28-Hour Day

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How long till I go "stark raving mad?"

Less than one day
3
3%
One day - One week
42
48%
More than one week
43
49%
 
Total votes: 88

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28-Hour Day

Postby To_Boldly_Split » Fri Dec 14, 2007 6:32 am UTC

http://xkcd.com/320/

Despite the small print, I am going to attempt this sleep schedule. I am on Winter Break for another month, and frankly have nothing better to do.

It seems very efficient, and I like me some efficiency.

Wish me luck! I start my journey tonight, or rather this morning, at 2:00 am.

Oh, and I plan on reporting my progress, or lack thereof, in this thread.

Day 3: December 17th

I am very unhappy to inform you all that the experiment is a failure.

Or rather, that I am a failure at conducting the experiment. It was all going well, I was feeling fine and adhering to the schedule. But on Sunday morning, when I was due to go to bed (10:00 am), I couldn't. I was exhausted, but I simply couldn't sleep. Nearly an hour later, I managed to "sleep." I awoke at the scheduled time and was just as tired as I had been when I went to sleep seven hours previous. I proceeded to pass out for an additional eight hours, except the sun was done by then, and I managed to get some much needed rest. I got up around midnight and read the first 350 Questionable Content comics until I decided to come clean with my failure here at on the xkcd fora.

I'm not exactly sure what happened. Maybe biological factors interfered with my ability to get truly restful sleep. Or maybe I went in over-confident, expecting to function just fine, but too soon the bad sleep caught up with me.

I guess it would be pretty accurate to say that it took me three days to go stark raving mad. Although I didn't actually go insane, I'm sure I would have if I forced myself to continue with the schedule.

If I learned one thing from this experiment is that something as simple as planning when I go to bed, and when I wake up and sticking to those times, I will end up getting more done. A little general scheduling will go a long way. I've gotten a lot done in the past three days. I wouldn't discourage other people from attempting this schedule, just be warned through the experience I had with it.
Day 2: December 16th

Sorry I am updating so late in the day. I got pretty busy, and just am just now winding down. It's actually not all that late in the day for me, but for the rest of the world, "4:32 am" still has its usual implications.

I have about five and a half hours to go until I go to bed. I'm feeling pretty tired, to be honest. I'm not sure if it's the mental strain I've suffered today (writing multiple drafts of the same damn essay) or if the schedule is catching up with me already.

An interesting thing to point out would be that before I went to bed "last night," (t was actually early morning) I was very much into an art project I was doing, so I stayed up an extra hour to complete it. To compensate, I slept in an extra hour as well. So today, I am only being awake for 19 hours, though I was up for 21 the day before. I'll be officially back on track when I go to bed tonight (this morning) and wake up tomorrow (in the afternoon).

Feel free to ask questions and whatnot, about what it's like. If I don't know what you're all curious about, I don't know what else to say!

But for now, a question: What do you all think of naps? I mean, a lot of people will take naps in the afternoon on a 24 hour day schedule and still be able to go to sleep at night and get well rested. Would it have a negative effect on the experiment if I took naps during my day?

Day 1: December 14th

I woke up this morning at 10:00 am after eight hours of sleep. I was pretty tired when I went to bed that morning, but to my surprise I woke up after only three hours, around 5:30 am. I stayed up for about twenty minutes, until I fell back asleep.

I feel fully rested. Waking up this morning was a bit of a chore, but I'd attribute that to normally sleeping ten hours instead of eight. But now that I'm showered and fed, I feel fine.

In fact, I'm sitting here with a cup of hot apple cider in my hand ready to get a head-start on todays work, about six hours worth. The only thing I'm worried about, though, is using the rest of my time effectively. I might get tired five entire hours before bedtime simply through boredom!

I'll update again tomorrow morning, unless something significant relating to my sleep cycle happens. See you then!
Last edited by To_Boldly_Split on Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:51 pm UTC, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: 28-Hour Day

Postby thisisdavid » Fri Dec 14, 2007 6:37 am UTC

create a poll where people guess how long it will take for you to go batshit insane
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Re: 28-Hour Day

Postby Fossa » Fri Dec 14, 2007 6:37 am UTC

Heh, I envy the regularity of this schedule. Day classes + nigh job = extremely random hour day.

