Sleep Deprivation: A Modern Plague?

TheOriginalCujo

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#1
The more we do the less we sleep. In the modern world the presures of work and leasure are squeasing out sleep. If you need proof you only have to look at the times some of us are awake and posting to the message boards.

We deprive ourselves of sleep willingly and often look on time asleep as time wasted yet sleep deprivation is a form of torture. It can lead to psychosis and ultimately death.

There is evidence that chronically sleep deprived people are more prone to accendents. Many of us who wouldn't dream of driving while drunk are happy to get into the car on a couple of hours sleep.

So how much sleep do you need? 6 hours, 8 hours? Judging by other primates and by sleep research done in Antarctica. We need between 9 and a half and 13 hours sleep every day. Those of us who need more than 10 or so hours need to top up with a nap in the afternoon.

Scary isn't it.

Cujo
 

Hospitaller

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#2
I recall some French research which found that the ideal human sleep pattern was from midnight to 6am with a siesta after a large midday meal. They reckoned that this was why people in Meditteranean countries were so healthy...
 
A

Anonymous

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#3
your not kidding, you know as well as others who are in the chat room were in there till sometimes 3am and ive to be up at 6:30 for work dont leave long for sleep and i dont have chance for a nap in the afternoon

see you tonight in the chat lol
cas,




im up till this time every night and peeps wonder why i post in most links lol sleep deprivation thats what it is lol
 
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Anonymous

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#4
hospitaller said:
I recall some French research which found that the ideal human sleep pattern was from midnight to 6am with a siesta after a large midday meal. They reckoned that this was why people in Meditteranean countries were so healthy...
I'll go with that, Hospitaller - if we can have 10pm-9am for the main stint?

But seriously, and personally, I function best on about 9 hours sleep, but probably get only around 6-6.5 on weekdays.
 
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Anonymous

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#5
I usualy dont go to bed until 3-5 am and wake uo around noon ( i dont go to work until 3pm). That gives me 7-9 hours of sleep and it seems like enough! who knows though......
 

_schnor

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#6
No matter how busy I am, I always try to have at least 8 hrs sleep a day, no matter what. The way I see it is, even if I am getting behind with work, if I have 4 hrs sleep I'm bugger all use to anyone and still don't get any work done.

I sometimes may be behind, but at least I'm not nackered all the time :)

Just one of those things that your gran pesters you about when you were a kid, but now grown up we kinda see the wisdom in those old tales :)
 
A

Anonymous

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#7
While I agree with what has been posted, it is also a fact that the older one gets the less sleep one needs. For example, after a working life, retied people often find that they cannot change their sleep habits and will be up at six or seven, even if they have only had three or four hours sleep. It has often been recorded that people in their eighties, if helathy, can function perfectly on several naps of an hour or two each, with out a night's sleep.

However, it is also know that the huamn body works on a circadian rythm of 24 hours which generally resets itself around 4am. Therefore, if you ar asleep when this happens, that is the most imporant thing. For people who are unaccustomed to working nights, you know that time every night when you get giggly, can't concentrate and just feel useless for about half an hour, that is it. Sugarlevels are low and the body resets itself. Usually, but not always, this is around 4am.
 

mikelegs

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#8
I don't know if this is true for everyone, but I'm tired throughout the day if I get too little or too *much* sleep. Indeed, the longer I sleep, the harder it is for me to get out of bed. The weird thing for me is that my weekends work best if I stay up really late and get up really early on fri-sat and/or sat-sun. Sometimes I don't go to bed until 5 or 6 am and get up at 8:30 or 9, feeling not spectacular, but pretty darn good. After that I transition smoothly into my 7-10 hours a night during the week. My only idea is that the deprivation on the weekends helps me get to sleep more quickly and sleep more deeply throughout the next week. When I do 'normal' sleeping on weekends, I have problems getting to sleep and also staying asleep throughout the week. Anyone else, or am I just a freak here?

And despite whatever minor sleep problems I do have, I thank all the gods and godesses I don't suffer insomnia... oh what torture!

But I'm all for the midday siesta. Never going to happen in the US, but some days I take it upon myself... heh.
 

lucydru

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#9
It's true, sometimes too little or too much sleep can make you tired though the day. I get it a lot (due to too much sleep).

luce
 

carole

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#10
I reckon I get about 6-7 hours sleep, tho' some nights, this forum plays havoc with that!

If I have a couple of late nights on the trot I try to make up for it the next night, but sometimes wake up at about 3 and can't get back to sleep again.

Lucy's right, though, too much sleep is as bad as too little.

I think my optimum hours would be to go to bed at 1 am and get up about 8.30 to 9, but, of course, work, kids, cats, etc, don't allow that!

