Now I wake around 3-4 am and get the same night time serenity. But the perception of this patten is different. I'm considered an early riser - disciplined and driven.
I've noticed my concentration is much better under the new early rising regime.
Here's my schedule:
- 4 am. Wake up. Depending on my mood and deadlines I'll either jump straight into work or take some leisure time surfing the web.
- 5 am. Dog wakes up and makes it clear that we're going for a walk. So we go to the park and play. The park is empty at this early hour so its good for training.
- 7am. If I havent done so already I start work to coincide with my team on the other side of the country.
- 3pm. Start winding down. Have a beer.
- 5pm. Parter comes home from work and we go to the park with the dog. Lots of dogs at this time and its great fun for all.
- 7pm. Dinner.
- 8pm. Bed.
- 4am. Wake.
Does my social life suffer? Well i've found that its a case of diminishing returns. I used to be the guy who partied until 3am. Now I party until 10pm. And I've discovered I'm having just as much fun. It would seem socialising is a case of diminishing returns for me. I also avoid the shattering hangover.
This is a habit you can break regardless of your sleep time: when you first notice you are awake, just roll off the bed and do 20 pushups.
The commute is long gone but the habit of rolling out of bed immediately never broke. I'm grateful for it. I used to spend half an hour snoozing, groggily working my way out of the bed to start my day. I didn't get a whole lot of extra rest, just wasted half an hour not really sleeping, but not doing anything else either.
For me it's the adventure time. Reminds me of taking trips that require getting up at 4AM.
But the hardest part is, of course, getting to bed early enough.
Gone the route of lined curtains that do a great job of blocking the light. Could never get used to any sort of mask/etc.
I would prefer to drive home in sunlight than drive in, but that may be because I love convertible cars
1) Getting home at 5 (not likely with a job in the US, especially with a startup-job like the one I had in the valley, where performance often seems to be measured mainly by the amount of time one is physically present in the office each day)
2) Most of social life happens in the evening, even over the weekend. I guess one could get away with it in the Netherlands, or other countries where bars stay open all night, and many only start going out around midnight (one could become known as the ultimate party animal by being fully awake while others are getting sleepy around 4 AM... ;-)
Finally, I did try a similar sleeping schedule for a week when I was hiking on Frazer island in Australia. To conserve the batteries of my flashlight I went to bed at sundown (around 7pm) and up with sunrise (around 4am), and I rarely felt more well-rested...
But yes, due to synchronisation issues with others circadian rythms I don't think radical sleeping schedules will become common soon...
And yeah, I used to have a job where performance was measured by time spent in an office. I got a different job.
8pm-4am sounds a lot better. Shifting my schedule later a few hours would be a good compromise. I still get up early, but I don't sacrifice that evening.
Getting a dog is likely not going to solve your problems and you should fully investigate the myriad negative consequences of getting a dog, including robbing you of your freedom. Also, if you don't live in a house where the dog has free access to a backyard I strongly recommend against it.
Your are going to need to socialize it as a puppy. Going out on walks at 5 am does not sound like a good socialization opportunity. And what is the dog going to do while you're at school?
Sure, you can control any dog by beating them (literally) into submission...but you won't have a dog that enjoys your presence. His tactics are effectively "Be the boss, choke that dog, ALPHA ROLL....see how well it's behaving now? Shaking and with it's tail between it's legs?"
If you get a dog, invest some time in learning about positive reinforcement training and buy yourself a $1 clicker. Your dog will love it, love you and retain it's natural curiosity...instead of crushing all sense of self-importance and initiative.
My point is: you don't necessarily need the dog.
It does curtail your lifestyle somewhat but so does having a family. We jokingly refer to him as our 'practice run' for having a child.
I could survive in the city with a kid and no car. With a dog, I need a car to take him anywhere outside of walking distance.
We live 200 metres from a very large off leash dog park. Lots of dogs means good socialisation. Lots of off leash exercise means a contented dog who doesnt bark or cause trouble.
If the park wasnt so close we either wouldnt be living here or wouldnt have a dog. Its essential in an urban area.
I'm considering adopting it because I telecommute and it would give me some quiet hours to work before the kids and wife wake up.
