Lack of sleep. How do I focus?

captainradio's picture
Rank: Baboon | 166

I've been doing it for a couple of years now, but this time it's really really bad.

I think the all nighters are catching up to me. I had a really vivid dream at 4 this morning when I managed to sleep for 2 hours.

It's like a really bad hangover. My head hurts, I feel like throwing up, and my vision is now framing.

The cocktail of Coffee, 5 hour energy and water that I've been drinking since 9 this morning is not helping. What do I do guys? I have to concentrate for at least another 5 hours.

Please excuse the rubbish grammar....

Comments (94)

Feb 3, 2012

Get up and go outside for a couple of minutes. Walk around and move your body to get your heart rate up. Walk to the GNC and buy vitamin B-12 in the highest dose you can find. Jog back to office, splash cold water on face, sit up straight.

Feb 3, 2012

i always just put on some good tunes. whatever gets you going

Feb 3, 2012

Breathing exercises, google it. I agree with the light jog suggest by UFO, it could get your blood flow going.

Ultimately, you need sleep or your body will physically crash.

Feb 3, 2012

Kick your own ass in the bathroom and ask to be excused?

Feb 3, 2012

Ice water. Low glycemic carbs (I suggest oatmeal). Exercise. I would lay off any more caffeine for now.

Eventually you will just need to sleep.

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Feb 3, 2012

Get some adderall bro

Feb 3, 2012

.

Feb 3, 2012

What I find for concentration and motivation when I haven't slept is piracetam and choline (buy the 500g tubs on amazon). Piracetam is one of the most studied nootropics on the market (increases communication between brain hemispheres, increases oxygen, memory and efficiency). I never believed the hype of brain supplements but this shit works I take 2:1 ratio of piracetam to choline. Way better than caffeine and adderall with zero side effects and crash. Also, throw in some siberian ginseng or any other adaptogen (rhodelia rosea) and the stress will be a lot easier to handle. The caffeine is what is really killing you.

Harvey Specter doesn't get cotton mouth.

Feb 3, 2012
ScoobyDoobie:

What I find for concentration and motivation when I haven't slept is piracetam and choline (buy the 500g tubs on amazon). Piracetam is one of the most studied nootropics on the market (increases communication between brain hemispheres, increases oxygen, memory and efficiency). I never believed the hype of brain supplements but this shit works I take 2:1 ratio of piracetam to choline. Way better than caffeine and adderall with zero side effects and crash. Also, throw in some siberian ginseng or any other adaptogen (rhodelia rosea) and the stress will be a lot easier to handle. The caffeine is what is really killing you.

I've tried piracetam (with Alpha GPC for choline) and it just hasn't worked for me. Apparently results vary a ton from person to person. Pretty cool you have seen good results. Maybe I need to mix up dosages or try a different -racetam (before they all get outlawed).

Feb 3, 2012

I feel strangely better once I threw up my Subway footlong. Ice water, bananas and cranberry juice seems to be working for now.

I'm leaving in a couple of hours and I intend to wake up only for the superbowl.

Thanks for your input, guys. Have a nice weekend.

Feb 3, 2012

^^^ You need to take massive amounts but I have seen results. Mostly in concentration and memory recall (it really stopped the wandering thoughts- so probably good for add). I take 6-9 grams of piracetam split into 3 doses. It is not an in your face adderall type effect but after a couple of weeks I was astonished at how quickly I could recall and retain info.

Harvey Specter doesn't get cotton mouth.

Feb 3, 2012
ScoobyDoobie:

^^^ You need to take massive amounts but I have seen results. Mostly in concentration and memory recall (it really stopped the wandering thoughts- so probably good for add). I take 6-9 grams of piracetam split into 3 doses. It is not an in your face adderall type effect but after a couple of weeks I was astonished at how quickly I could recall and retain info.

Are the results still as good if you were to take only choline?

