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who needs sleep?

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..might be a lounge topic, but since the cause of it is game design I´ll just put it here... So people, tell me, how do you keep your effectivity up during design work that carries on into the mornign hours? I´m sitting here the second time in a week, the sun is going up and I´m not really getting anythign done anymore... and don´t say caffeine, because that doesn´t really help anymore. Somehow being creative suffers most from lack of sleep.. writing bs I don´t mind, nor coloring lineart.. these you can do automatically... but putting together gds... So what do you do?

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At the risk of sounding like an idiot: sleep. Seriously. If you don''t have time to sleep, you need to change your priorities or your schedule or something. Most people (myself included) don''t get the sleep they need. I''m guessing that if we all were working at full mental capacity we would find a smart way to avoid having to work long hours.

Well, that''s me.

---------------------------------------------------
-SpittingTrashcan

You can''t have "civilization" without "civil".

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I usually work 24 hours, an then I sleep 12 or 14. Last saturday I slept 20 hours, I had like 84.2 dreams... I had to wake up cause my back hurt like hell. I never go to sleep at the same hour, and never wake up at the same hour, that helps me a little to avoid routine. I hate routine so much... Ah, smoking also help me to get concentrated, but I don''t recommend to smoke, it''s a disgusting habit (addiction).

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quote:
Original post by xaxa
...but I don''t recommend to smoke, it''s a disgusting habit...

As are your sleeping patterns.

Your brain needs sleep. You won''t get more work done (in the long run) by depriving yourself of it; you increase your productivity by eliminating time wasters like pointless chat, excessive gaming, aimless browsing... I''ve been working on returning to a normal sleeping schedule, with a powernap during the day, and it''s made a difference in my energy level and productivity already.

Now off to bed!

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yes uncle Oluseyi...

seriously, I know that sleep is good for you (I noticed that when I realised that not doing it had more ill effects on me than it used to), it´s just that sometimes (coinciding with phenomena known as deadlines) things happen that are not within your power to change... and then stuff still has to get done in time.

So yes, work delivered, I´ll go to bed now (and it´s not even noon yet!).

G´night all.

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I usually sleep most of the morning and do most of my work during late evenings, like 6pm - 10pm. Plenty of sleep there :-D and anyway I always work best when full of sugar and caffine. yeah I know its not healthy...

Warning: life.cpp (8): Satisfaction is defined but never used

- Ashley Oliver
Lead Programmer, Interplanitary Productions

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Guest Anonymous Poster
This is a serious one. For the past 12 years I''ve been doing the same, going on and off, sometimes working in a row for more than 48 hours. It has gotten me into the hospital last year, and while I was there one of my best colleagues and friend died of a heartattack at age 47. He was basically doing the same.
So the bottomline is: try to work during decent hours. Go to bed and wake up about the same time every day. People really need that. If you are young it seems like it doesn''t matter, but in the long run you will find yourself burnt out, tired and unproductive.

If you find you really have problems to do so, you might have yourself an addiction. Please take this seriously because I know about addiction, and I know as well computer programming CAN be a serious addiction. So if you feel this applies to you, don''t fool yourself and do something about it, even try to get help if that''s neccessary.

BTW Who wants to start a topic on the use of drugs by developers. I know there''s a lot done.

-Decided to stay anonymous

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Actually I´m surprised at the lack of answers to the question in my first post... and glad, seems that most of you have the basics down pretty well.
Unfortunately, sometimes things just HAVE to get done in time, this has nothing to do with addictive behavior (believe me, I LOVE to sleep).

And I don´t think discussing developer drugs would be a wise thing (I´ve even stopped using caffeine, so I´m clean as can be)

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Try short exercise bursts.

I''ve had to swear off caffiene as the result of a new diet. I keep some pushup bars handy, and do a few situps and squats as well. The circulation of blood can help stimulate ideas (for me, anyway).

I also pace. Moving about, even for a short walk, can be helpful.

Also, try chores. Your mind is probably going to want to wander if you do dishes or laundry. Other than that, like everyone else, I''d recommend sleep.

