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  • sleep question

    Just how crucial is the 8+ hours of sleep? Unfortunately I am unable to get more than 6 to 6.5 hours a day. I wont bore you with why, but suffice to say its not a lack of prioritizing, its purely a logistical impossibility. Will this completely undermine all my efforts?

  • #2
    Try and take 1-2 naps during the day for 30-45min each.

    When I don't get enough sleep, I make sure to conserve as much energy as possible, so that I can make it through the day. Everything counts. Even closing your eyes for 30 seconds will save you energy, sitting down on the bus, doing things efficiently to minimize movement, etc.

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    • #3
      For me, my body started forcing me to sleep 8-10 hours a day, either I'd go to sleep earlier or sleep later. It felt more natural to sleep that much. If I may, why is it a "logistical improbability"? Also, if you can't sleep it all at once, I'd second the nap suggestion. Sometimes, even for some one that sleeps 10 hoursI fend myself wanting to take a nap when I'm laying out in the sun.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by fes31129 View Post
        Just how crucial is the 8+ hours of sleep? Unfortunately I am unable to get more than 6 to 6.5 hours a day. I wont bore you with why, but suffice to say its not a lack of prioritizing, its purely a logistical impossibility. Will this completely undermine all my efforts?
        From everything I've heard, yes, it likely will have major effects on your health.

        It probably makes a difference whether you're going to bed too late or getting up too early -- since your biology is tied to circadian rhythms. AFAICT, if you miss a certain window, then what should have happened just might not. Eating too close to bedtime can even affect things.


        You might want to read this to get some idea of what you might be getting into:

        Amazon.com: Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival (9780671038687): T. S. Wiley, Bent Formby: Books

        For a shorter look at the topic, but with more recent references, have a look at this post online by Dr. Champ:

        Sleeping Away Cancer - Caveman Doctor

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        • #5
          Thanks for that link Lewis, I've been having problems staying asleep for the past 2 months (before and after starting the Primal diet), basically waking up 1-5 times a night. I've gone through and tried many suggestions:

          Not eating within 3 hours of going to sleep - (this seemed to have no effect one way or the other)
          Not using electronics too close to sleep - (May have helped me get to sleep faster initially, but hard to tell)
          Reading by candle light before sleep - (similar to above)
          Warm shower before bed
          Going to bed at the same time every night
          Sleeping on the floor (well, on a blanket folded in half) - (interestingly enough, this didn't have a detrimental effect once I found a good position to sleep in, but took a few tries to get it right, along with some neck pain first off)
          Listening to soothing sounds/white noise while you sleep - (didn't help me stay asleep, but did help me calm down, and drown out other noise)
          Listening to guided meditation - (really relaxing, and sometimes helped me get to sleep faster initially)

          Something I didn't consider was my phone (and charger) in my bedroom, and reading the post by Dr. Champ, it looks like the EMF could be causing the problem. I guess I'll remove them and see if it helps (The only down side is that I was using my phone for night sounds - either crickets or rain & dull thunder, but meh, I'll manage).

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          • #6
            Sorry about that, should have probably replied to the OP as well.

            I tend to need anywhere between 7-10 hours a night, though I noticed since starting Primal, my energy levels aren't effected as much when I don't get the necessary amounts (or when it's broken up drastically like a the moment - it also can take me up to 45min to get back to sleep once I wake up, but usually shorter).

            Though when it happens consistently, it seems to build up and effect me more. Honestly it probably depends more on how you feel, are you tired a lot of the time, do you feel energized after sleeping (or within an hour of waking up)? If you do then it might not be too bad, though I really don't claim any special knowledge on the topic.

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            • #7
              I HATE the fact sleep is so important for health, I'm not good at it. However, even though I don't get enough sleep I think, I still make gym gains, so I can tell you that to build muscle 8 hours is not absolutely needed, though it will help.
              well then

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              • #8
                Enough good quality sleep is critical for the body to function correctly, and lack of sleep is viewed as a stressor. However, if you can't sleep in one long block, but have the possibility to fit in one or two 20 minute naps during the day, maybe polyphasic sleep could work for you:

                Sleep (or how to hack your brain) + Dustin Curtis

                And, if you'd like some information about the effect stress (such as lack of sleep) has on the body:

                Journal of medicine and life | The effect of stress on the defense systems

                a tiny excerpt:

                One of the many forms of chronic stress is sleep deprivation, which was proven to interfere with the immune processes, altering the function of NK cells, the cytokine production, and the humoral immune responses to vaccination

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                • #9
                  Kyle, its a logistical issue as there aren't enough hours in the day.
                  Here is a quick run through of my day
                  wake up at 05:30AM, get on train a little after 6 and commute 2 hours to work. Get off work at 5, and get on a train and commute back getting to crossfit at 7, get done and get home about 8:30. Now it's tiime to eat, shower, prepare meals for the next day laundry... so lights out around 11-11:30. Afternoon napping is not an option as i like being gainfully employed. This is my schedule 4 of the 5 days of work week.

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                  • #10
                    You could sleep on your commute. Do some research about how we actually didn't used to sleep 8 hours at a time, but rather broken into smaller segments. Someone had to keep the fire going! So it can be done. And how do you feel? Some folks don't need as much sleep, though too many of us think we don't :raises hand: and discover when we do get more sleep...um, yeah, we do. I do best on 7-8 hours. more than that, and I'm sluggish. Less, and I'm cloudy headed. So see what is best for you on your days off, and then work that into your day.
                    The Sedition of Sisyphus: Go Find Another Rock

                    Griff's Cholesterol Primer

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by fes31129 View Post
                      Kyle, its a logistical issue as there aren't enough hours in the day.
                      Here is a quick run through of my day
                      wake up at 05:30AM, get on train a little after 6 and commute 2 hours to work. Get off work at 5, and get on a train and commute back getting to crossfit at 7, get done and get home about 8:30. Now it's tiime to eat, shower, prepare meals for the next day laundry... so lights out around 11-11:30. Afternoon napping is not an option as i like being gainfully employed. This is my schedule 4 of the 5 days of work week.
                      Alright, well with that schedule, I would think napping during your commute, if you feel comfortable, would be a good option. Though, I will say that I agree with most other people that if you feel energized it's fine. But personally i think 6 hours, and that's if you get a good solid block, isn't enough to maintain health.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by fes31129 View Post
                        Kyle, its a logistical issue as there aren't enough hours in the day.
                        Here is a quick run through of my day
                        wake up at 05:30AM, get on train a little after 6 and commute 2 hours to work. Get off work at 5, and get on a train and commute back getting to crossfit at 7, get done and get home about 8:30. Now it's tiime to eat, shower, prepare meals for the next day laundry... so lights out around 11-11:30. Afternoon napping is not an option as i like being gainfully employed. This is my schedule 4 of the 5 days of work week.
                        Gosh, that is a heck of a long way to commute each day. Could you not consider changing jobs or moving closer to your work. I know its easier said than done, but I think doing that commute for too long would burn you out.

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                        • #13
                          Anne, I could move closer but then I have to pay Manhattan prices to live. I could change jobs to something closer but then it involves a pay cut. Its not the greatest situation but life is life and you have to deal. I do sleep on the train, I would say I probably get anywhere between 30 and 75 minutes of total extra sleep on the commute which does put my sleep amount at about 6.5 to 7.15. I sleep about 9 hours on saturday and 10 on sunday.

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                          • #14
                            mmmm, i don't know. The blogs of Mark on getting at least 8 or 9 hours of sleep are one of the few I quite disagree with!

                            My fiancÚ needs at least 9 hours to function, (and 10+ in the weekend). I really only need 6 hours, but since recently try to take a short nap after lunch or around 16h. It could be you are the same, and I know many people who can function well on 6 hours a night (but some need repair sleep in the weekend).

                            I think the need of sleep varies widely from person to person and maybe also from period to (life) period. Anyways, I experiment laying down at least 8 hours in a row for this month.

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                            • #15
                              Fes, I have finally got my sleeping sorted after 3 years of ache, and unwell-ness. I have been primal for about 5 months.
                              However - if I drink alcohol, I do not sleep as well.
                              I also find that if I do stimulating things at night ie: watch tele, use the computer, get a phone call, etc.... I also do not sleep very well. Everyone knows not to call me with bad or good news at night. Wait until the morning - unless I really should be told. These sorts of things wind me up mentally, and I so can't get to sleep, let alone stay asleep.
                              Anyway just some ideas that might work ?? Good luck
                              "never let the truth get in the way of a good story "

                              ...small steps....

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