In all seriousness though, if you pay careful attention to when your day changes vs when the normal world's days change you should be alright. Last time I tried a schedule like this it worked fine except that at one point I got something like three days ahead.

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Re: 28-Hour Day

Postby Kineticka » Fri Dec 14, 2007 6:41 am UTC

Good luck! I'm looking forward to seeing the outcomes of this.

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Re: 28-Hour Day

Postby To_Boldly_Split » Fri Dec 14, 2007 6:48 am UTC

My solution to losing track of time is the default calender application for Mac OS X.

The calender is in 24 hour days, of course, so I will be able to safely navigate the week in real time... I hope.
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Re: 28-Hour Day

Postby rxninja » Fri Dec 14, 2007 6:56 am UTC

Behaviorally speaking, it might work. Biologically, you're screwed. Regardless of your will to do otherwise, or your obedience of such, your body does work in a 24 hour cycle (24 hours and 20 minutes, regulated and reset to 24 hours by environmental cues like sunlight, physical activity, and so on), as can be observed by regular changes to your heart rate, body temperature, and your natural propensity for sleep. My guess is that you might get to sleep at the right times, but you may not get the restful sleep you're looking for or you'll find it hard to actively stay on track for the routine. Good luck, though, as I'm always interested in the outcome of sleep experiments.
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Re: 28-Hour Day

Postby Hit3k » Fri Dec 14, 2007 6:56 am UTC

I'll give you one week before you go absolutely stark raving mad and go on a killing spree because "They're listening"
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Re: 28-Hour Day

Postby To_Boldly_Split » Fri Dec 14, 2007 7:07 am UTC

Without taking into consideration factors such as obscene curiosity, the main reason I am attempting this is because my sleep cycle is pretty messed up as it is.

This experiment is in no way scientific, other than I will be recording my progress. A few factors impede the scientific method.

For example, sleep disorders run in my family, although I have not been diagnosed, nor observed for such a diagnosis. I function already at an "unhealthy" sleep cycle: I sleep during the daytime and stay up all night (a result perhaps of nicotine cravings. I started staying up when I stopped smoking).

I have no idea if these factors will help or hinder my progress, but regardless, I am pretty excited to see how this will turn out.
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Re: 28-Hour Day

Postby b.i.o » Fri Dec 14, 2007 7:43 am UTC

I'll give you more than one week, but not that much more. I can get away with not sleeping well for about a week and then it starts to catch up with me, and that seems to hold at least somewhat for other people.

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Re: 28-Hour Day

Postby zingmaster » Fri Dec 14, 2007 8:10 am UTC

I say a week. Whee!
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Re: 28-Hour Day

Postby tiny » Fri Dec 14, 2007 10:47 am UTC

I didn't sleep right my whole life. Took me 21 years do develop depression.
But since you're kicking the normal 24-hour cycle I'd give you... three to four weeks until you lose it.
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Re: 28-Hour Day

Postby To_Boldly_Split » Sun Dec 16, 2007 3:10 pm UTC

I had no idea that bad sleeping habits is correlated with depression.

I mean, it makes sense when I think about it.
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Re: 28-Hour Day

Postby Rippy » Sun Dec 16, 2007 5:42 pm UTC

Polyphasic Sleep

I think it'd be much more interesting, and useful, to try this one. Basically, you sleep for 2 to 6 hours a day, spread across about four naps. If I remember right, the idea is that if you get sleep the minute you start to need it, you won't need as much to feel refreshed. I forget the article, but years ago one guy adapted to that sleep schedule and functioned just fine, only quitting because it affected his schedule too much.

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Re: 28-Hour Day

Postby Akira » Sun Dec 16, 2007 5:54 pm UTC

...*ahem*... Polyphasic sleep=BAD.