A nice side effect is the reward of getting stuff done first thing in the morning. It puts me in a good frame of mind for the rest the day.
Conversely, if I dont get stuff done in that morning period I feel I've wasted the opportunity to do 'real work' before the email and meeting requests start piling up.
When you are in new york and working on a set schedule (like the US equities markets running from 9 AM to 4 PM) its difficult to maintain a nonstandard schedule.
We try and make that 3 hours high quality. Walking the dog at the park is a very social affair, there are a number of regular dog owners who we've become friends with. Its an off-leash park so watching them all play is very enjoyable.
Dinner is very much an event in our house. I am a (very) amateur chef and cook dinner for my wife every night. Because I finish work in the afternoon I have some time to prepare something nice. After the dog walk we can have a glass of wine and then sit down for a proper dinner.
Its not perfect, but much like the socialising we've found quality over quantity works for us.
I'm sure this schedule will completely fall apart when we have children.
For a few months the morning walk is in darkness. But the park is well lit and given our proximity to the inner city its never really pitch black outside. It does get very cold though.
– Good sleep, good learning, good life -- https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5244619
– How Little Sleep Can You Get Away With? -- https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2548665
– How to Naturally Reset Your Sleep Cycle In One Night -- https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=739213
– Sleep Deficit: The Performance Killer -- https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3367789
– Why Entrepreneurs Can't Sleep -- https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3017740
– Small areas of the brain go to sleep when we're up too late -- https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2491603
– The importance of sleep in a startup -- https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3556102
– Poll: How much sleep do you get per night? -- https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3479410
– The myth of the eight-hour sleep -- https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3620742
Wikipedia articles I'd recommend reading:
I know this because I used to work night shifts and pretty much had this schedule. You end up losing the period of socialization which is typically 4-10PM, where people go to dance classes, have dinners with friends, go get drinks etc... and things feel lonely.
The advantages are I fulfill all my night-owl hacking needs and have a good social life. And I can make any morning meetings by adjusting my first sleep to 4am - 8am.
Apparently before the invention of the light bulb, most people divided their sleep into two sections. The details are sketchy but there's widespread reference of "second sleep" throughout history. I think it was the sort of thing they went to bed at 9pm - 1am and then 4am - 8am.
Those of us who embrace this magical nocturnal world don't praise it to the day walkers. It gives them the terrible idea that it may be good for them to try. If this pattern were to continue, our reign over the darkness would surely end.
Do be more careful in the future. Thanks.
But then again the whole thing suggests total isolation from anything other then work and study, with the alternative rhythm just being a way of making that easier.
This is a story about someone socially isolating themselves, the 5pm bedtime thing might just as well be "living on the north pole".
The experimental sleep schedule is temporary until I finish school. But given the fickle nature of sleep schedules, this will not likely last that long regardless. But for now, I don't mind it!
I've got an uncle who, for over a decade, has woken up at 3am, though he doesn't go to bed until 10pm. It makes me wonder if just doing it makes one better at it since we're talking about something we've done our whole lives. My personal sleep pattern (12-7/7:30) hasn't changed since the early 90s.
I read your profile and appreciate the sentiment re: votes. I am not trying to be crude. Within this context this is my best effort at a thoughtful response.
1. Go to party
2. Get wasted
4. Wake up hungover: "What, I'm really in bed with this person? WTF, how did that happen?"
Anyone disciplined enough to maintain an unconventional sleep schedule, probably isn't doing that to begin with. And doesn't it fall under the general "lack of social interaction" complaint?
But I don't know if this is a particularly productive line of discussion. I'm only here because there were no posts about Haskell on the front page. :)
"An undergraduate computer science student at Oregon State University"
I think the greatest merit of doing this is not being tired when you start your day. When you wake up at 8am and go to class or work at 9am, your brain just hasn't had enough time to wake up. I've failed many exams for this reason. Now when I take my exam, I've already been up 8 hours and I even get all that extra time to study.
