Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Can you train yourself to sleep less?

Karin and Clay

The short answer answer is NO. Research done at Walter Reed's military research facility and at the University of Pennsylvania both concluded that people sleeping less than seven hours a day perform worse at aptitude and motor skills tests regardless of long-term acclimation.

Why do some people get by on less sleep than others? Personal physiology varies dramatically. Stalin slept for four hours each night and had the rest of his time available to hatch his schemes. However, he usually spent this time reading history, fine literature and drinking the most exquisite Vodka that money could buy—but this is neither here nor there.

Truck drivers and oil-rig workers are sometimes required to go for long stretches on five hours or less. Though they can temporarily adapt to this lifestyle, they experience diminished energy resources and motor skills and eventually require a "recovery period." The body keeps track of your sleep debt and it will hunt you down and collect.

Another word of caution: the decline in mental and physical resources from a lack of sleep can be quite gradual. If you've been sleep deprived for a long time, you may not know what you're missing. To put it another way: life is probably passing you by.

A variety of alternative sleeping schemes from "outside the box" have been invented to address this problem. One of them was pioneered by Leondardo Da Vinci. He economized his time by sleeping in 15 to 20 minute intervals every 2-3 hours. Maybe somebody could try this and let me know. Personally, I think "the box" is there for a reason.

I once spent some time experimenting with "Power Napping." There are those who say that a twenty minute nap can sometimes feel like seven hours of sleep. These people are lying to you and they will eventually take your credit card number. They probably already have.

I have also been told that advanced practitioners of meditation require less and less sleep, finally getting down to one or two hours of sleep a day. This is what I'm banking on.

1 comment:

  1. I like sleeping more than I used to.

    Our blogs are friends!


©2008-2009 All rights reserved
Share/Save/Bookmark - The Photoblogging Resource
bgustafsson my profile VFXY Photos photo blogs, top photoblogs Photography Directory by PhotoLinks photography homepages link