On Sleep

surreal photo via julienmagre (I love the windows!)

I came across this article (via HN, of course) about how much sleep we need to be productive. It was really interesting. Did you know that the 8 hour/night thing is a myth? Sleeping 8 hours will actually make you less alert than sleeping 5 hours. Crazy, right?

The part that resonated with me the most was this: "[...] be aware that for the highest quality of sleep, you need to be drained, both physically and mentally to some extent." How true is that?

There have been times (especially last week) when I've been sitting at my computer working for 18 hours straight. I'd be completely mentally drained when I get home, and yet do not fall asleep for 30 minutes or so. Do you find that? It just serves as a reminder that when things get busy, physical exercise is not something to put on the back burner.

PS. I wouldn't mind napping on this down-filled couch 20 minutes every day. I would not mind at all.


  1. You should definitely take 10-15 minutes breaks for every hour or so of work. And watching cat videos doesn't count as a break (it's part of actual work). A break means getting up from behind the computer and walking around. You really don't want to end up like this guy.

    18 hours straight?! Too much sitting can kill you. I know you enjoy rock climbing, backpacking, and living life on the edge in general; but really, sitting behind a computer isn't how it's supposed to be done.

  2. Well, shucks. I broke my own "sleeping 8 hours is bad for you" rule. Gotta say though, it felt pretty great (AND my eyes aren't bloodshot anymore).

    Also, I'm definitely taking your suggestion, Jason. I brought my camera to work today, and I'm ready to go outside and take some photos.

  3. Hey, better to be sleeping -less alert- than sitting -dead-! Anyway, I’m glad you took my suggestion; more importantly, I hope you had fun with it. *Sigh*. My only wish is to go back in time and proof-read my wisdom before posting it.

    Someday, perhaps 70-80 years from now, your grandchildren will ask: "Grandma Olga, what did you do to live so long?” and of course you’ll show them the gem which is my comment. Perhaps you’ll even show them the pictures you took the day after.


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