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My Personal Napping Study -- Results
Old 07-19-2008, 09:45 AM   #1
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My Personal Napping Study -- Results

I've often wondered whether I'll sleep better at night if I don't take a nap. Some books say yes, others say no.

So I did a little study. For a month I recorded my nap duration and other data, and made note of how well I slept that night. Here's the data sheet:

NapStudyData.jpg

Sleep quality is on a 0-10 scale. A 10 means I fell asleep quickly, didn't wake up during the night, and woke 8 or 9 hours later feeling wonderfully rested and refreshed. A 5 for example, could mean that I woke in the night and was awake for an hour, and/or woke up several hours early.

The key for exercise is: N=None, B=Bike, R=Run, S=Strength (weightlifting).

The alcohol refers to the number of glasses of beer (12 oz) or wine (4 oz).

The important discovery is that napping seems to make no difference to my sleep quality:

NapStudy1.jpg

The spread (e.g. standard deviation) of these numbers is pretty high, so I'm confident that there's no significant difference between the quality for the different groups.

I was surprised to discover, that my sleep quality seems to go in waves. That is, I'll sleep well for a number of nights in a row, and then sleep less well (ignore the nap duration in this graph).

NapStudy2.jpg

I've been too lazy to do any other analysis.

This is useful for me, since I can now be relatively confident that I can nap as much as I want without worrying that my nighttime sleeping quality will suffer.
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Old 07-19-2008, 10:01 AM   #2
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Wow! I think it is really cool that you have collected this much data. Were your naps on random days, or simply on days when you felt sleepy and decided to take a nap? I have often felt that a brief nap for a half hour or less during the evening (5:30 PM) news on TV, is some of the most refreshing sleep possible for me.

Your sleep quality "waves" are interesting.

Sometimes I seem to sleep better after not sleeping well for a few nights, simply because I am exhausted.
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Old 07-19-2008, 10:28 AM   #3
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Were your naps on random days, or simply on days when you felt sleepy and decided to take a nap?
The latter. It would have been more of an experiment rather than a study if I had, say flipped a coin to decide whether to nap or not, but I didn't want to do that.
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Old 07-19-2008, 11:18 AM   #4
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Old 07-19-2008, 11:53 AM   #5
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That's fascinating data, and I'm happy to know your conclusion. I've often measured things like this myself--and have amused many friends that anyone would go to such trouble.

I simply tell them: "What you donít measure, you don't treasure," which is a bit of management/accounting speak that is often true (e.g., useful for implementing a LBYM strategy, as one example related to this forum).

Thanks for sharing your research.
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Old 07-19-2008, 12:17 PM   #6
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Most concerned that you had 1/2 glasses of beer or wine on 14 of those days. One could conclude that you were splitting a glass w/ your wife, or that, more alarmingly, you were either wasting beer or wine (not very LBYM), saving and drinking flat beer or recanting your wine (blech). Perhaps you are so in touch with your self that you pour 1/2 glasses of wine and have a keg for 1/2 glasses of beer - kudos if so.
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Old 07-20-2008, 08:28 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by calmloki View Post
Most concerned that you had 1/2 glasses of beer or wine on 14 of those days. One could conclude that you were splitting a glass w/ your wife, or that, more alarmingly, you were either wasting beer or wine (not very LBYM), saving and drinking flat beer or recanting your wine (blech). Perhaps you are so in touch with your self that you pour 1/2 glasses of wine and have a keg for 1/2 glasses of beer - kudos if so.
Perhaps this was consumed before the 4:00 "Open" sign came on. (Then, I suppose, we must wonder about... Nah.)
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Old 07-20-2008, 09:04 AM   #8
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was this a double blind study?

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