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Sleeping duration

  1. Sep 27, 2016 #1
    Hello PF,
    I just read in a website that Nicola Tesla had a habit of sleeping at 11PM and starting work at 3 AM. They also mention it led to a mental breakdown at 25.
    how much reliable do you think this information is?
    And do you think someone can embrace that habit for more productivity, even though it may be harmful ?
    There is a lot of scientists and students on this website that i think would wish having more time to follow their passion in.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 27, 2016 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    The information is probably anecdotal and came from Tesla himself.

    This website talks about boasts between Tesla and Edison over sleeping time:


  4. Sep 27, 2016 #3


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    Decent sleep is important, both for productivity and health reasons in the long run. And getting enough daylight is also important for our health.
  5. Sep 28, 2016 #4
  6. Sep 28, 2016 #5


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    There aren't nearly enough hours in the day to do everything you wish you could. Adopting strange sleep schedules isn't going to help, if it did, we'd all be doing it by now.

    Science may eventually negate some of the need for sleep, but we aren't there yet.

    I sleep very little currently. A lot less than I'd like. Prolonged periods like this makes me more far more unagreeable than normal. I'm becoming an old grumpy man to everyone.

    If you can, sleep until you aren't tired anymore.
  7. Sep 29, 2016 #6

    Fervent Freyja

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    That information has to be unreliable, humans cannot live with so little sleep. Tesla had been taking multiple naps of short duration throughout a day. Leonardo da Vinci had a similar sleeping schedule. He was a very busy man. I think he did much of his journal writing at night by an oil lamp and made his inventions, artwork, and observations during the day.

    I don't find it hard to believe that sleep deprivation could trigger a mental breakdown. I have missed sleeping many nights myself. When I am deeply absorbed into something important to me, I focus and cannot let go until it is resolved- a few times that has meant missing sleep. Sometimes, I have no choice but to stay up throughout a night, such as the night before a holiday or birthday party that I've planned. Or exam I need to cram for or project/paper that is incomplete...

    However, I don't think having bad sleeping habits is actually super-productive. Cognitive function isn't consistent living that way. Emotional outbursts are more common during periods of little sleep, for me. I can usually function normally, but my mental capacity is seriously hindered to the point that I cannot complete the projects that I do want to work on. Rote memorization and learning is more difficult while living with little sleep. The mathematician Moivre actually predicted his own death because he noticed that he was sleeping less and less over time!
  8. Sep 30, 2016 #7

    Fervent Freyja

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  9. Oct 1, 2016 #8
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