--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

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Haven''t you ever heard that one''s creativity is directly proportional to his free time? It''s common knowledge.

As a designer you need entertainment... practice some sport, spend some time in the wild/park, etc. Stay away from computers for some time. That should boost your creativity.

Richard Garriott took long holidays, traveling across the world, when he left OSI, and when he came back home he had a brand new game in mind already.

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During the year, with either work or school or both depending on your schedule, many of us don''t get as much time to do gamedev work as we do over the summer. So assuming you work from 6am-6pm counting hours for eating, watching tv, and other stuff thats important, here''s wat works for me:

Caffene/fruit/orange juice all does a good job for waking up in the morning. eat a good breakfast b/c if you can''t get through your day, then you''ll be too unable to think when it comes time to the gamedev work. so during the day, stay focused but don''t wear yourself down. after getting done, do some exercize for 5-20 minutes (crunches and situps seem to work later at nite. in the afternoon running seems to work best) to get heart moving and brain relaxed and sit down in a comfortable chair at your computer. go online and stop by gamedev til 7 and get your computerized brain in motion slowly. then open your projects and start doing them. close all other stuff and work just on it. also don''t listen to loud music because i found, like others, that musics makes its hard to think - especially for people that talk to themselves in order to think like me (haha i found myself talking as i typed that...and this). if you have stuff to do the next day, don''t push yourself past 11:30 because after that it makes it hard to wake up which slows down your progress the next day. one thing to keep in mind, everybody has to get in the zone before production actually starts to happen so keep that in mind when scheduling (3 hours of work will only about to 2 hours of good work usually). if you find it better to work on and off (one long day til 11:15, then a short day til 9:30, then a long day etc), go ahead because it''ll allow you to get your sleep. just whatever you do get anough sleep because although that night you will feel perky, the next day you''ll be drained. as a matter of fact i am going to bed now as there''s no more computer work to be done (only designs which can be done during the day). good night everybody.

---
Brent Gunning | My Site

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^ notice the large, open eye for my icon.

i cannot get to sleep easily - it takes me forever. i can be tired or wide awake, listen to music or not, read first or not, go to bed early or late, i just cannot get to sleep within a reasonable time. usually, 2-3 hours, giving a total of 5 hours of sleep or so per [week]night. i can manage okay, but it gets tough near the end of the week and i have to sleep a long time on the weekends...

any suggestions? im sure this is a detriment to my creative thought process, though i manage to stay rather lucid... for the most part.


-geo-
http://www.geocities.com/elementum_game

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I have the same problem. What works best for me?

1) Listen to my body. When the first waves of drowsiness hit its time to hit the sack. If I push it and stay up then I have insomnia that evening.

2) Relax. Really. When I lay down in my bed with the light off, I have to force myself not to obsess about the algorithm that if I can just solve one problem I will become rich and famous, and... Instead I just try to breath deeply, close my eyes, and really just let my mind wander. Invite sleep rather than laying down with your eyes closed waiting for it to come.

3) Get comfortable. Make sure you''re not too hot, cold, etc.

Anyway, these things work pretty well for me. If I don''t follow these guidlines it often takes me 2-3 hours to fall asleep. If I do these things I can usually fall asleep within an hour, which is better (altough not great I guess). Of course every little bit helps! Especially with sleep.

Another thing I''ve noticed is that the time I go to sleep is often as important or even more important than the amount of sleep I get. If I stay up well beyond the time at which I first become sleepy then I''m less alert and refreshed than if I go to be when my eyelids start to droop, even with the same number of hours of sleep, or even a little more. Eight good hours, going to bed at 9:30pm feels a lot better than ten hours going to bed at 3:00am!

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quote:
Original post by Hase
.....I´m sitting here the second time in a week, the sun is going up and I´m not really getting anythign done anymore... and don´t say caffeine, because that doesn´t really help anymore.

