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View Diary: ECSTASY:  The Emotional Narrative (72 comments)

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  •  so does that mean... (2+ / 0-)

    ... that in India, sunrise and sunset are at substantially different times of day from one end of the country to the other?  

    For example if the USA was on a single time zone, that being East Coast time, then sunrise at 7AM East Coast time would mean that sunrise comes at around 10AM West Coast time...?

    And does that mean that India's business day corresponds to its clock time, regardless of the position of the sun?   Or does India's business day correspond to the sun, and different parts of the country start and finish business at different clock times?  

    BTW, my dudes & I tried putting ourselves on a 28-hour day back in 2001.  We got six days in a week that way, rather than seven.  The days synced up with "normal time" in different ways each day of the week.  Each week would cycle such that 9AM Monday morning was the same each time.

    The goal of the experiment was to try to get closer to the body's natural clock, which is a 26-hour day when free running, and try to get more effective work time during the business week.  But 26 hours doesn't sync to the regular calendar at all, so we went for 28 hours.  

    The experiment was a resounding success, in that it returned a clear answer rather than unclear mush.   But the clear answer was no.  (In the scientific worldview, when testing a hypothesis, a clear "no" is as useful as a clear "yes.")  We were tired much of the time, somewhat moody and irritable, our social lives with the "normals" were messed up, and so on.  After a couple of months of this we concluded the experiment and reverted back to the 24 hour clock.  

    •  Short answer: yup. (1+ / 0-)
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      RunawayRose

      Hindi answer: ji, hah.

      Longer answer: My friend Brian went to study for a year in Benares in college & came back telling stories about how the temples and mosques started blaring prayers through loudspeakers at sunrise, which was at 4:30 am. So when it was our turn to go to India (my wife is an urban anthropologist and night owl) we were bracing ourselves for a year of sleep deprivation... but of course hadn't really thought through the time difference. We'd be in the west, in Pune. Sunrise was at a civilized 6:30 - 7:00am. It helped that we woke to the pleasant tinkling of house-temple bells of our neighbors.

      India's business day corresponds to clock times. Everyone seems to start at about 10--at least banks and post offices do. So people in Calcutta have quite a long, leisurely morning before the starting bell.

      I rather think your experiment with the clock tells us more about the shortcomings of work and productivity expectations than it does about synchronizing the human clock.

      26 hours? I'm puzzled. Why would a body clock not match the length of a day? I'm curious about the basis of the 26 hour human body clock. Cycle synchrony would be quite basic, I would think, and common across most life-forms, from sea slugs to primates.

    •  Circadian rhythms according to wiki-p (1+ / 0-)
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      RunawayRose

      Sounds like your 26-28 hour cycle was based on older research found to have some flaws: electric lighting artificially stretched the cycle.

      Modern research under very controlled conditions has shown the human period for adults to be just slightly longer than 24 hours on average. Czeisler et al. at Harvard found the range for normal, healthy adults of all ages to be quite narrow: 24 hours and 11 minutes ± 16 minutes. The "clock" resets itself daily to the 24-hour cycle of the Earth's rotation.[29]

      The 28-hour day is presented as a concept of time management.[30] It builds on the fact that the week of seven days at 24 hours and a "week" of six days at 28 hours both equal a week of 168 hours. To live on the 28-hour day and six-day week would require staying awake for 19 to 20 hours and sleeping for eight to nine hours. Each "day" on this system has a unique light/dark pattern.

      Studies by Nathaniel Kleitman[31] in 1938 and by Derk-Jan Dijk and Charles Czeisler[32][33] in 1994/5 have put human subjects on enforced 28-hour sleep–wake cycles, in constant dim light and with other time cues suppressed, for over a month. Because normal people cannot entrain to a 28-hour day,[34] this is referred to as a forced desynchrony protocol. Sleep and wake episodes are uncoupled from the endogenous circadian period of about 24.18 hours and researchers are allowed to assess the effects of circadian phase on aspects of sleep and wakefulness including sleep latency and other functions.[35]
      Sounds like your 26-28 hour day was based on older research that was found to have flaws--electric lighting artificially stretched the cycles.

      Early research into circadian rhythms suggested that most people preferred a day closer to 25 hours when isolated from external stimuli like daylight and timekeeping. Early investigators determined the human circadian period to be 25 hours or more. They went to great lengths to shield subjects from time cues and daylight, but they were not aware of the effects of indoor electric lights. The subjects were allowed to turn on light when they were awake and to turn it off when they wanted to sleep. Electric light in the evening delayed their circadian phase. These results became well known.[29] Researchers allowed subjects to keep electric lighting on in the evening, as it was thought at that time that a couple of 60W bulbs would not have a resetting effect on the circadian rhythms of humans. More recent research[citation needed] has shown that adults have a built-in day, which averages just over 24 hours, that indoor lighting does affect circadian rhythms and that most people attain their best-quality sleep during their chronotype-determined sleep periods.

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