Yes, I've tried to resist the physical realities, trying to overcome them without much success.  The "hero" image of being so strong you can get by on less sleep and/or you have to power through tiredness and not be a wimp.

So, as Dr. Phil often says:  "So, how's that workin' for ya?"

Not well is the answer. 

So this is what I've found out and this is what I am now doing.

You cannot win in opposing the physical body's most significant functions, especially when they are highly related to proper survival and/or being at a high enough level to assure proper survival (and thinking and functioning).

The trick is to learn to harness these periods of high energy for productive purposes, and also to learn to wind down, relax, and replenish your energy during the “down” times.

There are two periods during each day's cycle (the circadian rhythm) where you need to rest.  One during the night for about 8 hours and one about 8 hours later (between about 1:30 - 3 p.m.) for 10-20 minutes.  Being tired during those times is irresistible, though you can persist through them - but at a cost - so only do that when there is an emergency or a specific reason you can't. 

If you don't honor the nightime-morning circadian rhythm, you'll have a body repair problem, where your immunity system will not be able to properly function and it will likely cause metabolic disorders (diabetes, insulin resistance, etc.), accompanied by weight gain and a feeling one needs to eat more.  And you'll not be able to have psychologically restabilized to finish off the prior day and to start the current day - you'll be emotionally less stable.  And if you don't, your state of consciousness will be impaired, your alertness will be significantly less and your productivity will plummet (though people swear otherwise, actual studies prove it does happen!) .

The power-nap can decrese stress and improve productivity by     (NASA used it with the astronauts and found it improved perforramance  by 34% and alertness by 54%.
         - More energy
         - Improve productivity by over 30%
         - Improve alertness by up to 100%
         - Reduce stress and the risk of heart disease by 34%
         - Better negotiation and communication
         - Reduce risk of accidents at work and on the road
         - Happiness and wellbeing
         - Proper weight

A number of studies have concluded that a short period of sleep during the day, a power-nap, does not have any measurable effect on normal circadian rhythms but can decrease stress and improve productivity
The basic idea is that every hour and a half or so you need to take a rest break - if you don't you may be well on your way to the Ultradian Stress Syndrome: you get tired and lose your mental focus, you tend to make mistakes, get irritable and have accidents - If you continue to ignore your need to take a break you can experience more and more stress until you actually get sick. Healing Response - Its that wonderful feeling of comfort and well being that you naturally have when you are tired but let yourself have the freedom to take well deserved rest.

60 minutes?
Blue light causes wakefulness and alertness and suppresses melatonin, hurting sleep.

Light resets the biological clock

Wake up time should include a great exposure to bright light, which will stop all melatonin production and set your clock for you to be alert and wakeful (not feeling tired).  Using a        light is the most effective and/or direct sunlight, such as a walk outside. 

Turn off blue light before sleeptime

Blue light will suppress (turn off) melatonin before bedtime...
Either turn off your computer and television for they generate sleep inhibiting blue light or use blue light screening goggles/glasses two hours before bedtime...
Uvex goggles if you don't need a "fitover" (over other glasses) or for a fitover Fitover With Driving Lens.
Discussion of blue light:  How artificial light is wrecking your sleep, and what to do about it.

Body cooling down sets sleep up

A hot bath preferably earlier than a 1/2 hour before bedtime will set up the cooling down phase, which instigates better sleep.

Sleep has been found to follow a cycle where we go through five stages or depths of sleep. These are measured by muscle tone, eye movement and the electrical activity of the brain. Brain waves are measured according to speed with the quickest being Alpha-rhythms followed by the slower Beta-rhythms and the slowest being Theta and Delta.
One sleep cycle (which includes all five depths of sleep) lasts around 90 minutes and is repeated 5-6 times each night. Stage one is the transition from wakefulness to sleep which may last around 5 minutes. Stage two is characterised by slower breathing and heart rates and will last for up to 30 minutes, after which we enter stages 3 and 4 which are the deepest levels of sleep. Stage 5 brings REM and the dream state. To benefit from a short nap it is important that we do not enter the deepest stages of sleep. We need to wake up before we enter stage 3, otherwise we are likely to find it difficult to wake up again. When people experience grogginess after napping it is probably because they have over slept. If they are chronically over tired, they may pass more quickly to stage 3 sleep which will make it difficult to wake up. The short nap is not a replacement for proper night-time sleep. Anyone suffering from chronic fatigue or difficulty in sleeping at night should consult their doctor. The ideal length of time is between ten and twenty minutes although even two or three minutes can be beneficial


Sleep:  Sleepmask, super dark room

yellow glasses

During the day, our hormones shift to provide us energy for our day time activities and to keep us more awake.  At night hormones change to facilitate slowing down, resting and sleeping. 

In the early morning, from about 5 am to 7 am, the brain signals the adrenal glands to release cortisol, which then releases our energy sources. (Needing coffee in the morning is an indciation that the adrenal glans are overworked (and underfunctioing, as they are not able to mobilize the fuel reserves needed.  

If you are stressed, your body tries to handle the need to deal with it by releasing more cortisol, which is the "wake-up" chemical.  The adrenals are sounding a constant alarm - a tug of war begins for the evening.  And you get poor sleep.  

biological rhythms within the body that dictate periods of tissue repair, tissue growth, waste elimination, and so forth. Body temperature, blood pressure, brain activity, hormone levels, and a host of other factors obey this rhythm,

Dr John McDougall says “The best sleep is on an empty stomach”

burning the midnight oil throws off your exquisitely calibrated biological clock

If you don't honor the circadian rhythms, you'll suffer:

Melatonin - Vital For Sleep, Rejuvenation, And Immunity

The Care Of Your Frontal Lobes - The Key To What Creates A Happy Life - Interesting to see how this improves emotional health and the ability to think.  It can, by itself, even cure depression and/or at least have a significant effect!  


The 20 Minute Break - Using The New Science Of Ultradian Rhythms, Ernest Lawrence Rossi, Ph.D.


Night Owls

Lighting Effects

Basic Understandings

Your Mechanical Brain/Body - Summary


What Einstein did

Einstein napped frequently during the day to help him think more clearly. He would sit in his favorite armchair with a pencil in his hand and purposefully doze off. He would wake when the pencil dropped, ensuring he did not enter a deep sleep from which it would be difficult to wake up.

Other health effects of a nap

Research (published 2007) by Harvard School of Public Health in the US and the University of Athens Medical School conducted over a 6 year period with 24,000 men and women have found that a short nap in the early afternoon can reduce the risk of heart disease by 34%.

Interesting article

Sleeping on the job (BBC News)

Video - Breaks

At Ted X - Breaks (17.44) - Notice how caffeine has a poor effect on performance!
(Dr. Mednick's site)