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[P]
Sleep Experiment: 42 hours a day.

By Farq Q. Fenderson in Culture
Sun Dec 24, 2000 at 11:11:17 PM EST
Tags: Science (all tags)
Science

I'm undertaking an experiment, a 42 hour day. The inspiration came to me while I was in highschool, when I read Chaos: Making a New Science by James Gleik. I distinctly remember reading about the sleep cycles of humans when they're deprived of light cycles and time pieces. If I recall correctly the subjects eventually stayed awake for approcimately 22 hours, and slept for approximately 20.

I'm assuming that what the body wants is healthier than what it gets by accepting the prompts of the earthly light cycle. So far, it's interesting.


First, there's something very interesting about a 42 hour day (aside from the obvious Douglas Adams reference.) You can fit four of them into a week, like this for example (in 24hr-time, since it's easier to calculate that way):

Day 1, wake at Monday 00:00
Day 1, sleep at Monday 22:00
Day 2, wake at Tuesday 16:00
Day 2, sleep at Wednesday 10:00
Day 3, wake at Thursday 12:00
Day 3, sleep at Friday 10:00
Day 4, wake at Saturday 0600
Day 4, sleep at Sunday 0400

It's slowly approaching 16:00 now on Sunday, (which shifts the days around a bit,) which is when I sleep next. I'll wake up Monday at 12:00, sleep Tuesday at 10:00 and wake up Wednesday at 06:00, which happens to be the day I go back to work. How convienient.

I've tried this once before, that time I found myself getting quite tired after 16 hours, and then having lots of energy a couple of hours later. My state of mind during the last few hours of the night was unique. I don't know exactly how to describe it, but it was very comfortable and I recall being able to relax quite easily. In the morning I was unbelievably well rested and refreshed.

So far this time around, I'd gotten even more tired after about 14 hours, and it lasted until the 19th or 20th hour. I'm ten minutes away from my last hour of the night right now, and my state of mind is quite similar to last time. I am however, a little more tired and my memory is worse, though I expect tomorrow I'll be better adjusted to the cycle. Overall, it's going well. I think my advanced coffee addiction is what's making me so tired this time.

Have any of you ever tried anything like this? Would you be willing to try anything like this? Have you any thoughts?

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Poll
I've experimented with sleep:
o Yeah 22%
o Nah 11%
o All the time 20%
o What is this sleep you speak of? 43%
o Farl-SI 3%

Votes: 95
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Chaos: Making a New Science
o Also by Farq Q. Fenderson


Display: Sort:
Sleep Experiment: 42 hours a day. | 39 comments (32 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
I've done this. (3.60 / 5) (#6)
by _cbj on Sun Dec 24, 2000 at 02:56:15 PM EST

Yeah, I've tried this kind of thing. Or that's what I said when people accused me of being a bum. Biggest problem was that even in a medium-sized city, there's bugger all open after 10pm. Can't even buy food. Heck, even the net dies off (Kuro5hin and my other favourites are most active during UK waking hours, damn contrary things). Nah, if you can manage to wake at 5am every day, that's when you get the best of it.

stuff open at night (2.33 / 3) (#19)
by Delirium on Mon Dec 25, 2000 at 12:11:27 AM EST

Hmm, here in Houston (TX, USA) that doesn't seem to be much of a problem...with the presence of a 24-hour drive-through window at the local Jack-in-the-Box (a fast food hamburger chain) being up at odd hours is no problem. There's also two (out of around five total) grocery stores within a 10-minute drive that are open 24 hours a day. =)

[ Parent ]
mealtimes? (4.00 / 5) (#8)
by h2odragon on Sun Dec 24, 2000 at 03:32:25 PM EST

I run a 24 up / 12 down "day" more often than I care to admit, I find that eating one really big meal somewhere about hour 6 to 10 helps. I might snack a little or I might not, depending on activity. That meal, well, I used to be two people when I was living in someone else's dinner budget.

