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Lack of sleep?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by UHS_Bound, May 2, 2001.

  1. UHS_Bound

    UHS_Bound Member 7+ Year Member

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    Apr 1, 2001
    Here
    As with many users on this forum, I will be starting school in the fall. But I have a big concern; I don't do well without sleep. Getting up in the mornings is fine. Just as soon as I hit the books at night, I go to sleep. I know time is going to be at a premium. So I know I will need the extra time at night to sleep.What do others do to combat the sleep problem?
     
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  3. ckent

    ckent Banned Banned

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    Jul 31, 2000
    Smallville/Metropolis
    I sleep in class. As long as I'm there physically I don't feel guilty about missing class.
     
  4. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

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    Caffeine and more of it but basically I am chronically tired.

    If you feel better in the morning, you might consider switching your studying to the morning hours before school starts. Get yourself up at least an hour early and do some reading then. If you are getting tired as soon as you start studying, you might consider whether the environment is making you more prone to being tired. I could never study in my room because the desk chair was uncomfortable so I would sit on my bed, which would become reclining on my bed, which would become lying on my bed....zzzzz
     
  5. drewdo

    drewdo Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Mar 16, 2001
    Kansas City, MO
    I tell ya what, Bound, I'm starting UHS too this fall and am worried about the sleep thing, but I, OTOH, usually don't get enough sleep. I stay up late and watch TLC or VH1 until I cock my head into the sheets and my glasses start pinching my temples. Then I get up four hours later and rely on 32 oz of java to get through a dreadfully boring cube job. In undergrad, I worked until midnight, studied until 3:00, worked again at 6:00 AM driving a school bus, then chugged coffee all day in school. I know the caffeine-induced REM rebound effect quite intimately. So my goal is to completely quit using caffeine and remove the TV from my bedroom. Learning and retention are best when sleep is adequate and uninterrupted by drug-induced sleep pattern deviations. BTW, I applaud the residents for petitioning OSHA to reduce their work hours. Good sleep is imperative for becoming a good doc - it just doesn't matter for a cube-job, though :p
     
  6. Starflyr

    Starflyr Manic Faerie 10+ Year Member

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    Apr 11, 2000
    Dickinson, Tx
    Keep in mind that I havent started yet either, but here's my plan to stay non-sleep deprived:

    1. Look out for #1: extra stuff is nice - spending time with friends, family, etc, but if you are over tired, you're just going to be cranky - so, if you need to sleep go to sleep and make it up a bit later when you're better rested

    2. Set a minimum number of hours to sleep each night - say 6 (or 8 in my case). During those hours, DO NOT STUDY even if you can't sleep - stay in bed and rest. I mean, face it - if you study every night til 3 am and get up at 6, you arent going to remember anything anyways.

    3. If for some reason (exams) you have to cram and pull and all nighter, make up for it asap.

    4. never underestimate the power of naps - even 20 minutes can make your day a LOT better

    Obviously, the 1st 2 wont work so well for M3 etc, but for the 1st 2 years they *should*. And maybe Im an idealist who's underestimating the amount of work there is in med school, but well, sleep is *important*.

    star
     
  7. Batory

    Batory Member 10+ Year Member

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    Feb 2, 2001
    KCMO
    Hey guys,

    I am also "UHS bound". Over the years I guess I have gotten to know my sleep/work cycle. I can't concentrate from 4-5pm, or after 11pm unless I am cramming. I guess I am counting on lunch and afternoon studying to keep me caught up while still getting enough sleep. I plan on doing as much as I can at school too, because I know I will slack off once I get home and want to replace studying with tv or sleep. I guess the best way to cope is make sure you take of eveything you need to (exercise, studying, food) on time so sleeping doesn't become the thing you have to give up.
    I agree that this might not leave enough time for how much we are supposed to be studying, but it's a LOOONG year and staying helathy is more imortant in the long run hour hovering over a cadaver.
    Can't wait to see you guys.
     
