Thursday, February 23, 2012
Me: How much sleep do you require?
Me: Hey, dude. Thanks for asking. Well, it varies depending on the day...
Me: WTF does that mean?
Me: Well, two days a week I get 7. The other weekdays I get 8-8.5.
Me: What about the weekends?
Me: Usually closer to 10 hours. Sometimes even a nap thrown in for good measure. Depends how hard I exercised.
Me: Sounds like a lot of f@#$ing sleep dude. You're pretty much a vegetable.
Me: You're one to talk - how much do you sleep?
Me: Ummmm. About the same, actually.
Lately there have been quite a few stories published about sleep - many challenging the canonical wisdom of the 8-hour sleep cycle. I know many people who toss and turn frustratingly each night. Some get up to pee 3 or more times. Some have too many thoughts percolating that distracts them. Others drift in and out, never fully embracing the coveted REM cycle where we fall out of hot air balloons and land in giant bowls of Cadbury eggs. Aren't your dreams like this?? BTW those triangular shaped chocolate candies are INSANELY good. Not like I have a pack or two every night or anything...
Some claim elixirs like not eating past a certain hour, or refraining from sugars and caffeine in the hours before retiring to bed. No dairy perhaps? Some have to read before to put them to sleep. We're all very different.
For me, I need 4 pillows. Count em, 1-2-3-4. One for my head. One between the knees. One for the ankles. And one for my arms to hold. Shit, one day I woke up with five (one resting on my stomach). Excessive? Probably. I'm a pain in the ass in hotels. Before I even check in to see what the room set-up is I request two extra pillows. The firmer the better.
I also quasi-rely on a sedative. I used to use narcotics to help me relax and sleep (God, wish that supply didn't run out), but now I use Tylenol PM or the like. Sometimes melatonin. It's not a good thing. My body has become sort of dependent on them. I try to ween myself off, but currently I'm fighting some painful back spasms so I actually do need them.
Anyway, the articles allude to the notion that 8-hours in one sitting (laying) may not be the most efficient use of sleep time. Two cycles of 4 hours says a new BBC article. Another one has an extremely complex schema for attaining optimal sleep - polyphasic. I've read a variety of hybrids of this model.
So....I'm curious, what are your sleep patterns like?? Please disclose as I am all earzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..