How to sleep for 6 hours?

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  • #1
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Hello PFers,

My exams are approaching and I need to put in more studyhours. I can't getup without having a sound sleep of atleast 8 hours. I tried many things - kept the alarm far away so that I have to walk a few steps to turn it off, put the A.C. on a timer etc but failed.

I don't care if it affects my health, its just a matter of 2.5 months. To achieve something you have to lose something. Please suggest me some ways to do this.

Thanks in advance.
A.Q.
 

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  • #2
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What exactly do you think you will achieve by doing this? Feeling like crap and not being able to learn as efficiently or as fast as you would have had you been well rested? Well, if that's your goal, you're asking the right question.
 
  • #3
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By doing that, I will achieve a good rank in my exam. 95% of the top rankers sleep for 6-7 hours a day.

If I get a sleep of 6 hours, I don't feel like crap, I can study efficiently - only if I get up.
Don't care about the aftereffects, just tell me how do I achieve it.
 
  • #4
By doing that, I will achieve a good rank in my exam.

You won't. Trust me on this. Getting a good night's sleep beats all-nighters any day. Screw the top rankers. If you can't get out of bed, then DONT GET OUT OF BED. Just use the time you have more wisely.

If you're dead set on it, then I don't know what to tell you. I can set my alarm right next to my bed and never fall back asleep.
 
  • #5
DaveC426913
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Don't care about the aftereffects
What makes you think they will be aftereffects as opposed to duringeffects?


The first week of sleep loss will compromise your ability to study in the second week. And it will accumulate.
 
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  • #6
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you do realize that sleep helps you organize what you've tried to learn in your mind? I'm revising for exams myself right now and I definitely notice that when I've found something hard to understand, then slept on it, it's been easier to tackle at the next attempt.
it's important to get enough sleep or you won't be able to concentrate either. I'm sure that 16 hours of potential work time per day for 2.5 months is not going to be that much different to 18 hours.
 
  • #7
DaveC426913
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jeebs is right. In the long-term (2.5 months) you would be much better to organize other parts of your life to get the extra time you need. Sleep is the one you should not compromise on.
 
  • #8
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hmmm....
Is a 7 hours sleep fine?
 
  • #9
DaveC426913
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hmmm....
Is a 7 hours sleep fine?

How much do you need?

How much do you need to feel rested and alert? It sounds like you need 8 hours.

What are you doing with the other 16?
 
  • #10
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Like others said, sleeping 6 hours instead of what you need 8 hours will only have a negative impact on your learning and mark.

Sleep is not to just rest your body and mind. During your sleep you are relearning everything during the day, but it skips over the non-important parts(like skipping the boring parts of a movie). So no matter how much you study and try to be productive, sleeping is MORE productive. (Over sleep is not productive though.)

Rather than trying to work like never before, you should study smarter than ever before. I'm sure every top student has a good studying habit, and I'm sure the program you want to get in wants you to have a good studying habit.

The hard part is to develop a good studying habit. Developing a good studying habit is a art, it takes a lot of effort, time, adaptation and self control. It is VERY hard.
 
  • #11
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hmmm....
Is a 7 hours sleep fine?

There is no hour for everyone, it depends on you. There are probably people who only needs 6 hours while some people needs close to 9. Though most people need 7-8 hours.
 
  • #12
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How much do you need?

How much do you need to feel rested and alert? It sounds like you need 8 hours.

erm I need 7-7.5 hours to feel rested. But if no one wakes me up I sleep for 8-9 hours (=laziness).

What are you doing with the other 16?

I have been studying for 7-9 hours a day for the past 4 months, not continuosly but with breaks throughout the day.Rest of the time for eating, praying, watching t.v. etc.
Now I need to increase it to around 12-14 hours of sincere studying. I am preparing for the world's most challenging/toughest Engineering Entrance Exam. I have seen students who sleep for 4-5 hours for the whole year and get a rank below 5000 (out of 4 Lakh)
 
  • #13
Choppy
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I'm not sure there's a good way to reduce the amount of sleep you need, although some things to try include:
- regular sleep schedule
- regular exercise
- limit caffeine intake - particularly in the hours leading up to bedtime
- write out everything you need to accomplish the next day so that you won't dwell on it while you're trying to sleep
- do what you can to limit distractions that might wake you
- avoid television before sleeping
- have a regular wind-down routine
- for getting up sometimes a nice shower can do the trick

Those tips will help you get better sleep, which is what you should focus on, rather than decreasing the amount of bad sleep.

