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Date Joined Dec 2000
Total Posts : 1
| Posted 12/30/2000 8:50 AM (GMT -4) |
|Dear Tom, |
I have not and have never had any problem with either getting to sleep or sleeping deeply. However, I have often tried to manage sleep periodicity and duration with a view to maximising waking energy levels and stamina, whilst minimising sleep need. I have had varying results and have yet to establish a perfect regime. Can you give any advice, or point me in the right direction, to help me make further progress?
::First read the book The Promise of Sleep by Wiliam Dement to learn why a good amount of sleep is necessary and why it cannot be effectively reduced.
I have done the same thing as you are trying several times in my life, but never had great success on a regular 24 hour per day schedule. My latest and fully successful approach is to make the week into 6 - 28 hours days instead of 7 - 24 hour days. These rotate 4 hours per day with respect to the day of the rest of the world. I orient them so that I can interface with the outside worlds fixed times as much as I need (not much) and I have modified my bedroom so that it can be fully darkened. I sleep a very solid 8 hours in every 28 giving me 48 hours per week or an average of just under 7 per day wrt the normal 24 hours. The 28 hours give me time to accomplish a lot every day and I also feel tired and ready for sleep by the end of it.::
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Date Joined Mar 2001
Total Posts : 91
| Posted 4/8/2001 2:55 PM (GMT -4) |
Could you say a little about why 28 hour cycles rather than 24?
::There is not really anything more to say than in the previous message. I have no evidence that it will make me healthier or live longer, or even as healthy. All that I know so far is that it appears to suit me better, makes me happier, allows me to get better sleeps and does not seem to be causing any health problems that I can determine. If I had better access to aging tests and the money to do them, then I should be monitoring all my biomarkers of again including full blood tests while I do this. OTOH, I have also changed a number of nutrition and psychological parameters (including getting married) during this 28 hour cycle time, so there is no real control with which to compare any changes.::
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Date Joined Mar 2001
Total Posts : 91
| Posted 4/10/2001 1:19 PM (GMT -4) |
|Tom - |
How did you come to the idea of a 28 hour cycle. I have heard in the past that our body is ideally suited to a 25 hour cycle (if I remember correctly), but forget the evidence for this.
::28 hours was the next largest number after 24 which divided evenly into 168 hours (the number in a week), giving six cycles per week instead of seven. In this manner, I am synchronized with the week, and my number of days per week is divisible by both 2 and 3 which makes every other day or every third day organization of various things much easier. Finally, I found that a 24 hour day was too short to feel and great sense of accomplishment, I was seldom tired enough at the end of it, and I had not trouble working for 19-29 hours straight and then sleeping for 8-9. ::
Also, is it not a problem to not synch with the natural light / dark cycle?
::Not if you use bright lights while you are awake and have a darkened bedroom.::
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Date Joined Jan 2001
Total Posts : 8
| Posted 4/11/2001 7:13 PM (GMT -4) |
|I recall some study in which people were living in a cave (or some similar environment) for a number of weeks. They naturally adopted a 28 hour day in their sleeping/waking cycle. It appears that our internal clock is slow and has to be resychronized by daylight to stick at 24 hours. In an age of artificial light that probably doesnt work so well.|
::Note: The comments below are from Kitty, who has been studying the subject of sleep while I look after other things. --Tom
William C. Dement MD PhD in his Book The Promise of Sleep presents the history of sleep research and describes the physiological changes which occur during sleep, which gives one a good understanding of this essential part of our lives.
Nathanial Kleitman was a neurophysiologist and and the first full-time sleep researcher starting in the 1920s. (He was in fact instrumental in Dr Dements choice of sleep as a career field beginning in 1952.) In the early 60s (the time is not specifically stated in the book) after a decade of describing 24-hour cycles in sleep and wakfulness, as well as other bodily activities, Kleitman chose to sudy a period of 21 hours and another of 28 hours. (These both fit well into 1 week of 168 hours.) He and a colleague spent a month far underground in the Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. While his colleague slept well and his temperature and body motility cycle appeared to adjust to the 28-hour cycle, Kleitman slept poorly with his rhythms apparently stuck in the 24-hour cycle. Kleitman concluded, based on his colleagues easy adaptiation, that there was no foundation for assuming a cosmic force determination for a 24-hour rhythm. The author notes, however, that if *both* subjects had been unable to adapt, Kleitman is likely to have concluded the opposite; but maybe it is fairer to say that the result would have been inconclusive. (Interestlingly, nothing is stated about the 21 hour cycle study by Kleitman or if he ever completed it.)
In the late 60s, scientsts at the Max Planck Institute in Germany succeeded in developing an artificial living space for isolation testing without environmental cues. Their human test subjects settled into an ad lib daily cycle close to 25 hours long. Ten years after touring that facility, a former student of Dr Dements, Dr Chuck Czeisler in 1987 proved that light has a biological effect on the circadian clock. The latter had noted much earlier during the tour that the isolation chamber was not truly *dark* since the desk and floor lights remained on during dark periods. With both animal and human studies he showed that as little as 180 lux (1 lux is the light of 1 candle) - slightly weaker than a 100 watt light bulb held 10 ft away - could reset the biological clock. In other words, he found that the light in the Max Planck Institute, intended to isolate subjects from natural light, did affect their biological clocks, making them stay up longer.
Since Kleitmans work, other studies have supported the view of a near 24-hour sleep cycle for the average human.
Dr. Dement contends that in the 100 years of electric lights we humans have not changed our biological needs that are a product of millions of years of genetic adaptation. He is concerned that some of us may be leaving behind essential aspects as we live in our artificial electric caves. Tom, however, rightly points out in our personal discussions that a single individual - ie., Kleitmans associate in the Mammoth Cave - able to adjust to a 28 hour schedule, means that adaptation is possible and a 24-hour day is not a hard-wired necessity.
I am still working on the last chapters of Dr. Dements book. I plan to make use of the sleep diary and his other recommended means for assessing sleep quality of our 28-hour day. When that is done we will report the results at http://morelife.org/personal. Even when our cycles are uninterrupted by out-of-phase appointments, I tend to be more sleepy than Tom. However we both make use of naps when fatigue hits us, darken our sleep area, brighten our work space, and try to avoid altering our schedule which typically leaves us refreshed after sleeping whether at night or during the day. **Kitty::
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