Prime2000

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As an MS1, what would be a realistic amount of sleep per night to:

1) avoid long-term burnout
2) avoid constant daily fatigue
3) yet still excel in your coursework

In your experiences, is this even possible?

I'm trying to shoot for a solid 8 hours a night but am feeling that may be overly ambitious. Opinions?
 

penguin24

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I only feel like crap the next morning when I get <5 hrs/night. Otherwise, I'm fine.

It also depends what you're doing when awake. If you're getting 5hrs/night, but you spend 3 hrs/day surfing the net, what's the point.
 

fMRI

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As an MS1, what would be a realistic amount of sleep per night to:

1) avoid long-term burnout
2) avoid constant daily fatigue
3) yet still excel in your coursework

In your experiences, is this even possible?

I'm trying to shoot for a solid 8 hours a night but am feeling that may be overly ambitious. Opinions?

If you need 8 hours/night to be functioning well the next day, sleep 8 hours. Depriving people of sleep is a form of torture, and -despite what people claim- M1 isn't torture.

It is important that you get the balance right between studying, spare time, social contacts, working out, relaxing, sleeping,... There is no point sleeping an hour less and falling asleep during class :sleep:, thus you'll end up needing to study longer, have less time to sleep,... and you'll be living in a vicious circle. :scared:

When it comes to exams, surely there are nights when 5 hours or less need to suffice, but that's just the occasional night ever so often. :oops: Not sleeping is bad for memory consolidation, so try to avoid that. ;)
 
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Prime2000

Prime2000

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I only feel like crap the next morning when I get <5 hrs/night. Otherwise, I'm fine.

It also depends what you're doing when awake. If you're getting 5hrs/night, but you spend 3 hrs/day surfing the net, what's the point.
I hear ya. My plan is to maximize my awake hours with productive things, studying, working out, etc.....while keeping internet surfing/TV watching to a minimum. I just know that if I stay in a sleep-deprived state for weeks on end I will be totally useless by Nov., so I'm trying not to get to that point but still do extremely well in classes.
 

reisub

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I can't really answer your question because ... orientation is tomorrow... (yay...)

But, have you considered keeping track of your sleep so you'll know what you can and can't do with your sleep and still function?
 

synapse lapse

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You should have no problem getting 8 hours every day if you study consistently and don't go out every night. Of course, what good is sleep if you're not living your life :p just kidding, I am just addicted to the internet and xbox so I def. slept about an average of 6 hours/night over medschool.
 

nogolfinsnow

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I don't think I ever slept less than 7hrs M1 or M2, and most nights were 8. If you have good time management abilities than sleep really shouldn't be much of a problem.
 

dd128

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I'm not particularly good at studying without my beauty sleep. :p I generally got between 9 and 8 hours/night.
 

MSU2012

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8 hours a night is completly reasonable. I would maybe get around 6 hours of sleep the night before an exam just because of the early wake-up, but most other nights I got at least 8. Don't sacrifice sleep for a little bit more studying...it's a marathon, not a sprint.
 

umean2tellme

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Undergrad I got used to having 4 hours most nights and 6 others, so I guess I can function well enough at 5-6 hrs without falling asleep in class, provided the class isn't super boring. Knowing me I could get 12 hrs sleep but if the class is boring i'll just fall asleep some more lol.
 

bioteach

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It is not difficult at all to get 8-9 (even more if you want it) hours sleep in MSI.
 

Pinkertinkle

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As an MS1, what would be a realistic amount of sleep per night to:

1) avoid long-term burnout
2) avoid constant daily fatigue
3) yet still excel in your coursework

In your experiences, is this even possible?

I'm trying to shoot for a solid 8 hours a night but am feeling that may be overly ambitious. Opinions?
Nah, its ms1, sleep all u want.
 

TopSecret

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As an MS1, what would be a realistic amount of sleep per night to:

1) avoid long-term burnout
2) avoid constant daily fatigue
3) yet still excel in your coursework

In your experiences, is this even possible?

I'm trying to shoot for a solid 8 hours a night but am feeling that may be overly ambitious. Opinions?
8-9 hours, more on the weekends.
 

SoCuteMD

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My sleep didn't suffer one bit until 3rd year. I got 8 hours/night unless I chose to sleep less because I wanted to go out and have fun.
 

tacrum43

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Except perhaps during the week before finals, you should be able to get a full night's sleep every night during MS1 and MS2. I mean, classes don't usually start until 8 or 9am! That is so late compared to third year. You also get every weekend off, so you really shouldn't need to be sleep deprived at all during the first two years.
 

