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Programming Science

Computer Programmers Only the 5th Most Sleep Deprived Profession 204

garthsundem writes "As described in the NY Times Economix blog, the mattress chain Sleepy's analyzed data from the National Health Interview Survey to find the ten most sleep deprived professions. In order, they are: Home Health Aides, Lawyer, Police Officers, Doctors/Paramedics, Tie: (Economists, Social Workers, Computer Programmers), Financial Analysts, Plant Operators (undefined, but we assume 'factory' and not 'Audrey II'), and Secretaries."
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Computer Programmers Only the 5th Most Sleep Deprived Profession

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  • 7h3m vs. 6h57m (Score:5, Informative)

    by Rene S. Hollan ( 1943 ) on Friday March 02, 2012 @01:46PM (#39222003)

    I don't think that three minutes really makes that much of a difference between first and fifth place, when it represents less than one percent of the mean of those two points.

    More surprising is that they think programmers get anywhere near 7 hours sleep a night: I average 5 Sunday to Friday, and 10 each on Friday and Saturday, for an average of 6h26m. In my youth, I got a LOT less (working 100 hour weeks was not unusual).

  • by b4dc0d3r ( 1268512 ) on Friday March 02, 2012 @02:52PM (#39222951)

    Hope this doesn't bruise your ego, but everyone's brain is basically a giant pattern recognition device. Not everyone is tuned in to sound, though. I hear white noise (HVAC usually) as a rock band playing. Probably the distorted guitars and drums fit a similar spectrum. I have "transcribed" a few tunes, and they largely lack structure but don't match anything I or my friends recognize. Since I don't pay attention to lyrics in music, the vocals are usually nonsense syllables I can't make out.

    An old episode of Radio Lab was investigating dreams, and one bit of info was that by having people play Tetris for a while before sleeping, they either thought about Tetris before sleeping, or reported dreaming about Tetris. The idea there was that it was part of the review/learning process.

    I contest that and think that instead, since you were just doing Tetris pattern recognition, your brain is still in that mode while getting random input from your visual system. The first stage of sleep frequently being confused with being awake, it's hard to say for certain whether these people were actually dreaming, or awake and recognizing patterns, or really much of anything.

    Mothers report being able to hear their child's cry in a crowded room - they are used to recognizing that pattern. Conclusion: stop listening to people, start listening to instrumental music, and you'll have a free radio in your head at all times.

If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith. -- Albert Einstein