Author Topic: Astonomers and Sleep Deprivation  (Read 310 times)

liomocharla

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Astonomers and Sleep Deprivation
« on: December 28, 2017, 11:08:44 PM »
Matthew Walker, a researcher at UC Berkeley, has written a book called "Why we Sleep", and the UK Guardian newspaper has an interesting article about this "The shorter your sleep, the shorter your life".

https://www.theguard...er-why-we-sleep

Walker claims that "sleep deprivation is increasing our risk of cancer, heart attack and Alzheimer’s" and that "a number of epidemiological studies have reported that night-time shift work and the disruption to circadian sleep and rhythms that it causes increase the odds of developing cancers including breast, prostate, endometrium and colon."

The question arises whether this is potentially a problem for those of us who stay up at night star-watching.

David



musochoolsmee

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Re: Astonomers and Sleep Deprivation
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2017, 07:18:55 PM »
I heard this being discussed on Radio 4 last week, and the same thought occurred to me. ON the other hand, if we find the process calming and inspiring perhaps there are health benefits also...hmmm.

Rodinald Richards

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Re: Astonomers and Sleep Deprivation
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2018, 02:19:55 AM »
I sometimes may be sleep deprived but that's because I'm a night owl - I prefer to go sleep anywhere from 6-8am in the morning and wake up after noon. I sleep as long as I need to and the few times I can't are when I end up temporarily sleep deprived. While this isn't scientific, I think you can catch up on your sleep and if you do it quickly, the age-related deterioration isn't there or is minimal. Helps to work with computing, which can be done anywhere, anytime, in the world (which is an advantage in a more globalised civilisation). I would be following the same schedule as I am now even if I wasn't into astronomy.

I think everyone should let their body dictate when to sleep and when to wake up for a while, the kind of thing you may do on vacation (i.e., no alarm clocks, etc.). Once you do that, your body will start following its own schedule and I think that will average out to about 8 hours/day for most people and it will vary from person to person. I think most people will follow the morning person schedule which dictates our lives but I bet a smaller but significant (10%+) would follow the night owl schedule.

That said, we're born to die and many choices we make will shorten our lives. It's the journey that matters I think. Astronomy is one of the things I've become newly passionate about in recent years and that is as surprising to me as it has invigorated me. It has pushed me out of my comfort zone and really helped me in a lot of ways (in terms of the journey).--Ram

plurcontitear

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Re: Astonomers and Sleep Deprivation
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2018, 03:44:54 AM »
Article ignores real world, as usual.

90 years theoretical life span minus 30 years spent asleep equals 60 years awake.

90 years theoretical life span minus 22 years spent asleep equals 68 years awake.

Does mild sleep deprivation really reduce health very much, or do unhealthy people just have trouble sleeping?

Sleeping eight hours straight during the night probably isn't normal either, but as cogs in a machine many are forced into trying to do that.

Paul Woodrow

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Re: Astonomers and Sleep Deprivation
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2018, 10:16:27 PM »
Well, the only time I am sleep deprived is around most new moon weekends, and for all night star parties. I just try to get about an hour of shut eye B-4 I drive home, if I'm driving more than a hour. And drinking some Monster during the drive helps too.

David

breakinnocor

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Re: Astonomers and Sleep Deprivation
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2018, 03:05:10 AM »
I guess there are as many bits of research for lots of sleep as well as for not-so-much sleep. Think I have seen reasons for 7 hours sleep, 8 hours sleep and 9 hours sleep and a couple that lie outside these durations.

I tend to find that if I lose sleep I feel cold, this is simply uncomfortable and so I go get a good nights sleep (hopefully) but if I feel fine that all I guess is OK with me and I am getting sufficent sleep. So to me it will come down to the criteria of "how I feel", and as it is suppose to be enjoyable then sleep and "comfort" comes first.

Bit off topic but there has just been an artical today on washing your hands and that it should be a good 2 minutes worth with lots of soap to remove bacteria etc. Six to eight months ago there was another that showed that washing your hands too much removed the bodies natural defences and this lead to a greater incidence of bacteria on the skin until the body replenished its defences. A light rinse was recommended. So one is clean everything off the other is minimal to maintain natural antibacteria. Both in their own way make sense but they are opposing when considered together.

