Poll: On sleep

I would like to take a break from our regular poetry programming to ask you all a simple question:

How do you sleep?

Do you get 8 hours? 6 hours? 4 hours? Do you wake up well rested, fatigued? Do you watch TV to entice sleepiness or listen to the ocean sounds or just lay in the dark until sleep comes? Do you have tricks, tips?

I recently learned that a friend of mine gets only 5 hours of sleep and I was astounded. Today, a cleaning lady at my office volunteered information about her sleep life which is an even shorter amount – 4 hours. Her routine: 4 hours of sleep, a shot of espresso and a shot of vodka every morning.

Now I feel as if I need to know about everyone’s sleeping patterns. Why aren’t we talking more about this? How is it that some of us seemingly need 9 hours and others operate on half that?

If you care to tell me, I would love to know about your sleep.

17 thoughts on “Poll: On sleep

  1. 5 hours is great for me. 6 – 7 hours a luxury. I often think of sleep as a necessary evil; preferring to burn the candle…

    1. I agree. The reason I’m so curious about others’ sleep is that I’ve often felt that without 8 hours, I can’t function as well. This seems so unfortunate when other people get 2, 3 or even 4 more hours to their day! I want more hours in my day!

      I wonder: will my body adjust to whatever sleep I shall allow it? Or, am I predisposed to need more sleep?

      How long have you been at 5 hours?

      1. Long time. I’m ancient. 49. [smile] I always feel like I’m missing something when I’m sleeping. Now, with blog friends awake somewhere in the world 24 hours day, it’s even worse. I’m reminded of a commercial for lightbulbs a few years ago that said something along the lines of that Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb because he thought sleep was such a waste of time… I absolutely love the early mornings – 3:30 AM until sunrise- and lately I just sort of naturally wake up before 4. So, unless I’m somehow getting to bed by 10 PM (almost never), then I wind up dragging myself around all day on 4 – 5 hours sleep. But, I suppose I just think it’s worth it to capture those early morning hours for myself (“my time”). It’s a good discussion. Thank you for the prompt! ~ Bill

  2. My sleep is so erratic it’s hard to say, but maybe anywhere between 3 to 10 hours a night. I usually also take a couple cat naps during the day, naturally.

      1. Ugh, no idea. I’ve gone 3 days with two hours of sleep and then slept for 24 hours straight, so my body is completely out of whack. This is what happens when you grow up without having a regular sleep schedule. I used to stay up until 2 a.m. in elementary and go to school the next day tired.

  3. Jaclyn,
    I have always needed 7 hours of sleep to function well. Usually asleep by 10:30 PM up at 5:30 AM. I have learned that it is best to keep the same sleep schedule otherwise my body clock gets messed up (sleep studies back this up). I’m definitely a morning person. I avoid disturbing television shows and news (both broadcast or written) several hours before bed. Otherwise they disrupt my sleep. Actually I try to avoid anything disturbing or drama filled. I really hate conflict. Worst things for a good nights rest.

    1. Hi Patrick,
      I agree about keeping a steady sleep schedule. Study of circadian rhythms have shown how important predictable eating/sleeping is. I also very much agree about the disturbing media. Recent studies have also show that any short-wave light from tv, phones, etc disrupts ease and quality of sleep.

      I wonder how many people “plan” their sleep pattern or if it just happens upon them.

      Thanks for sharing!

      1. According to my mom, when I was little and bedtime came around I would just disappear and go to bed on my own. For myself I believe it is wired into my being.

    1. Dave!

      So one of the major problems I have with mornings is that snooze button. On average, I hit snooze for 30-45 minutes (10 minute increments). I wonder how this affects our overall wakefulness during the day. When I finally do get up, I feel drained from that routine of sleep/wake/snooze/sleep. What if we had no snooze button?

      I also wonder what would happen if you tried only getting 6 hours, 7 days per week for a given period of time. I wonder how the extra 3-4 hours two days a week (or 6-8 hours total – another whole night’s rest!) affects the week’s pattern.

  4. In regards to my sleep patterns, I tend to wake up around 7 or 8 am every morning (unless I have an alarm set for earlier), regardless of when i feel asleep. I think I’m just so used to it that even without an alarm my body just knows. However, if I don’t fall asleep by about midnight at the latest I feel groggy. If I only have 3-5 hours of sleep I will physically feel sick not too long into my day. I HAVE to get sleep. I can’t understand how so many people go without. Even if I do have an energy drink I will get sick. There’s no doubt in my mind about it. My body just can’t do without sleep. It’s aggravating, especially during my dorm years because sometimes it wasn’t my choice about how much sleep I’d get.

  5. Hell no! I don’t even know if I would like that…probably wake up with an headache for oversleeping….5-6 is nice, but rare.

  6. I have been thinking about this a lot lately, and funny that I should stumble upon your prompt today. I am working on weening myself away from so much sleep. I get about 8 hours every night and I think it is too much. I also snooze for almost an hour every morning. I love the mornings, so my new plan is to go bed earlier, get up earlier, and completely get rid of my snooze button. I am shooting for 6 hours of sleep a night.

    1. This is exactly what I was planning on doing when I posted this poll. I thought that I was getting too much sleep and how terrible to be wasting this precious time! After several weeks of going to bed later and getting up earlier, I have been so tired! I have been making simple spelling errors at work and my body crashes around 2:30pm every day. I don’t know what the solution is. I don’t want to have to accept that I just need more sleep than some others do.

      I hope you have better luck..!

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