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State of Sleep Deprivation
July 12, 2006 9:50 AM   Subscribe

Sleep Deprivated Nation "Sleep is the new sex, as the experts in sleep disorders like to say. Men think about it every seven seconds or so. Women romanticize it. Teenagers yearn for the weekends, when they might get a little of it." Even worse, we may sleep less than we think
posted by TurkeyWalk (60 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Deprivated?
posted by biffa at 10:03 AM on July 12, 2006


Ease up, he didn't get enough sleep, alright?!?!?
posted by keswick at 10:04 AM on July 12, 2006


I knew this. I sleep 10 hours every two days.
posted by IronLizard at 10:10 AM on July 12, 2006


"I haven't slept for ten days, because that would be too long."
posted by Godbert at 10:15 AM on July 12, 2006


I have definitely chosen sleep over sex. I figure that's just a sign of growing old.
posted by anonymous_k at 10:17 AM on July 12, 2006


And yet, if someone put a drug out on the market that would allow me to get by on two hours of sleep a night, with minimal side-effects, I'd take it. We waste nearly one third of our lives in a catatonic state. I've got movies to watch, books to read, video games to beat, and things to write. And I have a day job that eats up the other third. Give me a way to safely recover that third of my lifespan, and I'll thank you for it.
posted by JeremyT at 10:18 AM on July 12, 2006


I only got about 3 hours of sleep last night, and I'm not particularly happy about it. But when you get in late, can't fall asleep, and have to get up early for work... I'm getting a little depressed about the fact that I'm way sleep-deprived at 19...
posted by OverlappingElvis at 10:23 AM on July 12, 2006


We need to figure out how giraffes do it (get by on 2 hrs of sleep)
posted by vacapinta at 10:28 AM on July 12, 2006


Is there any end to the self indulgent whinging in society? Go to bed.
posted by Keith Talent at 10:31 AM on July 12, 2006



Once upon a time you had no choice but to sleep. Remember, before electric light, it would be completely dark at 5:30 in the winter. Sure, you had candles, lanterns etc., but I defy anyone to stay awake a full night working only by candlelight.

Now, not only do we have electric light, we spend our nights staring directly at light sources.
posted by Pastabagel at 10:32 AM on July 12, 2006


Something needs to be done about this. Perhaps congress could pass a law requiring every american to get 8 hours of sleep.
posted by Mayor Peace Love and Unity at 10:32 AM on July 12, 2006


Also.
posted by kittyprecious at 10:34 AM on July 12, 2006


*falls face first into keyboard*

.....what?
posted by jokeefe at 10:34 AM on July 12, 2006


Big ups, Godbert.

In assessing my priorties the other day, they went something like this: Sleeping in with girlfriend, music, drinking with friends, and then everything else. How did I get this far off track? I maybe sleep seven hours a night. Snooze time (an average of four, even when it goes against my better judgement) is typically the happiest time of my weekdays.
posted by jon_kill at 10:35 AM on July 12, 2006


Sleep is the new sex

Oh, my god, this is so dead on. For me anyway. I have a Vargas pinup of Hypnos here in my cubby. Rowwwrrrr.
posted by everichon at 10:37 AM on July 12, 2006


Oh I love sleep, and I love how I feel when I get enough. Less than 8 hours of sleep a night and I'll be distracted, dozy, slow to start up, and not nearly as on as I am when I get my regular 8-9 hours a night. A good night's sleep means a productive day that's full of energy (both creative and physical) without requiring the use any stimulants. I'm quicker, happier, more fun, and able to get more done in less time. I engage more with my co-workers and fix more problems. Best of all, I don't get sleepy after lunch. (I hate that!)

"Getting by" on 2 or 3 hours of sleep a night is not what I'd call living well.
posted by Hildegarde at 10:38 AM on July 12, 2006


That's a bit absurd.

Here's what I'm wondering though, if not getting enough sleep makes you less healthy, but does it actually reduce the amount of 'weaking hours' in your life?

Maybe it improves the quality, though.
posted by delmoi at 10:38 AM on July 12, 2006


Holy shit, I just turned into my dad. I guess I should add some $$ to my retirement savings now. O_o
posted by Hildegarde at 10:41 AM on July 12, 2006


Sounds like you got 8-9 last night.
posted by itchylick at 10:41 AM on July 12, 2006


zzzzzzzzzzz
posted by rocket88 at 10:48 AM on July 12, 2006


I almost never get eight hours of sleep at night. But to make up for it, I take a 45 minute nap during lunch. God, I love my lunchtime naps.
posted by ereshkigal45 at 10:51 AM on July 12, 2006


I've toyed with the idea of getting an onlline prescription for modafinil since it seems pretty good at reducing the need for sleep. (But I'm a bit leery of buying something like this on-line - might get horse diurectics or something - which would keep me awake all night but not precisely enjoying the quality time.)

