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View Full Version : 60 Minutes - The Science of Sleep


Neill Smith
06-18-2008, 08:36 AM
I haven't watched this yet, but thought some of the folks here would be interested (work/family safe): http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/03/14/60minutes/main3939721.shtml

Mike ODonnell
06-19-2008, 07:57 PM
They believe they've trained themselves. "I think it's a convenient belief. For the millions of people who don't get enough sleep because their commute to work is too long, or they spend too many hours at work, or they just want this lifestyle of go, go, go, it's convenient to say, 'I've learned to live without sleep.'

so true....Someone once said there is NO such thing as time management and anyone who says that is fooling themselves...as you manage something you have limited resources of....and you have plenty of time...enough to go around for everyone....but people don't see it that way so everything needs to be now now now and we are celebrated for our efforts....or they just fill their life with too many excess and useless distractions....

I would bet if you force everyone's power to go out at 10pm....and make them only work 10am - 3pm for a work day....no working late....just go home relax and enjoy life....the amount of work and productivity actually increases. Always said companies should have 2 5-hr shifts instead of pushing everyone to work 10...and you have higher employee satisfaction and better productivity. But my crazy hair brained scheme never caught on.....

Joe Hart
06-19-2008, 08:07 PM
Look at many of the European countries...they take time off and have reasonable hours and it seems to work for them. I have a theory about the collective age of a society(or country). By comparison the US is pretty young and it seems that we are still getting comfortable with ourselves and have something to prove where European countries are quite older and seem to be happy with themselves and are relaxed. Its hard to explain without beer.

Timothy Holmes
06-19-2008, 11:38 PM
Hmm, not sure. Google encourage their employees to work long working days, and they are HUGE on ensuring productivity. They encourage healthy eating, I think they supply food, including lobster on Fridays... I think a head Google dude is writing a book about it...

Mike ODonnell
06-20-2008, 06:48 AM
Look at many of the European countries...they take time off and have reasonable hours and it seems to work for them. I have a theory about the collective age of a society(or country). By comparison the US is pretty young and it seems that we are still getting comfortable with ourselves and have something to prove where European countries are quite older and seem to be happy with themselves and are relaxed. Its hard to explain without beer.
Yes I agree the "get it done now, bigger, faster, better..." mentality is like the teenager who thinks they know everything....unlike the old wise man sitting in the chair relaxing saying "when will he ever learn". That and beer is important to most deep discussions.

Hmm, not sure. Google encourage their employees to work long working days, and they are HUGE on ensuring productivity. They encourage healthy eating, I think they supply food, including lobster on Fridays... I think a head Google dude is writing a book about it...

Aren't most people that work there under 25? I think young people can burn the candle at both ends but will get burned out in their 30s....I know I did. But to be fair I also believe they create an environment where you can get plenty of breaks...like go play ping pong for 30min...take a nap for an hour....etc.

Neal Winkler
06-20-2008, 07:36 AM
I would bet if you force everyone's power to go out at 10pm....and make them only work 10am - 3pm for a work day....no working late....just go home relax and enjoy life....the amount of work and productivity actually increases. Always said companies should have 2 5-hr shifts instead of pushing everyone to work 10...and you have higher employee satisfaction and better productivity. But my crazy hair brained scheme never caught on.....

Well, I don't think forcing people to live life the way you think life should be lived is ever a good idea. That's a very scary totalitarian thing to do.

Ultimately, since businesses are striving for profits, you wouldn't need laws to tell them to work people less if it actually improved productivity to do so. Now, assuming that as work hours decrease productivity increases, you have to differentiate between total productivity and per hour productivity. For example, if reducing hours from 40 to 35 increase per hour productivity by 2% that might lead to a overall decrease in productivity after you account for the lose of hours. But if reducing from 40 to 35 increased per hour productivity by 6%, that might be enough to offset the loss of hours. Insert any number that you like.

Of course, as we continue into the future and the marginal productivity of labor increases you'll be able to afford a greater lifestyle at lower wages, which could also have an impact on how many hours people work. For example, in the future you may be able to afford a nice house or apartment (at today's standards) with a 120' plasma TV, playstation 8, healthy organic food to your hearts content, and fly anywhere in the world for cheap so you can go on vacation anywhere. However, if you work 40 hours per week you have an even better house or apartment, a holographic TV, superfood pills that make you always have sub 10% body fat for men and sub 18% for women and live to be 120 with the functioning of a current day 50 year old, and a flying car so you don't have to take mass transit to your destination anywhere in the world. For many people, the first lifestyle is better than the one they have now but in the future you can afford it on a 20 hour per week part-time job. That will certainly factor into peoples decision making.