Feb 3, 2012
MrJetSet:
ScoobyDoobie:

^^^ You need to take massive amounts but I have seen results. Mostly in concentration and memory recall (it really stopped the wandering thoughts- so probably good for add). I take 6-9 grams of piracetam split into 3 doses. It is not an in your face adderall type effect but after a couple of weeks I was astonished at how quickly I could recall and retain info.

Are the results still as good if you were to take only choline?

I don't really know (I have never tried them separately) but all peer reviewed studies have shown significant effects on memory retention when combined, but only slightly better on their own compared to placebo. Here is just one study, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7301036

Harvey Specter doesn't get cotton mouth.

Feb 3, 2012

quit your job and get one that doesn't hurt your vagina so much.

Feb 3, 2012

^^^ I don't know I saw good results, some people don't though. Asprin is more toxic than this stuff. Yeah it isn't sold otc in the US but there are literally 1,000's of peer reviewed studies on the stuff. The LD50 was never found out even if you ate 600grams in one sitting- virtually non toxic. Read this http://www.longecity.org/forum/topic/176-piracetam...

Harvey Specter doesn't get cotton mouth.

Feb 5, 2012

piracetam stopped working for me after several weeks. also gave me stomach aches
i took it with choline too
there's also much stronger racetams

then i tried adderall and never thought twice about using nootropics

Feb 5, 2012

i suggest laying off the fappuccino, if you know what i mean.

    • 1
Feb 5, 2012
probinganalyst:

i suggest laying off the fappuccino, if you know what i mean.

Perhaps that's a little too subtle.

    • 1
Feb 5, 2012
probinganalyst:

i suggest laying off the fappuccino, if you know what i mean.

too funny

Feb 5, 2012

1) Get as physically fit as possible

2) Try to find a chill group that is willing to let you work out during lunch (take an hour off at night)

3) Stay away from coffee/stimulants as long as possible, if possible.

Feb 5, 2012

Stay away from coffee? Care to explain?

Feb 5, 2012

Once you start on the coffee you eventually have to accept the post caffine crash, the longer you put more coffee on top of the crash to push it back the worse it'll be, it's a drug, treat it like one.

Feb 5, 2012
Oreos:

Once you start on the coffee you eventually have to accept the post caffine crash, the longer you put more coffee on top of the crash to push it back the worse it'll be, it's a drug, treat it like one.

My thoughts exactly. Coffee might be good for you in the short-term, but sucks in the long-term. You're going to have to quit at some point, so why put it off until it becomes absolutely unbearable? It wrecks your body, slowly saps your finances over the long term, and is generally better avoided if possible. The only real reason why I'd still consider drinking coffee would be the social benefits and overall taste... at which point I'd drink decaf.

If you 'think' you need anything... then you don't.

Feb 5, 2012
  1. Don't booze hard on the weekends or the weeknights especially. There will be those moments, even work related, where you will need to let loose and throw back a couple. However, you will be kicking yourself if you have a little too much "fun", come in the next day, get staffed, and find yourself screwed.
  2. Try and keep a workout regime. It is hard to do as an associate, but I would try and join a gym it there is not one in your building. If you can break off one to two nights a week around dinner for a half an hour, it will help big time. Then, try and get one good workout in on the weekend.
  3. Strategically use caffeine / 5-hour energy / etc.
  4. Don't be a wussy (not suggesting you were, but those who do only make it harder on themselves). Embrace the pain when it comes....
Feb 5, 2012

run away from this bullshit career path before it's too late, and pick a job that lets you go home no later than 8pm. problem solved.

Feb 5, 2012
djfiii:

run away from this bullshit career path before it's too late, and pick a job that lets you go home no later than 8pm. problem solved.

I need the money, badly. Have a shit ton of loans to pay off (over 150k)

Feb 5, 2012

you and everyone else coming out of a private school. you'll manage, and you don't need to work 100 hours a week to do it. I have never worked 100 hours in my life, and I could write a $150k check right now.