There's even a good article on drugs that reduce the need for sleep over at "The New Scientist" - though unfortunately it's behind a 'you gotta buy a sub 'fore we'll let you take a look' wall. (Spotted a paper copy on the rack, got hooked, bought the thing.)

Here's the opening teaser for it.
A new wave of drugs will make it a breeze to go days without sleep, and give you a good night's shut-eye in two hours - are you ready for 24-hour living?
SO MUCH to do, so little time. Between a hectic work schedule and a thriving social life, Yves (not his real name), a 31- year-old software developer from Seattle, often doesn't have time for a full night's sleep. So he swallows something to make sure he doesn't need one. "If I take a dose just before I go to bed, I can wake up after 4 or 5 hours and feel refreshed," he says. "The alarm goes off and I'm like, let's go!"

Yves is talking about modafinil, a stimulant that since its launch seven years ago has acquired a near-mythical reputation for wiring you awake without the jitters, euphoria and eventual crash that come after caffeine or amphetamines. Yves has been popping modafinil on and off for the past three years and says it is "tremendously useful". "I find I can be very productive at work," he says. "I'm ...
I hate it when magazines do that.
posted by JB71 at 10:55 AM on July 12, 2006


If sleep is the new sex, are frying pans the new penis pumps?
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 10:57 AM on July 12, 2006


What ereshkigal45 said.
posted by everichon at 10:58 AM on July 12, 2006


Every time I read one of these sleep deprivation stories I get the feeling that 5 years from now, someone is going to come out with a study that demonstrates that the whole decline in sleeping time was just a big artifact in the data.
posted by 517 at 11:12 AM on July 12, 2006


Hildegarde reminds me of one of the characters in this commerical.
posted by painquale at 11:13 AM on July 12, 2006


And I have a day job that eats up the other third. Give me a way to safely recover that third of my lifespan, and I'll thank you for it.

If there was a safe way to reduce/remove the need for sleep, then a 12-16 hour work day would become the norm. Here in the states anyway.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 11:14 AM on July 12, 2006


Men think about it [sleep] every seven seconds or so.

I'm sorry, but that's absurd.

Certainly that's a misuse of statistics at a minimum, and more likely an outright false assertion. Lots of people don't get enough sleep and would like to get more, but the claim that they think about it every several seconds is ridiculous.
posted by moonbiter at 11:14 AM on July 12, 2006


I have chronic insomnia... I have been on more medications than I care to count...

I simply cannot sleep more than an hour at a time... a good nite is when I get 4hrs total... and I've been this way since I was 15yrs old (I'm 33 now)

I would say I was getting tired of it, but I would get booted off of MeFi for pun abuse...
posted by WhipSmart at 11:15 AM on July 12, 2006


Yves has been popping modafinil on and off for the past three years and says it is "tremendously useful". "I find I can be very productive at work," he says. "I'm ...

Sadly, those were Yves' last words before the cerebral aneurysm.
posted by La Cieca at 11:16 AM on July 12, 2006


Similarly. Also.

I mean seriously, how exactly would you accurately measure how often someone thinks about something?
posted by moonbiter at 11:17 AM on July 12, 2006


A new wave of drugs will make it a breeze to go days without sleep, and give you a good night's shut-eye in two hours - are you ready for 24-hour living?...
The sound you hear is the dripping of employer's saliva on the office carpet.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:18 AM on July 12, 2006


Hildegarde reminds me of one of the characters in this commerical.

I remind me of one of those characters too.
posted by Hildegarde at 11:18 AM on July 12, 2006


If sleep is the new sex, then I'm going to start fantasizing about a threesome.
posted by ob at 11:20 AM on July 12, 2006


Pastabagel: "
Once upon a time you had no choice but to sleep. Remember, before electric light, it would be completely dark at 5:30 in the winter. Sure, you had candles, lanterns etc., but I defy anyone to stay awake a full night working only by candlelight.

Now, not only do we have electric light, we spend our nights staring directly at light sources.
"


Good point, I'd like to add to that:
It also is much less quiet than in the old times. Nowadays we get all sorts of noise pollution throughout the night, not only traffic and people noises from the outside but also from appliances, heating systems, Computers...
I noticed that I tend to sleep much "better", deeper and more relaxing if I can really "listen to the silence" when I fall asleep; the absence of not only obvious loud noises but of any droning, humming or squeaking sound really does make a difference to me.
posted by PontifexPrimus at 11:22 AM on July 12, 2006


It also is much less quiet than in the old times. Nowadays we get all sorts of noise pollution throughout the night, not only traffic and people noises from the outside but also from appliances, heating systems, Computers...

