View Full Version : No Sleep . . . Second Wind?
05-08-2001, 08:29 PM
Well, it's the end of the semester. Tomorrow is the last day of classes, followed by a week of finals. For better or worse, all but one of my professors has opted to ignore finals week and just have the final / term paper / whatever happen during the last class. At the moment, I've been up for 32 consecutive hours (better living through chemistry, eh?) and intend to stay up all night "reading" a book and then writing a critique. I'll hand it in at my 10:10 class, leave said class at 11:05, and be in bed by 11:15 AM (this will actually put me achingly close to the 48 hour mark, but I've got a poker game tomorrow night, so I needs my rest).
Anyway, at the moment I'm not at all tired, though I suppose that I am aware that I'd be out the moment my head hits the pillow, and I can feel the bags under my eyes drooping. Why do we (or, at least, I) get this "second wind" after so many hours without sleep? Does anyone know how this works? Thanks much.
05-08-2001, 09:11 PM
This is not the answer you are looking for but I always relate my second wind to gas powered weed eaters and lawn mowers. Seconds before the above mentioned devices run out of gas they become super-charged, the motor races, the blades whir... and then they die. After much thought, I have realized that this is probably the result of increased oxygen levels in the gas mixture. Perhaps your breathing becomes more efficient at 3:30 AM thus proving the "second wind" theory.
My logic cracks me up :)
05-09-2001, 07:59 AM
This might be a better question for GQ. I don't know why it happens, but I've experienced the same thing. Though after >24 hours without sleep, no matter how chipper I feel I know my performance is affected!
Good luck with finals!
05-09-2001, 08:45 AM
Twice a day your body "wakes up." Once in the morning, around the time you usually get up, and again in the evening. Clock-dependent alerting is stronger in the evening because it has to overcome more sleep debt, i.e., you've been awake for about 12 hours already.
I always found that after pulling an all-nighter I start feeling better around 6 or 7 a.m., and then by about 1:00 in the afternoon I want to crawl into a hole with my pillow and never come out again.
Why is it so much easier to stay up all night when you're a teenager or in your very early twenties? I used pull all-nighters regularly when I first went to college. Now I'm back in school (25) and there is just no way I could do it.
Oh, the information on clock-dependent alerting is a rough summary from a wonderful book The Promise of Sleep by a sleep researcher and psychiatrist with the fabulous name of Dr. Dement.
Good luck with finals! (me, too)
05-09-2001, 08:57 AM
BTW, the mind functions best with the right sleep. Get a lot of sleep before a test.
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