Sleep Hack

I’m exhausted today. Being a person who has been accustomed to at least eight hours of quality sleep every night, I was appalled to wake up this morning at nine to find out that I’ve only slept for 4 hours. Yes, I went to bed at five, don’t judge!

I’ve been wondering for quite some time: does lack of sleep affect performance, or actually boost it? Well, I can attest to the fact that my multi-tasking skills actually dropped pretty drastically today when playing Starcraft II. But contrarily, I was more motivated to work on this excel spreadsheet that required fairly irritating coding work. Why was that so?

My current theory is that accommodating pain allows a person to actually accommodate more pain, at least until one’s capacity is truly worn out. Think of it as doing a set of warm up exercises. For me personally, doing a number of pushups before I begin weight training effectively enables me to lift the same weight more times than if I did not warm up.

Perhaps pain tolerance works the same way? Deprived of ‘just enough’ sleep, you might be incensed enough to take on mundane, painful work that you usually would put off at a later date, because after all, hey, it can’t get much worse can it?

Understandably, tasks that require more skill and concentration would suffer a hit in performance because your mind and body is exhausted. Is this a life hack? Who knows! But you’re welcome to experiment and share about it.


2 thoughts on “Sleep Hack

  1. Very interesting theory. Perhaps this is true to an extent. I’m thinking that the pain may push us to get through it because we believe that there is an ultimate goal of rest in the end. At least this is how it often is for me.

    When I am working on something, I seldom fail to finish whatever it is on the first try. I do this because I do not want to have to retrain my brain to get back into that mode, if that makes any sense.

  2. Yes! It makes sense – it takes energy to move ourselves from one state to another, the simplest analogy being that of ice and water. Likewise from work state to leisure state, or even moving from one kind of task to another, takes energy. So there definitely is an allure to finishing things on the first go.

    Thanks for sharing your fascinating insight into how it works for you 🙂

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