Friday, 28 November 2008

How to stay awake...

Sometimes I think that sleep is a waste of time, 8 hours flittered away when they could be used for something productive, something useful, something beautiful. As the old ideal goes "there is never enough time yet we have all the time in the world". I normally go to sleep at 4am. After consulting the great Internet for more information about insomnia, I discovered that across the pond, it get's a little too hardcore for my taste. The following I copy/pasted from a forum about all-nighters with added notes...

Ways to stay up
1.If you can, get a prescription of Modafinil (Provigil). It's much easier on the body and mind than caffeine. (This drug is normally prescribed to narcoleptics and is used by the US military to effectively keep you awake for 72 hours without crashing...)

2. Drink large volumes of water, who ever fell asleep drinking or eating?

3. 20 min. fact naps <3 5 minutes (no rem sleep)...or in 90 minute cycles. 2 cycles are better than so 3 hours are great...but 4 hours are bad (you'll still in the sleep cycle, even if you're awake). better to get 3-4.5 hours a night...and two 20 minute naps during the day.

4. I have found caffeine pills (about 400 mg or so) work well for one or two days. (Medically, 300mg of caffeine is classified as an overdose).

5. Adderall, pseudoephedrine (Sudafed). (More pharmaceutical-grade drugs).

6. More caffeine. At one point, I resorted to instant coffee w/ hot tap water and snorting No-doze. Seemed like a good idea at the time. And whatever ambient music keeps you grooving without being too distracting.

7. I have never been one to do all nighters, but I had a friend who used to chew Nicorette gum and get all sorts of stuff done and he wasn't a smoker. He said that it helped him focus and also kept him alert, plus you don't get the smoking side effects.

8. I was a design student who frequently stayed up for multiple all-nighters. All of the above advice is great. I think NASA studied the problem and came up with something like 20 minute naps every four hours.

9. Caffeine patches...You want to look into nootropics.

10. The most popular seems to be Piracetam, often combined with Alpha GPC or something similar. Personally these mellow me out and make me less focused.

11. I like GABA, it's a safe neuroinhibitor. For me it 'clears' the fog, the effect takes just a few minutes, but only lasts for a few hours. I often find myself able to tolerate boring work, and find myself more focused on the task at hand. For many people it has the opposite effect, making them drowsy or even sleepy.

12. Sometimes at work I've been known to take two caffeine tablets followed by a quadruple espresso. Today I think I over did it though. After getting only a few hours sleep I've had a regular cup of instant, two caffeine tablets and then drank about a pot of brewed coffee.

There must be a degree of truth to all these statements as they appeared at ridiculous times like 3am and 5am (US East coastal time). Mostly they were law students or art students. But, not even i10 is that extreme, I'll stick to my coffee and ProPlus for the moment...

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