Author Topic: Sleep and Exercise for Fun and Profit  (Read 3580 times)

Torgo

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Sleep and Exercise for Fun and Profit
« on: October 01, 2014, 07:51:19 PM »
You'd think that as a biology grad student, I'd have a handle on the importance of biological rhythms.

But no - I keep getting into patterns where I stay in the lab very late, thus not seeing my friends and roommates, get home at nearly midnight, and either get very little sleep (decreasing productivity the next day meaning I have to stay late again) or go in late (again staying late - hours are flexible as long as we get the work done).

To make matters worse, when I don't get enough sleep I'm hungry all day and when I stay late I can't cook real food and wind up buying crappy things at the overpriced on-campus eateries.  The bad morning schedule also means I don't do the morning runs I had begun in the summer, which also decrease my hunger and normalize my sleep schedule to boot when I do them.

Well, here goes nothin'.  Tonight is an early-sleep night with a one-off microdose of melatonin to push my rhythm back by about 2 hours.  Tomorrow I have no time-sensitive experiments early, and will run before getting ready for work.  This pattern must continue.

cdttmm

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Re: Sleep and Exercise for Fun and Profit
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2014, 05:51:34 AM »
I hear you! One of the students in my intro psych class, after learning about circadian rhythms, sleep, what lack of sleep does to the body, and so forth declared, "My sleep debt is so great I should probably declare bankruptcy!"

I, too, am working to get back on track with my exercise, healthful eating, and sleep routine. Good luck to you, Torgo!

Hannah

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Re: Sleep and Exercise for Fun and Profit
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2014, 06:07:28 AM »
Best of luck Torgo! Can I encourage one other thing for you? A Sabbath rest. Try to take one day per week where you fast from most screens and from your normal lab work. I think it helps circadian rhythms.

My husband does this (Materials Science, PHd), and his productivity is super-high relative to his peers.

AlanStache

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Re: Sleep and Exercise for Fun and Profit
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2014, 07:27:55 AM »
Best of luck Torgo! Can I encourage one other thing for you? A Sabbath rest. Try to take one day per week where you fast from most screens and from your normal lab work. I think it helps circadian rhythms.

My husband does this (Materials Science, PHd), and his productivity is super-high relative to his peers.

So like Sundays are no screen days, all day, every week?  Does he use a phone for calls/texts but no email/web?  What about chillaxing with some nexflix?  Does he make exceptions for hyper big deadlines?

Hannah

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Re: Sleep and Exercise for Fun and Profit
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2014, 08:36:36 AM »
I should clarify that I do this too, but its easier for me because I'm not a student anymore (My job is pretty well contained to the weekdays)

Sundays are no screen days for both of us with the exception of Skype, calls and texts. We avoid movies or other "screen entertainment" on these days since the point is largely about the Circadian Rhythm, and I definitely feel healthier taking the day off from screens as much as possible. If I liked watching football or movies or something a lot, I would probably alter my stance- maybe contain these to afternoon or something (just to be sure I have many hours in between screen and bed).

Both of us have made exceptions for hyper big deadlines, but making ourselves disciplined about rest and recovery has a nice mental effect of helping us put life and work in perspective, so these are truly rare.

Torgo

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Re: Sleep and Exercise for Fun and Profit
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2014, 04:43:10 PM »
Alright, it would appear that lab business will come calling at 10:00 PM tonight for one hour, but there are several hours without anything going on before then.

In any case, >6 hours of sleep was indeed had and a run did happen, though I still wouldn't call the time I got in 'early'.  It's a start.  Looks like today I will use this gap to get a few deferred home-things done, including some actual cooking (!) that will make things easier as I go forward.

Don't know about screen-sabbaths... when my experiments get rolling (just set one off yesterday) they last for two continuous weeks and I have to remote-log-in to the computer running the lab equipment several times a day to check that my yeast are behaving as they should and that I don't need to fix something, and get into the lab itself to swap out chemical containers at *least* every other day and sometimes every day.  Very pretty data though.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Sleep and Exercise for Fun and Profit
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2014, 09:25:32 AM »
At least your yeast is behaving.  My students killed more duck weed (sigh), and it is supposed to grow well in captivity.

I have to remote-log-in to the computer running the lab equipment several times a day to check that my yeast are behaving as they should and that I don't need to fix something, and get into the lab itself to swap out chemical containers at *least* every other day and sometimes every day.  Very pretty data though.

Torgo

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Re: Sleep and Exercise for Fun and Profit
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2014, 03:48:55 PM »
Well that could've gone better.

With paper-writing time upon me along with both long-term and short-term experiments, the nascent pattern that worked for a week or two was shattered and I wound up staying in the lab until midnight every night and averaging four hours of sleep for two weeks.  Thus destroying my ability to actually write the paper.  When I utterly failed to make a deadline I knew I could've actually met, I could tell there was something very wrong.

I've pushed away from staying in so late but had gotten into a pattern where I just couldn't get myself to go to bed before 2, often not before 4.

This week one of my long-running experiments will have to have to wait just a bit, while I reestablish a rhythm that allows me to actually focus.

MrsK

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Re: Sleep and Exercise for Fun and Profit
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2014, 06:14:50 PM »
I have never worked in a lab, but have always maintained 8-9 hours of sleep a night, except when my kids were very young.  I am a very boring person who loves to sleep and I married a person with the same sleep needs.  We are in bed most nights at 9:00, except when we can do 8:30. 

Your thread has got me wondering if sleeping a lot helps to save money.  I rarely went out when I was younger and can count on one hand the times I have seen midnight on the clock.  I also am not a big "exercise" person.  I walk and bike for my transportation needs and I work up a sweat when I clean and do yard work, so I figure exercise is happening but not in a formal way.  I don't need to lose weight, so maybe the sleep helps as you are not eating when you are sleeping (well I think that happens to some poor people).

So, to the biology wizards here, is sleep a good way to be frugal--live below your means and within your seams?