Sunday, November 04, 2007

Eight Hours?


One year...I changed my sleep patterns to 4 and 1/2 hours a night. I read 300 books. But I was always falling asleep at the dinner table.

I've changed my sleep habits, since being with Stagg, to sleeping about 7-9 hours a night. Stagg is an eight hour a night kind of sleeper... I have been known to go on 6 hours a night for weeks...but I always gain weight...and then I have to have one night where I sleep 14 hours trying to catch up. I used to get an "agitated depression" years ago...and had to get therapy to change my behaviour. Stagg suffered sleep dep for years until recently when he changed his lifestyle...which also helped him recover from a depression. Since I sleep a bit more in the last couple of years, and including taking flax seed oil...I notice my memory and general brain functions are pretty strong. I also feel a lot less stress. As soon as I have sleep dep, I gain weight. Almost doesn't matter how much I excercise, I will gain weight within days. I tend to actually feel hungrier when tired.

"Fatigue is linked with irritability, impatience, anxiety and depression, such problems can directly jeopardize job and family relationships and upset social activities. The ultimate costs of time-pressured societies, where fatigue plays a constant role, include "declining health, industrial accidents, splintered families, delinquency, depression. inadequate learning, and tired and weakened communities." Sleep deprivation is associated with shorter life span, diabetes, cancer and obesity.

"A large, new study, for example, provides the latest in a flurry of evidence suggesting that the nation's obesity epidemic is being driven, at least in part, by a corresponding decrease in the average number of hours that Americans are sleeping, possibly by disrupting hormones that regulate appetite. The analysis of a nationally representative sample of nearly 10,000 adults found that those between the ages of 32 and 49 who sleep less than seven hours a night are significantly more likely to be obese."

"If you look at modern society, there has in recent years been a considerable erosion of sleep time," says Walker. Describing this trend as "sleep bulimia" he explains that busy individuals often shortchange their sleep during the week -- purging, if you will -- only to try to catch up by "binging" on sleep on the weekends.
"This is especially troubling considering it is happening not just among adults, but also among teenagers and children," he adds. "Our research is demonstrating that sleep is critical for improving and consolidating procedural skills and that you can't short-change your brain of sleep and still learn effectively."

Sleep and Memory Skills

A TEST OK, so how do you determine how much sleep you really need?

First, let's look at your bank account -- your sleep bank account, that is -- and see if you have a debt to pay. Throughout the day, you take out about eight hours from this account, generating a sleep debt. Over the course of the night, as you snooze, you replenish your account. If you sleep only, say, six and a half hours, you still owe one and a half hours. If you do this for five nights in a row, you have lost an entire night's sleep! You will then need extra sleep over the next few days to replenish your sleep debt.

How much sleep do you get -- do you have a sleep debt? Do this simple test: Starting on a Sunday, do not drink alcohol or caffeine; do not smoke; go to sleep about the same time every night; and get an uninterrupted seven to eight hours of sleep for the next six nights. Then, on Saturday morning, sleep in. See how long your body will let you sleep. If you sleep longer than you did during the week -- then you have a sleep debt. So you should consider getting more sleep each night to replenish that sleep debt.


Found this after hearing that men and women have differnt cultural attitudes towards sleep...Many men simply don’t realize that they need more sleep. They view sleepiness as a positive sign that they must be working hard. They get used to being tired, and they think that’s the way it’s supposed to be. They believe that they just have to fight through it. Sleep Education

Photos from Square America

How much sleep do you need per night and why?

Blogs that commented here: Red Letter Day, From A Lofty Perch, Browntown, Wandering Coyote, Goddess In The City,The Cappucino Kid, Mister Anchovy, Fond of Snape

12 comments:

Red said...

How odd that you should post about sleep deprivation today of all days, when most unusually I am up at 2.18am due to a loud cat who wouldn't accept his catflap was now locked and a man snoring loudly in my bed... I am trying to put my time awake to good use, but I feel like I'm beginning to flag now.

I am an eight hours a night kinda gal, but no matter how late I go to bed the night before, I'll be up and at them pretty early in the morning. But I will try your sleep debt test this week!

Gardenia said...

I need 7-8 hours. Since coming back to Florida, I average 4-5 if that much, due to severe sleep apnea on "H"'s part which he refuses to do anything about. If I wear mask to shut out TV and lights and ear plugs to shut out TV and snoring, he still is whapping and kicking and shaking the bed. Then he yells at me for shaking my foot to get the numbness out before I get up to go to the bathroom.

So I tried the sofa, he refuses to share sofa nights. Probably because the cats rumble half the night. (Psycho has this thing of standing in his litter box and squeaking his feet on the dryer door for ten minutes at least 4 times a night, trying to cover Ms. Kittie's nasty,) If I put Psycho outside, he comes to the windows and screeches his feet on them with a knocking or squeaking sound.

The sofa hurts my back, but my back can wake me up in the most comfortable of beds (should I be lucky enough to have one). Then I can't go back to sleep because I hurt. Can't take a pain pill if its after midnight or I bumble through half the day. If I can sleep in, "H" gets up and bangs the front door lots of times, and clanks dishes.