Carole
 
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Anonymous

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#11
your right this mb does reak havoc with sleeping pattern i sometime find im in the chat till 4 or 5 in a morning!

im in there now lol
cas
 

gremlinclr

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#12
I saw a news report some time ago that stated people who work nights or long shifts (midnight to noon in my case :mad: ) age three times faster than normal. Kind of scary.
 

lucydru

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#13
Well if it is ment to age you quicker then I think I should be ok since my dad looks the youngest out of him and his brother and sisters. He is the second oldest though and almost 50!

As for Absynth the stuff you get in tesco's isn't as strong as the real stuff. I know this by a trip to Ibiza. A poor woman had a shot of it after she went on the karioke (sp) and she and her family soon left the bar (she was very out of it).

luce
 

Mattattattatt

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#14
I usually get to sleep around 3:00-3:30AM and I'm out of the house most mornings by 7:30AM. Funnily enough, though, I'm much happier sleeping about 6:00AM till 4:00PM, with the time of the day that I'd say I felt most vital was around midnight... I think I may have a displaced (delayed) circadian rythm...

Oh, and Absinthe is my one and only muse in life :)
 
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Anonymous

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#15
hmmm.... i go to bed at about 3 in the morning and am up at about 8 thats 5 days of the week lol, week ends are good about 4 in the mornings and 1 in the afternoon lol
 

mikelegs

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#16
hmmm.... i go to bed at about 3 in the morning and am up at about 8 thats 5 days of the week
That reminds me very much of my college days. During my freshman year, I had calc I and calc II 4 days a week at 8am. I seriously never made it to bed before 3 and often later. It didn't work out too well, though, because there were times when I didn't even remember being in class even though the prof swore I was there, and there are very 'fuzzy' periods of 2-3 days when I was ill. And there was no alcohol involved in ANY of this, believe it or not.

Rather than changing my sleeping habits, I scheduled later classes....
 

carole

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#17
When I was at uni, the lecturers were VERY sensible. They reasoned that hardly anyone would turn up for 9 am lectures, and those who did would be out of it, so the academic day started at 10. Very civilised!

Carole
 

Timble2

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#18
The Myth of Eight Hours Sleep

I've read about this before (it's mentioned earlier in this thread which I've revived after 11 years, some things sleeping lie) it's interesting that the eight hours solid, isn't actually our natural sleep pattern, but one imposed by efficient artificial lighting and the coming of the industrial revolution....oh and coffee.

BBC website

The myth of the eight-hour sleep

By Stephanie Hegarty


22 February 2012 Last updated at 11:50 Share this pageEmail Print Share this page

We often worry about people who lie awake in the middle of the night - but it could be good for you. Scientists have been saying for 20 years that the eight-hour sleep may be unnatural, and historians increasingly are backing them up.

In the early 1990s, psychiatrist Thomas Wehr conducted an experiment in which a group of people were plunged into darkness for 14 hours every day for a month.

It took some time for their sleep to regulate but by the fourth week the subjects settled into a very distinct sleeping pattern. They slept first for four hours, then woke for one or two hours before falling into a second four-hour sleep.

Though sleep scientists were impressed by the study, among the general public the idea that we must sleep for eight consecutive hours persists.

More recently, the theory that humans slept in two distinct chunks has resurfaced, but in the rather less likely field of history.

Over the course of 20 years, historian Roger Ekirch at Virginia Tech undertook an intensive study into the human relationship with night for his book At Day's Close: Night in Times Past.

In diaries, court records, medical books and literature - from Homer's Odyssey to the anthropological account of modern tribes in Nigeria - he has found more than 500 references to a segmented sleeping pattern.

Ekirch believes this painting from 1595 is evidence of significant activity at night

A 1595 engraving by Jan Saenredam shows normal activity at night
Much like the experience of Wehr's subjects, these references describe a first sleep which began about two hours after dusk, followed by waking period of one or two hours and then a second sleep.

"It's not just the number of references - it is the way they refer to it, as if it was common knowledge," Ekirch says.

During this waking period people were quite active. They often got up, went to the toilet or smoked tobacco and some even visited neighbours. Most people stayed in bed, read, wrote and often prayed. Countless prayer manuals from the late 15th Century offered special prayers for the hours in between sleeps.

And these hours weren't entirely solitary - people often chatted to bed-fellows or had sex.

A doctor's manual from 16th Century France even advised couples that the best time to conceive was not at the end of a long day's labour but "after the first sleep", when "they have more enjoyment" and "do it better".

Ekirch found that references to the first and second sleep started to disappear during the late 17th Century. This started among the urban upper classes in northern Europe and over the course of the next 200 years filtered down to the rest of Western society.

By the 1920s the idea of a first and second sleep had receded entirely from our social consciousness.

