It only takes a a 3- or 4-day weekend to disprove this nonsense about having a longer than 24 hour day.
The first night, stay up as long as you want, then sleep in as long as you want. Do the same thing on day 2. And on day 3.
What you’ll find is something like this: Day 1, go to bed around 2 am, wake up around 10 am. Day 2, go to bed around 2 am, wake up around 10 am. Day 3, go to bed around 2 am, wake up around 10 am.
What you’ll prove is that your desired sleep hours are 2am to 10 am. And you’ll prove that you have a 24 hour cycle like the rest of humanity.
If you had a 30-hour cycle you’d experience this: Day 1, go to bed around 2 am, wake up around 10 am. Day 2, go to bed around 8 am, wake up around 4pm. Day 3, go to bed around 2 pm, wake up around 10 pm. And I’ll bet a decent pile o’ dough that you won’t have that experience.
For most people with night-owl nature the issue is one of too much artificial stimulation in the evening, leading to a very slow and late wind-down at the end of their day. “Late” only in the sense of leaving too little time before their artificially imposed wake up time.
This can be trained out of the majority of sufferers.
The other approach is simply to accept that you’re happiest when you sleep from 2am to 10am, and rework the rest of your life to match. It isn’t easy, but neither is struggling to live and work a schedule fundamentally ill-suited to your physiology. Doing that is taking years off your life.
But there’s a lot of sleep science out there. There is serious ongoing medical research on how to make shiftwork more tolerable, how to deliberately manage sleep cycles to combat fatigue, etc.
It happens that my industry is very involved in all this stuff. As such I get training on the latest developments every few months.
The key thing is to recognize that although we’re all individuals, there’s a lot that’s common to all of us. Also to recognize that a lot of how and when and how well we sleep are the result of habits. Those can be helpful habits or harmful habits. If a person assumes all this is controlled only by deep-seated, innate, and personally unique and unchangeable nature, they’re simply underinformed.
There is a skill to sleeping well at the time you need to sleep. Some may be better able to become more skilled than others at this. But to assume it’s simply your fate to be however you’re randomly doing it today is wrong.
Weren’t there experiments done in caverns, where the subjects had no objective time clues at all, and settled into whatever wake/sleep pattern they felt like?
I can’t find any references to this, but as I recall it, the subjects fell into cycles that were longer than 24 hours.
Ah, here’s one quick reference. It says that this one guy fell into a 48 hour pattern, which is quite surprising to me. That’s a lot longer than I would have guessed. I’d love participating in such an experiment!
I recall reading of those studies too. They were fairly famous in the early 1960s.
I also recall reading much later (early 80s?) that the studies were later duplicated by other groups who found no such pattern. Some subjects ran shorter cycles, others longer. But nobody was very far off the normal 24 hours.
I admit I don’t have a cite for either sets of studies.
I’ve often thought that I’d do much better if the day was 36hrs long. No way does my body like the 24hr day. And no, changing the clocks so you get 25hrs once a year doesn’t do jack, I hope that was intended as a jest. The 23hr night you get in return at another point, that one utterly leaves me fucked over for weeks, tho.