One of the interesting things from the blog post was how it's easier to concentrate when the Internet slows down. I find that 9am to 5pm on weekdays there's just so much content being published everywhere, and so much of that content is interesting, that I find myself easily distracted during the day. I've had to hack my own system of focused goals, pomodoro work sessions, and other homemade hacks to get the productivity I need during the day. So, I can totally see how someone can get tons of stuff done during the middle of the night while everyone else is sleeping.
Btw, Kevin - how long have you been doing this schedule?
Another productivity hack, I use LeechBlock during the day so I limit my Internet breaks. I find myself compulsively visiting distracting websites. There's self-control, but why not delegate it to the browser.
I have only been doing it for a week and continue to keep it up for at least the next week. I think I plan on tweaking it towards something slightly more normal, like 8pm-4am.
An 8pm-4am sleep time sounds more manageable... although the 5pm-midnight sleep schedule is such a talking point. :)
Here's the pattern :
1. Go to the exam
3. Come back, get fresh a go to sleep
[... idle ... forget everything ... reboot ...]
4. Wake up, get fresh & back to 0. for next exam
Here's some advantages :
- when you wake up you actually have plenty of time till the exam
- you don't have to calculate how much sleep you will get or when to squeeze it
- your going to arrive fresh at the exam and not fall asleep on your sheet-keyboard
The rest of the year however, there are far too many things to do between 5pm-1am that make this viable. Instead I flip it and go for the 5am-1pm which I think works well as a University student.
You lay out some advantages:
1) The rest of the internet is "asleep", there's not much content being generated and so you are less distracted.
2) You get the gym to yourself.
3) No alarm clock
Admittedly, all three are good things. But, I'm uncertain if it's a good trade off. I mean, I'd go crazy if I did what you do on a daily basis. For one, going to sleep at 5pm would completely cut me off from any after-work/school social aspect of my life. It just seems silly to do that just for the ability to make it easier for yourself to work at night. I for one, find it much better to just not mess around on HN/Facebook all day and just do what I have to do (use SelfControl). Just do it. My gym is very empty early, at about 8am, infact thinging about it now, your sleep timetable doesn't help you have an empty gym. Most people get up that early anyway for work.
I just don't get why you need to change your sleeping habits to something so backward that cuts you off from so many of the social aspects of life that aren't mingled in with work/school.
Not having to use an alarm clock, though, is good.
Thanks to the zones, that never happens.
Good sleep means better cognitive behavior, less accidents, lower bodyfat, lower inflammation, and many other benefits.
Sleep has a long list of very positive effects, and I might suggest reading Coren's "The Sleep Thieves" to get a full idea of this.
One of the central cores of getting a good night's sleep is "sleep hygiene," which includes having a regular schedule. In other words, get to a schedule and stick to it. Also, exposure to light seems to keep the schedule synced.
As many have written, 5pm hardly seems to be reinforcing of the above points.
Dont hesitate to see a doctor if you think your sleep is low quality. There are a number of non-obvious medical issues that can impact your sleep.
I'm not talking about getting a prescription for sleeping tablets. Personally they make me feel like shit when I wake up.
In particular, the 1am to 8am work cycle can be highly productive since email and other distractions are generally quiet then.
I'm introverted enough that the social interaction I had at the office was sufficient for the day, so I wouldn't be going out afterwards anyway. I'm also a night-owl and find myself much more productive at night.
I think the early-to-rise sleep pattern is very productive and best even for some people that consider themselves night owls now. Most times, a lot of people think they are night owls from their late night sleep schedule from their teenage years. There are some exceptions, however.
I'm still itching to try this if/when I ever get my own place. It's basically a normal day with the sleep and personal time portions swapped. It's easy to come up with the idea since it's the only flexibility possible when your work time is non-adjustable.
I admit the 5pm bedtime schedule is a lot healthier and syncs with the 9-to-5 work schedule nicely, though.
Maybe it'd be better for someone that lived in Alaska.
I have been doing it for a week so far, but I expect on dropping it once I graduate and once time frees up.
To quote Seinfeld: Serenity now, insanity later.
I think that the most natural thing is to (1) sleep when it gets dark and wake when it's light, and (2) not live to close to the parts of the world where that doesn't work because of the length of days and nights.