I know this is a radical idea, but you can always shut the computer off. Or get a new fan for it.

And I think this "noise is a modern concept" thing is debateable. When people lived in basically one room, and shared a bed with the whole family, I'm not really sure it would have been much quieter than your bedroom is. Our walls are a lot thicker these days, too.

And who says you need quiet to sleep? Most people I know who move from a high traffic area to a burb find that they wake up at night because of the absence of regular sounds.
posted by Hildegarde at 11:29 AM on July 12, 2006


And yet, if someone put a drug out on the market that would allow me to get by on two hours of sleep a night, with minimal side-effects, I'd take it.

Haven't you people ever heard of cocaine?
posted by Gamblor at 11:30 AM on July 12, 2006


I've noticed that, too, PontifexPrimus. I live in the city, albeit on a somewhat quiet street. But, we've got a houseful of electronics, etc.

When I'm at my aunt's house in Maine, sleeping in the bedroom that doesn't have central heat (it's above the woodstove, though -- awesome, especially in winter), surrounded by nothing but piney woods, I sleep like the dead and wake up at first light.

Oh, I miss Maine now. Damn.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 11:32 AM on July 12, 2006


I've got insomnia too. Got about 1.5 hours night before, but I took some drugs yesterday and got 10 hours. Yay, science.

/by the way: Sex.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:35 AM on July 12, 2006


Participants with more education and income slept longer, despite spending less time in bed.

It seems that sleep is the time not spent having sex?
posted by anthill at 11:39 AM on July 12, 2006


Man. Amazing how many people in this thread are dealing with insomnia issues, including me - I maybe got 4 hours last night, tossed and turned, downstairs to the couch, back upstairs, growled at the wife when she barely started snoring. Mind races; Christ, am I EVER going to go to sleep? Which of course makes it worse...
posted by kgasmart at 11:45 AM on July 12, 2006


Pastabagel: Once upon a time you had no choice but to sleep. Remember, before electric light, it would be completely dark at 5:30 in the winter. Sure, you had candles, lanterns etc., but I defy anyone to stay awake a full night working only by candlelight.

This makes me think of reading Dickens in college. There were all these scenes where one of his characters would sit up very late sewing by candlelight. He made a big deal about how her sight was going. (Sorry, I don't remember which book this was in.)
posted by joannemerriam at 11:48 AM on July 12, 2006



Sleep is the new . . .

Damn. I'm in a double drought. No wonder I'm so crabby.
posted by jason's_planet at 12:05 PM on July 12, 2006


Metafilter: Where sleep is the new sex and we all have insomnia.
posted by aubilenon at 12:27 PM on July 12, 2006


now if I could only some how create a device that would let me write code from a lucid dream state...
posted by Trakker at 12:54 PM on July 12, 2006


kgasmart -

When I get into a cycle like that, what helps me is this.

I get into a comfortable sleeping position, close my eyes, and visualize the number 100. (You choose the font and color...) Then I take ten slow breaths, counting THAT number in the background while keeping the 100 visualized.

When I hit the tenth slow breath, I decrement the 100 by one, and start the ten breaths again. This slows the racing mind pretty well - I find it hard to concentrate on keeping track of the visualized number and counting the ten breaths and keep the "GoditslateamIevergonnasleep
fIdon'tsleepI'lllosemyjoblosemyhouse
bebrokeoutonthestreetmani'vegottagettosleep" stuff going.

Made it to 93 once. Hope this helps.
posted by JB71 at 12:56 PM on July 12, 2006


Hope this helps.

I'll try it. When I get like that I'll try anything.

I went through a period once around '94 when I don't think I got more than 5 or 6 hours a night for at least six months. Major job-related stress at the time; that stuff creeps up on you. And the really insidious thing about that sort of chronic insomnia is that it feeds on itself; you go two nights in a row without really sleeping and by the third night you're thinking, God, I hope I can get to sleep tonight. And if/when you can't, you panic just a little. Rinse. Repeat.

And then if you do fall asleep but wind up waking in the middle of the night, the first thought is: I hope I can get back to sleep.

Harsh. When it's not happening you don't think about it at all. When it is happening you have a hard time thinking about anything else.
posted by kgasmart at 1:25 PM on July 12, 2006


"Deprivated", indeed. Yuk. That certainly woke me up with a start.
posted by Decani at 2:04 PM on July 12, 2006


When we moved to the suburbs from the city the first few nights it was very odd going to sleep without the car alarms and shouting and so on, but we got used to it.

