Sleep – How Much Is Needed?

Dudes, we fucking sleep like a whole third of our lives, or it seems like we should.  For instance if we live to be 80 (80 years is 700,800 hours), and sleep 8 hours a night and die on our 80th birthday we will have slept 232,960 hours.  WOW. 

Now add work.  Let’s say we work 40 hours a week from the age of 18 until 65, I am counting college as work in this. That equals 97,760 hours not calculating for those that do overtime. 

What is your commute to work?  Thirty minutes to and from? That seems reasonable, except for our folks in big ass cities driving or riding in a train or whatever the fuck that is for hours a day.  Anyway with my 30 minute commute, I am on the road 260 hours a year and if nothing changes that totals 12,220. 

If the average person started a household at age 20 they would spend close to 2 hours daily with food preparation and clean up or 43,800 hours until death and other chores account to about 1 hour per day or 21,900 in this lifetime.  Women spend more time with children than men, however I am going to call the average 1 hour per day for the sake of brevity, also let’s pretend that we stop spending this amount of time at age 18 to equal 6,570 hours.  

Most people spend a whopping 5 hours a day watching television I am going to give this a 60 year span amounting to 109,500 hours. 

We have sex for about 3,600 hours in this hypothetical lifetime.  I used a 20 minute session 3 times a week for 60 years trying to offset the 7 times a day 7 days a week during college and the slowing when we age. 

The average couple with children argues for 9,125 hours over a 25 year period.  We spend about 26,000 hours shopping online and out of the house. 

An average of 7,300 hours during this life time is bathing or being bathed.  You have 130,065 hours left to live. What are you going to do with it. 

Sleep is an essential behavior that takes up around one third of a human lifetime, but securing sufficient sleep time is difficult in modern society. The sleeping sweet spot is around a minimum of 6 hour and 1 minute and a maximum of 8 hours and 59 minutes.

If we sleep less than 6 hours a day we are at risk for a decline in performance, a decline in psychological and physical functions such as memory, learning, metabolism and immunity.

Habitual sleep duration is just a fancy term for how long you usually sleep.   Less than six and more than nine comes with a price in the form of cardiovascular disease, obesity, metabolism problems, depression, cancers, and higher overall mortality rate. 

What is your optimal sleep time? I have no fucking clue.  It puzzles the people that get paid to watch you sleep too.  No not google, the other guys and gals. Too many variable exist like hormones, genes, and big word things. 

Sleep is probably controlled by homeostasis and circadian rhythm.  Your optimal sleep duration is different than mine, but here is the cool part.  When you sleep only five hours a day you may go into a sleep deficit. Like when you are overdrawn at the bank and have to pay it back, the same seems to occur with sleep.  You may have to pay back that debt on your days off. Ever find yourself sleeping the whole weekend? Take out being a drunk shit or morbidly depressed, which, btw, could be related to not getting enough sleep.  The depressed part… oh shit, what if you’re not getting enough sleep and you get depressed and become a drunk so you can get more sleep? But since alcohol actual disturbs sleep, you get less, but more depressed.  Fuck, now I have a headache.

They did this study and put like 15 healthy people in bed for two weeks.  They had to stay in bed for 12 hours a day and then one of the days made them stay awake for the 24 hours with no sleep.   

So what did they learn after torturing these poor bastards for weeks?  If you don’t get enough sleep you will want to sleep more at some other time.  I shit you not. I could have got that information from Bogey and he’s dumber than cotton, seriously French Bulldogs are ranked 109 in intelligence.  I call him agent 109 now. 

Another big finding from the study is that if you don’t get enough sleep that you will in fact be sleepy.  We are breaking some ground here Dormouse. So having a sleep deficit will make you sleepy.  

Not getting enough sleep will make you sleepy.  So what? 

As far as cognitive functioning it would seem that sleep deprivation can be cured in one day of makeup sleep.  Down boy I said makeup sleep not sex, though if it helps you sleep…. Here is the shoe in the shit. If you have a sleep habit of 7 hours a night and you go into debt by a few hours, then make up for it on the weekend it could stick a pub on your soap in the form of not sleeping the number of hours needed the next night. 

Ergo, you are a spinning top, but not the first strong spin, that wobbly shit where you can’t decide if you just pick it up or wait for it to stop.  Translation: getting fucked up sleep then correcting for it can unfuck your sleep then refuck it the next day. That’s a lot of fucking. 

Here is the crazy part again.  I may need seven hours of sleep a day for optimal health, you may need only six and we could both be healthy and thrive, and the big boys in the lab don’t know why…

Should I just stay up and power through instead of sleeping in?  Probably not, the study shows that extended sleep induced a significant decrease in plasma glucose concentration and trends for increase insulin secretory function.  So not sleeping properly can be correlated with Type II diabetes. WTF.. does every damn thing cause diabetes. 

Oh not enough?  Improper amount of sleep is having a weird relationship with your thyroid hormones and they’re all over the place.  It may increase T3 and decrease T4 and TSH or just toss them all up in the air and see what comes down. No one is certain, but the study does suggest that regardless under-sleep and over-sleep can stir the thyroid pot up and cause drama.

Want some good news?  If you oversleep a bit you will decrease ACTH and cortisol the fat body making hormones.  Well there are lot of fat body hormones, but that’s later.

The take away

If you have to wake up to an alarm, you’re doing it wrong.

If you must have coffee to function, you’re doing it wrong.

If you must sleep in on weekends, you’re doing it wrong, but fuck that shit I am taking a nap on the weekend I’m 52 FFS. 

So how do I do it the right way?  That’s coming up soon