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Ask HN: How many hours do hackers sleep?
18 points by james-singh 1497 days ago | hide | past | web | 43 comments | favorite

9 hours is my sweet spot. Anything less than that, and I don't think as well. Below 8 and I'm generally a bit of a zombie, and operating at 50% speed. Above 10 and I tend to get groggy and depressed.

We seem to be cut from the same cloth. I would add that my sleep requirements vary based on my work load. If my work requires me to really think things through, definitely 9 hours to get back to normal. If its routine stuff, I can get away with 7 hours.

I'm with you guys. Do we all not exercise? :-)

I ask because during times when I get regular strenuous exercise this number comes down to about 7.5-8 hours.

This is interesting. I sleep close to or less than six hours a day and I work out everyday (lifting heavy weights and running 5 Mi alternate days).

I do get really deep sleep though. I would really prefer if I could sleep longer but my job shifts prevent that.

Somewhat similar experiences here.

9 -10.5 hours normally, 7-9 hours if I've been working out routinely.

I wake early and go to bed late, it's a bad routine I can't get out of. So I get about 5.5, sometimes 6 hours of sleep a night. Believe it or not, the human body can adopt to sleeping patterns remarkably well. I always have energy, never feel tired or have any health problems as a result of sleeping so little. Anything under 5 and no doubt I'd feel like crap, but I seriously doubt anyone out there can survive on less than that without feeling tired.

Same here

7.5h-8.5h. There's nothing glamorous about being sleep deprived...

As much as I need, but I try to go to sleep at 11. I usually wake up (naturally) between 6 and 7:30.

I prefer waking at around 6am. I'm a lot more productive if I get good sleep and wake early.

Recently I've been falling asleep at about 5:30am, and dozing through the day, and waking properly at 13:00ish.

Zopiclone and sleep hygiene is helping to kick it back into a sensible rhythm.

I think you're likely to get a variety of ranges from the answers here, due to natural biological variation. I can't say for sure, but I suspect that the common theme here will end up being that people do feel that the number of hours that they sleep is important in how it affects their work (which is reasonable, since the act of coding is a mentally strenuous act).

I'm a bit curious now, I wonder how many people here try to wake up naturally.. personally, I consider that to be pretty reliable in forecasting my day's productivity.

I can't find my paper in time, but I did some study on this and apparently many (long) studies have shown that the ideal sleep time is 6-6:30 hours a day. Any variation either way of that duration affected 3+years longevity if I remember correctly.

(This is not a scientific study ,so take it with a grain of salt - http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1812420,00.ht... )

What is the purpose of this question (i really am curious)? Everyone has their own sleep needs ,they depend on so many factors (age, stress, health, exercise, etc.),that a base stat will not tell you much. There was once a story on bbc about a research that claimed that in the middle ages people slept 2x4h having 1-3hrs of activity in between, and the popular 8hr sleep is a fairly recent habit, forced by ungrounded theories 2-3 centuries back.

I don't know about OP's intentions, but I upvoted it because I think it might be useful to others. So many people (including me, until a few months ago) think that it's good to "pull all-nighters", stay awake for 20-30 hours straight if you can and finish the code (some people literally cannot stay awake for more than 20 hours. I can - I routinely stayed awake for something like 40 hours in the weekdays and then would drop dead for 15 hours).

5 or 6 months ago, I recovered my senses and changed my sleeping habits and now sleep a good 8-10 hours every day and feel I'm so much more "productive" that sometimes I feel sad about the "lost time".

So, this topic might bring others who were deluded (like me) back to sanity (or I hope so)!

8.5 hrs weeknights and 10.5 hrs weekend nights. I would like to reduce weekend nights to 8.5 hrs and invest that in tennis or racquetball.

8-10 hours. I used to sleep 4-6 hours in weekdays (for the past 3 years) and sleep 10-15 hours in weekends, but have changed my schedule for the past 5 months and can't believe how much better everything has become. Much less stress, getting much more done, learning faster and better :)

8 hours is a very good number , given i dont spend all day in front of a computer screen .. prefer some exercise to loosen yourself , i cant believe how much this little routine helps ! operating at 150% now a days !

I've been sleeping around 4.5 hours in average since last few weeks, working on a tech startup idea. I think I should go for at least 6 hrs now. 8 hrs sounds more appropriate though.

I typically get between 5 and 6 hrs (with 2-3 times getting up for the kids). If I get more than 8, I feel slow and groggy all day. 6 uninterrupted hours seems to be my sweet spot.

I sleep around 6-7 hours, but I have really hard sleep pattern problems. So it might be 2 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the evening or anything like that. :/

Depends on how much stress I have on my plate. On a good week, 8 hours, on a bad week, closer 4. I seem to operate as a real human being in either case though.

If I'm smoking, 7 hours. If I'm not smoking, 5 hours. If I'm not smoking and exercising, 6 hours. If I'm not smoking and exercising strenuously, 7 hours.

3 - 5 hours is my norm. I'll wake up around 6-7am for my day job and program at night until 2am.

That does not sound healthy. How long have you been doing this?

2 years, my wife says the same but I don't feel a thing .... yet lol.

Do you drink a lot of coffee or energy drinks?

I did at one point, but not these days. I've grown so accustomed to my sleep patterns that it feels normal.

However, when I do make time to relax - I've been known to knock out during the day and not wake up until 3 or 4 the next morning, thus continue this horrible habit.

Geez, I thought the regular sleep duration would be 5-7ish hours for the hackers here ;) :D

6.5-8.5 hours, depending mostly on how obnoxious the cats are that morning. :)

My girlfriend makes such an effort to get up and go to work quietly. And then my cat starts meowing at me and clawing at the bed. Damn obnoxious morning cat.

Usually less than six hours. I don't need much sleep, and never feel tired.

I've been averaging about 4hrs/night for the past month or so.

Weekdays between 5.5-7 hours per night

Weekends around 8-9 hours per night.

8-9 hours ideal. Anything over or under makes me crazy.

Don't have kids then

Why not?

9. Any less has a negative productivity impact.

7. When I get over 8 I feel like crap.

Around 6 hours or so, due to school.

Around 7-8 hours

not enough.

I sleep 6.5, and usually I do not use an alarm, this is just my natural sleep schedule.

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