back to article Most coders have sleep problems, need 'hygiene and care'

A study conducted among software engineers indicates that a high proportion of coders suffer from "severe insomnia" and that a majority have sleep problems of some sort, putting their mental health and "hygiene" at risk. According to the study authors, the primary reason for the sleeplessness of software engineers is that "job …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

I'm not a programmer,

but a friend of mine is. He spent a couple of years working on his own project. He very early on, totally reversed his sleep-cycle. He'd typically go to bed at around 8-ish in the morning, up again at 4 in the afternoon. Claimed to get more done that way, as he'd have less distractions at night.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Insomnia

I remember back in 1995 Insomnia by Faithless became an instant hit with all the programming teams.

1
0

I don't doubt their conclusions...

...but I don't see how having a nosy-assed "human resources" department get into my business about my sleep habits is supposed to *help*.

2
0

Yeah

They're just as bad themselves in many cases, kinda like how psychologists/psychiatrists are just as crazy as the people they are treating!

The problem with many HR reps, is that they don't know solid facts, and look at a paper. Case in point, when hiring....missing experience, etc.

0
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Troll

Can somebody put a safety gate across the stairs

little Lewis keeps wandering out of the nursery and trying to play with science.

3
2
Happy

Shoot the messenger?

> little Lewis keeps wandering out of the nursery and trying to play with science.

Now, now, we shouldn't be so cruel - he's just reporting what someone else concluded, seems like.

That said, it was nevertheless an amusing post :)

0
0

Night owl coding is so much more productive

I have always coded better at night and it's probably because I've suffered from insomnia for the best part of 20 years. Having my 9-5 job ruins everything.

Without a day time job my peak coding level is12 hours long (4pm to 4am). With my 9-5 job my peak coding level is only 4 hours long (9am and 1pm). I swear my body clock is operating in a completely different time-zone to the rest of me.

If I could come in late afternoon and work through the night my performance would be so much better. If only those jobs existed :-/

2
0

Aye

I fully agree with Michael C - programming is a job that it is nigh on impossible to wind down from, one is always thinking about the next problem and how to tackle it. Hence why I quit my Uni course and didnt go any further.

I do also agree that night coding is the best, when your mind is among nestled loops within loops within loops etc its good not to have any interuptions :)

0
0
Anonymous Coward

sloppy

might explain the sloppy code seen out there.

0
0
Coat

Correction to article

"Lifestyle management programmes which include sleep, hygiene, and care should be incorporated as a policy matter in the IT industry."

There, I added the missing commas. Now it reads correctly.

Mine's the smelly one with the coffee stains.

0
0
Headmaster

@AC

Actually it read correctly before you added the commas.

P.S. if you are writing a list the word before and shouldn't have a comma after it.

0
0
(Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

Re: @AC

As we are being pedantic...

The Oxford comma - the comma immediately before "and" is fairly standard U.S. usage - and it is not wrong in British usage, just uncommon.

1
1
Stop

Re: PS: unless you want to.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_comma

On the other hand, I think we can all agree that you should have put the word "and" in quotes and put a comma after the word "Actually".

Internet Rule 5: posts correcting grammar or spelling will almost inevitably feature worse mistakes

1
0
Anonymous Coward

<facepalm>

You've got the pedant hat on, not the troll one, so I'll risk the reply.

The joke is that before the recommendation was that programmers needed a program including:

* "sleep hygiene"

* "sleep care"

.. and that my "fix" was to suggest that programmers need a program including:

* "sleep"

* "hygiene"

* "care"

see, I make funny because programmers are uncaring, stinky, sleep-deprived people!

0
0
Unhappy

Correllate this with overwork

please....

0
0
Boffin

Guild of Coders

I can imagine a world where we allow for different peoples working styles and habits. Perhaps the coders would have a monastic-ish lifestyle, living in well kept grounds with 100MB broadband, games consoles, pizza and coffee available through the night.

There would even be secuirty tasked with filtering annoying disturbances. (in the form of last minute changes/counter productive pressure being applied by those who dont understand quite what a craft coding is. The ones who suspect that you're not doing anything really valulable because you need time to work a problem through without having endless meetings/appearing externally that you are doing something productive.)

The world would be more fun if we had some trust, freedom and a guild system. :)

3
0

Monastic?

You mean no sex?

0
0
Pirate

sleep

is for quitters. I sleep when I can no longer stay awake. Otherwise it's just a huge waste of time.

As my father used to say, "You can sleep when you die, boy. Right now you've got work to do."

0
0
Thumb Down

Yes.