I call this the "hero trap". The dealine is approaching so you overwork in the hope of getting the work done. In fact by doing this you dramatically reduce your efficiency, make more mistakes and kill all creativity. The result is that you get less work done and so you end up being just as late, if not more so. But hey - you look like a hero to the people around you cos your putting in all those hours.

You say it yourself above. You are not getting anything done so the time you are spending "working" is wasted. If you "work" for six more hours and then sleep for eight you have spent fourteen hours producing little or nothing. If you sleep now for eight hours you will be productive for the next six hours and will have accomplished far more in the same fourteen hour time period.

Dan Marchant
Obscure Productions

[edited by - obscure on November 20, 2002 3:31:23 PM]

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@Obscure:

True, there is a laffer(kind of)-curve for productivity, at least in some areas. What I usually do is that I move the less brain-critical tasks to the back of the schedule. In addition to that, your formula doesn´t always hold true. Sometimes you have work to do in time frames which just don´t allow larger breaks, and while productivity does suffer when you tire it´s by far not as much as taking an eight-hour sleeping break. So, while you do slow down on the final run, it´s still better than doing nothing at all.
And don´t get me wrong, if it can be avoided it should be, but sometimes circumstances are outside of your control.

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two things...

thanks, bob the third! i have noticed that if i stay up past the first hint of drowsiness, i get something of a ''second wind'' and can''t sleep at all.

and i think hase is right: obscure''s comments are sometimes valid, but a little too strict. you CAN get work done in that period of time, and who says every second of your work requires creativity? theres plenty of menial work in this area to last a little while. and if you take the 8 hours when you suggest, then you will get a better 6 hours the next day... but that will be included in your next day; not helping you too much. the hero syndrome is a little underrated, in my opinion. say, the two nights before a deadline, you work late to finish. well, it may not be as good as if you had four days with sleep, but you didnt have four days, did you? but more than a day or two and theres really no point.

so i guess the overall rule is, get sleep unless you absolutely have to be awake.


-geo-
http://www.geocities.com/elementum_game

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I used to be an orchestral percussionist and I had to wrestle with these problems. When I was 18, I would practise in two four hour chunks a day. I had about five hours of other shit to do a day. I would spend the weekends doing three four hour chunks of practicing.

It wasn''t much of a life.

I decided to try and figure out whether this was effective or not, so I tried experimenting. Instead of working in larger chunks, I broke things down into smaller goals, worked in smaller units of time and took frequent breaks.

For me, that was a much more efficient system. I no longer stay up late and try and get too much done. If there''s a deadline I feel that I can''t reach, I force myself to sit down and make lists and milestones so I know exactly what I should be doing. In that schedule, I will schedule breaks of some sort. If I need extra energy, I agree with Wavinator. Try something physical. Don''t overexert yourself, but keeping active helps me keep my energy levels up.

It kind of sucks, but there''s something to say about the Protestant work ethic.

Dev

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"Sleep is for the Weak"

That is a quote from Leonardo Divinchi of course he was an insomniac but I only get 5-6 hours of sleep every day I go to work from 8am-5pm then stay up untill about 12 or 1am then wake up at 6am and on friday I stay up all night sleep about 2 hours on saturday usually around noon, then stay up all night again, and go to bed at 12am on sunday night. Ive been going like this for 1 year since Ive been in korea and it seems to work fine for me. I get alot of work done, when I first started I was tired all the time but not much anymore. I think if your body is used to alot of sleep then it depends on your sleeping a little more but if you deprive your body of it for a certain amount of time it gets used to working of little amounts of sleep or maybe Im just an insomniac. I get my best work done on those late nights that I stay up just listening to music and coding.

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quote:
Original post by beantas
If sleep isn''t an option, try a hot shower. I''ve come up with good ideas while scalding myself.


You shouldn''t take hot showers/baths regularly. Males can permanently damage their sperm count in doing so. Im serious.

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quote:
Original post by sark
You shouldn''t take hot showers/baths regularly. Males can permanently damage their sperm count in doing so. Im serious.


yeah, not to mention that special "manly" smell....


"sleep is for the dead"

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