Monday, March 31

continuity

This perception is repeated, virtually every time I spent the better part of a night awake: the world is a continuous experience.

I realize the affirmation doesn't make much sense (if it makes sense at all, that is), but I don't see much into it (and if I need an excuse for that, tell yourselves it's five o'clock in the morning - I'll tell myself that's just the way I am).


Usually, I effortlessly split the world into "day" and "night", my existence going between waking up, doing my daily things and going to bed. To my perception, I virtually don't exist at night, at all.

In all this sequence, I try to salvage some time in the evenings, by going to sleep later, and taking some time for myself, or in the mornings, by going later to office.

More or less, my life is, to me, an array of days, one coming after the other.

Every time I stay awake through a significant part of the night though, the continuity of it all strikes me: my perception shifts from the last week-yesterday-today-tomorrow kind of abstraction, to a continuous flow passing through "here" and "now" image, a view of day changing into night and back into day again, with no interruption.

Maybe I should spend more nights awake, just to break my "discreet view" of things. On the other hand, I already know I'll be sort-of paying for it tomorrow, most probably through concentration lapses, while working, or through drinking more coffee (neither of which I'm particularly fond of).

It doesn't matter though ... have a good night ... wherever you find yourselves.

Edit: It seems I'm not the only one describing this sensation:
I also didn’t decide to stop because of the general weirdness of polyphasic sleep. It took me many weeks to psychologically adapt to this pattern of sleeping, but I did eventually adapt. It gave me a whole new perspective on the passage of time. I saw time as passing continuously rather than being chunked into individual days. That was such an interesting experience. (from Polyphasic Sleep: The Return to Monophasic)

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey, have you ever tried polyphasic sleeping? Now that's continuity :)

Good luck!

utnapistim said...

Thanks, I had to look up Polyphasic sleep on the net :).

It's a nice concept, but I don't think my working hours (nine-to-six type of schedule) would allow for that.

Besides, I'm not sure I'm methodical enough to schedule my sleep on the clock (though I'm awfully tempted, both for the continuity experience and the extra time).

Have you tried polyphasic sleep? (can you tell me anything on the adaptation period and the actual experience?)

utnapistim said...

Ok, after reading more on this, it started to sound more and more tempting.

If not fully polyphasic, I think I will at least try an afternoon nap, and see where that gets me.

Things are pretty lax in the office, so methinks I should be able to get away with that.