Now I have a tempurapedic foam thingie on the living room floor, and I am still not sleeping more than 4 hours.

When I try to nap in the daytime on weekends, someone wakes me up usually, though the cats sleep in the daytime. On weekdays where I could go back and grab a couple of hours before the boy gets out of school, my adrenaline is so screwed up, I lay there buzzing.

When I start crying I know its time for an Ambien night. (sleeping pill). That helps. Until I came back here I have not EVER had problems sleeping, unless at the apartments someone would wake me (no noise barriers) but I would always fall back to sleep and not lay there with my mind whirling and electrical shocks going through my chest like now.

I called the doc and he wrote a script for Prozac - but I don't know if it helps the sleeping that much, maybe hinders it even more and I prefer having my mind feeling crisp and clear, rather than this fine edge of fuzz.

So, that's my tangled sleep mess. My mother complains all the time, but she has four dogs that wake her up all night. I would say make them sleep on the floor and quit barking, (something wrong here, I am the one sleeping on the floor!) but I have all these sleep problems I can't find solutions for, so who am I to talk?

Sorry for the long comment.......

You asked for it - LOL!

Oh, I also read that men sleep better with women in bed with them, but the women sleep less than they need to when they sleep with men. Interesting.

Thee Mike Brown said...

i never sleep that's why i'll never die.

Wandering Coyote said...

I know I need a solid 8 - 9 hours a night or else I get cranky, flustered, and even physically ill. With my chronic illness, I have to pay particular attention to sleep, and I have some medications that help me out with it. Without the meds, I am pretty much an insomniac. I'm pretty sure that I have a sleep disorder called "delayed sleep phase syndrome" which means I can get a normal sleep, but just later on in the night. Naturally, I fall asleep at about 3am and sleep well until 11 or noon...but try having a schedule like that in the real working world! Impossible. So, I'm grateful for the medications and take them faithfully because I know I'd be screwed without them.

Candy Minx said...

Red, that is funny that you should have had your sleep interrupted and then come here...it's tricky to cut out the caffeine for that sleep dep test though. I don't know do you drink much coffee?

Gardenia...this is a mess. Basically...you are going to have to get some kind of a small single bed and put it behind the couch or something very easy to pull out yet comfortable and healthy for your back. You can not continue to sleep in the same room with "H".(your mother should get those dogs completely out of the bedroom...but at the very least, on the floor...but you know there won't be anything that will change her mind. Some people have pets because they want them to be like humans...what can you do) YOU however...are delegated to a different room and some kind of matress or bed in that room, NOT the sofa!

Mike...ah ha ha A Cormac McCarthy joke...good one!!!!


Wandering Coyote, yes, it does sound like your meds are a great help. Lots of people have that weird sleep that they start way later and sleep later but you're right...no way does that fit into our pressure speed speed society of heavy production...one size fits all culture. Sleeping also is the time we heal all our sore muscles, do a lot of subconscious problem solving...it even affects digestion. Thank god you have the kind of medical care to aid you in sleep Wandering Coyote!

Minerva Jane said...

I need about 8 hours but can function on less if I have to...

I sleep with a Snorer too--but by now he's used to me tapping him and saying, "Turn Over!" It really does help when he sleeps on his side, though.

BTW--love the re-design. It _has_ been a while.

Janet said...

I need 7-8 hours...unfortunately, lately, I've been a night owl, not going to sleep til midnight or so. I need to be to work by 9 am...I usually wake up about 730 or 8.

Candy Minx said...

Minerva Jane, wonderful to see you. I am a tossing and turning sleeper, but fortunately Stagg sleeps right through everything. I don't like going to bed most days..I'm like a little kid who is afraid of missing something, but I love sleeping too. Glad you like the redesign around here.

Janet, yep that happens to me too...somehow I get off and then land up staying awake...only it's more 2 or 3. Of course there are neighbours too, upstairs is Stompy MacFooty and downstairs is Bombingforpeace.

cappy. said...

whats a burek? i guess it's some type of pasta?
as a baker, i found that totally enthralling, in the same way that i find any type of food prep!
sorry, off subject, but hey! nice!

mister anchovy said...

I slept 9 hours once, and 8 hours at least a few times. Give me 6 every night and I'm a happy camper. I used to be fine on 5 every night, but that was when I was invincible.

Candy Minx said...

Cappy, a burek is a little like a spanakopita...the thin phyllo pastry with a mixture of spinach and feta...I guess I should explain that on the video huh? Glad you enjoyed!

Mister Anchovy, heh heh...I used to go on five, sometimes six hours of sleep for ages. I always felt tired around the edges. If I don't set an alarm clock I sleep 7&1/2.

Gardenia said...

Back for another visit - I'm laughing - the picture on the top looks like me sleeping in my clothes on hardness surrounded by sleep aids, only skinnier. Oh those people that actually thrive on 5 and 6 hours are my envy!