The 20 hours of sleep you're proposing sounds like too much to me. On the other hand, if I go two weeks on extended days, I do tend to take a weekend to veg out just on principle and will sleep ~30 of those hours.

"what the body wants is healthier"; i like that. In things like sleep patterns especially I'd say there's far more individual variation than might be suspected. Don't be wedded to "42 hours" 'cuz that's what the book says. If you have the freedom to be on a freaky schedule, take the time to figure out what works for you. My 36 hour day, once I had the freedom to revert to it at need (no school) upped my productivity and generally "de-stressed" me beyond belief. I admit the process took a month or two of experimentation.

If you're not the type to just pass out whatever you're doing when you've pushed your limits too far, hallucinations are a reliable sign that it's time to get to bed, and sleep out. I have the rare gift of being able to destroy things which try to waken me before I'm ready, without actually waking up or having any memory of it, so for me it's not a problem. When playing with your schedule, if you're missing sleep it'll add up and bite you in the ass eventually, so toss your alarm clock.

One question (2.57 / 7) (#9)
by maketo on Sun Dec 24, 2000 at 03:48:50 PM EST

Aside from the fact that the world works on 24h day lengths, what would be the usefullness of this? You are going to end up all psyched up at the end.
agents, bugs, nanites....see the connection?
Careful! (3.71 / 7) (#10)
by Signal 11 on Sun Dec 24, 2000 at 04:14:08 PM EST

Be careful. The human mind needs a certain amount of uninterrupted (REM) sleep. If you deprive yourself of that too much over a period of time you will develop mental illness. If you go more than either 3 or 5 days (I forget which) without sleep, you are legally insane, IIRC.

Personally, my first indications of trouble start at around 16 hours without sleep - I lose my mental edge. Inability to concentrate, decreased metabolism (I feel cold), and slight difficulty talking. I start to go non-linear after about 20-24 hours without sleep. After about 40 I'm incoherent and much beyond that I experience mild hallucinations (primarily audio) and major paranoia.

So you might have gathered that I've conducted an experiment similar to yours - in one particular circumstance not by choice, so please... be careful and talk to a doctor before making this a daily routine.

There are many, many things you need to be aware of when adjusting your "biological clock", and everybody is unique. Please speak with a doctor, even if it's just over the phone... you'll save yourself alot of grief - it is no fun being a "walking dead guy".

Also - one last thing.. keep close tabs on your diet, vitamin B, IIRC, is critical to sleep. Without it you get insomnia - while you may think this is just what you want, believe me, it's not. You'll take a good 20-50% of your higher reasoning and kiss it goodbye...


--
Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.

really? (3.00 / 3) (#15)
by el_guapo on Sun Dec 24, 2000 at 06:10:33 PM EST

This topic is verrry interesting to me as I have the whackiest sleep schedule, erk, make that unmedicated sleep schedule, of anyone I (or my doctor) know. While I'm not entirely sure how long I'd stay up if I didn't intervene, the longest has been 5 days. And I didn't go insane (go ahead, jump all over that). The feeling was extreme weariness. In order to deflect the "have you seen doctors about this?", the answer is YES. All they did was manage to make me sleep walk when I did sleep. That took 2 years to wear off and I ain't going back. Anyways, back on toopic, I can function just fine after 3 or 5 days with no sleep, I just REALLY don't like to.
mas cerveza, por favor mirrors, manifestos, etc.
[ Parent ]
Info (4.00 / 1) (#22)
by Samurai Fly on Mon Dec 25, 2000 at 05:25:45 AM EST

55 hours is the amount of time needed to be awake to be declared legeally insane. At least that's the number I've heard tossed around most often.

[ Parent ]
Don't worry! (4.00 / 1) (#27)
by Farq Q. Fenderson on Mon Dec 25, 2000 at 02:45:40 PM EST

I've stayed awake for 24 hours in one shot many times before. I'm well aware of the consequences. Generally, the only hallucinations I'm prone to is thinking that I always mistake parking meters (which are somehow *always* around when I fail to sleep) in my peripheral vision for people.

