Suppose that if I've to attend a morning class then I must wake at 5 AM in morning. Next, if I don't (attend the class) then I wake up at 7-8 AM.

I've experienced that, since I do attend those classes almost regularly, my body has adjusted itself (sleep cycle) to wake at 5 AM almost precisely without a alarm set and has also decided when to sleep (it seems to demand 7-8 hour of sleep). This, I think, is common to most of us.

Now suppose that I attend classes only on alternate days. Put simply, I wake up at 5 on first and at 8 on the next day and so on. This implies that I am constantly switching my sleep cycle every day. Would my body, now, be able to adapt to this continuously varying cycle (which is but periodic).

I suppose no, and that is just a guess based on my experience. But provided I give my body enough time, I think that it may really adjust to this scenario.

On a side note, assume that (in case it matters) I take a sleep of 7 hours during class days and a sleep of 8.5 hours during holidays to make this data realistic. .

  • $\begingroup$ There's a time bias after which it is less healthy and good sleep to be very clear mentally. the circadian rhythm works on a 24 hour basis and also a 4 hour basis, which is why we have meals every 4 hours. It also depends on age and how robust the person is. 7 hours sleep on week days and 9 hours at the weekends isn't stressful for some young people. I know a russian who works 24 hour shifts as a receptionist twice a week and she never got used to the sleep deprivation. $\endgroup$ – com.prehensible Jan 3 '18 at 3:01
  • $\begingroup$ Oh that's interesting, this example perhaps proves that alternating sleep cycles is inpossible. Thanks for the real life example. $\endgroup$ – Sarthak123 Jan 3 '18 at 3:09

In the same way that it takes time to fully adjust to jet lag (~ 1 timezone/day), it is unlikely that the body can adjust to alternating patterns of 3hr gaps on wake time on a daily basis [Ref. 1]. We simply have not evolved to jump timezones. The most healthy thing to do is to have one time to get up each day (5am) so that your body is in sync.

[Ref. 1]: Review about circadian rhythms


Definitely your body will adjust. All you have to do is make it a thinking point that you have to wake up early at 5 and trust me you will, if you don't think hard about it then you will wake up later than 5.

  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps you haven't read my full question I suppose. Since the answer doesn't, in any way, relate to it. $\endgroup$ – Sarthak123 Oct 27 '17 at 15:23

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