I did a little research on this which I would have to go and re-do, but I recall that the conclusion was that polyphasic sleep is only suitable for those individuals whose jobs demand it, allowing the person to function at maximum potential on minimum sleep.

A more appropriate sleep schedule would be biphasic, in which you sleep 6-7 hours at night, then take a 45-90 minute nap when you dip in the afternoon. I will be trying this during my winter break, although I have had some experience with biphasic sleeping patterns before, and my only problem is forcing myself up for the first few days after the main sleep phase, because I enjoy just laying in bed, even if I'm awake, and I think that affected me.

In conclusion, I will have to re-find the research I used--actual sources instead of wikipedia--but the ultimate response remains.
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Re: 28-Hour Day

Postby lowbart » Sun Dec 16, 2007 7:37 pm UTC

Even if you get 8 hours of sleep spread across several naps, you don't have as much REM sleep, which is really important. If you only sleep for 3-4 hours at a time you might go days at a time never getting any REM-stage sleep, which is probably equivalent to getting a lot less sleep in consecutive hours.
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Re: 28-Hour Day

Postby Rippy » Sun Dec 16, 2007 7:40 pm UTC

Hmm, I might try biphasic on my winter break. By the sound of it, I'd be able to try it without destroying my schedule.

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Re: 28-Hour Day

Postby MoonBuggy » Sun Dec 16, 2007 7:53 pm UTC

lowbart wrote:Even if you get 8 hours of sleep spread across several naps, you don't have as much REM sleep, which is really important. If you only sleep for 3-4 hours at a time you might go days at a time never getting any REM-stage sleep, which is probably equivalent to getting a lot less sleep in consecutive hours.

I know little to nothing about the science behind it, but I thought the idea of some (most?) of the sleep pattern modifications was to convince your body to drop almost straight into REM, so your brain doesn't "waste" any sleeping time?
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Re: 28-Hour Day

Postby Akira » Sun Dec 16, 2007 8:00 pm UTC

In theory.

Of course, Communism is ideal in theory, too.

Dosen't work out.
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Re: 28-Hour Day

Postby Rippy » Sun Dec 16, 2007 8:05 pm UTC

Akira wrote:In theory.

Of course, Communism is ideal in theory, too.

Dosen't work out.

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Re: 28-Hour Day

Postby Zohar » Sun Dec 16, 2007 8:58 pm UTC

What about a sleep cycle where you go to sleep each night from 1 a.m. to 4 a.m., then sleep in the afternoon from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.? That way you get eight hours of sleep overall. I figured this might be useful to bakers, for example.
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Re: 28-Hour Day

Postby Akira » Sun Dec 16, 2007 9:16 pm UTC

See, I considered that, but when I looked it up, It did not appear to be a legitimate biphasic pattern. The 4 hours sleep tends to leave one groggy for longer after waking, and sleepy longer before actually sleeping.
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Re: 28-Hour Day

Postby william » Sun Dec 16, 2007 9:59 pm UTC

Akira wrote:In theory.

Of course, Communism is ideal in theory, too.

Dosen't work out.

So is every fucking other thing.

Communism was mostly ruined by Stalin, not by the lack of theory.
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Re: 28-Hour Day

Postby Rook » Sun Dec 16, 2007 10:13 pm UTC

I've thought about trying this, but since I have work and such... still, I don't get that much sleep as it is.

What I can't work out though is what would drive you "batshit crazy" first; the loss of 8 hours sleep per week (biological, unlikely for someone who already doesn't sleep much), or the fact that you and you alone would be running a 6-day week while everyone else is working on 7 (psychological, and probably the more likely; I remember one time I didn't sleep much at all across a week, and ended up living 3 days to everyone else's 5. That was an extreme case, but still total mind****).

The only real reason I haven't yet tried this is through laziness, since I'd have to adjust the timescale from the comic to fit my schedule (I have a solid, unchangeable, 12 hour block of work on Monday, 9 till 9). I should probably get on that, since right now, my sleep patterns are pretty erratic. I tend to stay awake longer than I should some days, but always the wrong days (viz, those preceding a day where I need to up early. Just shoot me). If I planned it out, I might be able to actually find a system that works. We'll see.

