4

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Any benefits to intermittent sleep deprivation?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 02, 2010 at 1:30 AM

Activities like weight bearing exercise and fasting provide benefits when done in an intermittent, non-chronic fashion. We often talk of sleep though as the sacred thing we shouldn't even think about messing with.

I'm curious though to know if there could be any benefits to some very intermittent sleep deprivation. I always notice that when I miss some sleep one night, the next night will bring extremely vivid dreams and a deeper sleep. Is there any hormones of processes that get up-regulated or down-regulated by that process that could trigger a beneficial effect? Are we getting more efficient with our sleep by doing that?

I'm sure our ancestors had times when they had fewer hours of sleep for multiple reasons without being metabolically affected by it. Now, was there any benefit to that provided you regained the lost hours of sleep the following night?

Granted, even if this idea as some truth we probably don't have to consciously deprive ourselves of sleep because we all have periods where we are forced to sleep less, but could those periods be less dangerous on our health than expected, especially if adjusting other lifestyle factors like exercise and nutrition so they support the lack of sleep?

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on October 02, 2010
at 05:05 PM

LOL, Baco. Maybe staying vigilant for safety's sake is what turns us *into* zombies!

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on October 02, 2010
at 05:04 PM

Hmmm... I wonder if there would be any positive benefits to intermittent air deprivation! LOL - just kidding. I would guess that there are no positive long-term benefits but I have nothing to back that up.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 02, 2010
at 03:59 PM

I remember this one time in college after a severely sleep deprived week of testing, I was standing in front of the menu at a restaurant and simply could not get my brain to concentrate long enough to pick something. It was surreal.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 02, 2010
at 03:57 PM

Nah, I'm pretty good about get sufficient sleep. Often, I wake up before I really need to get up and so you find me here typing on paleo hacks right now..

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 02, 2010
at 03:56 PM

LOL, looks you can temp solve depressing by 'toasting' the part of your brain that is causing it by lack of sleep!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 02, 2010
at 05:46 AM

Stanley Coren wrote an interesting book about sleep deprivation. Check out http://www.amazon.ca/Sleep-Thieves-Stanley-Coren/dp/0684831848

866fd1b06042dc5b47c07a688e6ddda5

(40)

on October 02, 2010
at 01:54 AM

FWIW, this is the only possibly good thing I have ever heard about sleep deprivation: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/07/in-sleepless-nights-a-hope-for-treating-depression/

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3 Answers

2
D5db204527668aa712504995c0f8f96f

(551)

on October 02, 2010
at 04:07 AM

Ain't all humans living in the modern world sleep deprived intermittently (or chronically too)?

I don't see any benefits from such an activity. I HAVE to sleep right (8-9 hours, go to bed early, wake up at 7-8) or my whole day is ruined.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 02, 2010
at 03:57 PM

Nah, I'm pretty good about get sufficient sleep. Often, I wake up before I really need to get up and so you find me here typing on paleo hacks right now..

1
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 02, 2010
at 01:48 AM

Interesting question. Personally, I don't find myself greatly affected by less sleep on only one night, as long as I still get some. I only start to feel it if it goes for two nights in a row. I typically say that I am on a 48 hour schedule. As long as I get enough sleep within an overall 48 hour period, it doesn't really matter that much where in that 48 hours the bulk of it falls.

I think typically, we look to things as being potentially good for us if we feel better because of them. I feel better after exercise, eating right, and working out, but I never feel better from being sleep deprived.

Research on the subject seems mostly epidemiological, but some studies do show that sleep deprivation cause significant changes to hormonal and brain function and does at least result in lessened attention and concentration. While driving, this translates to a higher number of motor vehicle accidents. I have never read anything good about lack of sleep. I think it's good to keep skeptical about everything, but in this case, I know of no evidence at all suggesting any physical good comes out of lack of sleep.

866fd1b06042dc5b47c07a688e6ddda5

(40)

on October 02, 2010
at 01:54 AM

FWIW, this is the only possibly good thing I have ever heard about sleep deprivation: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/07/in-sleepless-nights-a-hope-for-treating-depression/

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 02, 2010
at 03:56 PM

LOL, looks you can temp solve depressing by 'toasting' the part of your brain that is causing it by lack of sleep!

0
89e026ce02829fcba8ed4dab022fcc41

(10)

on October 02, 2010
at 03:19 AM

I occasionally pull all-nighters, not for the chemical reactions but for the psychological ones. One day soon during the Zombie Apocalypse the situation where we will have to stay vigilant for safety's sake will arise and I think it is beneficial to know what your weaknesses are going to be during that situation.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 02, 2010
at 03:59 PM

I remember this one time in college after a severely sleep deprived week of testing, I was standing in front of the menu at a restaurant and simply could not get my brain to concentrate long enough to pick something. It was surreal.

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on October 02, 2010
at 05:05 PM

LOL, Baco. Maybe staying vigilant for safety's sake is what turns us *into* zombies!

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