I'll never understand people who wish to sleep less, or complain that 1/3 of their lives are wasted sleeping. Sleep is one of the most enjoyable parts of the day. You get to lay down and rest, you get a free movie that's all crazy and stars you. What more do you want? Definitely beats the 9 to 11 hours a day I spend working.
posted by Outlawyr at 2:26 PM on July 12, 2006


Possibly stating the obvious, but maybe a nice big wank would help.
posted by Soulfather at 2:27 PM on July 12, 2006


I enjoy sleeping and if I get less than 8-9hours a night I can definitely feel it affect my mood and productivity.
posted by drezdn at 4:03 PM on July 12, 2006


I enjoy sleeping, but more than about 7 hours is superfluous, healthwise, as far as I can tell. I frequently sleep in because it's one of my favourite activities, but if I only ever got 6-7 hours a night, I wouldn't consider myself deprived, any more than I'd be deprived if I only ever got to eat dinner but no dessert.
posted by joannemerriam at 4:46 PM on July 12, 2006


I maybe got 4 hours last night, tossed and turned, downstairs to the couch, back upstairs, growled at the wife when she barely started snoring. Mind races; Christ, am I EVER going to go to sleep? Which of course makes it worse...

If you are regularly sleeping only 4 hours, relaxation techniques is probably the first thing to try. Another idea: go to bed at 3am tonight, get up at 7. Next night, go to bed at 2:30. Next night: 2am. The idea is to acquire some sleep debt, then pay it back gradually.

Google "sleep hygiene".

I recommend two books: "No More Sleepless Nights" and "The Promise of Sleep". The first is a how-to, the second is a fairly comprehensive and entertaining book on sleep.
posted by neuron at 5:19 PM on July 12, 2006


So sleep is easy for me to get but sex is not. Something is wrong with this scenario.
posted by melt away at 6:59 PM on July 12, 2006


Meh, at least no one faults me for sleeping by myself.
posted by dagnyscott at 8:00 PM on July 12, 2006


now if I could only some how create a device that would let me write code from a lucid dream state...
w00t! maybe within our lifetimes?

To the point, counting down from 100 as JB71 recommended sounds sound. I'd also recommend cutting out the caffeine before 4 p.m., having a clean conscience, get therapy for all your problems, meditate as much as possible, exercise, etc.
posted by MarkO at 10:05 PM on July 12, 2006


High-school seniors are among the most sleep-deprived, getting about two hours less each weeknight than the nine hours they need.

Colour me slightly unsympathetic, much as I love my sleep and guard it fiercely. In Korea, from middle school through the end of high school, most children, if they have any intention at all of going on to university, which more than 80% do, get an average of 4 to 5 hours a night, if they're lucky. It's insane, but it's a simple fact that tells a great deal about Korea and its people, and is the root of the myth of the superiority of the Korean student, when they go overseas. They're no better -- they just work like bastards, driven by their pathologically competitive parents and a society that demands that level of grind merely to keep up. To excel, of course, you need to do that and know the right people.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:43 PM on July 12, 2006


We need to figure out how giraffes do it (get by on 2 hrs of sleep)

If enough of us start being eaten by lions for not being awake enough -- lay your head down on the desk at school? snap! a lion eats you -- I'm sure the remaining people will be those who don't need much sleep. So we need lions. (And long necks. And funny little antlers. And big wiggly lips.)

Most of us get as much sleep as we need. People who say they need more had better not be wasting time watching television, traipsing about shops, etc. Or is that what they need the extra waking time for?
posted by pracowity at 1:39 AM on July 13, 2006


It was weird. I actually slept 8 hours lastnight. A rare event, and for no apparent reason. Except my neck was sore, so I took ibuprofen (400mg) after dinner. The other half says he sleeps better when he does that, too.

Usually I sleep 7 hours max. I like getting up in the morning, preferably early. I function fine on 6 hours, so long as I get my 7 every couple days. 5 hours leaves me dull. If it drops to 4, there are reasons (excitement over something), and it can get very strange if it continues over days.

But the notion of doing without sleep is kind of scary, to me. Often, sleep is what I do when my eyes are too tired to keep reading, and I'd otherwise be bored. On the other hand, I could imagine a life where I had time to work, socialize, as well as plenty of time to myself (introvert). This is appealing!
posted by Goofyy at 1:45 AM on July 13, 2006


JB71, that's a groovy technique, I'm definitely going to give that a shot.
posted by dejah420 at 7:29 AM on July 13, 2006


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