I’ve always wondered how people can stay up all night or function daily with very little sleep. My body tends to just shut down after reaching a certain point. I’ve always been strict on getting at least 8 hours.
Part of becoming a Navy Seal involves BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) Training which includes something called Hell week – extreme workout, soaking in the cold ocean at odd times, pure punishments with the sole purpose of trying to get the trainees to give up. All this with about 2 hours of sleep the entire week.
My erratic sleep schedule started during exams. I challenged myself to force to stay up all night and the following day right after. I could barely get past 3-4 AM the first couple of days. Then I started hitting 7-8 Am. Now staying up till 5 is the norm, I was only able to hit this regularly years ago when playing video games.
The good and bad:
1) Get a lot of work done with minimal distraction.
Once you get in the work flow it’s possible to get a lot of work done.
2) Lose weight
Not much time in the day to eat. Less food = less weight.
1) Inconvenient timing
Unless you have the freedom to get up whenever you want everyday then it can be very inconvenient after your body adjusts to the new sleeping pattern.
For example, I had to drop someone off at the airport at 8:30 Am. I wanted to get some sleep the night before but my body was still wide awake. I kept twisting and turning till I finally got tired and just got up to make coffee at 4:30 Am. 30 mins later and here I am writing about the experience. I will not be getting any sleep this morning.
2) Skip morning activities
If there is an event or activity in the morning (that is not required), I will not make it. This is why I couldn’t make it to the 11 Am church service(s).
When you wake up, do your morning routine, you look at the time and it’s about 3 pm. You do a few chores, look at the time again and it’s now about to be 6. “Wtf. I just woke up and it’s going to be bedtime soon.” I thought to myself.
If you want to be a normal, functioning person in society it can make it difficult to deal with people. Most people do not do this. Especially not intentionally just to see what it’s like.
I had a phone call at about 10 pm, they asked what time I could get over to their place the next day. I absolutely didn’t want to be late or disappoint them so I had to be sure. Instead of normally giving them a time in the morning I had to think and took my time till I finally said 2 pm. That night I set several alarms so I won’t oversleep. To get up at 12:30 pm in the afternoon.
I managed to stay up till about 2 or 3 pm in the afternoon a couple of times. I never did manage to stay up for the entire night and the entire day after. It usually goes like this – work on something till early morn, really sleepy so go to bed for a short nap, set timer for 15 mins, lie face down on pillow. Wake up 7-8 hours later.
It has a lot more cons than pros for me. I will be gathering data on my results and I may want to do new experiments to reverse my sleeping pattern.