Otherwise, the best advice is to figure out how to study more efficiently. That is something you CAN change and improve on and will give you measurable results. There's a lot of threads on that, so look around and good luck!
 
  • #14
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- for getting up sometimes a nice shower can do the trick

I wish there was a shower attached to my bed :biggrin:

Those tips will help you get better sleep, which is what you should focus on, rather than decreasing the amount of bad sleep.

Otherwise, the best advice is to figure out how to study more efficiently. That is something you CAN change and improve on and will give you measurable results. There's a lot of threads on that, so look around and good luck!

Nice post.
 
  • #16
Simfish
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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/7920197/Seven-hours-sleep-is-the-recipe-for-health.html

Honestly, 6 hours of sleep is just as good as 8 hours of sleep.

==

As for sleeping less, well, trying to split up your sleep into two (or more) intervals might do the trick. More intervals reduces your sleep the most (it's called polyphasic sleep), but 2 intervals is a lot easier.

And if you're feeling unalert after waking up, modafinil or Ritalin would do the trick (I won't advocate adderall since it's neurotoxic). If you could ever get your hands on modafinil, that's probably the best solution (but it's also very very expensive)
 
  • #18
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You study Physics, ie. a science, where they're supposed to teach you the scientific method, as well as how to interpret data and think logically, and this is your conclusion after reading that article?
Don't be silly. Everyone's different, and they need as much as they need. The 8 hours thing is just an average.

That article uses only a single criterion - heart disease - as an indicator. A goo done, but still just one.
Not to mention that there was no link to the original study, and confounding factors that might have come into play weren't even discussed (were they discussed in the study at all - well we don't know that either!).
 
  • #19
Simfish
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You study Physics, ie. a science, where they're supposed to teach you the scientific method, as well as how to interpret data and think logically, and this is your conclusion after reading that article?

They actually never really teach the scientific method for a Physics degree. :p The physics degree is really more about solving problems than about doing actual science.

That being said, the 7 hour figure *has* been replicated across multiple studies. Here's another one, *with* concrete data:

http://health.ucsd.edu/news/2002/02_08_Kripke.html [Broken]

In fact, it suggests that 6-7 hours is optimal.

Study is here:

http://www.bmj.com/content/324/7335/446.6.full
 
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  • #20
DaveC426913
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I'm still sayin' it's not applicable here. They're talking about long-term survivability, we're talking about quality of life. You can live long but still have a poor quality of life.

Here's a spurious example: restricted calorie diets seem to be associated with longer life, but they don't really talk about quality of life. What is one's energy level like on a severely calorie reduced diet?

You don't have to agree with it, I'm just pointing out that the study, while making a compelling point, is not directly applicable.
 
  • #21
Simfish
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I'm still sayin' it's not applicable here. They're talking about long-term survivability, we're talking about quality of life. You can live long but still have a poor quality of life.

Here's a spurious example: restricted calorie diets seem to be associated with longer life, but they don't really talk about quality of life. What is one's energy level like on a severely calorie reduced diet?

You don't have to agree with it, I'm just pointing out that the study, while making a compelling point, is not directly applicable.

Okay I see. In any case, quality of life is more subjective than most things, so there's no reason not to experiment (if it's healthy).

PS: the calorie restriction experiments (so far) actually do show improved quality of life. :p Rhesus monkeys on calorie restriction were *much* more energetic than their controls. That being said, as mentioned earlier, there's definitely interpersonal variation.
 
  • #22
mathwonk
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when i wanted to sleep less and study more, i stopped all drinking, and ate less, to require less time to digest the food. i also exercised by running, to be more fit. i also used a loud alarm.
 
  • #24
Fredrik
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Maybe you can ask this guy to build you a more effective alarm clock: (Skip the first 50 seconds).
 
