The myth of the eight-hour sleep

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 22, 2012 7:37 PM GMT
    Bottomline: "So the next time you wake up in the middle of the night, think of your pre-industrial ancestors and relax. Lying awake could be good for you."

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16964783

    "Many people wake up at night and panic," he says. "I tell them that what they are experiencing is a throwback to the bi-modal sleep pattern."

    But the majority of doctors still fail to acknowledge that a consolidated eight-hour sleep may be unnatural.

    "Over 30% of the medical problems that doctors are faced with stem directly or indirectly from sleep. But sleep has been ignored in medical training and there are very few centres where sleep is studied," he says.

    Jacobs suggests that the waking period between sleeps, when people were forced into periods of rest and relaxation, could have played an important part in the human capacity to regulate stress naturally.

    In many historic accounts, Ekirch found that people used the time to meditate on their dreams.

    "Today we spend less time doing those things," says Dr Jacobs. "It's not a coincidence that, in modern life, the number of people who report anxiety, stress, depression, alcoholism and drug abuse has gone up."

    So the next time you wake up in the middle of the night, think of your pre-industrial ancestors and relax. Lying awake could be good for you.
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    Feb 22, 2012 9:55 PM GMT
    In Spain it is normal to sleep in the afternoon... and to sleep much less at night.. Ive tried it myself.. found it to be very nice, you get less tired than after a long day of uninterrupted wakefulness
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    Feb 22, 2012 9:57 PM GMT
    I tried lucid dreaming last night, the result was me waking up every 30 minutes to adjust myself. I should have just laid awake icon_sad.gif
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    Feb 22, 2012 10:03 PM GMT
    i have not been getting any sleep these last few days, ideas keep swirling in my head at night and it's driving me crazy, but i do function better when i get 4 hour's of sleep.icon_biggrin.gif so i guess 8 hour is no needicon_biggrin.gif
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    Feb 22, 2012 11:15 PM GMT
    I always wake up 2-5 times throughout my nightly sleep. I thought everyone did.
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    Feb 22, 2012 11:21 PM GMT
    I have a very different circadian rhythm. I have no need of 8 hours of sleep. Usually, four hours of sleep is sufficient. I can function properly with 3-4 hours, sometimes less. I don't like sleeping in either.

    Sometimes I wake up, but I just go to sleep then again.
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    Feb 23, 2012 12:57 AM GMT
    There are 5 stages of sleep. It takes around 3-4 hours to complete all 5 stages.

    This is why I generally take a 3-4 hour nap BEFORE going out at a late-night bar or club...when I have to work the next day. It lets me get the 2nd sleep cycle in before work.
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    Feb 25, 2012 12:54 AM GMT
    Eight hours of sleep is a lot for me. I generally feel better with about seven hours.
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    Feb 25, 2012 1:12 AM GMT
    1-3 dreams a night and if it's more than one dream, I usually wake up between for 5-10 minutes. I thought it was weird that I rarely get an uninterrupted night of sleep. icon_confused.gif
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    Feb 25, 2012 2:53 AM GMT
    6 hours is the max i can go without waking up. Generally... Im also notoriously a bad sleeper. takes me at least 1-2 hr to get to sleep...and thats with a little pill... lol
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    Feb 25, 2012 3:02 AM GMT
    I def switch to a bimodal sleep pattern when I get stressed.
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    Feb 25, 2012 3:02 AM GMT
    I love sleep...and naps anytime I can sneak one in. The more sleep for me the merrier. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Feb 25, 2012 3:05 AM GMT
    I do better when I've had more than 8 hours of consecutive sleep. Sadly, that hasn't happened in years.
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    Feb 25, 2012 3:08 AM GMT
    DudeInNOVA saidI do better when I've had more than 8 hours of consecutive sleep. Sadly, that hasn't happened in years.


    i do better when i get 3 to 4 hours of sleep, or no sleep at all, sleeping is for losers, the more hours you sleep the more the loser level goes upicon_mad.gif
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    Feb 25, 2012 3:12 AM GMT
    archon saidi do better when i get 3 to 4 hours of sleep, or no sleep at all, sleeping is for losers, the more hours you sleep the more the loser level goes upicon_mad.gif


    Are you socializing with me? icon_mad.gif
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    Feb 25, 2012 3:13 AM GMT
    DudeInNOVA said
    archon saidi do better when i get 3 to 4 hours of sleep, or no sleep at all, sleeping is for losers, the more hours you sleep the more the loser level goes upicon_mad.gif


    Are you socializing with me? icon_mad.gif


    noicon_mad.gif, i dont socialize with sociopaths!
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    Feb 25, 2012 3:16 AM GMT
    archon saidnoicon_mad.gif, i dont socialize with sociopaths!


    Good. I ain't no rule breaker.
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    Feb 25, 2012 3:18 AM GMT
    DudeInNOVA said
    archon saidnoicon_mad.gif, i dont socialize with sociopaths!