Anyhow, I've done pulled much worse (approx. 50 hours when I couldn't decide which free flavour of *nix I wanted to play with for the first time) and I'm used to missing sleep once in a while. I'm also familiar with the effects of frequently missing a just a little sleep, which is *far* worse.

With this deal, I get 20 hours of sleep. That's an aweful (spelling is intentional) lot of REM when you work it out (the REM cycles keep getting longer...)

farq will not be coming back
[ Parent ]
Insanity (none / 0) (#32)
by zerth on Wed Dec 27, 2000 at 02:07:48 AM EST

> If you go more than either 3 or 5 days (I forget which) without sleep, you are legally
> insane, IIRC.

While people may /consider/ you insane to do such a thing, it's not true. Once, during a summer vacation in highschool, I spent about a week continously awake working on a project(really intense larval stage). True, I did hallucinate whenever I looked at anything black, but after a weekend of continuous sleep, I'm pretty sure I got better:}

Rusty isn't God here, he's the pope; our God is pedantry. -- Subtillus
[ Parent ]
Well, then.. whoops... (none / 0) (#39)
by coolvibe on Wed Aug 14, 2002 at 08:01:08 AM EST

I managed to stay awake once for 3 days plus when attending a demo scene party once. The Jolt and the food was keeping me awake. I only nodded off a few times, amazingly during Star Wars episode 1, which they showed on the big screen...

You wouldn't believe what kind of code I managed to produce. Hint: it was... well... interesting. :)

So... Are sceners certifiably insane? It would explain a lot though :P

(Yeah I know this is a post to an old story, but it was linked from a new one. Just trying to get more discussion going here)
--
Yet another community site: hackerheaven.org. Now in juicy Scoop flavour!
[ Parent ]

Scientific sleep experiments? (2.50 / 4) (#11)
by rikek on Sun Dec 24, 2000 at 04:19:53 PM EST

While I'm too skeptical to try out this plan (the lengthy sleep period and whole 42 hours seem a bit much), I'd like to see how long it can be kept going once the caffeine and (I'm assuming) digestion oddities get out of the way...
Does anybody know about any slightly more scientific sleep experimentation along these lines? I'd be interested to see a study involving "odd" sleep times (not just a lack of sleep but a real non-24hr-based schedule), with a look at brain activity and body chemistry.

One NASA study I recall. (4.00 / 1) (#26)
by claudius on Mon Dec 25, 2000 at 10:32:45 AM EST

I recall seeing coverage on the Discovery Channel of a NASA study on sleep cycles, but they were trying to find out the opposite: what schedule can subjects be placed on to allow them to function well for extended periods of time with a small amount of sleep (3 hours per day). Subjects were placed in rooms with the light levels carefully controlled, and they had monitors on their bodies to ensure they weren't sleeping "illegally." IIRC, the subjects who performed best were those who were on a "awake 3.5 hours, asleep 0.5 hours" schedule. Their performance in a battery of tests didn't degrade noticably, whereas those who slept 3 hours in one lump followed by 21 hours of being awake were wrecks after a few days.

[ Parent ]
You need daylight! (2.25 / 4) (#12)
by MeanGene on Sun Dec 24, 2000 at 04:21:22 PM EST

I remember reading of a similar experiment where volunteers had to live in a cave without any clocks or disturbances from their "handlers."

However, as you don't live under the ground, solar cycle is far more important to your well-being. It's widely known that long-term deprivation from natural light causes depression.

Personally, I can't even wake up before sunrise. :-)

Well known facts (3.00 / 2) (#25)
by PresJPolk on Mon Dec 25, 2000 at 09:22:10 AM EST

I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with you, but not all "well known" facts are necessarily true.

[ Parent ]
There is a problem. (3.75 / 4) (#13)
by theR on Sun Dec 24, 2000 at 04:21:33 PM EST

The problem with what you are doing is, will there be a time in the near future when we won't be exposed to light cycles or timepieces? To me, it doesn't matter how our bodies react when these two things are taken away because they will never be taken away in the wild, so to speak. The fact is that the majority of people will have exposure to both light cycles and time pieces unless actively doing something to avoid them.