Feb 5, 2012
djfiii:

you and everyone else coming out of a private school. you'll manage, and you don't need to work 100 hours a week to do it. I have never worked 100 hours in my life, and I could write a $150k check right now.

well, good for you. but I don't have that option. I'm close to 30 yrs old, not some young college grad.

Feb 5, 2012
djfiii:

you and everyone else coming out of a private school. you'll manage, and you don't need to work 100 hours a week to do it. I have never worked 100 hours in my life, and I could write a $150k check right now.

DJ what do you do?

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

Feb 5, 2012
djfiii:

you and everyone else coming out of a private school. you'll manage, and you don't need to work 100 hours a week to do it. I have never worked 100 hours in my life, and I could write a $150k check right now.

yeah but will the check clear?

Feb 5, 2012
starscreamM:

I'll be starting my summer associate internship this summer. One of the things I hear all the time is how hard I'll be working and how little sleep I can expect.

Now, I normally get about 7 hrs of sleep a night. I simply get very sleepy around 12pm and cannot study at all at that point.

Are there any tips for me to prepare for a lot less sleep?

You would be surprised how your body adjusts and how hard you'd be willing run when someone is dangling a carrot in front of you. I remember my summer associate internship - it was tough but at the end of the day, it wasn't that bad. After a few days, your body gets used to nights of six hour sleep. Besides, there is a lot of adrenaline as well. To think that if you do well, you will get a $60,000 signing bonus and a covetted full-time offer - it is quite enticing. I knew that as long as I pushed a bit harder, I would get to completely let loose my second year of business shool...

Moreover - although there was one crazy week where I only slept about 25 hours, the summer is mostly fairly relaxed. They don't work you that hard and there are a lot of parties / extra-curricular activities that keep your energy levels high.

Feb 5, 2012
Vancouver Canucks 2011][quote=starscreamM:

IAfter a few days, your body gets used to nights of six hour sleep.

FYI, there's a lot worse out than there "six hours of sleep". "Six hours of sleep" is what I just got while up talking to friends and then waking up early to go run.

Feb 5, 2012
MistaBooks:

Wrecks your body?! Saps your finances?! Social benefits?! What the hell are you talking about man - A. Coffee is said to have benefits for men with regards to Colon Cancer, coffee ( w/o sugar) increases your metabolism. B. Sure if you drink a lattee from Starbucks everyday - buy a bag of coffe and make it yourself or just drink the coffe at the office C. Social benefits......really??.....

Com'on dude, yes you read a Mens Health article well done, coffee also raises your blood pressure, oh but it can increase short term memory, but also increases your heart rate, it's ok, it's a source of antioxidants. (I can read Mens Health too). We could go round in circles for ever.

Seriously though if you think coffee is a suitable way of boosting your metabolism you need to think harder.

Feb 5, 2012

Get a prescription for 30mg time released Adderal, covered by insurance of course.

Caffeine problem solved? Check.
Finances problem solved? Check.
Working at peak performance all day? Check.
Fat bank account? Check.
Long term health side-effects? TBD.

My name is Nicky, but you can call me Dre.

Feb 5, 2012

yes. we drew an arbitrary line of 10 years per car. we buy them new, knowing we'll keep them for at least 10 years. if we evaluate at 10 years and feel like the maintenance is too much, we'll scrap it and buy a new one. otherwise, we'll try for 11,12,13 or however long it goes.

In this case, it's a 2005 Rav4 that just passed 100,000 miles and we've never had a serious repair. We are religious about the maintenance schedule though, so we have no qualms spending the money on upkeep. It's pretty much oil change every 5k miles, rotate tires every 10k, get a cursory checkup every 15k, get the serious checkup every 30k. We also have a 2010 Infiniti, which was a bit of a splurge and I often find myself wishing I had just gone with another Toyota that was $30k cheaper, but whatever. It's a nice car, you only live once, and I'm pretty frugal in general so one extravagance isn't going to kill me.