    Good. I ain't no rule breaker.


    what are you trying to say!icon_mad.gif
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    Apr 17, 2012 12:32 PM GMT
    paulflexes saidThere are 5 stages of sleep. It takes around 3-4 hours to complete all 5 stages.

    This is why I generally take a 3-4 hour nap BEFORE going out at a late-night bar or club...when I have to work the next day. It lets me get the 2nd sleep cycle in before work.


    Damn I wish my body was as well trained as yours Paul. If I sleep in the afternoon for a couple of hours I feel like death warmed up when I awake and can experience sleep terrors / paralysis (which I don't ever get sleeping for 7-8 hours at night).
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    Apr 19, 2012 7:30 AM GMT
    GreenHopper saidIn Spain it is normal to sleep in the afternoon... and to sleep much less at night.. Ive tried it myself.. found it to be very nice, you get less tired than after a long day of uninterrupted wakefulness


    Hehe, not so much anymore! People in most of the big cities no longer observe siesta because it no longer makes sense. Many businesses want to take advantage of those extra hours, so now they don't close during the afternoon. Also, many people commute from distant, neighboring towns to the major cities, so they're not able to go home for lunch and return to work.
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    Apr 19, 2012 7:54 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said
    pocketnico said
    GreenHopper saidIn Spain it is normal to sleep in the afternoon... and to sleep much less at night.. Ive tried it myself.. found it to be very nice, you get less tired than after a long day of uninterrupted wakefulness


    Hehe, not so much anymore! People in most of the big cities no longer observe siesta because it no longer makes sense. Many businesses want to take advantage of those extra hours, so now they don't close during the afternoon. Also, many people commute from distant, neighboring towns to the major cities, so they're not able to go home for lunch and return to work.


    When I was in Salamanca six years ago I was frustrated by the whole siesta. Most businesses closed around noon and then reopened by 5PM. It was hard for me because I was taking a Spanish language class that ended at 11:30. So I couldn't run any errands until 5PM. Some places were open but many restaurants were closed.

    I was there for six weeks and it seems like every other week there was some holiday that allowed towns to completely shut down. It really irritated me, I was not aware of the holidays and was staying at a dorm. The dorm cafeteria would be closed ALL DAY on these holidays and I had to go all day without food! After a few weeks of this nonsense, I finally learned to stash some bread, canned beans and fruit in my dorm room for emergency use.

    I love my Spanish heritage but Spanish culture is known for being lazy and looks to exploit any moment in history to create a national holiday which basically equates to DAY OFF FROM WORK.

    Here in the states, or at least in Chicago, if you go to a grocery store that closes at 9PM they'll most likely let you in at 8:59 but then lock the door behind you. Then they politely remind you that the store is closing as ask you to be expedient with your shopping. They don't want to send you away because they want your business. In Spain, if a store closed at 8PM I'd show up at 7:45 (just enough time to dart in, buy my shit and run out before closing hours) and the damn stores were already closed, lights out, security doors in place. It really pissed me off.

    There were some Swedes and Norwegians in my class and during breaks from class they made jokes about the lack of industriousness that Spain indulged in. Obviously I'm not the only one that felt the way I did about things in Spain.


    Siesta definitely still exists in smaller cities, towns, and villages. However, the practice has virtually disappeared in most of the big cities like Barcelona, Madrid, Sevilla, and Valencia because they can't afford to!

    You're right about the lazy ways of the Spanish, though lol. Definitely not the most productive people you'll ever meet. I'm very Americanized in that manner because the Hispanic concept of work ethics and time management do not fly with me. No wonder Spain is in the economic condition it is now, eh?
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    Apr 19, 2012 7:58 AM GMT
    I usually only get about 6 real hours of sleep a night due to all the waking up.

    I also have 1-3 lucid dreams per week which are interesting but in the end just annoying when I can't control things anymore and have to wake myself up before things get crazy. Strange, I know..
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    Apr 19, 2012 9:51 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said
    pocketnico said

    Siesta definitely still exists in smaller cities, towns, and villages. However, the practice has virtually disappeared in most of the big cities like Barcelona, Madrid, Sevilla, and Valencia because they can't afford to!


    I was surprised that Salamanca was still observing the siesta in many areas of the town. it's a university town.

    But I did notice a substantial difference in Madrid. Much more industrious and much hotter men too. icon_twisted.gificon_twisted.gif


    I feel things will change in Spain very soon. So many Spaniards have immigrated to Germany, France, and the UK recently because of Spain's terrible unemployment rate. Now they have no choice but to migrate to other countries and adapt to the working habits of their neighbors. Germany and the UK value punctuality and real work, so that will be quite a wake up call to Spanish migrant workers lol. Hopefully they'll return to Spain and bring back these habits with them.

    And of course others have migrated to Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil where I feel their situation won't change very much because of similar culture!
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    Apr 23, 2012 6:18 PM GMT
    im digging this!
  • Lincsbear

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    Apr 23, 2012 7:28 PM GMT
    Individuals vary widely in their sleep patterns and needs. Eight hours is a generalized average at best.