The reason this is a problem is because people react in a completely different way when exposed to timepieces and especially light cycles. If I recall correctly, staying up when it's dark and sleeping when it is light has been proven to be less restful than the norm and I can definitely support that statement anecdotally.

My wife and I have both had schedules in the past where we were awake all night and slept in the day. The result was not nearly as good as being able to sleep at night. It took extra hours of sleep during the day to equal the restfulness of sleep at night and this was when we had both been on the schedule for quite a while.

One other thing. If you are trying to do what is most healthy then why are you trying so hard to put yourself on this specific schedule? It seems to me that you should listen to what your body is telling you. If you are sleepy then go to sleep. If you are not then stay awake. It seems that you are trying too hard to prove the merits of this sleep schedule rather than just see what works best for you.



Come to think of it... (3.50 / 2) (#17)
by Miniluv on Sun Dec 24, 2000 at 10:21:24 PM EST

How about if and when space travel becomes a reality? Ships heading out of the solar system on a course directly out from the Sun will be receiving no cyclic pattern of light and darkness. Also bear in mind the talk of colonizing various planets, Mars perhaps, which have different light and dark intervals than Earth. The research is valuable in that "practical" sense, and also because it's insight into the ways in which the mind and body work and interact.

"Its like someone opened my mouth and stuck a fistful of herbs in it." - Tamio Kageyama, Iron Chef 'Battle Eggplant'
[ Parent ]
Life Based On IIRC (4.60 / 10) (#14)
by SEWilco on Sun Dec 24, 2000 at 04:48:48 PM EST

So you're already living on the 42 hour day, but you did not confirm if your memory of a 22/20 hour cycle was correct?

I am aware of a number of isolation experiments, but I'm not aware of any single number of hours arising from them. Various studies have found that several body cycles have frequencies slightly different from 24 hours, but they get synchronized daily. The human brain detects bright light in the morning and uses that to trigger the "start of day" condition. This daily synchronization is what the body knows.

Some experiments put people in the dark, some put them in a constant illumination, some put them in light cycles different than 24 hours (plus or minus the daily variation of 3 minutes). If you're going to live according to a non-solar light cycle, you'll have to adjust the lighting around you to the cycle you'll be using.

Keep in mind that all brains needs sleep. A couple of years ago some researchers noted that sleep is absolutely necessary for all higher life forms -- although it would be of tremendous evolutionary advantage to not have to sleep, all animals do sleep. The basic physiological requirement is energy. Brains use more energy than the bloodstream can deliver. Sleep is necessary to recharge the brain's energy stores (apparently nutrient storage is a major function of glial cells, which are intermixed with neurons). The brain then begins malfunctioning when energy stores are exhausted. There are plenty of descriptions of hallucinations available under "sleep deprivation" (flickering motions at the edge of vision -- "bug hallucinations" is a common first symptom). The human brain definitely uses a lot of energy for normal function -- and it has been noticed for many years that younger people can stay awake longer than older people.

Corollary note... (3.00 / 1) (#16)
by Miniluv on Sun Dec 24, 2000 at 10:18:35 PM EST

Young people can stay awake longer, possibly due to more efficient circulatory system? Corollary to this is the fact that older people need less sleep. I suspect, but have yet to research into it, that this is due to the fact that brain cells die during life and thus there are less requiring this "recharge" period.

I will also note, speaking from personal experience, that light is not as closely tied to every sleep/wake cycle, as mine tends to defy the schedule, but not in a traditional third shift fashion. I work one afternoon, then the next evening through until 0600, then two more afternoons and have been doing so almost 5 months. My body adjusted and is attuned to this schedule quite definitely, as if I take a day off when I would normally work all night, I find myself tending to sleep until late afternoon and want to stay up all night to keep on schedule.

It'll be interesting to see in this experiment if the 22 hours awake is enough to begin inducing sleep deprivation psychosis though.