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  • #25
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That article is about heart disease, we're talking about cognitive function.

Get as much sleep as your body tells you that you need. Everybody's sleep needs are different. Some people need 6 hours, some need 8. This also changes with age. Generally speaking, the younger you are, the more sleep you need, the older you are, the less you need.
 
  • #26
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Go to lowbluelights.com and get sone of their lamps. Use them exclusively after 6pm and you will quickly correct your screwed up sleep cycle. If you have roommates, get the visors and wear them in the evening.

Artificial lighting especially the energy-efficient kind puts out a lot of blue light which supresses melatonin production.

This really works.
 
  • #27
mathwonk
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methods of learning that are more efficient are obviously also useful. Many studies have convinced me that studying with other students is often better than studying alone. e.g. this is taking hold in some classrooms at harvard. see the youtube lecture by eric mazur on peer instruction.




i.e. if you study ineffectively, or inefficiently, it takes more time away from sleep. Especially drinking alcohol is a dead loss of cognitive function. When I was trying to recover my research mojo, I quit drinking entirely. And as a grad student I ate no meat. Anything that makes a person "heavier" detracts from mental acuity, according to some teachers of yoga, possibly arguable, but one can try it and see. But do not damage your long term health by anything too radical. If you drive to/from work sleepy, as I often did, you are more likely to die in a car accident.
 
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  • #28
What about RIM cycles? I've read where a RIM cycle takes ~3 hours to complete. With that said, a 3 hour sleep is more effective than a 4 or 5 hour sleep just because how our brain fluctuates in activity. That would have to assume that 6 hours would be more efficient than 7 or 8 hours. Also, 20 minutes is the most amount of time one should take a "power nap" because after that point we begin to enter deep sleep. I believe waking up during a deep sleep is what causes extreme grogginess.

To the OP, your biological clock has been setting itself for the past X number of years. If you really want to reduce your sleeping time but not feel like crap, it will be something you have to work at (preferably not while you are studying for a major test). If you remain consistent with the amount of time you wish to sleep a night (even on weekends), then your bio clock will begin to adjust itself. Also, try some light cardio exercising before you go to bed and after you wake up in the morning.
 
  • #29
DaveC426913
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What about RIM cycles?
RIM cycles are about six months between beta releases.

REM cycles perhaps?


To the OP, your biological clock has been setting itself for the past X number of years. If you really want to reduce your sleeping time but not feel like crap, it will be something you have to wonrk at (preferably not while you are studying for a major test). If you remain consistent with the amount of time you wish to sleep a night (even on weekends), then your bio clock will begin to adjust itself. Also, try some light cardio exercising before you go to bed and after you wake up in the morning.
It's never occurred to me that one might be able to change the length of one's optimal sleep cycle with practice. I'm not sure if it's possible, though I'm open to the idea. I can see that one could change one's lifestyle so that one gets a shorter uninterrupted sleep cycle and compensates either through naps or through some other method such as exercise. But I'm not sure if that actually causes your body to change how long it needs for sleep.
 
  • #30
LOL. Yes, REM cycles. I didn't even notice that I spelled it that way. Rapid Eye Movement. Thanks.

As far as training yourself, I believe its possible because I've been trying it myself. I stick to around 6 hours a night, and feel rested throughout the day. One thing that I have noticed though is that if I waiver from my schedule for a couple of days, it becomes difficult to re-adjust back to a 6 hour sleep schedule. But it's not something you can try for a few weeks and just expect to "have it".

And also, I agree that if a body requires more sleep (due to a day of extraneous activity or busy travel schedule) then it WILL demand it. The only idea that I'm trying to get across is that the body can and will adapt and evolve to a particular circumstance, it just won't happen overnight. Though, I would have to suggest that if you are feeling particular tired or weary, 9 hours might be better just to stay within the 3 hour REM cycles (woo I spelled it right!)

I really wish I could find an article to support this idea for you guys. It was something that I was taught during an honors seminar in college a few years back and followed up on.

***Edit. My apologies . . . a REM cycle lasts 70-90 minutes. Cycles 3 and 4 are most important. That's about 6 hours.
 
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