John Alston
06-20-2008, 07:42 AM
I think MOD was waxing about an expiremental hope, more than dreaming about a totalitarian impulse, but I don't want to speak for his Utopian dictator fantasies ;)
Someone was telling me about a business, darn, wish I could remember which one, where they have no hours. None.
Performance is still measured but you can work wherever you want, with some exceptions for certain meetings, etc., and the particular demands of your active projects.
Applicable to certain industries.

Mike ODonnell
06-20-2008, 08:47 AM
Well, I don't think forcing people to live life the way you think life should be lived is ever a good idea. That's a very scary totalitarian thing to do.

So what is the corporate environment doing by making people work 40 hours a week? Isn't that forcing people to stay around and be busy from 9-5 no matter what their productivity rates are? Does any real company give their employees the ability to work 20....25....32....14 hours a week as long as they produce the work expected of them or even just pay them for the time they "want" to work? Hence why I always liked outside sales (and now am my own boss).....if I can get my work done in 3 hours because I am more productive or work smarter...then I shouldn't have to work another 5 hours just to "be" working 8 hours a day from 9-5pm.

But....I digress....as this thread topic was about sleep.....wasn't it? The work longer attitude is depriving people of their sleep and health....that's for sure.

Neal Winkler
06-20-2008, 09:35 AM
Corporations don't force anyone to do anything because you work for them voluntarily. Force would mean they are making you do something by using or threatening violence to coerce the behavior. That's what I think of anyway when I think of force.

I have an idea. If you think this model of working is more productive, then why don't you expand your business to include more employees and entice them away from your competitors with the promise of allowing them to work only as much as they need to? Certainly you will have the edge over your competition because you would be able to entice the best workers away with such an offer.

It's this sort of trial and error process in the market place that improves everyones lives. Don't be mad at corporations just because they havn't had such an entrepreneurial insight just yet, use it to your advantage. In fact, as thanks for giving you such insightful advice, you can hire me on as your first employee. :)

I've read the 4 hour work week so I'm all about this. :) What do you say?

Oh, and to keep this thread on topic, if Mike hires me then I will deninately get more sleep, and thus more health and longevity.

Mike ODonnell
06-20-2008, 10:05 AM
Corporations don't force anyone to do anything because you work for them voluntarily. Force would mean they are making you do something by using or threatening violence to coerce the behavior. That's what I think of anyway when I think of force.

I think of force (it's not physical but more mental) as "well you work when we tell you to work or you are fired". Not many options there. There's no "Hey boss...I'm going to put in 20 hours this week and 30 the next...that ok with you?" Seeing how most businesses adopt the 40hr work week it's hard to not work 40 hours for anyone unless you are a temp...but then you have little to no job security (not that anyone working 40hr a week has that in this day and age anyways).

I have an idea. If you think this model of working is more productive, then why don't you expand your business to include more employees and entice them away from your competitors with the promise of allowing them to work only as much as they need to?

If I had the work to give out...I would...although I believe you call that contract labor...as they work for $/hr and only get paid for what they do. If I had a big company I'm sure I would play around with all sorts of ways to let people work good hours and make productivity high, make it fun and rewarding for all....but that's just me.

and yes.....I am all about the 4 hour workweek and a life of mini-retirements!

Neal Winkler
06-20-2008, 11:01 AM
Yes, but it's their business (property) not the employees. The owners are the ones that are taking the risk and stand to potentially lose everything if the venture fails. Working 40 hours for your pay is just a voluntary agreement between two consenting individuals. You know what you're getting into, and if someone doesn't like it then they can assume the risk of running their own business and try something different, or get a part time job somewhere.

What is it that you do anyway, Mike?

Mike ODonnell
06-20-2008, 07:22 PM
Yes, but it's their business (property) not the employees. The owners are the ones that are taking the risk and stand to potentially lose everything if the venture fails. Working 40 hours for your pay is just a voluntary agreement between two consenting individuals. You know what you're getting into, and if someone doesn't like it then they can assume the risk of running their own business and try something different, or get a part time job somewhere.

What is it that you do anyway, Mike?

Being an independent consultant/trainer and running my own business(s) for health and fitness services/business solutions after getting sick of the corporate lifestyle....I made my choice....but this thread is getting off topic about sleep disorders and health.

Allen Yeh
06-23-2008, 04:30 AM
That was a great video.