"Its like someone opened my mouth and stuck a fistful of herbs in it." - Tamio Kageyama, Iron Chef 'Battle Eggplant'
[ Parent ]

sleep cycles (3.50 / 4) (#18)
by Delirium on Mon Dec 25, 2000 at 12:08:04 AM EST

I've read some research on the subject, and the lenth of a "natural" sleep cycle differs from person-to-person. For some people somewhere around 24 hours is actually the natural sleep cycle, while a significant percentage have one closer to 35 or 40 hours. Obviously a few people fall in between and at extremes on other end, but the two main clusters of people, IIRC, are at around 25 and 35 hour cycles.

Personally, I find myself settling at around 25 or 26-hour days when allowed to wake and sleep relatively interrupted (holidays when there's no school). Every night go to bed an hour or two later, every day get up an hour or two later - this seems a lot more natural to me (easier to fall asleep, not tired when i wake up, etc.) than trying to stick to a 24-hour cycle (waking and sleeping around the same time each day). Obviously I'm still influenced by "normal" sleep cycles that most people have and things like sunlight so perhaps in a completely uninfluenced environment my cycles would be closer to 30 or even 35 hours.

Anyway, it poses an interesting question: evidence seems to indicate that the length of a day has been relatively constant at around 24 hours throughout human evolution, so why is it that a human's natural sleep cycle does not correspond to the day/night cycle?

Mosquitoes (none / 0) (#33)
by Farq Q. Fenderson on Wed Dec 27, 2000 at 07:40:39 AM EST

Anyway, it poses an interesting question: evidence seems to indicate that the length of a day has been relatively constant at around 24 hours throughout human evolution, so why is it that a human's natural sleep cycle does not correspond to the day/night cycle?
That's one thing that's been bugging me, actually, an I remember quite clearly that a full cycle for mosquitoes was about 23 hours. It's amazing that it's so close to 24 yet not quite. Add light cycles, and they're at 24 hours too. This just shows that it's not just humans that have a different "natural" cycle.

farq will not be coming back
[ Parent ]
Hallucinations? (4.00 / 2) (#20)
by Tr3534 on Mon Dec 25, 2000 at 03:13:11 AM EST

I keep hearing about people hallucinating, getting incoherent, loosing rational thought, etc. on this thread from sleep deprivation... I find this odd. on more then one occasion ive opted to see how long i could stay up and made it past the 3 day mark... Ive never had any of these things show up. What has happened, though, is that after I pass the second night and daylight shows again for the 2nd time, I feel strangly... relaxed. Not sleepy, but laid-back and rather well refreshed. The 4th night or so is when I can't take it anymore and usually wake up with 'f1', 'f2', and 'f3' across my forehead the next morning.

But hallucinations? Sounds like i'm missing out on something.


Sigmentation Fault: Post Dumped.
I do remember hallucinations once (4.00 / 1) (#29)
by Joshua on Tue Dec 26, 2000 at 12:04:16 PM EST

When I was rather young (around 15 I believe), I had a programming project to complete with a friend in a very short amount of time, and we had put it off for a rather long time. He showed up at my house that Saturday morning with around $50 worth of junk food and a huge (I mean huge) supply of Mountain Dew. We started coding that morning, and we continued to do so well into Monday night. Eventually, I was rather incoherent. I kept getting up and going into the living room to figure out where the Pink Floyd music was coming from, but alas, there was no music. I remember having to re-write code quite a few times, and we never did really get the project done, and the company we were writing it for went out of business. I was young, and learned some damn important lessons from that project, but the point of the story is, I went a long fucking time without sleep, and eventually, yes, I had very minor hallucinations.

Joshua

[ Parent ]

try driving (none / 0) (#31)
by cosmol on Wed Dec 27, 2000 at 01:23:55 AM EST

I've noticed hallucinations when I stayed up all night driving on a phish tour. (I was actually in the passenger seat, helping my buddy stay awake) We were drinking coffee and grapefruit juice and man I was definitely getting some wierd hallucinations. The road ahead would just kind of phase out and I would see colored streaks every now and then and objects on the road that weren't there. I mean they were minor hallucinations but they were still very noticeable. I was also noticing micro-sleeps where I would sleep for a few seconds and then snap out of it. Strangely all this just stopped at a certain point and I was completeley alert for the rest of the trip. It was strange...