When segmented sleep was the norm
"He knew this, even in the horror with which he started from his first sleep, and threw up the window to dispel it by the presence of some object, beyond the room, which had not been, as it were, the witness of his dream." Charles Dickens, Barnaby Rudge (1840)
"Don Quixote followed nature, and being satisfied with his first sleep, did not solicit more. As for Sancho, he never wanted a second, for the first lasted him from night to morning." Miguel Cervantes, Don Quixote (1615)
"And at the wakening of your first sleepe You shall have a hott drinke made, And at the wakening of your next sleepe Your sorrowes will have a slake." Early English ballad, Old Robin of Portingale

The Tiv tribe in Nigeria employ the terms "first sleep" and "second sleep" to refer to specific periods of the night
Roger Ekirch's website

He attributes the initial shift to improvements in street lighting, domestic lighting and a surge in coffee houses - which were sometimes open all night. As the night became a place for legitimate activity and as that activity increased, the length of time people could dedicate to rest dwindled.

In his new book, Evening's Empire, historian Craig Koslofsky puts forward an account of how this happened.

"Associations with night before the 17th Century were not good," he says. The night was a place populated by people of disrepute - criminals, prostitutes and drunks.

"Even the wealthy, who could afford candlelight, had better things to spend their money on. There was no prestige or social value associated with staying up all night."

That changed in the wake of the Reformation and the counter-Reformation. Protestants and Catholics became accustomed to holding secret services at night, during periods of persecution. If earlier the night had belonged to reprobates, now respectable people became accustomed to exploiting the hours of darkness.

This trend migrated to the social sphere too, but only for those who could afford to live by candlelight. With the advent of street lighting, however, socialising at night began to filter down through the classes.

In 1667, Paris became the first city in the world to light its streets, using wax candles in glass lamps. It was followed by Lille in the same year and Amsterdam two years later, where a much more efficient oil-powered lamp was developed.

London didn't join their ranks until 1684 but by the end of the century, more than 50 of Europe's major towns and cities were lit at night.

Night became fashionable and spending hours lying in bed was considered a waste of time.

"People were becoming increasingly time-conscious and sensitive to efficiency, certainly before the 19th Century," says Roger Ekirch. "But the industrial revolution intensified that attitude by leaps and bounds."

Strong evidence of this shifting attitude is contained in a medical journal from 1829 which urged parents to force their children out of a pattern of first and second sleep.


"If no disease or accident there intervene, they will need no further repose than that obtained in their first sleep, which custom will have caused to terminate by itself just at the usual hour.

"And then, if they turn upon their ear to take a second nap, they will be taught to look upon it as an intemperance not at all redounding to their credit."

Today, most people seem to have adapted quite well to the eight-hour sleep, but Ekirch believes many sleeping problems may have roots in the human body's natural preference for segmented sleep as well as the ubiquity of artificial light.

This could be the root of a condition called sleep maintenance insomnia, where people wake during the night and have trouble getting back to sleep, he suggests.

The condition first appears in literature at the end of the 19th Century, at the same time as accounts of segmented sleep disappear.

"For most of evolution we slept a certain way," says sleep psychologist Gregg Jacobs. "Waking up during the night is part of normal human physiology."

The idea that we must sleep in a consolidated block could be damaging, he says, if it makes people who wake up at night anxious, as this anxiety can itself prohibit sleeps and is likely to seep into waking life too.

Russell Foster, a professor of circadian [body clock] neuroscience at Oxford, shares this point of view.

"Many people wake up at night and panic," he says. "I tell them that what they are experiencing is a throwback to the bi-modal sleep pattern."

But the majority of doctors still fail to acknowledge that a consolidated eight-hour sleep may be unnatural.

"Over 30% of the medical problems that doctors are faced with stem directly or indirectly from sleep. But sleep has been ignored in medical training and there are very few centres where sleep is studied," he says.

Jacobs suggests that the waking period between sleeps, when people were forced into periods of rest and relaxation, could have played an important part in the human capacity to regulate stress naturally.

In many historic accounts, Ekirch found that people used the time to meditate on their dreams.

"Today we spend less time doing those things," says Dr Jacobs. "It's not a coincidence that, in modern life, the number of people who report anxiety, stress, depression, alcoholism and drug abuse has gone up."

So the next time you wake up in the middle of the night, think of your pre-industrial ancestors and relax. Lying awake could be good for you.
 

rynner2

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#20
Interesting stuff! I tend not to sleep well (nowadays, I find myself nodding off on long bus rides!) but I've always put this down to having spent many years working irregular shift systems (in the Coastguard) or watch systems (when I was at sea). When skippering a boat, I was on call all hours of the day or night, so more than a few hours uninterrupted sleep was a rarity!
 