Are you in Singapore btw? Based on your comment about $100k for a car, that's my guess. The wife and I almost moved there last year, but the project in question fell through at the last minute. We were far enough into planning that I had looked at cars and discovered that craziness.

Feb 5, 2012
djfiii:

yes. we drew an arbitrary line of 10 years per car. we buy them new, knowing we'll keep them for at least 10 years. if we evaluate at 10 years and feel like the maintenance is too much, we'll scrap it and buy a new one. otherwise, we'll try for 11,12,13 or however long it goes.

In this case, it's a 2005 Rav4 that just passed 100,000 miles and we've never had a serious repair. We are religious about the maintenance schedule though, so we have no qualms spending the money on upkeep. It's pretty much oil change every 5k miles, rotate tires every 10k, get a cursory checkup every 15k, get the serious checkup every 30k. We also have a 2010 Infiniti, which was a bit of a splurge and I often find myself wishing I had just gone with another Toyota that was $30k cheaper, but whatever. It's a nice car, you only live once, and I'm pretty frugal in general so one extravagance isn't going to kill me.

Are you in Singapore btw? Based on your comment about $100k for a car, that's my guess. The wife and I almost moved there last year, but the project in question fell through at the last minute. We were far enough into planning that I had looked at cars and discovered that craziness.

Asian people in general LOVE cars.

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

Feb 5, 2012
djfiii:

yes. we drew an arbitrary line of 10 years per car. we buy them new, knowing we'll keep them for at least 10 years. if we evaluate at 10 years and feel like the maintenance is too much, we'll scrap it and buy a new one. otherwise, we'll try for 11,12,13 or however long it goes.

In this case, it's a 2005 Rav4 that just passed 100,000 miles and we've never had a serious repair. We are religious about the maintenance schedule though, so we have no qualms spending the money on upkeep. It's pretty much oil change every 5k miles, rotate tires every 10k, get a cursory checkup every 15k, get the serious checkup every 30k. We also have a 2010 Infiniti, which was a bit of a splurge and I often find myself wishing I had just gone with another Toyota that was $30k cheaper, but whatever. It's a nice car, you only live once, and I'm pretty frugal in general so one extravagance isn't going to kill me.

Are you in Singapore btw? Based on your comment about $100k for a car, that's my guess. The wife and I almost moved there last year, but the project in question fell through at the last minute. We were far enough into planning that I had looked at cars and discovered that craziness.

Bing! We have a winner.

A new RAV4 runs a tab of approximately US$135k. For that much money I could get me a 911 Carrera in the US, and still have enough left over for a reasonably-priced four-door sedan.

Feb 5, 2012

allegedly

Feb 5, 2012

Not be a bitch.

Feb 5, 2012

try to wake up every morning at the same time...regardless of the time you go to bed. granted, this will not always be possible (particularly if you get back home at 4-5 am), but waking up at the same time helps instill some regularity in your sleeping pattern, which - at least for me - keeps me less tired the following day.

regardless of your approach, i wish you good luck man...it's a bitch of a summer. but one day you'll look back on the ridiculous and mindless demands and laugh it off. keeping a good sense of humor that cuts through all the bullshit is probably the most critical asset you can have to surviving the summer.

Feb 5, 2012

as a summer you feel like a badass pushing yourself to the edge of delirium in terms of tiredness because its only 10 weeks. after that its over

shit gets a lot tougher when there is no light at the end of the tunnel

Feb 5, 2012

I've been told drinking ice water helps when it's late... not sure I believe it though, can anyone weigh in?

Feb 5, 2012

Singapore is tiny, and public transport is great so you can easily get by without a car.

Feb 5, 2012

people use the metro which is super convenient and bear in mind that Singapore is so small that frankly you technically don't need a car at all...

Feb 5, 2012

It also doesn't hurt that Singapore is the wealthiest country on the planet.

Feb 5, 2012
PetEng:

It also doesn't hurt that Singapore is the wealthiest country on the planet.