[ Parent ]
My Experience... (2.50 / 2) (#21)
by digitalh2o on Mon Dec 25, 2000 at 03:21:48 AM EST

My experience has been that I am naturally on a 31-hour schedule. When I have the option, I sleep about 9 hours every "night" plus a short nap in the middle of the "day". However, after a long week I have slept 16 hours straight. I don't think it is possible to sleep 20 hours straight... after just 16, all my muscles were stiff and I was extremely hungry. In my natural schedule, I also eat four "meals". Everything said about "de-stressing" is correct for me too; when I am on my own schedule I am relaxed and more effective.

It seems to be different for every person, but the conditions that you set yourself in have an effect. I work most efficiently when it is really quiet (like now at 2am). I also sleep much better when it is dark and cool inside, unlike during the day. And finally, the unfortunate reality is that we have to deal with the outside world. Though there are services like GroceryWorks, we still have to be awake during "normal business hours" to deal with others (everything from answering the phone to shopping). Telecommuters might almost be able to get away with this, but they would be excessively isolated from the outside world. What am I going to do? Personally, I am going to move to mars with 30-hour days ;)

28 (?) Hour day (2.33 / 3) (#24)
by Dacta on Mon Dec 25, 2000 at 09:11:39 AM EST

The guy who used to run the .com.au domain registry (Robert Elz ?) used to go on a 28 hour day. He worked at a university, so it caused some interesting issues, especially trying to explain to people why they couldn't interview him at "normal" times.



Update (4.00 / 2) (#28)
by Farq Q. Fenderson on Mon Dec 25, 2000 at 02:55:58 PM EST

Okay, a little update here.

I did not manage to get to sleep on time, this was because I had to go to the hospital.... which had nothing to do with the fact that I'd been up for so long, so there! By the time I got home my memory was *better* than it usually is. I sang the entirity of the opening song to "Dirty Pair Flash" to myself, which I can never remember much of since I don't speak Japanese.

I'd eaten more that day (which lasted in total 26 hours) and slept longer the previous night (not just in anticipation, I was exhausted the day before) which I think is why I was able to become so awake later. This morning I woke up reasonably alert and happy. I've got a headache, but I blame that on the lack of coffee.

Those who mentioned I should simply sleep whenever I need to, well, since last night was buggered up, that's what I'm going to do. The experiemt ends on Wednesday when I have to work. I'll post another "update" comment later on.

farq will not be coming back
my optimal sleeping pattern. (2.50 / 4) (#30)
by steven on Tue Dec 26, 2000 at 11:20:23 PM EST

the sleeping pattern i have discovered to work well for me goes something like this:

  • 9am: wake up.

  • 2pm: go to sleep.

  • 5pm or 6pm: wake up again.

  • 3 or 4am: go to bed
  • i graze constantly when i am awake, but have periods of 'intense grazing' (meals?) at about 10am, 5pm, 2am. i work best between 11pm and when i next go to bed. this sleep system makes me feel more relaxed and better rested than my normal (while at school) 'sleep-10pm-to-7am' way of sleeping. some days i skip a bunch of sleep and stay awake for a very long time, but i don't need to catch up on this missed sleep later.

    all i need to do is find a highschool that works the same way i do... my teachers were getting pretty sick of me falling asleep in their 2pm classes, heh ;)

    20 Hrs of sleep seems like an awful lot (1.50 / 2) (#34)
    by abdera on Wed Dec 27, 2000 at 06:24:25 PM EST

    The longest I ever stayed up was about 5 days, although I did manage to find time for a few microsleeps that might have added up to 2 hours. After that I racked out for about 14 hours. Once I got some food and water I was running at about 80% functionality. I was back up to 100% after being awake for a few hours.

