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Has anyone "trained" themselves to sleep less?

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  • Has anyone "trained" themselves to sleep less?

    I usually need a minimum of 8 hours sleep a night to feel decent the next day, and I'd really like to reduce my sleeping hours safely to allow me more resourceful time during the day (I'm currently working full time, studying part time and trying to start a business).

    Has anyone trained themselves to sleep less, say to averaging 5-6 hours a night without feeling tired the next day?

    For reference I'm 34, work a 24-hour shift pattern (7am starts, 3pm starts & 11pm starts) and usually fairly active with exercise but recently had Covid so my fitness levels have nose-dived lately.

  • #2
    Sleep is restorative and your body is gonna do what it needs to do to rebuild and recover. So I would start by ensuring the highest quality of sleep possible and see if improving your sleep helps you to reduce the time needed to restore. I wear an Oura Ring which tracks my sleep and, in doing so, I'm able to make adjustments to determine which factors will increase my quality. For example, a cold bed and a heavy (10 lb) blanket made a huge difference for me. I'm a restless sleeper but with the heavy blanket and lower temperature, I will sleep more solidly for 6 straight hours than without. Blackout shades make a small difference for me. Any noise will always disturb me. Eating in the evening does, as well. Etc... I have the data from my sleep tracker to test and confirm but you can also just try things for a while and see if it changes your energy level, etc... I'm good with 6 hours of sleep but it has to be VERY good sleep quality.

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    • #3
      You may get away with a bit less sleep if you can take naps. That being said, if you skimp on sleep you'll end up paying for it in one way or another.
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      • #4
        I make sleep a priority, but I believe an answer for you may be substances; c and b vitamins, maca, caffeine, nicotine, l-tyrosine; that stuff gets me by.
        "I will lick my dick"

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        • #5
          Regular meditation should also help with this to some degree.
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          • #6
            I agree with Johnny D, good quality sleep is definitely important. I read a book called "Why we sleep" by Mathew Walker. There's a lot of studies referenced in the book but there's a heavy emphasis on how important sleep is to health. I highly recommend it, it might change the way you think about sleep. I used to be someone who wanted to function on just 6 hours and after reading the book, I try to block 8 hours for myself to get proper sleep.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by flight_mode View Post
              I usually need a minimum of 8 hours sleep a night to feel decent the next day, and I'd really like to reduce my sleeping hours safely to allow me more resourceful time during the day (I'm currently working full time, studying part time and trying to start a business).

              Has anyone trained themselves to sleep less, say to averaging 5-6 hours a night without feeling tired the next day?

              For reference I'm 34, work a 24-hour shift pattern (7am starts, 3pm starts & 11pm starts) and usually fairly active with exercise but recently had Covid so my fitness levels have nose-dived lately.
              It can be done, set your alarm for 6 hours and after 2 or 3 weeks you will be used to it.

              I average 5 or 6 hours a day and always wake up before my alarm goes off. Now if I sleep more than 6 hours a day, I feel sluggish
              Going an inch and 1/2 deeper than before

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              • #8
                Ehmm... Kinda.

                First of all, I want to say its not healthy in a long term, no matter how "well" you do it, sleep is needed. Of course, everybody is different, I might have worked with 3-4 hours, someone would struggle with 6, and I'm sure someone may have managed to not sleep for days at all.

                So, I'm gonna divide this in this kind of "Rules" that I had for my self

                Rule N 1: Keep a really good diet. What you eat is what your body uses as a fuel. If you give bad fuel, your body wastes energy on processing that fuel and obtaining the best of it, so we want to keep it easy. No alcohol, no junk food, little to no sugar. You want to have a very balanced diet, the kind of diet you would have if you trained 2 shifts per day. This also comes with not eating too much in every meal. If you eat like you feel you wont be able to walk, then your body is wasting energy again. There is a lot to read on this topic, and as I said everybody is different, so you gotta do your own research. What kind of diet is up to you and your body. (I eated almost every 2 - 3 hours, I know people who is maybe 10 hours without eating, we are both right, we're just different). All this said... water is your best friend. All day drinking water.

                Rule N 2: Know your limits. You have to listen to yourself and know when to stop. If you head hurts, if you feel like you cant do shit, then get back to regular sleeping, "fix your body" (feel cool again) and then try again.

                Rule N 3: Focus Mode Vs Automatic Mode. You can't be full time focused on what you do, it will drain you out. You gotta choose when to stay focused on something and when are you going to be in automatic. Being in automatic means getting something done but without really paying attention. That thing you're doing on automatic wont end up great, it would be "half done", don't expect to be superman and get everything right. For example, some times I would study on focus mode, and do weight lifting on automatic. As I already knew how to lift weights, of course I wasnt able to "push my limits" while lifting, but I managed to excercise and keep in shape.

