Sleep Faster


  • Global Moderator

    I'm no doctor. Now, Arnold Schwarzenegger has a saying, and it goes like this. He says there is too much to do in life, and so, we should be sleeping 6 hours a night. If you need more sleep, you should sleep faster! What in the world does that mean? It sounds an awful lot like alpha-Male-style motivation, sort of what a weightlifter might tell himself every morning (any surprise then of the source.)



  • GREAT QUESTION OH GREAT ADMINISTRATOR so after sleeping on it... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz... here is my response:

    To understand how much sleep YOU need, we first should appreciate: What is the architecture behind sleep?
    Sleep is divided into 2 categories, each of which is associated with distinct patterns of central nervous system (CNS) activity:
    • REM sleep – This is characterized by muscle atony, episodic REMs, and low-amplitude fast waves on electroencephalography (EEG); dreaming occurs mainly during REM sleep
    • Non-REM sleep – This is further subdivided into 4 progressive categories, termed stages 1-4 sleep; the arousal threshold rises with each stage, and stage 4 (delta), characterized by high-amplitude slow waves, is the sleep state from which arousal is most difficult

    Sleep architecture follows a pattern of alternating REM (rapid eye movement) and Non-REM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep throughout a typical night in a cycle that repeats itself about every 90 minutes. That 90-minute cycle is fairly stable throughout the night; however, it is the ratio of Non-REM to REM sleep that is vital. Non-REM sleep normally dominates sleep cycles in the early part of the night. And as the clock moves toward daybreak, REM sleep muscles move in. This is significant, because research is most consistent that non-REM sleep is deeper and therefore, more restorative than lighter, dream-infused REM sleep.

    A shift from Non-REM to more REM sleep happens as the night progresses. AND due to effects of circadian rhythm, if you hit the sack very late at night, you will tilt more toward less restorative REM sleep. So the reduction in deep, restorative sleep may leave you groggy and blunt-minded the next day. For this reason, there is a mantra that: Every hour of sleep before midnight is worth two after midnight.

    Okay here is the Science behind this process: People can skip reading this section and not loose sleep over the fact of understanding the importance of sleep.
    Disturbances in the pattern and periodicity of REM and Non-REM sleep are often found when people admit to experiencing sleep disorders. Sleep-wake cycles are governed by a complex group of biologic processes that serve as internal clocks. The suprachiasmatic nucleus, located in the hypothalamus, is thought to be the body’s anatomic timekeeper, responsible for the release of melatonin on a 25-hour cycle. The pineal gland secretes less melatonin when exposed to bright light; therefore, the level of this chemical is lowest during the daytime hours of wakefulness. Multiple neurotransmitters are thought to play a role in sleep. These include serotonin from the dorsal raphe nucleus, norepinephrine contained in neurons with cell bodies in the locus ceruleus, and acetylcholine from the pontine reticular formation. Dopamine, on the other hand, is associated with wakefulness.

    So is THE ARNOLD correct:
    Sleep needs can vary from person to person. It is a “general” recommendation that healthy adults get an average of 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. HOWEVER, (and this is where THE ARNOLD gets the nod) if you look at supportive studies, there are none that validate this 7-9 hour rule. In fact, a study out of UCSD paints a different story. This study instead supports that the secret to a long life lies in getting just enough sleep, which ends up being about 6.5 hours per night. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3010336/

    The study looks at 1.1 million people’s sleep patterns over the course of 6 years, tracking the amount of sleep each subject averaged alongside their longevity. Its major finding: Sleeping as little as 5 hours per night can be better for you than sleeping 8. In analyzing life expectancy from the data demonstrates that 5 hours per night is better for longevity and long-term performance.

    Once YOU decide how much time you need to sleep here are How To Sleep – TIps that for better quality sleep.
     Follow a sleep schedule. Try to go to sleep at the same time every night. Having a bedtime routine trains your body to immediately rest as it approaches the designated time of sleep.
     “Winding down is helpful” as our brains remain active when going to bed if exposed to too many stimuli. Getting into a more relaxed state can help you drift into deep sleep. If my Science lecture above did not do it than just email me an I will send you some of my prior medical school lectures… Guaranteed to lull you to sleep!
     Avoid naps – If you want to sleep better at night, make it a point to skip naps during the day. After age 5, naps are no longer necessary].
     White noise – If your sleep is constantly interrupted by loud music (especially REM – pun intended) or barking dog, drown them all out with white noise.


  • Global Moderator

    Wow! Thanks for the great response.



  • So How Does This Translate to Musicians:

    The smooth, coordinated fine motor movements required to play a musical instrument have been demonstrated to predict academic success beyond the instrumental performance domain, but also including reading and math readiness, and verbal abilities. The motor skills that overlap with those required to play a musical instrument (e.g., sequential finger movements) markedly improve (get faster) over a night of sleep, but NOT after a day spent awake.