I might be wrong, but thought Luxembourg was the wealthiest country in the world.

Feb 5, 2012

There are two really big-ticket items in Singapore which many families still spend on - a house, and a car. The vast majority (~80+%) of people here live in what are essentially housing projects, except without the drugs. Or guns. And with a very carefully-selected racial mix. No, I'm not shitting you here.

Each one of these apartments is, depending on the type, 800-2000 square feet in size, and costs in the region of about US$200-600k. What's that? You want a nice big suburban-type house, with a garage, four bedrooms and a garden? I hope you've got a few million and change.

People here are kind of obsessed with cars, too. They're a huge status symbol for many people here. Penis extensions, I guess? Can't see any other reason why a middle-class family would drop tens of thousands of dollars on a car.

Feb 5, 2012

Why the fuck are people talking about Singapore?

Feb 5, 2012
Oreos:

Why the fuck are people talking about Singapore?

Feb 5, 2012

Why are car prices so high in singapore? Taxes to get people to use public transportation?

Feb 5, 2012

Heh. Sidetracked by talk about car prices.

Well, back to the topic at hand... grapefruit juice + coffee was an old standby used by many Everquest players trying to stay up for all-nighters slaying dragons and such. Something about grapefruit juice helping your body absorb the caffeine, or something like that.

Feb 5, 2012

I just cannot function at my best when I dont get enough sleep. It is my number one priority. So, I think it is better to deal with other things than handle life with less hours of sleep.

Feb 5, 2012

Sew your balls back on.

Feb 5, 2012

Not sure if this is going to help but someone on here (I think it might have been ANT) suggested reading "The Four Hour Body" and it claims to have some way to get great sleep from less. Its sitting on my book shelf and hasn't been opened yet...I'll let you know if it works when I get to it

Feb 5, 2012
Pike:

Not sure if this is going to help but someone on here (I think it might have been ANT) suggested reading "The Four Hour Body" and it claims to have some way to get great sleep from less. Its sitting on my book shelf and hasn't been opened yet...I'll let you know if it works when I get to it

I can't remember the specifics, but the sleep method that is outlined in that book is essentially taking a ton of short naps throughout the day. Pretty impractical for anyone with an actual job.

Feb 5, 2012

The 4 hour work week is actually a good read. I never bothered with the follow up to that, which is the 4 hour body, but I'd be curious to know if it's any good.

Feb 5, 2012

Power naps on the toilet! In all seriousness, I think part of what got me through my analyst days was cutting back on drinking and junk food. Can't take the body for granted. From a cursory glance, 4 hour body is full of pseudo-scientific hacks. If you want a good foundational nutritional read, try Primal Blueprint. I agree with the guys who mention keeping a workout routine--doesn't have to even be at the gym. Install a pull-up bar at home, do pushups, tris on a chair. Do it intensely. Do it 1-2 times a weak at peak intensity. I think it's part of keeping a balance, you're gonna have to deal with less sleep on some level, so compensate in other areas.

Feb 5, 2012

Ya that is a fucking joke. Even if you tried to sell it to your employer as a way to be able to work around the clock, they would tell you to fuck off. Aside from the fact that it isn't practical in a corporate setting, the rest of society is set to a pretty unified sleep schedule so why be awake when everyone else is sleeping? Besides, what in the hell are you supposed to watch on TV at 3 a.m. when you have nothing else to do?

Feb 5, 2012
Rupert Pupkin:

Besides, what in the hell are you supposed to watch on TV at 3 a.m. when you have nothing else to do?

Wut.

People that do this sleep pattern or require it are most probably not the types that need to watch TV at 3am. And btw, who the hell watches TV anymore anyway? Certainly not well-paid financiers posting on a WS forum, thats for sure.