Anecdotal (as this study doesn't seem to give any real empirical evidence), I have sleep problems. I agree that night is a good time to code. I don't know why. But the question I have therefore is am I a software developer because I find it easier to concentrate in the evenings/at night, or despite it? It seems to me this study didn't control for that at all. It also seems to me that waking up early in the morning is and always has been a jarring experience. My natural body clock runs from around 2am until 10am. It's always been like this (since I was 17/18 or so) and I've never found 10pm - 7am at all natural.

2
0
Badgers

Hygiene and care? Maybe.

Strong coffee and to be left the hell alone until $project is done? Yes.

Punching in at 9:00AM solely so that "management" can more easily interrupt me (usually to ask "is it done yet?")? No. Oh, no.

1
0
Go

So? What's Your Point?

So the stay up all night (and shun the daylight where most people are), they smell bad and they need some sort of care. Now that's a career the youth of the world are just screaming to get into. Wow, who'd a thunk it.

0
1
Silver badge

I don't think that it's so easy to generalise

In my experience, coders fall into several categories.

Those who code for the joy of it, code whenever they can. I know several who got up at 6am just so that they could get an hour or two on their pet project done before sauntering into work. Age plays a factor in terms of common sense. Those in their 20s went out drinking & socialising in the evening and burnt the candle at both ends. Eventually their health suffered and they looked like the walking dead. A wake-up call usually came in their early 30's.

Those who for whom coding is just a job tend, I have noticed, to work 9-to-5 and the overtime required to get projects finished. They also tended to look healthier. Those in their 20s usually moved into another field and those older who were/are good enough to get the job done within the time allotted.

The poor bastards in this study are in India. I suspect that Mysore is a sorry pun for the workers there. The image that comes to mind from this study are the people who built the pyramids. My experience with Indian coding companies dealing with outsourced work is that the coders there last about 6-9 months before they disappear. Now, it may be that they were moved to other projects, but I suspect not.

0
0
Thumb Down

Title here

I resigned from a company who off-shored all of the development work to India... They were treated appallingly, often having to stay for weeks at a time, sleeping in bunks at the office and away from their families.

Unsurprisingly, the suicide rate amongst these Indian developers was significantly increased.

0
0
Coffee/keyboard

Well ....

there's absolutely no problem herezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

0
0
Thumb Down

Coders aren't so special...

...I know its going to get me down thumbed to kingdom come but why do coders think that they are so special to work different hours to everyone else?

Its simply adapting to make fit, so for when I have coders working for me I created quiet zones and if they don't wnat to be contacted they can turn the phone off, BUT you should not be working nights.

I also find that reducing the amount of coffee and caffiene energy drinks, plus less late night stints of gaming improve productivity and in general improve codies lives by makign them happier at work.

Must say I am disappointed with El Reg for even drawing attention to such narrow "reasearch". It'll be on the BBC News front page before we know it. I do love how Angry Birds develper isn't getting great free advertising out of the Beeb, was on main Radio 1 "newsbeat" last night around 3 minutes free, and is now on the most looked at on the BBC News website.

1
0
Grenade

Cause and effect

To all those saying they work best in the evenings or late at night, I have a few questions.

- Maybe you're younger, but don't you have family and kids to be with in the evenings?

- How do you manage your clients if your sleeping when they're working and vice versa?

- No client facing work? How do you manage your boss? No boss? No idea how you make ends meet but I want a bit of that: no boss and no clients!

However I also wonder if this is all being looked at backwards. Why do coders like working late at night? Because they don't like being interrupted in their work. Lets say you start coding in your teens. When are you going to get least interruptions? That's right, when Mum and Dad are asleep - late at night. So whilst people do have different body clocks I also wonder how much of this is conditioning from an early age? I also find I can work more concentrated at night. But that's not how business works. Nor is it conducive to a happy family life or to life in our world in general. Most living in the world happens during the day. Why, because that's what nature wanted, otherwise we wouldn't have eyes that work best in the "daylight" portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.

0
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Anonymous Coward

30 Hour Days

When left to my own devices I usually end up moving to a 30 hour day, sleeping for 10-12 hours and awake for 18-20. But these days I have to be in work at 9am every week day and it's still a struggle every morning.

As for the study in the article, conditions in India are significally different from in the UK. We have part of our development team based in India, it's standard for them to stay in work until 7-8pm, and it's not uncommon for me to leave work before some of them (they are 4.5 hours ahead of UK time). This isn't through a company policy or slave driving managers, but it seems to me that it's just the culture in India to work long hours in order to show you are dedicated, and not wanted to be the first person to leave in case you're singled out as lazy.

0
0

Sleep deprived? Poor Hygeine? Questionable mental health?

Are they sure this research was focused on Dev and not Ops?

0
0

It's called job security

Coding without enough sleep ensures that the programmer will be busy the next day debugging and undoing the damage done today.

0
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018