Qs Of A Lifestyle Where Going To Bed/waking Diff Times & Little Sun Exposure

I'm a 28-year old professional poker player. My schedule is very chaotic to say the least. I base my decision to go to bed around when the poker games are good or not (they often are best at night leading into the early morning & since i do this for a living i play during those times bc i feel it is way more profitable to do so) So at times when a game is extremely good i'll play from say 10pm to 9am, sometimes games will dry up a little bit and i may quit at 5am, but basically i have a hard time leaving a game if i feel like i can make 2-3x what i would rate to on average if i continue to stay when game is great so often i will stretch out my bed times considerably as a result.

Given this lifestyle i often go to bed when the sun is up often, usually from 7am-11am and wake up around 4pm to 8pm. I've always had issues being able to fall asleep on command, especially when i have pressure to wake up the following day for something, especially when it means i'd have to be up earlier than i would had i had nothing planned otherwise. I'd say 20-40 days a year it takes me anywhere from 2 hours to 6 hours to fall asleep. I finally saw a sleep professional about this and he diagnosed me with PyschoPhysiological Insomnia and gave me a prescription for Zolpidem, 5mg. i've had that for prescription for about 8 months and have only taken like 6 pills, i try not to take them and often feel a little off the next day. I've always felt not anywhere near as fresh as i feel most do on simlar hours of sleep and always wondered why, when i get like 6 hours i really seem to feel really off and bothered by it all day whereas most get 6 every day and seem completely fine. Sometimes 8 doesn't even make me feel refreshed. I do work out and lift weigths often, prolly work out 4-5 days a week for 1.5-2 hours each time.



How much of my issues are related to my chaotic schedule/ not seeing sun etc? I realize my habits and lifestyle are problematic for sleeping yet i feel like perhaps those issues aren't as responsible and its more of a mental issue since most of my blowup nights happen when i have pressure to wake up the next day. Today is a good example, i stayed up til 830am playing in a great game, don't get to bed til 930am, and don't fall asleep til like 11 or so and had to wake up 3.5 hours later for Super Bowl. So now i'm sure since i'm not playing tonight bc i'm so tired i'll prolly sleep around 2-3am and imagine i'll sleep for like 10 hrs plus since i'm working off a deficit. Am i supposed to just wake up after 7-8 tonight, is it bad to catch up by sleeping more hours after a deficit. I've got so many questions regarding sleep and my lifestyle and its effects on my life and future. Sorry for the diatribe u all, thanks for the help.

Comments

  • M. ThomasM. Thomas A Stick of Butter a Day Keeps the Doctor Away.
    With such an erratic sleep schedule you better make sure you are eating as bp as possible. Definitely want to be supplementing with all the necessary vitamins as well. You might consider getting a lamp that generates a spectrum of light comparable to the sun and have this on around when you are awake. When you want to sleep turn this lamp off and do not look at a monitor or tv for at least an hour before sleeping time. Make sure the room you sleep in is blacked out and light tight as well. You might try supplementing with melatonin before bed as well for a short amount of time. Do not do this for extended periods of time though. 5-htp supplementation during waking hours is shown to improve sleep as well. I think your issues are solvable with strict bulletproof principles.



    You could also look into CES devices.
  • MaverickAzzMaverickAzz Powerful
    I guess it depends what you see as more profitable... playing at the right time or functioning at your highest potential? Even if you think playing at the right time nets you more money, how much of that would you be willing to spend in order to function at the highest level? If that is more than the difference between playing at the 'right' time and playing when is 'right' for your body, then you have your answer.

    I'd wager it's more profitable to function with your brain supercharged than at some arbitrary time... especially when you consider that poker players, the world over, keep a very similar night-functioning schedule. Makes me think that it's not the time-zone that's important. In fact, I'm not a gambling man, unless I think I can wrangle the odds in my favour - which is why I love playing poker - and I think on this wager, the odds are in my favour. Brain function beats time zone, hands down.

    No sorcery, just science. 

  • 'Aaron wrote:


    I guess it depends what you see as more profitable... playing at the right time or functioning at your highest potential? Even if you think playing at the right time nets you more money, how much of that would you be willing to spend in order to function at the highest level? If that is more than the difference between playing at the 'right' time and playing when is 'right' for your body, then you have your answer.

    I'd wager it's more profitable to function with your brain supercharged than at some arbitrary time... especially when you consider that poker players, the world over, keep a very similar night-functioning schedule. Makes me think that it's not the time-zone that's important. In fact, I'm not a gambling man, unless I think I can wrangle the odds in my favour - which is why I love playing poker - and I think on this wager, the odds are in my favour. Brain function beats time zone, hands down.






    I definitely hear what your saying and theoretically i can wrap my head around that opinion, i think to a lot of people in a lot of situations that advise would be spot on. However, i honestly feel like when i'm playing poker that my schedule doesn't really interfere with me playing my A game so to speak. In poker so much of making money and being as profitable as you can is about being in the right place at the right time, and generally during traditional hours you have a way higher concentration of regulars (who are more competent generally speaking) and there aren't as many fish or recreational players as you mite know them as.

