Re: [LEAPSECS] building consensus

From: Zefram <>
Date: Thu, 8 Jun 2006 13:00:35 +0100

Clive D.W. Feather wrote:
> So humans will cope until the solar day is about
>27 (present) hours long, after which we'll probably start to move to a
>system of two sleep-wake cycles per day.

I doubt our ability to handle a 14-hour sleep-wake cycle. I suspect that
(if we're still exposed to the natural diurnal cycle at that time) as
we gradually lost the ability to handle the length of the diurnal cycle
we'd lose synchronisation fully, or switch to a fractional multiple of
the cycle. A 24-hour sleep-wake cycle against a 28-hour diurnal cycle
repeats phase correlation every seven sleep-wake cycles (six days), so
we might lock to that. Hey, it's a natural justification for the week!
Perhaps it would be similar in effect to the present desynchronisation
of the Islamic calendar's `year' with respect to the tropical year.

When I was an undergraduate I found that my free-running sleep-wake
cycle was 40 hours long (24 hours awake and then 16 asleep, to within
half an hour). I don't think I phase-locked to the diurnal cycle in the
3:5 ratio that implies, but the whole reason why I got into that cycle
was that I wasn't paying attention to the planet's rotation.

Received on Thu Jun 08 2006 - 05:01:04 PDT

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