Feb 5, 2012
Rupert Pupkin:

Ya that is a fucking joke. Even if you tried to sell it to your employer as a way to be able to work around the clock, they would tell you to fuck off. Aside from the fact that it isn't practical in a corporate setting, the rest of society is set to a pretty unified sleep schedule so why be awake when everyone else is sleeping? Besides, what in the hell are you supposed to watch on TV at 3 a.m. when you have nothing else to do?

Agreed. The "hacks" peddled in books like these make me shake my head.

Feb 5, 2012

You know what they say...sleep is the cousin of death. Like someone earlier said, embrace the pain. Pain is only temporary and at the end of your stint, you will have a tiger fist pump moment...I'm sure it'll be one for the ages, too.

Good luck

Feb 5, 2012

There is this episode on Seinfeld where Kramer learns how to sleep for 20 mins only every 3 hours. Trying to copy Da Vinci.
It's called the Friar's Club.

Feb 5, 2012

Tempted to try this Uberman shit just to see if it works.

Currently: future psychiatrist (med school =P)
Previously: investor relations (top consulting firm), M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM)

Feb 5, 2012

Some people recommended being as physically fit as possible. Can someone explain why a fit person would need less sleep than a fat person? Never heard that one before

Feb 5, 2012
WannabeBanker740:

Some people recommended being as physically fit as possible. Can someone explain why a fit person would need less sleep than a fat person? Never heard that one before

Wow. I'm gunna take a punt and say you're not too smart.

Feb 5, 2012

I'm just going to ignore you because when someone asks a f*cking question that they are curious about, they shouldn't have to deal with your comments.

Feb 5, 2012

If you ask stupid questions and you will get stupid answers. And if you wannabe a banker, you'll have to grow some thicker skin.

Feb 5, 2012

There are proven, long term, negative side effects taking adderall. Not specifically adderall but other amphetamines cause psychosis after being taken over a long enough period.

I take adderall but only when I need it and only in moderation.

Feb 5, 2012

1) Stay the fuck away from coffee, I still havent had any in banking and doing just fine. Coffeine at the end of the day is a drug and once you start in banking stopping is near impossible.

2) Use the weekends to rest, I barely go out nowadays cause I feel to fucked if I dont rest on the weekends

3) try to work out and eat reasonably healthy

4) its just an internship, you'll be fine, I did 2 130 hour weeks during mine and felt less fucked than after 100 hour week in full time

or

Just dont go into banking, especially not as an associate. once your in there as an associate you are pretty stuck and banking is really really shit. of all high skills jobs (so excluding waiter, toilet cleaning etc.) its one of the shittiest gigs you can get yourself into.

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Feb 5, 2012

I'm going to give this a 2/10 still no Blumie.

Feb 5, 2012

????

If you ain't gettin money dat mean you done somethin wrong.

" If you have built castles in the
air , your work need not be lost;
that is where they should be .
Now put the foundations under
them." - Henry David Thoreau

Feb 5, 2012

monster energy, you'll be hitting the walls.

Feb 5, 2012

I shotgun a coke zero when I wake up and then snort a line of crushed up vivarin.

Feb 5, 2012

Coffee biatch. Mornings aren't for pussies, man up little boyy.

"Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a Champion" - Muhammad Ali

Feb 5, 2012

Greentea.

Feb 5, 2012

Black tea. Healthy and it will wake you up.

Feb 5, 2012
Comment

If you ain't gettin money dat mean you done somethin wrong.

" If you have built castles in the
air , your work need not be lost;
that is where they should be .
Now put the foundations under
them." - Henry David Thoreau

Feb 5, 2012
Comment
Feb 5, 2012
Comment

If you ain't gettin money dat mean you done somethin wrong.

" If you have built castles in the
air , your work need not be lost;
that is where they should be .
Now put the foundations under
them." - Henry David Thoreau

Feb 5, 2012
Feb 5, 2012
Comment

If you ain't gettin money dat mean you done somethin wrong.

" If you have built castles in the
air , your work need not be lost;
that is where they should be .
Now put the foundations under
them." - Henry David Thoreau