Jolie South

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Except perhaps during the week before finals, you should be able to get a full night's sleep every night during MS1 and MS2. I mean, classes don't usually start until 8 or 9am! That is so late compared to third year. You also get every weekend off, so you really shouldn't need to be sleep deprived at all during the first two years.
If you're efficient, that shouldn't even happen.
 

AK_MD2BE

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As a newly minted MS4 I Agree w/above and would like to pass on some advice to my younger colleagues.

In the first two years of medical school, there is no reason that you should not be able to sleep 8 hours/night, exercise 5-6 times per week, take Friday and Saturday night completely off and have a good life. The key for me...don't go to class.

3rd year is a totally different study b/c:
a. Grades REALLY matter. Therefore, if you are like me and many other students, you will work really hard when you are at the hospital and study really hard when you are at home.
b. You schedule is no longer your own.

Enjoy your first 2 years as much as possibe.
 
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Prime2000

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I rarely set my alarm as a MS1 for anything school-related except for exam days.
Seems most people that have replied get ample sleep. Without sounding rude, but what are your grades like? Are we talking P = MD? Or are some of you top of your class?
 

45408

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One night, I studied biochem until 3am the night before the test. I knew the material really well. I woke up, and I did not know the material very well at all. After that, I made sure to sleep at least 6 hours before an exam. There's no reason you can't sleep 8 hours a night for at least 95% of M1-M2.
 

45408

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Seems most people that have replied get ample sleep. Without sounding rude, but what are your grades like? Are we talking P = MD? Or are some of you top of your class?
You can be at the top of your class with 8 hours of sleep per night. If you studied a DEDICATED 8-10 hours a day, you'd be a rock star. I knew a guy who virtually never went to class as an M2, and he just stayed at home in a side room and studied from 7am to 5pm with a lunch break. He crushed the boards, made AOA, and matched into rad-onc (very competitive). If you're studying 20 hours a day, you're doing something HORRIBLY WRONG.
 

Perrotfish

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You can be at the top of your class with 8 hours of sleep per night. If you studied a DEDICATED 8-10 hours a day, you'd be a rock star. I knew a guy who virtually never went to class as an M2, and he just stayed at home in a side room and studied from 7am to 5pm with a lunch break. He crushed the boards, made AOA, and matched into rad-onc (very competitive). If you're studying 20 hours a day, you're doing something HORRIBLY WRONG.
Beware of snipers (hidden gunners). I'm not saing that a 7-5 schedule isn't enough to pass, or even to beat the class average, but I quickly realized that the majority of the AOA crowd that said they were only putting in 40 hr weeks were flat out lying.
 
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I usually sleep just fine. Before exams though I tend to find myself awake at odd hours. I have perfected the technique of falling asleep and then waking myself up within 2 hours or so to continue during the night and then falling asleep and waking up... I didn't think it would work, but I am pleasantly surprised...

So 7 to 8 hours (all I need, my body tends to wake up all by its self after 7 hours) during the week and >5 hours before exams.
 

nila123

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im about a week into M1 and i get around 6-8 hours. I can't usually stay up past 1 so I try to get everything done before then. its working so far, lets hope it continues to go well. :scared:
 

Jolie South

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Beware of snipers (hidden gunners). I'm not saing that a 7-5 schedule isn't enough to pass, or even to beat the class average, but I quickly realized that the majority of the AOA crowd that said they were only putting in 40 hr weeks were flat out lying.
It depends. If you're speeding everything up to 2x and are efficient, you could easily honor everything with a 7-5 schedule, IMO.

I do about the same, but I actually go to class from 8-12. Then, I study for about 6-7 hours a night. If I miss studying a class during the week, I'll study it on the weekend. I'm at least in the top quarter of my class.
 
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45408

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Beware of snipers (hidden gunners). I'm not saing that a 7-5 schedule isn't enough to pass, or even to beat the class average, but I quickly realized that the majority of the AOA crowd that said they were only putting in 40 hr weeks were flat out lying.
40 hours of ACTUAL studying is very different than 40 hours of "studying." I probably could have been AOA with 40 hours of actual studying. In the average non-exam week, I was probably at school for 5-8 hours a day, for a total of maybe 50 hours. Of that, I was probably doing focused studying about half that time.

Besides, the guy I knew also studied on weekends, which probably put him closer to 55 hours of studying. Either way, that's still less than a third of 168 hours in a week. There's a guy in my class who crushed the boards and made junior AOA, and even at his most furious, he was at school studying for boards for about 12-13 hours a day for above 5 weeks with half days on Sundays. That STILL leaves >11-12 hours per day to sleep/relax.
 

