The Very Vicious Sleep Cycle

Why You Should Pay Attention

As a college student living away from my parents, I get to exercise free will to a much larger extent than most students in India get to do. And as every young adult who gets to exercise free will, I tend to abuse it.

I am a naturally heavy sleeper, and I thank the powers that be for that gift regularly. Having practised pulling all-nighters since the 8th grade, I have effectively limited the functioning capabilities of my body to a large extent, including a severe loss of stamina, “crash naps” and increased appetite, which has caused me to gain weight on multiple occasions, much to the chagrin of my father. These gains are in the vicinity of 10 pounds (4 kilograms), so while it is not earth-shattering (and neither am I *BaDumTss*), it is a large enough change for this issue to be serious.

Hence, I speak from experience of the physical and mental damage that shortage of sleep causes if kept up regularly.
In fact, here is a frankly-terrifying info-graphic from this Huffington Post article:
Sleep Deprivation Infographic

Dealing With Bad Sleep Habits

I don’t think I need to plug more details on these issues, and it seems tacky to me to possibly scare someone about something that they had probably been taking for granted. So I will rather share some methods of getting past this block, and share some tweets that people have put out regarding sleep and sleep issues.

https://twitter.com/UnusuaIFactPage/status/420209299189952512

Helpful Articles

Art of Manliness has a very nice article on the power of napping that you can find here. The author explains why it is easier and better to take a nap for 30 minutes a day, to temporarily boost productivity, and reduce the strain on the body.

Jason Fitzpatrick also writes from personal experience of LifeHacker on how to reboot your sleep cycle in what is a very beautiful and especially detailed article that you can find here. What I really like about this piece is that the author keeps it very real, stating that Sleep Deprivation is not a badge of honour and links to a piece that shows it is similar to intoxication. I learnt much from this article, including the debunking of the myth that I must make up my sleep hours minute-to-minute. The author hammers out both short-term goals to feel better and fresher, and long term goals to counter-act severe sleep deprivation. There’s a reason LifeHacker is a super-popular site. Statistics


So that’s it for this short piece.

Thank you for reading. Please let me know if you prefer this shorter, more digestible form of article with more links, or if you prefer my full opinion in a long structured article. This was definitely easier to post, but it was also out of my comfort zone because I felt haven’t contributed enough. Let me know in the comments or connect with me on

  • Since college I’ve been able to manage my sleep cycles and keep a sane mind:

    Here’s a formula that worked for me:

    4 hours – Bare minimum to function properly
    6 hours – Moderate
    8 hours – Perfect
    More than 8 – You don’t need this. Aka “LYADH” 😛

    Less sleep tends to irritate you, which results in short-tempered nature and lack of focus.
    If you can bag exactly 8 hours, you’re going to be be in a fairly good mood all day. 🙂

    • Well it’s different for different people. My bare minimum is 4.5 hours, i.e. 3 cycles of REM sleep. But if I do that too often, I fall asleep as soon as I come home from college. I crash, so to sleep, and the crash lasts around 4 to 6 hours. Sleeping 7 to 8 hours a day is my correct time. Sundays are lazy days though.