Out of an average of the 10 hours put in per day, I daresay only about 6-7 are productive. The rest would be spent in coffee breaks, meal-time breaks, smoke breaks, and sending around pictures of puppies, kittens and babies.
To be fair though, quite a fair number of these IT workers are expected to work standard hours, and then put in at least a couple of hours face-time with the client. The client is [more often than not] either European or American, so there's no real way out.
The writing of this entry bugs me. Generalizing from sample size of 1, "confidential sources" (he won't even link to papers apparently already published, all years ago!), and the sentence "For lack of space, I cannot explain here the ideal sleep architecture."
Taking the last stat to be true (Sleeping for <=5 hours per night leads to 39% increase in heart disease.) that's still only a change from something like 0.6% to 0.8%. (Initial percent from memory, so it may be off.)
"I tried the biphasic thing for about 2 months, then attempted the "uberman" thing for about 4 months.
This was probably the biggest mistake of my life. [...] I'm actually now seeing several doctors (neurologists, endocrinologists) because I feel so "off" all the time.
[...] This amount of masochistic, long-term sleep deprivation can fuck with your hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis."
There's several corroborating accounts in other comments under that post.
As I said in another comment here, everyone is different. Just be careful and make sure to pay attention to your body and mind's needs, and be aware of the risks.
Anyway, I've never been able to successfully do the uberman for more than a few weeks, though I did do the everyman successfully for a few months. As with everything involving messing with the brain, which includes things as simple as caffeine, the results could be disastrous in certain people. As far as I know I'm not such a person. I worry about what things like drunk-inducing-amounts of Alcohol or LSD would do to my brain, which is one of the reasons I don't use such things, but I'd probably be fine afterwards.
Possible? Yes. Probable? I don't think so.
I'm not saying that you shouldn't try to find ways to hack your sleep schedule or diet, but don't discount sleep as just wasted time in bed. If you don't treat your body right your mind will suffer.
2/3 conscious of a 100 year life is still better than 3/3 of 50.
With bad living, I've seen some very unhappy and dead people in their 40s, 30s, or even 20s (Winehouse, Cobain, Joplin, Morrison, et al, of the Forever 27 Club). Frequently death preceded by more than a few years of lower productivity.
Of course, luck plays a part too. I've known a few people who woke up dead, suddenly or otherwise, at a young age for no particularly predictable exogenous cause. But that's still statistically a low probability and for some cases (particularly accidents and violence) largely avoidable with appropriate precautions.
People who pour their lives into work generally tend to have less sleep and be more stressed. So, is it the sleep, the stress, or both that kill people?
I, for one, can feel a huge difference in my ability to focus on cognitive challenges when I'm well-rested and I've engineered my environment in such a way that eliminates distraction. Doing truly challenging work well requires peak mental performance. It's hard to see how it's possible to do that if one is actively sabotaging his or her physical and mental machineries.
Why 7 hours? We're being preached the importance of REM sleep, and yet half the REM sleep of the night typically comes between the 7th and 8th hour.
Does anyone know how this reasoning applies to people taking multiple short naps? I had a friend who did this for a semester. What about hyposomniacs? Are they more efficient or is something missing? I have a friend who naturally cannot sleep more than 5 hours a night - he wakes up naturally after 5.
edit: I wrote apples instead of applies...
I was under the impression that the lethality of sleep deprivation was not something that was widely questioned..
On a related note, BBC Horizon has an interesting documentary on sleep and your body clock called The Secret Life Of Your Body Clock.
For biologists and doctors, it might be fun/interesting to study but for the rest of us I think we should just use common sense and listen to our bodies. I personally abhor these "fads".
But seriously, TNG writers managed to capture so many important ideas in sf-fashioned stories... Nice hack.
In short, while a lack of sleep can kill you, this article is superstitious nonsense that insults the intelligence of its readers.
Effect of sleep loss on C-reactive protein, an inflammatory marker of cardiovascular risk. (http://www.med.upenn.edu/uep/user_documents/dfd10.pdf)
Short Sleep Duration Is Associated with Reduced Leptin, Elevated Ghrelin, and Increased Body Mass Index. (http://med.stanford.edu/school/Psychiatry/narcolepsy/article...)
Neurocognitive Consequences of Sleep Deprivation. (http://www.med.upenn.edu/uep/user_documents/DurmerandDinges-...)
Insomnia with Objective Short Sleep Duration is Associated with Type 2 Diabetes. (http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/early/2009/07/28/dc...)
"Complete and partial lack of sleep increased the blood concentrations of High sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hs-cRP), the strongest predictor of heart attacks. Even after getting adequate sleep later, the levels stayed high!
Just one night of sleep loss increases very toxic substances in body such as Interleukin-6 (IL-6), Tumour Necrosis Factor-Alpha (TNF-alpha) and C-reactive protein (cRP). They increase risks of many medical conditions, including cancer, arthritis and heart disease. Paper published in 2004."
Now here is the thing: studies have shown that sleeping less than 5 hours WILL have negative effects on your body and mind and on your ability to do any job... and frequently or constantly sleeping less than 5 hours even more so, it can even cause hallucinations. And severe lack of sleep can be directly compared to the negative effects of alcohol on your ability to do any work.
But we are applauding the one and frowning upon the other...?
How ridiculous is that, really? Someone with as many responsibilities as a CEO for SAP India openly admitting to only sleeping 4 or 5 hours daily should be treated like someone who just openly confessed downing a glass of vodka for breakfast and lunch each day. And I strongly doubt his "ability" to pull that off... I would imagine someone so competitive and successful and career-focused with that little sleep would not refrain from relying on a little chemical "help". And even if he was still productive enough, just imagine how much better he could have performed if he actually got 6 to 9 hours each night?
This is really nothing but grossly negligent IMHO.
I need 8.5 hours of sleep per night to function properly, and the effects are very noticeable if I get reduced sleep for more than a couple of days in a row.
At the same time, I know several people who sleep 3~6 hours per night and I will not convince them otherwise: One suffers from insomnia for as long as he can remember and has effectively adapted his life around it, and another genuinely feels rested and is unable to sleep more.
We're all different with different needs, and we need to take that into account. But unfortunately most people don't pay attention to their needs and walk around like zombies five days a week, or worse.
Especially when they're operating in an impaired state: drugs, alcohol, fatigue, or cult-like communities (which often combine all of the above and then some).
This is very well established in literature particularly regarding management and business:
See also: Blindspots analysis:
Sleep itself probably doesn't make us live longer, but it could be a good measure of how we are living our lives - amount of stress, anxiety, etc.
I'll work from midnight to eight, come home, sleep for five minutes, eat breakfast, sleep six more minutes, shower, then I have ten minutes to bask in Lisa's love, then I'm off to the power plant fresh as a daisy.
But 'the fact of the matter is' there's just no way to work for the 10-14 hours you and the child are awake together, at least not on computer programming.
So I've adapted to working in short 1 - 5 hour long bursts either during nap time (short) or after bed-time (long). Using git and GitX has really helped me out with focusing on just one or two aspects and getting those to commit-able state in the time available, versus my usual touch every file and have my svn revision open for weeks.
I'm building my first commercial Cocoa app right now, and it just crossed into being developer-useful, for me personally, and will be more widely useful once the UI is all hooked up.