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MS1 - I would almost freak out anytime I scored less than 6 hours of sleep the night before even a typical day.

MS2 does some nasty stuff to your body's clock and your own expectations of sleep. I was able to function quite well on even 4 or 5 hours of sleep (i.e. put in a full day of studying/class after it). Par for the course was usually 6 hours a night for the typical weekday, with some 4's and 5's thrown in there 1-2x a week, and some occasional 3's. Some lucky 7's. Averaged 5-6 per night during exam weeks. Weekends included, probably slept 8+ hours a night a grand total of 5 times all of MS2 year (10 months).

I've sorta just stopped caring altogether about sleep.
 

sprinkibrio

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How about just sleeping when you're tired...??? I really don't remember being quite so paranoid and clueless as a first year. I probably was, huh? If you're not sleeping enough, exercising, and relaxing in med school you are really doing something wrong and probably won't make it through without developing HTN or a psychiatric disorder.
 

WolfPackSOM

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During MS1 you should be able to get anywhere from 6 to 12 hours of sleep per night depending on the night. If you're a crammer, the night before a test you'll get less, but in general there is ample time for rest during the first 2 years of medical school.
 

SoCuteMD

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Seems most people that have replied get ample sleep. Without sounding rude, but what are your grades like? Are we talking P = MD? Or are some of you top of your class?
Top of my class, top choice residency program in a moderately competitive specialty.
 

koopa_troopa

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I usually slept about 7-8 hours each night. For studying I went to all classes and spent about 2-3 hours each day studying (reviewing that day's classes and pre-reading). I wouldn't write stuff don't. I just re-read everything and try to understand it.
 

shadsupremacy

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How do you guys factor in the naps (e.g. afternoon) to your 8rs/night sleep?

Would you reduce the amount of sleep at night if you had a longer nap time? Do you have naps at all?

Just curious

I usually sleep around 7 hrs/night and make up for the missed two hours with a sweet nap in the afternoon. Works wonders for me.
 
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koopa_troopa

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I don't like to nap because when I wake up it takes me like an hour afterwards to get reoriented and to remember what I was supposed to do. :)
 
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i have to say the responses to this thread are such a relief! as someone who has never pulled an all-nighter to study and gets severe headaches on less than 5 hours of sleep, i've been really worried about starting med school! good to know it's not as bad (in terms of losing sleep) as many people make it out to be...
 

corbis11

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8 hours is easy as long as you don't get behind...which I've seen and I could only imagine how crappy it must be to play catch-up with the amount of material presented daily
 

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8 during pre-clinical years, and I still managed 7 during most all of the clerkship years (ob/gyn call notwithstanding). All H, all the time. Sleep = performance, at least for me...
 

ucsfstudents

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The first year -- only in retrospect -- is easier than the 2nd or 3rd year of medical school. So get the sleep you need now. You will learn to get by without sleep later on. Good luck and take care of yourself.
 

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You get enough if you don't let yourself get behind. Just don't tell yourself that you "can't function on X hours per night" because you end up with a focus on what you "can't do". Keep up and your sleep will take care of itself.
 

Dr. McDreamy

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You're job in med school is to learn and you don't learn efficiently unless you get adequate sleep. You should be able to get 8 hours of sleep a night easily. Wanna know the secret? STOP GOING TO CLASS! Seriously, it was the best advice anyone ever gave me in med school. Med school is about using your time effectively. You should be able to cover the material adequately by studying on your own for 6-8 hours a day....look at it as a job. Daydreaming while the professor mumbles about the Krebs cycle is not learning. Go home, read your textbook, pick up a few BRS's and learn what you need to. Med school is about learning how to learn a large amount of information in a small amount of time. It's very difficult to do this when you are tired. My rule was always if I felt too fatigued to really absorb the material...then I probably was and I should go to bed. I never once pulled an all-nighter in med school.
 

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As an MS1, what would be a realistic amount of sleep per night to:

1) avoid long-term burnout
2) avoid constant daily fatigue
3) yet still excel in your coursework

In your experiences, is this even possible?

I'm trying to shoot for a solid 8 hours a night but am feeling that may be overly ambitious. Opinions?
Your genetics may vary.
 

engineeredout

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Anyone else tend to wake up in the middle of the night just thinking about anatomy?

This only happened like once or twice in undergrad after a hardcore night of studying and lots of memorization, but since I'm putting in those kind of days every day its been happening a lot more frequently.

At first I thought I was just weird but then a lot of other people in my class were saying the same thing was happening to them.