Weekend Question Thread

How much sleep do you usually get?

I ask this because I got into an argument about sleep with my doctor, who was trying to convince me that six hours of sleep that is frequently interrupted by waking up thinking about a guy I need to call about a thing was not enough for a person my age. I was trying to explain that this is the best it’s pretty much ever been, that in college I could get by on four hours and feel rested and it pisses me off I can’t do that anymore, and she was giving me that look that doctors give me often, like, “I know you think this is funny but to me you are a fucking freakjob, lady.”

I would be so much more productive if four hours of sleep didn’t leave me feeling fuzzy and homicidal.


11 thoughts on “Weekend Question Thread

  1. Got about 4+ hours last night, ’cause I’m excited about the RT conference…but I have been known to sleep for hours on end when I have no obligations or no place to be. And I sleephard – I’ve had roommates vacuuming up close to my head and they couldn’t believe that I didn’t even stir. These days, the worries keep me up more, but I can usually fit a nap in during the day most times.
    Taking some stock in other people’s sleep habits – and especially my husband’s, who hasn’t slept a night uninterrupted all the way through since he was born – makes me realize that there’s a hell of a lot we don’t know about sleep, even the extreme cases such as fatal familial insomnia. The big, popular thing sleep labs want to treat, because it is treatable and because they want to sell CPAP supplies, is sleep apnea, but not everyone with a sleep disorder has that.
    I’d personally want to know how well you doc sleeps, A. There’s a good sleep study to do – how well health practitioners sleep.

  2. Lots of waking in six hours isn’t good. Your doctor’s right, but, if the object is just to get you on Ambien, that’s not too good, either.
    Many of the hormones that regulate all sorts of things like metabolism, cell growth, neuroendocrine levels, glucose tolerance, etc., do their work mostly during sleep, so, it’s not just about how your head feels when you wake up. Some researchers think chronic inadequate sleep mimics the effects of aging (particularly in that the sleep-deprived show rises in afternoon and evening cortisol levels, which typically happens in the elderly, and which may result in increases in geriatric illness).
    Not enough sleep really does fuck you up–if it didn’t, it wouldn’t be such a popular technique for torturers.
    It’s odd that you ask, though, since I’ve been doing a sleep log for eighteen months, and while the instant data are pretty variable (being retired and not on any kind of required schedule will do that), over the long haul, it averages out to about 7-1/2 hours per 24-hour cycle.

  3. Quit drinking coffee at least four hours before bedtime. Don’t drink alcohol; don’t smoke dope (alcohol interferes with getting rested, dope interferes with dreaming).
    Dark room. No radio or TV. If possible, get a little bit chilled just before going to bed — a drop in body temperature is one of the first phases in the sleep sequence.

  4. …the worst night of sleep I ever got in my life was at a sleep lab (ironically, the ‘free parting gift’ was the largest single-serving coffee mug I’ve ever seen in my life), but I do have sleep apnea and a CPAP and the before/after difference is remarkable. With all of that, seven hours is good; I can go on four or five hours for a few days in a crisis, but around day three any person who isn’t interested in being my very bestest chum in the whole world needs to make sure that there are no loose objects laying around that can be weaponized…

  5. As much as possible. 🙂
    If I don’t have at least eight or nine hours every night, I’m pretty well fucked, and it’s not uncommon for me to sleep for 12h or more every couple of weeks. The fatigue issues with CP are a killer; I’d get so much more stuff done if I could only sleep a normal-person amount.

  6. I sleep 8 hours almost every night, rarely less, occasionally more. Any less and I am draggy all day, usually falling asleep in the afternoon. In fact since my college days, when a night’s sleep ranged from a couple of hours to 10 hours, I have always slept 8 hours a night.

  7. I have chronic insomnia. The current version involves falling asleep okay but I wake up 2 hours before I need to and cannot go back to sleep. This happens on days off as well, as a result I am always tired and rarely sleep more than 5 hours a night when I need 7 to 8. Yawn.

  8. I usually hit the sack around 12-1 @ night. I’m usually up and hunting coffee between 8:30-10:00 the following morning. If I have to get up earlier than that more often than two days running, the first time I don’t have to be up early I’ll sleep 12-14 hours straight.
    Used to be good with four, now I need at least six. Naps attack me if I get less.

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