    A study was performed on individuals who play musical instruments that require fine finger motor skill to see if they are better able to learn and consolidate motor skills compared to those who do not play an instrument AND whether sleep-specific motor skill benefits interact with those resulting by musical experience by using typing performance as a common motor response between musicians and non-musicians.

    Musicians were faster than non-musicians throughout the learning session, typing more correct sequences per 30-sec trials. In the 12 hours that followed learning BOTH sleep and musical experience led to greater improvement in performance.

    Surprisingly, musicians retested after a day of wake performed slightly better than non-musicians who had slept between training and retest, suggesting that musicians have the capacity to consolidate a motor skill across waking hours, while non-musicians appear to lack this capacity. These findings suggest that the musically trained brain is optimized for motor skill consolidation across both wake and sleep, and that sleep may simply promote a more effective use of this machinery; and the closer musicians were tested to the time of awakening, the better the performance.

    Published in PLoS One. 2016 Jul 29;11(7):e0159608. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0159608. eCollection 2016.



  • If the question was what did Arnold mean, I would think one answer is HOW you sleep, not how long. Some people take longer than others to get to sleep, so their nine hours may actually be less quality than a six-hour sleeper. Or some "sleep" restlessly all night, while others sleep instantly.

    Personally, I have spent most of my life going on about six hours of sleep a night but I fall asleep instantly.



  • @Kehaulani said in Sleep Faster:

    If the question was what did Arnold mean, I would think one answer is HOW you sleep, not how long. Some people take longer than others to get to sleep, so their nine hours may actually be less quality than a six-hour sleeper. Or some "sleep" restlessly all night, while others sleep instantly.

    Personally, I have spent most of my life going on about six hours of sleep a night but I fall asleep instantly.

    Yes. This is detailed in my discussion above. If you are having difficulty falling to sleep, this can significantly impact on sleep quality. Refer to my above reading to find methods that allow someone to get to sleep faster. If you are still having problems with such "adaptive" methods, do schedule an appointment with me as Benzos can help with a rapid onset of Non-REM sleep!

    Just noted after posting, I had to cancel all but one of the MULTIPLE appointments made by Vulgano Brother from my clinic schedule.



  • You know, I also wonder about when we sleep. Now, the statement was more to give a philosophy of when to sleep rather than a precise, scientific analysis, but my grandmother-in-law used to say, "One hour of sleep before midnight is like two hours of sleep after midnight".

    I've always (since tween-age) been a night owl and as a practicing musician, have had my fair share of work hours from 09:00-01:00 pm, meaning that I would usually get home later than that. I usually slept, then, until around 11:00 am or so. I wonder how this philosophy applies?



  • @Kehaulani said in Sleep Faster:

    You know, I also wonder about when we sleep. Now, the statement was more to give a philosophy of when to sleep rather than a precise, scientific analysis, but my grandmother-in-law used to say, "One hour of sleep before midnight is like two hours of sleep after midnight".

    I've always (since tween-age) been a night owl and as a practicing musician, have had my fair share of work hours from 09:00-01:00 pm, meaning that I would usually get home later than that. I usually slept, then, until around 11:00 am or so. I wonder how this philosophy applies?

    Yes, and again, this was mentioned in my discussion above:

    "A shift from Non-REM to more REM sleep happens as the night progresses. AND due to effects of circadian rhythm, if you hit the sack very late at night, you will tilt more toward less restorative REM sleep. So the reduction in deep, restorative sleep may leave you groggy and blunt-minded the next day. For this reason, there is a mantra that: Every hour of sleep before midnight is worth two after midnight."

    Kehaulani, did you Grandmother write that reference? 🎓



  • @Dr-GO said in Sleep Faster:

    I guess I just use common English. 😉


  • Global Moderator

    So, should I ideally go to bed at 10?



  • At the moment I’d settle for any kind of sleep. 6 weeks after a total hip replacement, I’m lucky to get more than 3 hours. Have to sleep on my back, so can’t get comfortable and there is a limit to the painkillers you can take. Walking is ok, but the incision site is very sore while healing is taking place.



  • @administrator said in Sleep Faster:

    So, should I ideally go to bed at 10?

    That depends... Did you eat your broccoli?



  • You actually still GET painkillers? Lots of people sent home with Advil now. I realize Opiates were way over prescribed, but shutting them down completely is overkill. When kids can no longer get pain pills, or beer or cigarettes, they turn to crazy stuff like bath salts.



  • @Dr-GO said in Sleep Faster:

    the release of melatonin on a 25-hour cycle

    Frank Zappa arranged his life around a 25 hour day. He'd go to bed an hour later each night, sleep and do it again.



  • A hip replacement? Too much Kenny G or Andre Rieu? 👹



  • @Kehaulani
    More too much rugby and running, that and getting old.


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