In any case, good luck to the OP, I hope it works out for you.
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Re: 28-Hour Day

Postby rxninja » Sun Dec 16, 2007 10:46 pm UTC

MoonBuggy wrote:I know little to nothing about the science behind it, but I thought the idea of some (most?) of the sleep pattern modifications was to convince your body to drop almost straight into REM, so your brain doesn't "waste" any sleeping time?


That's actually called "REM rebound" and happens when your body is severely deprived of rest, for instance after multiple consecutive nights of interrupted or insufficient rest. It's an emergency mechanism that basically says to your body, "You're getting rest and no arguing about it." Due to its emergency nature, if you're voluntarily throwing your body into REM rebound, you're doing it wrong.

The bottom line is that sleeping is about individual chemical and neurological needs, not about following some theory or sleep plan that you want to believe is right or because you want to manipulate your body into doing something that isn't natural. Sleep when you need it and you can't go wrong.
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Re: 28-Hour Day

Postby mrcheesypants » Sun Dec 16, 2007 11:00 pm UTC

Akira wrote:...*ahem*... Polyphasic sleep=BAD.

I did a little research on this which I would have to go and re-do, but I recall that the conclusion was that polyphasic sleep is only suitable for those individuals whose jobs demand it, allowing the person to function at maximum potential on minimum sleep.


Actually my AP Psychology teacher who was also a therapist encouraged us to learn how to polyphasic sleep in college because it's a very useful skill. Now I wouldn't use polyphasic sleep for any longer than two weeks (which according to my psychology teacher is when it stops being useful and starts being dangerous), but it still is one of the most useful things I've learned in college.
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Re: 28-Hour Day

Postby tiny » Mon Dec 17, 2007 5:28 pm UTC

To_Boldly_Split wrote:I had no idea that bad sleeping habits is correlated with depression.

I mean, it makes sense when I think about it.
Lack of sleep weakens the resistance of the psyche, so there is actually a kind of a causal relationship. But it's comorbid in some individuals, too.
So watch out. Monitor yourself carefully :-)
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Re: 28-Hour Day

Postby Belial » Mon Dec 17, 2007 5:33 pm UTC

On the other hand, sleep deprivation can temporarily counteract depression. It switches you into some kind of survival mode.
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Re: 28-Hour Day

Postby MFHodge » Mon Dec 17, 2007 5:42 pm UTC

Sorry that the experiment failed, but we'll call it "taking one for the team". Good effort, champ.
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Re: 28-Hour Day

Postby Tractor » Mon Dec 17, 2007 5:59 pm UTC

To_Boldly_Split wrote:I am very unhappy to inform you all that the experiment is a failure.

Aww :(
In better news, my vote was a success! :P
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Re: 28-Hour Day

Postby Rippy » Mon Dec 17, 2007 9:55 pm UTC

Depending on my work schedule, I might try a biphasic routine, since by the sound of it it's just a regular day with a big nap in the middle. Also depends if I can get my conformist mom to not laugh at me condescendingly and force me not to.

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Re: 28-Hour Day

Postby Cheese » Mon Dec 17, 2007 10:17 pm UTC

Rippy wrote:conformist mom
These are the reason that it's so hard to be different.

And yes, I do realise how inane that statement is.
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Re: 28-Hour Day

Postby rxninja » Mon Dec 17, 2007 10:19 pm UTC

To_Boldly_Split wrote:Maybe biological factors interfered with my ability to get truly restful sleep.


Prediction verified. Like I said, the body has natural times in which it is inclined to sleep, and it is in your best interest to obey them. It's possible to sleep during times when you are out of your rhythm, but it just doesn't do anything useful.

On another note, now you understand what it's like to have a sleep disorder, with people (or social norms) expecting one to sleep at one time and one's body simply saying, "NO."
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Re: 28-Hour Day

Postby Rippy » Tue Dec 18, 2007 10:27 pm UTC

Cheese wrote:
Rippy wrote:conformist mom
These are the reason that it's so hard to be different.

