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Matt Reed
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Posted: 30 March 2024 at 3:40pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Simple subject line spurring complex and often fraught discussions.  What is your optimal amount of sleep?  

I ask because, for the last decade or so, I find myself needing less and less sleep.  Never was one of those people that loved to sleep for 10 or 12 hours every night.  As a kid, my mom hated sleeping in and highly discouraged napping since she saw both as equating to being lazy and unproductive.  “Why would you sleep when you can read a book!” Something I heard often as a kid.  She got that from her mother, and though it didn’t stick with my younger brother (he often slept for 12 hours or more when we were under the same roof), it did for me.  I rarely if ever nap. In fact, I can’t stand it for me.  Others, I have no problem but I personally hate a nap.  

As an adult, however, I regularly slept for 8 hours or slightly longer per day.  But in recent years wherein I had bosses at production companies who didn’t care when I started and ended so long as I got my work done on time, I shifted my schedule from PST to EST such that I regularly woke at 4 AM so that I could start work between 5-6 AM.  Originally, I made that choice so that I could avoid (as best as I was able) horrific LA traffic.  Now it seems that I’ve reset my clock, so to speak, so that I normally fall asleep around 9 PM but wake between 3:30-4 AM.  So my new normal is 6-7 hours.  

I am cursed with both loving to stay up late, which is why I often do my most prolific posting here on “non-school nights”  like late Friday and Saturday, while also loving to see the sunrise.  I am often perfectly fine and totally functional with five hours sleep, so anything more than seven feels like a luxury of which I rarely take advantage.  As I fast approach 60, I have heard this is a function of age and that people often sleep less as less as they get older.  Curious if people here have put any thought into their sleep and, if so, what those thoughts are.  
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 30 March 2024 at 4:18pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I try to get 6 hours, more than 7 and I wake up with a headache, less than 5 and I "hit the wall" around 2pm. So 6 is nominal.

I too do not nap, if my eyes close for 5 minutes while on the recliner mid-day weekend so be it but I don't consider that a nap.

I'm up during the work week by 3:30am to be to work by 4:30 so I try to get in the bed by 9pm and hopefully fall asleep within a half an hour. I absolutely have to use the TV to fall asleep to. Laying there with thoughts racing thru my head keeps me up. Lately it's been TOS or Godzilla movies to put me out. Something that I already know the outcome of, just need the background noise at low volume.
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 30 March 2024 at 4:23pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I would prefer to get 8 hours but I very regularly only get 5-6. I wake up and
can’t go back out. I’ve never been one to “sleep in” but it would be nice to
sleep past 4-5 am once in a while. We were out of town a couple weeks ago
and I had a cocktail that evening before bed. (Extremely rare for me. First
drink I’d had in probably a couple of years). And that night I slept solid for 8
hours. Best sleep I’d had in ages. I felt like a million bucks when I got up
that morning. Almost makes me want to have one every night before bed.
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 30 March 2024 at 4:32pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

 Doug Centers wrote:
 I absolutely have to use the TV to fall asleep to. Laying there with thoughts racing thru my head keeps me up.

I have never been able to do that and, in fact, really hate it for me.  For the longest time, I needed absolute silence.  Since I met my wife, 20 years this year, I’ve changed that need somewhat.  She can’t sleep my way, so we found a compromise and bought a sound machine.  We’ve used it for so long that now I need that to fall asleep.  Still can’t fall asleep with TV or music on as I find my mind concentrates too hard on what’s being said at the expense of actually falling asleep.  
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Steve Coates
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Posted: 30 March 2024 at 4:46pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

For the past year, I averaged 6 hours and 4 minutes a night with an average wake up time of 4:53 AM. 

I have always been a short sleeper, but I am sensitive to impaired sleep.. My greatest cognitive time is as soon as I wake up. I mean it! If I am busy with complicated projects I can be up and productive is just the time it takes to dress and brew a coffee.

I find naps are necessary for my productivity when I am short of 6 hours sleep. I always set an alarm to restrict the duration of my naps. 15 or 20 minutes is all I need to get my mental acuity to proper levels.




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Conrad Teves
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Posted: 30 March 2024 at 4:51pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

7-8 hours, or my brain doesn't work as well.  The last year before my dad died, I was massively short on sleep for the whole year and ran on power drinks (which work, but I don't recommend it). On short sleep, my attention span got quite squirrel-like and I recall driving to a strip-mall and spacing the entrance *three times in a row* before I remembered to turn. Scared the crap out of me because I felt fine.  Makes me wonder a lot about the safety of the "residency" hazing ritual doctors have to endure.

The added background level of stress during COVID was affecting my sleep, which after the above started to alarm me.

Luckily, I am extremely susceptible to ASMR (always have been, even before it had a name), so I have a 10+hr playlist on YouTube of videos guaranteed to put me right out in about 15 minutes and keep me out.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 30 March 2024 at 5:36pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Usually around eight hours.
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 30 March 2024 at 5:40pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Still can’t fall asleep with TV or music on as I find my mind concentrates too
hard on what’s being said at the expense of actually falling asleep.
*******
We sleep with either a fan blowing or my wife will play some kind of colored
noise on her phone. Even with that, most nights to fall asleep I will “play”
songs in my head on drums until I fall asleep. My main problem with that is I
get stuck in a rut and only do the same four of five songs from night to
night. I really have to force myself to add some different tunes. I’m usually
out before the first song ends, but sometimes it takes 2-3 tunes to get me
out.
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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 30 March 2024 at 5:47pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I've never had a problem since somewhere after being introduced to meditation and breathing stuff, once I check myself and practice some of it rather than spin-out. I mostly remember getting anguished about not being able to sleep way back as a little kid.

I like to have total darkness and quiet but have learned to get used to some noise including somebody snoring. Like living near a train line or hospital with Emergency entrance, you can get used to it. I do keep a good supply of clean 3M orange foam earplugs though. I used to get ten hours, sometimes when I got two or whatever I just figured, well, maybe my system is saying it just doesn't need it this time, and then roll with that, or if I sleep in that it needed that. I average seven to eight now usually. A lot of people on the road struggle to keep a schedule and many musicians turn to substances, it's an obvious hazard, plus the partying thing if you are up for that... it might be a mild sleeping pill as an occasional safety net so you're able to do that next show could work but we know of many performers who have died with sleeping pills or similar involved heavily... Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe...

Surf the waves that come. What works works, what doesn't you have to power through or past somehow.

Edited by Rebecca Jansen on 30 March 2024 at 5:48pm
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Robert Bradley
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Posted: 30 March 2024 at 8:03pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Usually 6 or 7 hours.

Since retiring I've been staying up prettu late (1 or 2 in the morning), but if I sleep in past 8 or 9 I feel like I'm wasting a big chunk of the day.

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Rick Senger
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Posted: 30 March 2024 at 11:04pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

6ish.
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Michael Penn
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Posted: 31 March 2024 at 12:26am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I have never been a big sleeper, even as a child. Up early. Now I would say I'm out by midnight and fully awake by 5 am. 
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