This article recently caught my eye as sleep is an important subject, and not that often talked about. When writing programs/guides for my clients, I set a side about two pages covering the importance of sleep and how to get your best night’s sleep by following your circadian rhythm, preparing a few hours in advance, and setting up your bedroom for actually sleeping.
As for the article in question, it was written by Co-founder TC Luoma of T-Nation. And what caught my eye was not as much the words of ‘sleep’ and ‘naps,’ as the recklessness and stupidness of throwing ‘caffeine’ into the mix – one of the most abused poisons in modern society. Why this is idiotic should be self-explanatory, and we’ll get to that in a second. But first, let’s see what TC is on about.
TC starts off his piece of writing by questioning the old rule of needing 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night, or else you might be short charging yourself. Then he goes on and mention several examples of “celebrities” such as Obama, Trump, Martha Stewart, Elon Musk, and Winston Churchill – world stage actors who allegedly make it on 4 to 5 hours of sleep a day, according to their own “trustworthy” statements. Come on now TC, you must know that these ‘people’ are simply world stage puppets, playing their scripted roles, and thus lies about pretty much everything. And most of what they do, especially on social media, is done by a team of actors following the same script. Then, to be fair, TC actually questions some of the validity of these statements, but if so, why bring them up in the first place?
Still, TC does have a point that the amount of ‘required’ sleep varies between people. However, he fails to see and understand the obvious of why this is, and we’ll get to that too, in a bit.
Then he goes into “science” where they claim that there are some people who are “genetically” short sleepers. Now, ‘genetics’ is a pseudoscience that is on par with the extreme bullocks of virology. It’s complete theoretical model-based nonsense. No one has ever isolated or captured a ‘nucleotide’ or a ‘gene,’ much less a DNA-sequence. Genetics is a speculative theory put in place to uphold the cell theory, as we in truth, does not actually have a real model of a living working cell. See, the keyword here is theory. None of it has ever been proved. So, saying that genes would explain why some people only need 5 hours of sleep is as scientific as claiming that some people who always get to work early ride pink unicorns to avoid the morning traffic.
Well, this is the problem with 99.9% of all so-called experts and writers out there. They just accept what is written in books and literature without taking a minute to research how they came to that conclusion. Since my own recovery from tumors and organ failure in early 2018, that is the first thing I do with everything. I study the methodology, and when you do, you realize it’s all bullshit, it’s all theories and models. The deceit and lies run very, very deep.
With that said, I will not bore you any more with shitty methodologies of pseudoscience, let’s move on.
TC then gets into napping as a solution for those sleeping less and feeling tired. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with napping if you for some reason had a shitty night’s sleep. However, it should not be a common solution, because if it is, it means that your sleep habits are really bad. And that is your real problem, and that is the problem you need to address. It’s as simple as that.
As for napping, I do agree that the best strategy is 20 to 30 minutes to avoid entering REM sleep, as waking up during that phase can cause ‘sleep inertia.’ Sleep inertia is characterized by grogginess, disorientation, and drowsiness. It can almost be compared to a mild hangover, and it generally lasts between 15 and 60 minutes, but it could last for a couple of hours.
Then TC goes on and mentions an old ‘bio hack’ where you take caffeine just before your nap, as it takes 20 to 30 minutes for the poison to enter your system and start clearing out that adenosine in your brain. As sleeping and napping also clears out adenosine, you’ll get a double whammy and wake up really energized. Sure, that sound like a cool idea, and to be honest, that is what I did in my youth when all I could think about was performance and optimizing my time instead of thinking about my natural health and the long-term damage done by such idiotic practices.
So, sorry TC, once again your article is mostly bad advice and you also have a tendency to focus on the complete wrong things – quick fixes instead of fixing the problem – just like modern science and medicine. The solution should never be a band aid, the solution should always be to remedy the underlying problem. And the thing you are missing is that the number of hours is not important. What is important is the quality of sleep – as in how much deep sleep and sleep cycles you clock in during the hours you actually sleep. Quality always triumphs quantity.
For example, if I were to eat close to bed-time and/or sit in front of a screen with blue light until I go to bed, a night’s sleep of eight hours would feel like only five hours. I would get very little deep sleep and I would wake up a few times during the night, leaving me tired for the most of the day. However, if I for example turn down the lights and block all blue light from screens after 8 p.m., get into bed before 10 p.m., make sure I had my last meal at least 4 to 6 hours before bed, make sure my bedroom is completely dark and cold, my sleep quality would at least triple, if not more, and sleeping only 6 to 7 hours would be more than enough to keep me energized the whole day. I would feel better on less hours because the quality was higher.
So, no TC, your take-home point that most people need 7 to 8 hours while some with “mutations” only need 4 to 5 hours is complete bullocks.
Then he also claim that many people only need 6 to 7 hours, but science seem to ignore them. No, these are the people who get a normal amount of deep sleep, while those needing 8 hours or more get very poor sleep. And the outliers managing on less than 6 hours get a lot of quality deep sleep. These people simply know how to optimize their sleep quality.
And then he bullet-points caffeine and caffeine naps as cool hacks.
Well, simply the suggestion that you need coffee or any other source of caffeine or stimulants to pull you through your day should tell you that you have a sleep problem, and that is the problem you need to address. Of course, being tired during the day could also be because your nutritional habits are terrible, as in consuming a lot of carbohydrates or having more than three meals a day and/or snacking. But that’s another article entirely.
The bottom line is that if you feel that your sleep is lacking, you need to focus on improving sleep quality, not quantity.
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