How much do you sleep?

Hi! How much do you sleep? What do you do to sleep less and get done more?

I sleep more to get more done. If I haven’t slept enough everything will seem harder than it is, and I’ll be cranky all day. Not worth it.

I usually sleep about 7 hours per night.


8-9 hours.

Any less and I’m way less productive.

I started using eye blinders/covers to get better sleep.

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I used to only sleep about 5-6 interrupted hours :slight_smile: I’ve been making a real effort to get more lately though so up to around 7-8 (sometimes still interrupted by kids). You do feel a world of difference. It’s a lot to balance with a business and 3 kids so especially as you get older you have to try and make time to sleep. One of the big downsides of the work anytime anyplace world of software.

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I get about 8 hours a night. I am able to measure it with my Fitbit and the quality of sleep is pretty good as well.

I struggle with sleep. Nowadays I seem to have a tough time truly getting 4+ hours of uninterrupted sleep, but overall it’s about 8 hours of “sleep”. The more times I wake up the less productive I am. If I actually get less than 7 hours of overall sleep then I know I will be lucky to get 1 hour of productive work that day.

I get about 3-4 hours uninterrupted sleep and 6-8 total. If you want to sleep less you must take naps during the day, no more than 30 minutes or you’ll be groggy. There isn’t a safe way to get less sleep and be more productive.

I’ve never needed more than about 6 hours (it’s not yet 6am in the UK and I’m ploughing through email while trying to stop a giant orange cat dipping his tail in my coffee). I don’t nap or think “having a lie in” is a nice idea - it just gives me a headache.

I did make an effort to retrain myself out of being a night owl to become an early riser as I found that late in the evening I was just messing about and not getting stuff done, when I get up early I’m very productive. I wrote most of my recent book before 7am in the mornings. Most days I have cleared my inbox, been for a run (I’m marathon training), and sorted my daily GTD lists before 9. So as well as how much sleep (you can’t do a lot about what you need) I think it is important to look at when you are most productive and maximize that time.

For example. It’s hard to do a full days work then come home and start work on a side project - you might be better to go to bed an hour earlier and relax in the evenings but get up early and give the side project an hour then.


Wow, thanks for all the responses. I did not expect so many of them, so fast. You made my day. : )

I get about 8 hours, until the twins wake me up. I’m looking to get into a bit of an early rising habit, but I think I’m still catching up from the first year of parenthood.

I used to be a night owl for working, but I’ve found the stuff—code, writing, whatever—that I’d produce would generally turn out to be crap!

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I try to get 7-8 hours. I think not getting enough sleep is counter productive. But some people seem to need less than others. British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher famously used to only need a few hours a night. But then, she wasn’t human. ;0)

I’m in a similar boat to the rest of you. I really need 7-8 hours to be at peak performance.

I will say though, that I can do less for a couple nights in a row (like 5-6) and still seem okay, but then it catches up with me and I crash. Not worth the crash, so I just try to put in the proper time.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that I want and need more sleep and that I’m less able to tolerate major deviations from that requirement, and I’m trying to listen to my body. Usually it’s 6-7 hours. Less than 5 will seriously cut into my ability to think the next day as will 8 or more.

I sleep 8-9 hours and use f.lux ( to make sure I am ready for bed after staring at the screen for hours in the evening.

I sleep 2 times. First - 4-6 hours at night (have to stay up till ~3 am since I’m in Europe and most of my customers are in the States). Plus a day nap for 1-2 hours.

Related question: How do you get up before your partners without waking them?

I get up as early as possible before my wife and kids. At one point in time I had a good hour or two of uninterrupted productive time before anyone else got up. Ever since we had our second kid, who is now 10 months old, I’ve had a harder time getting up as early, but I’m slowly ratcheting up my wake-up time. (It’s currently 6:15.)

I read a really memorable quote in the book Get Clients Now! by C.J. Hayden: “Sleep deprivation is not good time management.” It’s kind of hard to argue with that logic when you put it that way.

I also read a whole book on sleep and according to the author there really is such a thing called “sleep debt.” So if you normally require 8 hours a night but you only sleep 5 one night, you “owe” yourself 3 hours of sleep and you’re really just robbing Peter to pay Paul because you eventually have to make up the time anyway.

Having said all that, having kids screws up everything, and my sleep habits these days aren’t very good.

With a vibrating watch alarm. Fitbits also have a vibrating alarm, which is nice.

+1 to all the “I sleep more to get more done”, especially with kids. Sleep becomes a valuable resource not to be tossed aside carelessly :smiley:

As much as possible.

This is not my aim. I like sleep. Getting up late…long siestas…this is part of why I love running a one-person company from home :smile:

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I’ve tried it all. Late nights, early mornings and a little of each.

I find there are benefits, esp if you have kids. If you don’t, then this may not be an answer for you. Age is, I’m sure, a factor. I’m 44 and full-time employed.

I went through a period of getting up daily at 5 AM and going to bed between 9-10 pm. It gave me nearly 2 hours of time in the morning and when I was coding it felt like I got a lot done. I did that for over a year but eventually just couldn’t do it any more.

I have been doing late-ish nights (I usually get to bed by 11-11:30 PM) and with kids I’ve found this best (assuming you can get them to bed at a decent hour). The bad part is being tired from a long work day, but you can sleep in and stay up perhaps later depending on your morning routine.

I’ve also burned the candle at both ends and, while you can maintain that for awhile, I almost always hit a wall and have to take a few nights of major catch-up sleep. Plus I don’t feel super productive during those times so it’s probably a net loss.

My current winner is late nights and waking around 6 AM for an hour or so. For me, it only requires one reset day a week to maintain.