulates this itself. If you're stressed, stress down. But if your body doesn't regulate itself, you have a huge problem and need to see a doctor right away.
While "eat food, not too much, mostly plants" is very good advice, there's also another piece of advice that has been forgotten: "You are probably not sick, and your body can take care if it." Just eat a normal, healthy diet.
Man. That was long. Sorry about that, but I had to get some facts out.
Since this is an article on hacking sleep, I think it's worth mentioning. Try dropping gluten/wheat/bread from your diet for 30 days and see if your sleep improves. I know that mine has. If it doesn't, great, you are golden. If it does, you've learned something.
Facts or not, the article is about improving your sleep. Some people are sensitive to dairy and wheat. Try going without them for 30 days and see what happens. It's all a big experiment.
I would greatly prefer to read this on my Nook instead, but it seems you can't download from Scribd without a subscription..
I have been having sleep problems for a decade, but any time I run a calorie deficit I sleep like a baby.
edit: Maybe he's referring to this post? http://www.blog.sethroberts.net/2008/06/09/less-carbs-better...
Also things already covered like regular exercise (w/ weights), sleeping in a pitch dark room and consistent sleep & wake time work wonders.
I blogged about some of this last year here:
Too tired to read and apply them now, too insomniac to sleep.