Hours of sleep

Rightroad

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Hello I had a question for some of the medics here. I looked into sleeping less when my schedule changed at work. As of now I am working 5 12 Hour shifts a week at a Pipe yard doing medical response. I usually sleep 7-8 hours when I get off but it gives me little time to do other things that I need to do. I was recently injured off the job and have a Tendon in my ankle that is out of place. I have been doing PT for this injury, but have had little time to do the exercises due to my work schedule. Is 5-6 Hours of sleep per day enough or should I just abort trying this? Is anyone out there functioning on less than 8 hours of sleep and still able to be in a good mood and be alert for doing task?
 

Anjel

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Do people really get 8 hours of sleep?

While in school I was working off 4-5 hours in between 24 hour shifts and whatever sleep I got at work. I was not in a good mood, but my job or school work didn't suffer.

I think a minimum of 6 hours for me is sufficient. It all depends on what you feel your body needs. If you are cranky all the time and can't focus then get more sleep.
 

technocardy

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I get anywhere from 4-6 hours of sleep on a regular basis. Sometimes I'll get that 7th hour in.

As Anjel said you'll have to go off of how your body responds to that amount of sleep, but I think it's completely doable.
 

tod

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You can always catch up some extra sleep on your days off, like nice long four hour naps each of those days. Some people need 8+ hours, some don't, listen to your body.
 

Tiger09

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The more active you are, the less hours of sleep you needs. However I think everyone should aim for at least 7.
 

CritterNurse

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Sometimes multiple periods of sleep work too. For a while I was working nights. I would sleep 4 hours before work, and then 4 hours after work so that I could have some time awake during the day when 'normal' people go about their business.
 

NomadicMedic

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I believe in "sleep when you're tired". My wife as I both work odd shifts, so it's not uncommon to find one of either of us asleep in the middle of the day.
 

Tigger

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I believe in "sleep when you're tired". My wife as I both work odd shifts, so it's not uncommon to find one of either of us asleep in the middle of the day.

I agree. Though I try to set an alarm, a six hour nap on a day off does no one any good and then I don't end falling asleep at night till three....
 

Carlos Danger

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I suspect that some day we will see sleep quality / quantity come to be described as a significant risk factor for health problems.

Basically, those who chronically don't get enough are at higher risk for disease.
 

abckidsmom

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I suspect that some day we will see sleep quality / quantity come to be described as a significant risk factor for health problems.

Basically, those who chronically don't get enough are at higher risk for disease.

Working on developing a new theory of minimizing stress in the fire service- or maybe a new way of articulating it.

I think that the secret to long term good health if you are planning to work in a high-stress environment is based on a triad of good input: sleep-nutrition-exercise.

If you let any of those three legs collapse, the impact of the stress on your body can be magnified.

I'm working on maximizing all of those. For me, if I have one day of less than 5 hours sleep, the next day I really want 10 at least. Ideally these would be evened out, but the stupid 24 hour shifts intervene. And I only count sleep that is more than 90 minutes in a row, because of completing the REM cycle.
 

abckidsmom

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I believe in "sleep when you're tired". My wife as I both work odd shifts, so it's not uncommon to find one of either of us asleep in the middle of the day.

We totally do this too, and the kids allow it well. Also keeps them thinking that nap time means "sleep" which makes life simpler. ;)
 

lightsandsirens5

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OP, I am living off about 5-6 hours half the year. And about 4-5 hours the other half of the year that I teach on top of working. It's doable, but every once in a while, on a rare day off, I like to just sleep till I wake up naturally. I dunno, for me at least, it seems to help reset me.
 

mycrofft

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Nursing unions consistently cite studies that medical error go up when hours exceed eight hour on at a time. Other studies show sleep deprivation causes loss of learning and decision making faculties. Other studies show the young and the elderly use less sleep than those in their late twenties to their fifties or so.

Commercial and military pilots are REQUIRED to take crew rest.

There is a social and marital cost to working too many hours and too flexible shifts, also. ANd try finding commercial child care.
 

daysquad

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Hello I had a question for some of the medics here. I looked into sleeping less when my schedule changed at work. As of now I am working 5 12 Hour shifts a week at a Pipe yard doing medical response. I usually sleep 7-8 hours when I get off but it gives me little time to do other things that I need to do. I was recently injured off the job and have a Tendon in my ankle that is out of place. I have been doing PT for this injury, but have had little time to do the exercises due to my work schedule. Is 5-6 Hours of sleep per day enough or should I just abort trying this? Is anyone out there functioning on less than 8 hours of sleep and still able to be in a good mood and be alert for doing task?

I work 8-9 hrs a day 5 days a week, plus I am a full time mom. I get 5-6 hrs of sleep every night, a lot of times I function well but there are also times that i get sleepy or dizzy. Just make sure you eat healthy and take some multivitamins.
 

Allen

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It is important to take proper sleep in a day to maintain health. According to my research we should sleep for at least 8 hours in a day because our body and brain need some rest.
 

Akulahawk

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Sleep? Meh. I can sleep when I'm dead.... ;)

Seriously though, I generally prefer at least 5 hours and about 7 is ideal for me. I look at it more in terms of REM cycles. 1 is a nap and is refreshing. Otherwise, I'll need 3 or more for adequate rest. If I have to get up before completing the 2nd REM cycle of the night, I'm very difficult to rouse.

Sleep Deprivation is essentially creating a Sleep Injury. Your brain doesn't function well when injured. A couple years ago, I found that out the hard way. Since then, I've been very protective of my sleep. Sure, I can do a day or two of very low sleep, but after that, I absolutely MUST get restorative sleep to allow my brain to heal from the insult. Longer than than about 2 - 3 days of poor sleep and it's very possible that I could become dangerous in any capacity requiring good to excellent judgment, including driving.
 

hogwiley

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I heard about a study on the radio recently that was done on the brains of mice. The study provided evidence that sleep appears to play a crucial role in clearing the brain of proteins that accumulate due to the metabolic processes of brain cells. Scientists are apparently intrigued by the possibility that this may actually be THE primary reason for sleep, which occurs in pretty much every animal on the planet with a central nervous system.

If I understood it correctly, what happens is that when we reach a deep state of sleep, our brain cells essentially shrink to a size smaller than when we are awake, and that this allows cerebral spinal fluid to flow through spaces it was unable to flow through previously, thereby flushing out these metabolic wastes that have accumulated. Apparently the minute we wake up, these brain cells almost instantly blow up to their waking size, and the CSF is no longer able to circulate through these areas. When these mice brains reached a deep state of sleep, the circulation of CSF was ramped up substantially, and the theory is that this essentially flushes the brain of these toxins.

So if the theory is correct, depriving yourself of sleep allows metabolic toxins to build up in your brain. I'm not sure what the long term effect of this would be, but I do know there has been a long running suspicion of a link between alzheimers and sleep disorders, and the brain of alzheimers patients appear to have deposits of some of these proteins. This also would help explain in the immediate term why people feel kind of hazy and have trouble concentrating when they haven't gotten enough sleep, and why this worsens the longer you go without sleep, and why after a good long nights sleep you wake up feeling refreshed and mentally alert.
 
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dalhou

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Sleep is important. There are very few people that can thrive off of 4-6 hours of sleep nightly.

It's a new fad field that's currently being studied right now, and I've done quite a bit of research into as well in the field of how many hours you sleep and what sort of foods you ingest. Most found that the less you sleep, the more crap you eat. My guess would be because of the lack of sleep you receive, your body tries to compensate by ingesting more calories (energy).

Sleep is also the time where your body repairs itself, lack of this means lack of repair.
 

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