And yes, I do realise how inane that statement is.

Yes, it's annoying to hear every argument about clothes or habits backed by "no one does that". Meanwhile, my dad lets me do what I want to, probably because he was the same way at my age. Both great parents, but you can tell which one's the language teacher and which is the science geek.

I think I'll change my sleep schedule if anything just to bug my mom. Assuming I can find some documentation that can prove there's some kind of benefit to it.

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Re: 28-Hour Day

Postby Cheese » Tue Dec 18, 2007 10:32 pm UTC

@Rippy - Problem: My mother would tie me to the bed, should I try to stay up at nights on the computer. Both my parents seem to think that there's something seriously wrong with being on one more than about 10% of the time (Probably because no matter what I say or what evidence I give, they think I'm just playing games), and I'm not allowed the machine in my room for quiet use when I'm awake anyway...
Also, my dad unplugs the router every night when he goes to bed (which is any time between 10pm and 2am, which he spends - on his computer).
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Re: 28-Hour Day

Postby Rippy » Wed Dec 19, 2007 2:41 am UTC

Yeah, I haven't even bothered explaining that I frequent forums. My strategy when asked what I do at the computer all the time is something along the lines of "You know, games.. msn.. internet news stuff... [trail off, try to sneak back downstairs to my lair]". Suprisingly effective.

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Re: 28-Hour Day

Postby b.i.o » Wed Dec 19, 2007 9:37 pm UTC

I just tell them 'stuff' or 'games' and steer the conversation someplace else. Not that they really care anymore.

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Twenty-Eight Hour Day

Postby Siggy » Thu Dec 20, 2007 8:13 am UTC

So anyways I dont know how many people have tried doing this here. I see some poor fellow below me what didnt last four days, quite a shame. I am here to take on this mighty challenge for the entire 3 week vacation my job gives me this time of year. While not exactly a master of the ways of the sleepy realm, I have been known to keep a rather...exotic schedule....at times near and far. So, tomorrow evening, I shall commence the sleeping of the strange schedule, and stick to it, no matter what, for the next 3 weeks. I am giving myself a few days towards the end to acclimate back to normal sleep patterns. I believe that if you can get past the first few days to week, you can do it with minimal insanity from then on.

Wish me luck!

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Re: 28-Hour Day

Postby tiny » Thu Dec 20, 2007 1:31 pm UTC

Belial wrote:On the other hand, sleep deprivation can temporarily counteract depression. It switches you into some kind of survival mode.
Yep. I call it 'Sleep Depraved Manic Hyper Activity'. Hilarious things can happen in this state, but it's kind of annoying, too, since it never lasts long and I feel obscenely light headed and shaky during the 'high'.


@To Boldly Split: I wonder if it would have gotten better if you had tried to stick to the schedule some more days. It seems unlikely, but still possible.
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Re: 28-Hour Day

Postby kcr » Thu Dec 20, 2007 5:51 pm UTC

Akira wrote:A more appropriate sleep schedule would be biphasic, in which you sleep 6-7 hours at night, then take a 45-90 minute nap when you dip in the afternoon. I will be trying this during my winter break, although I have had some experience with biphasic sleeping patterns before, and my only problem is forcing myself up for the first few days after the main sleep phase, because I enjoy just laying in bed, even if I'm awake, and I think that affected me.


That's very close to my sleep pattern/schedule now, but not by my own choice.. just how it is. Slash a dose of my own stupidity for staying up late when I know I have to get up early, but it's very hard for me to go to sleep early unless I've been tired for several days in a row.

That's too bad about the 28-hour day though. My friend and I wanted to try it during the summer.

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Pesto
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Re: Twenty-Eight Hour Day

Postby Pesto » Thu Dec 20, 2007 6:11 pm UTC

Slightly OT.

For some reason, I think my body flipped into a 23 hour day. It started by me simply waking up before my alarm went off. No big deal. Then two days ago I woke up at 5. Yesterday I woke up at 4, and this morning I woke up at 3:30. WTF?


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