  8. kidterrific

    kidterrific Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Oct 12, 2000
    Detroit, MI
    How can anyone take naps? Everytime I take one, I end up sleeping for about four hours, and when I wake up, I'm so damn groggy I don't get ANYTHING done for the rest of the day. :confused:
     
  9. fireman2DOc

    fireman2DOc Junior Member

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    Apr 10, 2001
    Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
    You might want to mention your concerns to your family doctor. I had very similar concerns and my physician gave me some great advice. The advice, however, is individual and I would not want to point you in the wrong direction by telling you what worked for me. Your doc went through this, let them help you.
     
  10. Mikado

    Mikado Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Apr 2, 2001
    Tennessee
    Kidterrific you might want to consider using an alarm clock.
     
  11. Chucky Painkomo

    Chucky Painkomo Junior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Apr 26, 2001
    Hmmmm...that sounds familiar!!
     
  12. Wasabi

    Wasabi Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Feb 23, 2001
    Chicago, Illinois
    Eat wasabi. It should do the trick.
     
  13. Homunculus

    Homunculus SDN Caveman Administrator Moderator Physician 10+ Year Member

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    Jul 24, 2000
    I am about to finish my first year of medschool, and my philosophy was and is, if you are tired go to sleep. I had the same problem in undergrad with falling asleep as soon as I would begin to study. Now I generally take at least one hour nap every day, get roughly 7 hours of sleep at night and still am able to study about 6 hours a day. My advice is don't worry you will find what works best for you.
     
  14. adismo

    adismo covered in moon dust 10+ Year Member

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    Jan 11, 2000
    tent
    Studies on circadian rhythms show that we are most prone to sleep twice a day: around 4am and 4pm. Ergo, let nature have its course and you'll probably be more alert and able to stay up after the siesta. An hour nap sure helps, but for me sloth is eminent if i dont buzz up with some coffe for the afternoon studying. The way you study is also important. A discussion group is vital if you want to maximise your learning time (70% retention compared to 10% retention in reading). But no matter how you slice it, it comes down to digging deep and gritting it out. Good luck. :cool: :cool:
     
  15. ewagner

    ewagner Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    To the UHS'ers,
    In your first 2 years you will sleep just fine, it is totally up to you. If you want to go to a bar the night before class that is your choice. If you don't want to go to the first and second classes, that is also your choice...you certainly won't be the only ones. Since you guys will be part of the "new" curriculum, you will not get the enjoyment of test week at UHS which is the most sleep depriving time ever. That is until your internship year.
    3rd and 4th year will be variable with the time allowed for sleep, depending on hospital and rotation. ER was particularly tough, so was Surgery and Ortho. Good luck and don't sweat it till you get there...and don't expect to get any Ambien from me!
     
  16. muonwhiz

    muonwhiz Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Feb 6, 2001
    Homonuculus-- Tell us all how you mange to get so much sleep at night and study 6 hours per day! Do you skip classes, eating, laundry, exercise, partying, walking the dog or what?
     
  17. kidterrific

    kidterrific Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Oct 12, 2000
    Detroit, MI
    Oh - it's THAT SIMPLE! I never thought of using an alarm clock! I thought it was just there to remind me that there there are two twelve hour chunks in a day by blinking twelve constantly. Does it work? How did I manage to get by my whole life?

    :eek:
     
  18. electra

    electra SDN Moderator 7+ Year Member

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    Apr 20, 2001
    Michigan
    hi everybody,

    I worked full-time all the way through undergrad, and had to come up with some time-savers to be able to sleep.

    1. my best experience has been to not only carry, but use the datebook. List you exams/projects/papers a week ahead of time so that you don't get "surprised."

    2. If you cook, do so in bulk, so that you have stuff for lunches handy. pack your lunch at night so that you're ready to go in the morning.

    3. Take a book to the laundry with you, and read while you're waiting.

    Do silly things like maintain your living quarters during the week so that you don;t feel like you spend an entire day off just cleaning, but that you have some fun, too.

    Combine as many errands as possible. Buy stanps at the grocery, bank online, pay bills online, etc. It saves a ton of time driving around and parking.

    anyway, just some things that worked for me. Now if I could only get the cats to vacuumn while I'm gone. hhhhhhhhmmmmm

    electra :D
     
  19. Hskermdic

    Hskermdic Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Nov 17, 1998
    Kansas
    Electra,
    I think what you listed above are good suggestions. I think they are a minimum for surviving in medical school. Especially taking a book with you. You never know when you will have 10-15 minutes waiting somewhere when you could be studying.
    The other important thing is that if you make a decision that you are not going to take your books with you that day while you are waiting to see the doctor or do the laundry then make that decision and stick with it don't feel guilty. My theory is be as efficient as I can when devoting time to school so I can have more time for myself.
     