So for sleep I tend to just go by how I feel.

Actually I suspect that if I added up all the attributes that are shortening my life, sleep, diet, exercise, lifestyle etc, they would amount to more then my total life span. Bet it is fairly easy to read of 10 aspects each of which reduce your life by 10% each.

Davione Boone

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Re: Astonomers and Sleep Deprivation
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2018, 06:04:30 AM »
As much as I enjoy looking up, I restrict it to those nights that I don't have to get up early the next morning. This means that Friday and Saturday nights are my astronomy nights so that I can sleep in Saturday and Sunday morning. If there is an event of particular significance occurring on a weeknight, I'll take a day of vacation following. I dislike struggling to get out of bed in the morning.

cicacating

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Re: Astonomers and Sleep Deprivation
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2018, 09:42:29 PM »
I read a book that I think was titled "Night" a few years ago. Supposedly sleeping 7-8 hours straight throughper night is a relatively new byproduct of the Industrial Revolution. Prior to gas orelectric lights, people would go to sleep shortly after sundown for 4-5 hours, wake up and eat, play cards, whateverfor a couple hoursand then go back to sleep for another 4 hours or so.

I think they called the second periodthe "Second Sleep".

Can't speculate on how that relates to current research, but it is an interesting bit of trivia.

Eric Curry

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Re: Astonomers and Sleep Deprivation
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2018, 11:00:15 PM »
I believe the vast number of astronomers would be unaffected, health-wise. The main reason is that the average AMATURE astronomer views sporadically, over the course of a year. Not enough consistency to make an impact on one's health, one way or the other. A PROFESSIONAL, on the other hand, someone who's on a night-shift schedule for extended periods of time over a lifetime, MAY, I say MAY, suffer some ill effects, but even that might end up being judged or experienced person to person. But that's another study for another time...

STARKID2U

Sean Meyer

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Re: Astonomers and Sleep Deprivation
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2018, 08:12:55 AM »
I have awakened from my coma.

Rumors of my being awake are highly exaggerated.

Eric Shaffer

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Re: Astonomers and Sleep Deprivation
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2018, 03:40:46 AM »
Quote
I read a book that I think was titled "Night" a few years ago. Supposedly sleeping 7-8 hours straight throughper night is a relatively new byproduct of the Industrial Revolution. Prior to gas orelectric lights, people would go to sleep shortly after sundown for 4-5 hours, wake up and eat, play cards, whateverfor a couple hoursand then go back to sleep for another 4 hours or so.

I think they called the second periodthe "Second Sleep".

Can't speculate on how that relates to current research, but it is an interesting bit of trivia.

If that pattern of sleep was common or normal before the arrival of the artificial light, then it probably represents a kind of natural pattern that evolution devised for us.

Society wants us to watch TV commercials into the late evening and then be at work, school, by 7 a.m.

But that habit also indirectly brings us a higher standard of living (and more telescopes) and paradoxically longer life expectancies.

ontoolhaiworl

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Re: Astonomers and Sleep Deprivation
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2018, 02:15:16 PM »
I have trouble with this.
Tuesday night I went to bed at 9pm and woke up at 1am. Went observing from 1am to 6am, when to school (I'm only a senior in high school), came home and slept for an hour, then went out from 8pm to 12am.
Thursday I went to school then worked from 1:30-9. Now it's Friday and I plan on going out for as long as I can tonight. An exhausting week for sure.

nalchsilnighnul

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Re: Astonomers and Sleep Deprivation
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2018, 02:51:58 PM »
What about the quality - satisfaction - pleasures - accomplishments - etc. of one's life?

If sleep deprivation -- due to this hobby -- has shortened my life: It's been worth it!

What's the point of living longer if one has to sacrifice those things one most enjoys?

bescoldsearchroom

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Re: Astonomers and Sleep Deprivation
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2018, 10:24:41 AM »
For me it was the other way round. I sometimes just can't fall asleep. Brain malfunction I guess. That's when instead of lying in the bed and cursing myself I just get out and enjoy the night sky. If its cloudy I jump on to cloudynights.

Eric Ayyagari

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Re: Astonomers and Sleep Deprivation
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2018, 11:55:00 AM »
I am curious...tell me more about this thing you call "sleep"...I have heard of it but am not familiar with it.