I’ve heard about this thing called “sleep”. Don’t do much of it myself though.
I know that quality sleep on a regular basis is probably the most underrated factor for developing various symptoms of early-onset conditions typically associated with people in the late stages of life, and the more evidence I read about it, the more depressed I get over the fact.
I tried reading a book by Mathew Walker called “Why We Sleep” not too long ago. But I ended up wanting to hang myself, so I didn’t read all of it.
Instead I posted a rather long comment to the author that started like this:
This is the most blown out of proportions book about anything I’ve ever read.
If the “science” in this book is anything close to being true, I would basically be dead already.
If not dead, then at least seriously mentally disturbed with a multitude of diagnoses ranging from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and have severe problems functioning…
You see, I suffer from a relatively mild form of bipolar depression, that somehow eliminates much of the signs of tiredness in my case.
I don’t use any medication for this, because I don’t feel that it’s needed, and my doctor has agreed with my conclusion in this regard.
I’ve tried different medication, but using it makes me not function in any area of life. I’ve had to be able to pull off all-nighters for learning new things and for finishing projects since I started working in the IT industry in the mid 90's.
These days I have the same sized book-pile to get through every year as a software developer, so I can’t just quit thinking any time soon.
Add to this that I’ve been a single parent for my daughter since she was six, having to manage work, my life, her life and everything in between…
Without this “illness” I wouldn’t be able to do half of what I do now, and taking into account that I’ve been doing this for the past 20+ years, sleeping maybe on average 3–4 hours a night, sometimes even less makes me wonder, if this really is that important, how come I’m not dead already?
I’ve concluded (after reading rather wast amounts of research) that the main problem with not getting enough sleep is that you’ll end up with a deficiency of dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain, which again will branch out to being risk factors for a multitude of other conditions, as they are important parts of so many sub-processes in the brain.
What I’ve ended up doing is rather unconventional, but I don’t want to end up as a 50 year old with Alzheimer and other shit like that, so extreme as it may sound, I’ve started supplementing with a highly potent CNS stimulant (Dextroamphetamine sulfate) that has the oposite properties and been doing this for a couple of years now.
It boosts the levels of these three key neurotransmitter substances rather directly, and not in any way comparable to any anti-depressant SNRI type substances, to counter-act the negative effects of not sleeping “enough” what ever number of hours that would be.
Also I’ve been doing lots of meditation, mainly the deep Vipassana type meditation for many years, also documented to strengthen and counter-act these early-onset age related conditions.
I feel that this has profoundly increased my ability of problem-solving and logical thinking. I can reason about larger code segments and I can predict flaws in logic better than most from a mile away.
So, without any negative side effects, and with the alternative scenario of depleting the brain for these neurotransmitter substances, I see no other choice.