  20. DepressedNYCOMstudent

    DepressedNYCOMstudent Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Nov 29, 2000
    You won't be able to sleep in med school. When you have tons of stuff to memorize and exams coming to kill you you won't be able to sleep. Plus all your loan debt which keeps building up with interest every hour will keep you awake into your books. One good way to avoid sleep is to go study in school in the study room or some place where all your sleep deprived mestudents ares till studying at 1:00AM...You won't feel sleepy then. If you want to get through med school you will just have to force yourself to stay awake and study for a few years. And trust me you will get all those stressphilias...all those pimples, thinning hair, aging spots and ugly fat accumulation all over your bodies and black eyes along with everything. This is what you ask for when you decide to go to med school. If you are coming to med school to get normal 5 hours of sleep everyday then you won't last long in med school!!! The only time when you will get ten hours of sleep is after your last exam. Good Luck.
     
  21. kidterrific

    kidterrific Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Oct 12, 2000
    Detroit, MI
    That was about the scariest thing I have ever heard. Dooh!
     
  22. Starflyr

    Starflyr Manic Faerie 10+ Year Member

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    Apr 11, 2000
    Dickinson, Tx
    Does anybody else here have any sort of illness that makes not sleeping not a good option? For example, Im bipolar, and while I can stay up all night etc sometimes, if its a regular thing it thows me into an "episode" - Any suggestions about how to deal with that?

    Star
     
  23. kidterrific

    kidterrific Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Oct 12, 2000
    Detroit, MI
    Well, I think (hope) that most of the posts on this thread is mostly an exaggeration of sorts. Some people (and I know a few) can get their studying done and be in bed by midnight every night. I, for one, vowed a year ago that I would never pull an all nighter again, simply because I KNOW that I will not retain information when I do something like that. So now I try to seriously prepare waay in advance, and even try to get a firm grip on information before it's even presented. I know that it is sometimes impossible, but I think it can be done. ;)
     
  24. Hskermdic

    Hskermdic Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Nov 17, 1998
    Kansas
    Kidterrific and starflyer,
    It is not all as bad as Depressed said, at least not for me. I do have days where I get only 2-3 hours of sleep. (If I'm lucky) and then finals weeks are usually pretty rough sleep wise. Part of that is my "fault" I body and I like to stay up late at night studying, it just really stinks to have 7:30 am tests.
    Weeks that are heavy tests weeks or finals weeks do make it tough but not as bad as regual weeks when we have classes and tests all at once. I do not do all nighters and I don't know of anyone in my class that does. When I do pull a really late night I try to go home and take a nap or go to bed early that night and not repeat the pattern. I try to always get 5 hours of sleep a night. Sometimes more sometimes less.
    I really think if you are efficient with your time and your studying it can add to your sleep. I think being in Kirksville helps. No time in my day is dedicated to travel. I am to school in under 10 minutes, I can run over to the gym and workout during the day and only miss half of a class and the grocery store is minutes away. It is a real time saver.
     
  25. chypes

    chypes Caffine Addict 10+ Year Member

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    Aug 21, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    What is "caffeine-induced REM rebound effect"? Mentioned in previous post by drewdo. :cool:
     
  26. drewdo

    drewdo Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Mar 16, 2001
    Kansas City, MO
    From a Macalester college case study:
    "The rebound effect is quite simple: if you do not get enough of something you need, REM sleep in this case, when the chance arises, you will get more than you would normally get in a typical nights sleep so as to 'replenish' yourself with REM sleep. This whole rebound effect has been the cause of much speculation regarding the purpose of REM sleep and whether or not it produces something our bodies need, or destroys something that, in high levels, is bad for our health"

    In other words, if caffeine keeps you from getting enough sleep, you may actually immediately fall into REM sleep when you doze off. That's the way I understand it, anyway. Anybody else?
     

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