    Late at night/early in the morning you have way less regulars & more impulsive & reckless people and the games also have less people at the table which plays into my favor because when there is a fish i get to isolate him way easier since i don't have so many people clogging up the table like in normal hours.

    Perhaps me thinking i'm playing near as optimal as i can and thinking the net advantage of keeping this chaotic schedule is a net positive comparative to a normal schedule at the cost it burdens me in other areas is ill-advised. Perhaps i'm like the highly skilled athlete or any professional person who is or is near the best at his craft yet eats a standard commerical grade diet and thinks eating a Paleo diet is unnecessary to be at their best. Perhaps he or she doesn't realize how much better he'd be with an even better diet.
  • MaverickAzzMaverickAzz Powerful
    You're talking to a poker player, mate... Hence the advice image/wink.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=';)' />

    No sorcery, just science. 

  • 'Aaron wrote:


    You're talking to a poker player, mate... Hence the advice image/wink.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=';)' />/>


    Your one who plays poker or one who derives all or most of his income from poker?



    You an online player?
  • MaverickAzzMaverickAzz Powerful
    I'm much better in person. For me, people skills trump everything else and to have them sharp beats some arbitrary time. But that's just me...

    No sorcery, just science. 

  • 'Aaron wrote:


    I'm much better in person. For me, people skills trump everything else and to have them sharp beats some arbitrary time. But that's just me...




    There's nothing arbitrary about the time, quite the opposite in fact, the only time i'm stretching out my schedule and playing longer hours/ delaying my bedtime further, is when the game is very very good. It would be very stupid to continue playing. I do keep an odd schedule, going to bed at like 7-10am mostly and rarely seeing the sun, but that sleep doctor on the pod said its not about when u go to bed but keeping same bed time that matters as far as optimizing your sleep.



    Of course only issue with this lifestyle is seeing sun is healthy, and of course i love doing things outside like golfing etc, i used to not go to bed this late its just stretched to that point lately, usually i'd go to bed at like 4-6am and i'd get to go outside and enjoy things. Mainly sucks for me bc i have issues turning my brain off somehow and falling asleep, once i fall asleep i'm fine, but when i lie in bed i'll catch myself thinking about things 2 weeks from now, even thinking about silly hypothetical things that don't even matter and i don't even know how it even entered my thoughts.

    I'm also a stomach sleeper and i'll roll around from side to side constantly. if i could see myself sleep i'd prolly be alarmed at how often i reposition, i'll never understand how people can just lie on there back, never move, and fall asleep. Nice life!
  • MaverickAzzMaverickAzz Powerful
    blue-blocker glasses, mate!

    No sorcery, just science. 

  • I know I'm late in responding, but it sounds like you could use an Emwave2 session before you sleep.  I want to get one but am a little short on funds at the moment.  I might try selling some crap on eBay to get one.  Also have you read The Mental Game?  You may not think you have problems with tilt at the table but a lot of what Jared Tendler talks about is really just stress management.  I haven't actually read the book yet but I've listened to his podcast and think it might be worth a look.


     


    Also as far as playing late in a good game and sacrificing peak performance in an OK game, you're profit is mostly going to come from bad loose players.  Even if there are regs that are bad but tight, it could take a long time to realize the profit, and with rake factored in it's even worse.  So do whatever you need to do to be able to play as many hands with as many bad loose players as possible within reason (you don't want to be falling asleep between hands or anything like that).  You don't even have to be at peak performance.  Most of my energy in these games is not spent on observation or game thinking, it's spent keeping the conversation going, teasing other players, flirting with female dealers, things like that (which is actually hard for me since I'm naturally introverted, I need to be on my game to do that).  I don't know if really makes the game more profitable, but it sure makes the game more enjoyable for all (btw if you're one of these automatons that don't say a word and sit there with you're earbuds and sunglasses, I hate you and you're bad for the game).


     


    As for as sleep deficits go catching up is just fine.  And personally I wouldn't touch sleep meds with a 10 foot pole.  Anything I've ever tried that has drowsiness as a side effect knocks me way off my game for 2 days.  And a lot of sleep meds don't get you to sleep any better, they just don't let you remember how hard it was to get to sleep.  I you had a normal bean counting type job were you could push through the day that be one thing, but as a poker player you're essentially risking you're entire stack with every hand you decide to play.  I would recommend researching the effects on memory that particular drug has.


     


    One more thing, black out curtains are great.  I installed them in my room, but I took it one step further.  I took some upholstery nails and nailed the curtains around the windows so that there are no gaps where light can seep through.  It may look ugly, but at least I can get some good sleep no matter what time it is (it's not pitch black during the day, but you definitely need to turn the light on to see anything).  Getting one of those wake-up lights sounds like a good idea, but it's not necessary for me.  I would just take a modafinil if I need to power through a sleep deficit then just sleep some more when I had the chance.


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