Number 6

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#21
I have to admit it's an interesting condition to live with. It's incredibly disruptive, to the point where I've had to give up work and all the niceties that come with that such as money, and I have no social life to speak of any more, but on the other side of the coin I get to see the world from both a night time and day time perspective.

Sometimes it can be cripplingly lonely, which is why you'll occasionally find me posting a lot more on boards such as here. When I'm out of sync with my family and friends for many days or weeks sometimes it can get to you a bit.
I try to keep positive about it all. It seems that at present there's no cure, it's just something I have to live with. There are therapies, such as lightboxes, but none are permanent.

The internet is, as you can probably imagine, a godsend. Having a way of communicating with other people at 3am or whenever is a lifeline.
 

Min Bannister

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#22
The Myth of Eight Hours Sleep

I've read about this before (it's mentioned earlier in this thread which I've revived after 11 years, some things sleeping lie) it's interesting that the eight hours solid, isn't actually our natural sleep pattern, but one imposed by efficient artificial lighting and the coming of the industrial revolution....oh and coffee.

BBC website
I read this article a while ago and was chuffed to come across an example of it in The Cloister and the Hearth by Charles Reade. It was written in 1861 and set in the 15th century. Just thought I'd mention it!
 
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#23
I read this article a while ago and was chuffed to come across an example of it in The Cloister and the Hearth by Charles Reade. It was written in 1861 and set in the 15th century. Just thought I'd mention it!
I'd read that before and was struck by it. It does seem to work OK if you potter about for an hour at 3am or so, if you've woken naturally, especially if one wakes when one should, that is, towards the end of a complete sleep cycle.
 

Naughty_Felid

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#24
https://www.scientificamerican.com/...sh-engineers-had-undiagnosed-sleep-disorders/

WASHINGTON, Sept 21 (Reuters) - The engineers in two New York City area commuter train crashes suffered from undiagnosed sleep disorders, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said on Thursday.

The board plans to hold a Feb. 6 meeting on the September 2016 crash in Hoboken, New Jersey, that killed one person and injured more than 100 others, and the January accident in Brooklyn that left more than 100 people with non-life-threatening injuries.

Both engineers had no memory of the crashes and were severely overweight. The Centers for Disease Control says being overweight puts individuals at a higher risk of sleep apnea.
 

Naughty_Felid

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#26
The reverse is true also. Once one has sleep apnea it's harder to lose weight.
Increases chances of diabetes, high blood pressure, the list goes on and on. Sleep deprivation and interrupted sleep are one of the biggest killers we face but because it's just "sleep" it's not taken seriously.
 
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#27

Peripart

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#28
This stuff is pricey, but like it says on the bottle it really does work. I've only ever had it bought as a gift and it did away with the need for ear plugs (the cat scratching is enough to wake me, I'm a very light sleeper). The ear plugs were causing weird tinnitus effects anyway, so only worked up to a point.

View attachment 6283
http://www.thisworks.com/sleep/slee...-sleep-pillow-spray.html#sthash.6dskz23I.dpbs
I could've done with some of that last night. I've been nursing some sort of virus - not really much worse that a crappy cold, to be honest, I won't play the 'flu card here - for a few days, but last night I thought I was on the mend. Gratefully crashing into bed at the end of the day, all I wanted to do was sleep through and feel better this morning. No such luck. If I got 1 hour of proper sleep, that's about all it was. Worse than that, my attempts at dropping off were confounded by my brain sprouting all sorts of gibberish. Hard to explain, but it was as if I had to perform a certain task in a specific way, and then I'd be allowed to nod off.

Now I've typed that, I realise that I've related this sort of thing before. Does anyone else get it? It seems to accompany a high fever, and despite my rational mind telling myself that all I want to do is sleep, pure and simple, other parts of my brain are frantically concocting scenarios which serve to prevent rest. As I say, it's hard to explain, but I think you'd know this kind of sleeplessness if you'd experience it. I hope I'm not alone.

Anyway, this morning, it was almost a relief to sit up in bed, knowing that the night was over, even if I felt dog-tired and totally rundown at the end of it. Several hours (plus hot drinks and many pills) later, I almost feel ready to face the world, even though my cold (or whatever it is) is no better than yesterday. If I can get some sleep this morning, though, I think I'll be OK.
 

INT21

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#29
For three years I worked as a factory maintenance mechanic. There were workers there all night and it was common for me to get a phone call at some ungodly hours urgently requesting my presence to sort out some calamity.
This could happen two or three times a night. So the sleep pattern was very broken up.

I never really recovered from this and now am plagued by sleep problems.

I generally go to sleep about 4 am and have to awake at 8 am. Then I can sort of doze for another couple of hour.

Not recommended.

INT21
 
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