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Sleep, or lack thereof

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Every time someone posts on the boards about how they can't get up early enough to exercise, I wonder "why not?"

I simply do not believe that 8 hours of sleep, like the 8 cups of water, is the be all and end all of good health. I believe that you can train yourself to function on less sleep.

I've worked 6-11am and then 3-9pm since 2006 now. I don't get home from my evening job until 9:30, then dinner and some decompression time means I don't get to bed until 11 at the VERY earliest. Then I get up at 4:30 and do it all again. I do nap every afternoon for 1-3 hours and I guard my naptime religiously.

Sometimes, due to various issues, I won't get to bed until 1 am. When my son was a few months old, I had terrible insomnia. Often I'd toss and turn until 3 am. Still, when my alarm went off at 4:30, I got up. Didn't matter if I'd only gotten an hour of sleep. I don't feel more rested if I sleep 4-5 hours than if I sleep 1-2. Getting up at 4:30 sucks, and an extra hour of sleep makes no difference.

On the very rare occasion that I've slept 8 hours - I would say it's been at least 3 years since I've slept that long - I wake up feeling absolutely terrible, and certainly not rested. In my previous unhealthy life, I used to sleep 12+ hours.

The naysayers claim you can't lose weight with little sleep. I reached maintenance with my sleep schedule. "You'll make bad food choices." Haven't found that to be true either. "I NEED 8 hours of sleep!" Guess what, every parent of young children is sleep deprived and most manage to do quite well. If it was natural for everyone to get 8 hours, children would be born with the ability to sleep through the night.

The point of this blog? I don't need more sleep. I don't WANT more sleep! Stop predicting dire outcomes if I don't sleep more.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I know what you mean about sleep deprivation. I sleep when I feel tired, but always get woken during the night at least once... such is a mums life.
    Ive also had my fair share of late nights mixed with bright eyed toddlers at 5am.
    I think people can adapt to anything. I used to sleep 12+ hours, normally middle of the night, through to the next afternoon. I loved it. But now, if I sleep past 8am, no matter when I went to sleep, I feel grainy and blah all day.

    2954 days ago
  • JEREMY723
    That's great for you that you can get by on less sleep. I've tried and would like to, have have found time and time again that I fair less and less well on less sleep and don't do as well with less sleep either.
    2954 days ago
    As I get older, I feel the effects of inadequate sleep more and more. Right now I continue to suffer bad jet lag from coming 12 time zones from home for a workshop. Melatonin isn't helping. Glad you can continue to function on so little sleep. I see how my performance changes after getting 7-8 hours vs. 4-6 hours. No question that I perform at a higher mental and physical level after restorative sleep.
    2955 days ago
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