                Rule N 4: Rest. You are sleeping less, so you need to rest more. This means, for example, whenever you eat, do not just rush it and look at your phone. Enjoy it. Use that time as a real rest and recover yourself. Phones, computers, they are not really resting, your brain is having a lot of activity while you use them, you gotta disconect a bit and keep in touch with the world, nature, take some sunlight etc. Maybe 15 minutes are enought, its not like you can't use your phone or play videogames etc, but you should get used to find little spots where you just rest (meditation here is great, but some people feels sleepy after meditating so it can fire-back)

                Rule N 5: Good Sleep. The time you are sleeping you must take the most of it. How to do it, there are a lot of ways, and as I already said like 5 times, we are all different. Keeping the room dark is one way, some people puts rain sounds as background, others like full silence, dunno. Get a good pillow if you don't have or if you struggle with comfort. (This is probably the most important, pairing with diet).

                Rule N 6: Go Slow. Dont try to sleep 2 hours less all of a sudden, cuz maybe its too much. This goes a bit with rule 2, listen to your body, but don't be afraid. Beware of your routine, if you have to do something really important on friday and you have been stressed by it, then get a good sleep that night after the event, and on sunday try to start again with the sleeping less process. You don't want to ruin something important by not being well rested.

                Rule N 7: Sleep everywhere (Optional). What I mean here is, if you have a 20 minutes bus travel, take that nap. If you have 15 minutes at home of nothing, sleep. Naps everywhere are valuated as god. This, with resting and keep in touch with nature its a huge boost. I say its optional cuz there is people that may never wake up from the nap, or maybe they end up more sleepy than they were.

                Rule N 8: Compensate. After every 2-3 days, your body would want to get a full sleep. Listen to it and sleep.


                I think that's all I made in order to sleep less.

                Know, who the heck I am and how I know this worked (at least for me)?

                Well, I used to have a lot of anxiety and sleep problems so I ended up having some years where I used to sleep very little (3-4 hours) and spent some days without sleeping at all. As I couldn't manage to sleep, I tried to figure out how could I have a "normal life" and get my shit done day after day. Those where my habits and when I followed them I was at my best. Then my sleep schedule got fix and was able to sleep normally again, but whenever I wanted to stay all night gaming or stuff I knew what to do in order to not be fucked up the other day.
                Excercising and being in a good shape I'm sure it helps a lot.

                Never tried supplements or drugs.

                IMPORTANT, Mind can get tricky when you dont have proper sleep. Check your mental health whenever you push your limits.

                Another thing to be aware of, your face will tell you're sleeping less probably. At least, I got a bit uglier and when I started sleeping better again my face looked refreshed.



                Funny story, one time while checking my limits and playing with my bode (not healthy at all) one of my nose veins just collapsed because of malfunctioning and ended up cover in blood in some fast food place. "Funny", but that shit was dangerous.


                PD: Of course, this is not a bible, and its not like if you don't do this you wont be able to sleep less. Just telling how I handled 4 hours of sleep without dying for some years while studying, working and excercising.
                Starting point (08/09/21):
                bpel: 14.5cm
                mseg: 12

                Goal:
                bpel: 17cm
                mseg: 14cm

                Baby steps.

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                • #9
                  You'll be more effective if you use your awake hours with more focus and keep getting the same amount of sleep. Do you allow lots of trivial nonsense to distract you via your smartphone throughout the day? Get rid of your phone and your TV. Stay away from time sucking entertainment activities. Screen time is bad for sleep quality anyway.

                  As for sleep, you might be able to reduce your total hours needed daily by making sure you are getting quality sleep. There are simple things you can do to prepare yourself for sleep time so when your head hits the pillow you're down for the count.

                  If you're an 8 hours guy, then depending on 5-6 hours of sleep regularly is pretty unrealistic. You might be able to handle it for a few nights, but it's going to mess with your mood and your ability to handle stress. Cognitive function will suffer too.

                  Probably better to start with maximizing what little time you have during the day and that's going to mean making sacrifices.
                  Last edited by mistergeorge; 09-08-2021, 08:50 AM.

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                  • #10
                    I generally sleep 5-6 hours a night. My work schedule is unpredictable and often requires 60-70 hour weeks. I don't feel anymore "tired" than I do during weeknds when I'm off. Been doing it for about 12 years. I drink 1 cup of coffee in the morning and generally limit my daily caffeine to that. The rest of the day is water and coconut water. Beer when I get home lol.

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                    • #11
                      I believe Mr. flight_mode is a fake. Starts posts, never follows up on any of them. Could even be a sophisticated AI... who knows?! Just toying around with us humans, huh?

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                      • #12
                        Thanks for all the input guys. I have in the past completely removed caffeine from my diet and had much better quality sleep (this was in my early 20's though). My wife has been told to remove caffeine from her diet as a dermatologist thinks it may be exacerbating her acne, so I'm going to follow suit and get rid of caffeine as much as possible from my diet too.

                        Sorry for the slow reply, I'm in the military and I've been very busy lately with courses and stuff.

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                        • #13
                          Excess caffeine can cause vasoconstriction. There's evidence a small amount may be useful, though- see: Drinking Coffee Could Help Prevent Erectile Dysfunction

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