    Besides, 20/42 hours is damn near half of your day. That just seems ridiculous to me.

    #224 [deft-:deft@98A9C369.ipt.aol.com] at least i don't go on aol

    Life on a Submarine (3.80 / 5) (#35)
    by eskimo on Thu Dec 28, 2000 at 03:02:47 AM EST

    First of all, there is no daylight. They turn down the lights during the traditional midnight to 6am-ish time, but there is light in most places. Also, the O^2 levels are lower than the really, real world as a form of fire prevention. The other result is that it is easier to get exhausted. Berthing is dark almost all the time. So this is pretty close to clinical as far as the variables.

    Now, taken the number of personnel on a submarine, most watches are broken down into six hour segments. There are three watch sections, meaning you live on an 18 hour day. After a while, time becomes irrellevant except to take log readings, because from one day to the next, you stand a different watch. You are usually up 8-12 hours, sleep for 8-6.

    Knowing how the military works, I can't help but assume that this is a gentle balance between a manageable crew for a submarine and the absolute peak of efficiency for standing an alert watch. I slept very little before the Navy (around 4 hours a night), but I found this schedule very comforting. I don't live on an 18 hour day anymore, because nobody else does. Still, we were a pretty nifty anthill.

    I am my own home. - Banana Yoshimoto

    Not quite on that schedule.... (3.00 / 1) (#36)
    by bsmfh on Thu Dec 28, 2000 at 03:22:48 AM EST

    ...but I have found as I age, I am needing less sleep I'm forty now (gasp!) and work at home. I find myself staying up late (3 or 4AM) about 3 long days per week. I sometimes nap 3-4PM or 11PM-1AM, and then jump back in the chair with a Dew or a Ginkgo/Ginseng tea. I don't push it too hard, and when I need it, I sleep. I don't really do all-nighters, because my code breaks the next day. :-(
    I used to sleep a lot more, like 11PM-7AM every day, and more on the rare weekend without a camping trip or some adventure. I cannot imagine forcing myself to sleep more than 9 or 10 hours unless I was really hung over or really sick.
    "sleep deprivation experiments" is one of my favorite phrases, and it sums up life in general for me.

    'What the body wants' (4.00 / 2) (#37)
    by Paul Jimenez on Fri Dec 29, 2000 at 02:16:14 PM EST

    A note to those people who claim that 'what the body wants is healthier': While I agree this sounds reasonable, there's at least one counterexample: glucose - plain ol' sugar which most bodies seem to crave yet is far from being 'healthy'. My own hypothesis is that 'what the body wants is healthier'... 'when obtained in the ways that the body expected it to be obtained when it evolved'. in other words, when the human animal was evolving, there was no cola-spring full of Dr.Pepper nearby for the body to adapt to as a source of sugar/caffeine. (if there was, I think we wouldn't crave sugar near as much) instead there was fruit that had small amounts of natural sugars in it _and lots of other vitamins etc as well_ , so evolving a liking for sugar was an okay thing. What's this got to do with sleep? Well... I suspect the human body doesn't really know how to deal with large amounts of sleep all at once _because it was never available in a regular enough way to be adapted to_ while it was evolving. Like most I've toyed with my sleep patterns a bit over the years... currently I run on something like an 18/6 or 19/5 day. My preference in college was something like 20/10 or 22/8 - a 30 hour day (which equals 6 'days' per week, with 'morning' moving forward 4 hours each day, and a 're-sync' with normal time once a week). Another factor to consider is energy expenditure: Playing sports regularly will certainly increase the need for sleep - the brain isn't the only thing that needs downtime.

    sugar. Mmmmm. sweer sugar (none / 0) (#38)
    by squidinkcalligraphy on Thu Apr 18, 2002 at 09:27:14 AM EST

    the craving for sugar is an addiction. Try not eating any for a week and the craving will go away. Doesn't quite work that wy with sleep
    An identity card is better that no identity at all
    [ Parent ]
    Sleep Experiment: 42 hours a day. | 39 comments (32 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
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