Is there a need for a constant 8 hours of sleep?

I’m not asking about the need of getting at least 8 hours of sleep, I’m asking if there is a need for it to be all at one time, as opposed to getting 1 hour in the evening 7 hours at night.

So, does anyone know about any scientific studies on this topic?

There has been a decent body of research on this. Pubmed and google scholar are your friends…

Just pulled my hammy due to a lack of recovery based upon getting enough sleep.

I belive I used to and still remain sore days longer than most athletes because my quality and lack of sleep. I have the time to sleep just have problems sleeping.

Well, we can all agree that lack of sleep isn’t a great thing. But would it be ok to get at least 8 hours of sleep broken up or not?

I did a quick search, and didn’t find anything specific to this. I will keep searching, but if you (or anyone else) know of one, please link it, it would be interesting to see a study on this topic.

hey bro i find that if after weights in the morning if im tired than i go to sleep and i feel alot better for practice in the afternoon… but on the days that i feel tired but dont go to sleep i feel like junk for the afternoon practice…hope that helps ur question.

i searched “sleep deprivation in athletes” and found 5. Really, try and look at the heavily cited ones.

The research that we were given in our psychology class regarding that topic, was that the experiments they’ve done on the benefits of taking naps seemed to be pretty much neutral. They didn’t show any marked improvement in tasks during the day but were not detrimental at the same time. However these tests were NOT done on athletes, just the general population.
It is interesting to note that… (this is just out of my text book and class notes and I have no evidence to back it up)
[li]A high level of physical activity is not strongly correlated with how tired an individual is. BUT, a high level of mental exertion (ie. studying, exam writing etc.) is VERY strongly correlated with tiredness.
[/li][li]A full sleep cycle takes approximately 90 minutes to completion. With the deepest sleep being found near the end of the cycle during the REM (rapid eye movement) stage (this is where dreaming most often occurs). From my own experience I’ve noticed that whenever I plan to be waken on a 90 minute interval (I usually go for 7.5 or 9 hours) it takes a lot less time to fully wake up and I feel much more rested. The same goes with naps, if I’m taking a nap I won’t take one unless I can devote a full hour and a half or 3 hours because when you’re woken during the deeper stages of rest it’s MUCH harder to fully wake up and carry on with your day.

So that’s my two cents. :slight_smile: Good luck with your research!

I heard a 30min nap has the same benefits as a 2-4hr sleep. Maybe not as good, but improved concentration etc.

Not sure if that’s what you were after though…

I have tried this also, that is, sleeping 7.5 or 9 hours instead of 8. It does work, getting up at 8 hours is harder. Try it for yourself. I think it has something to do with Circadian Rhythms or Rem or something.

I read in Core Performance that you should get at least 7 1/2 - 8 hours of sleep a night, and then possibly a 20-30 minute nap in the middle of the day.

He also talked about a study were college students went to sleep every 6 for 2 hours I believe. They lasted a month.

How do naps affect one’s CNS alertness?

Quikazhell asked this question in another thread and there was no answer but I can’t find the thread right now.

But considering it’s optimal to have at least 5 hours plus of awake time once you rise from sleep, does a nap reset this awake time back to 0? And thus one should contemplate training 5 hours post nap rather than post night-sleep?

So if one hasn’t had enough sleep, should they nap to make up for it? Or should they just stay awake so that their HI session will be better?

All I know is that I really suck at sleeping. :frowning:

the reason we need sleep is the brain state known as REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. this is the state at which you are in your deepest sleep and this is when your body truely starts to repair itself. the state does not occur immediatly after falling asleep infact if you sleep 8 hours u may only get a few hours of sleep in this state ofcourse it depends on the individual. usually it takes the body awhile to reach this state 3 to 4 hours into sleep. it has been documented that some buddhist monks are able to achieve this mental state and deeper ones while awake and at will hence some do not sleep at all but fulfill their requirment for this state through meditation ( i have heard of the monks meditating for 4 hours and then spending the rest of the day awake, restful and alert). so breaking up your sleep may not be the best thing to do though naps i believe would be beneficial. 8 hours is the figure given as the standard by which people can reach REM sleep and be in this state for a few hours. also REM sleep is the time that you are dreaming. so dreaming is a good indicator that you are getting the rest that you require. some people who sleep but do not reach this state, and thus do not dream, will be restless and tired during the day this can be brought about poor nutrition or another physiological disorder. dont be fearful if you dont remember dreaming you probably did and forgot about it. everyone who has healthy sleep dreams.

The meditation people I have heard of are pretty kick ass. They can get buisness done in their sleep.

What about the 90-min cycle period?

i would think that the longer your in the REM sleep the better off you are (to a point) but i have heard that it is cyclical and each cycle can coincide with a dream. ill have to do a little reasearch on this one.

“During the course of a night, people usually repeat the sleep cycle about four times. As the night wears on, the cycle changes gradually. The first REM period is relatively short, lasting only a few minutes. Subsequent REM periods get prgressively longer, peaking at around 40-60 minutes in length. Additionally, NREM (Non-REM) intervals tend to get shorter, and descents into NREM stages usually become more shallow. These trends mean that most slow-wave sleep occurs early in the sleep cycle and that REM sleep tends to pile up in the second half of the sleep cycle.” (P. 184-5, Psychology - Themes and Variations - 6th edition)

So that pretty much backs up what James Colbert said about needing to be asleep for longer to obtain a decent amount of REM sleep, since the amount increases in the second half of the sleep cycle.

Although I’m still a huge advocate of 1.5 or 3 hour naps, provided you give yourself enough recovery time afterwards, since you do complete an entire sleep cycle and will enter REM sleep and slow-wave sleep.

One study that I remember seeing in class had to do with students cognitive abilities. They set it up as a graph with their scores on cognitive tests vs. hours of sleep. As you could probably predict, there was a steady climb in their grades as the amount of sleep increased, it started evening out quite a bit from about 7-9 hours of sleep, and then the grades acctually dropped a tiny bit at 10 hours of sleep.
My theory is either the students Circadian Rhythms have been messed up due to MORE sleep than usual, or they have simply been woken part way through a sleep cycle and it’s harder for them to gain full conciousness afterwards.
One interesting thing they also noted with the study was the rating that the students gave THEMSELVES on how well they performed on the tests. The students who recieved less sleep, FELT that they performed extremely well on the tests. So remember that the next time you pull an all nighter and think you aced it afterwards! :stuck_out_tongue: