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January 13, 2009 11:11 AM 1/13/09

So I have a tendency to listen to people on a regular basis. In fact monitoring the conversations around me in the office (and other places) is a wonderful way to catch technical support calls/problems and help people with them before they become big issues.

I hear a lot of things doing this. Sometimes things I don’t want to hear but regardless a lot of things.

One thing I’m hearing more and more regularly is that people are waking up consistently at 3 or 4 in the morning. I do this regularly as well.

Now I know that many people wake up in the wee hours of the morning for whatever reason, bathroom, car doors, barking dogs, snacks, etc. but to have that many people waking up at around the same time usually means there’s some cause.

The problem, once again, is that I don’t have enough data to come to a conclusion as to why it’s happening and why at that particular time.

It could be anything.

But the fact that it’s happening disturbs me a little. Humans, under ideal conditions, sleep until they wake or until something/someone wakes them up.

It’s that second one that bugs me because if people are being woken up by something regularly at a particular time then there _must_ be a cause and it _has_ to be environmental.

Now taking that into account we add that to the fact that human beings like many other beings on the planet have a fight or flight reaction to help keep us safe from danger. This is often what wakes us out of a sound sleep when something is not purposely waking us.

Ergo what is waking people up at 3 - 4 am is something that is perceived as dangerous by something deep inside of us.

To provoke that kind of reaction for so many people it has to be pretty pervasive and pretty strong.

This is all tinfoil-hat ramblings but it’s still interesting to think about. And if I’m correct in my observations it is something that people should be looking closely at because planetary warning signs (if it’s that widespread) are not to be taken lightly.

On the other end of the spectrum I’m still tweaking the tryptophan timing. Lately if I take it too late I have trouble waking up in the morning and if I take it too early I won’t relax enough for it to take effect. I’ll get the hang of it eventually but it’s yet another thing in my life I’m impatient with.

It’s going to be bitter cold this afternoon/evening which is not going to be fun. Hopefully we won’t have another power outage.

We’re supposed to get a bunch of snow tonight but then we were supposed to get a bunch last night as well and got almost nothing. I’m kind of hoping that happens again tonight as I’m pretty sick of snow at this point. :-/

Got the final test part for my neighbor’s computer coming in the mail. It should be here today or at the very worst Friday. That means I’ll be able to give him a definitive answer as to the state of his system. If it just up and works then I’ll give it back to him for this weekend but tell him not to plug it back into the stereo until he gets an otical/digital<->analog converter/isolator.

In the meantime I’ll hide in the house and dream of Solar Powered Retroencabulators! ;-)

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( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 13th, 2009 08:53 pm (UTC)
Hmm..I'm usually still awake at that hour, as far as I know there's nothing obvious.

However...it is a fact that 4am is the time of day when the environment is coldest. That proverbial darkest time before dawn... so it could just be that the human body is evolutionarily programmed to wake up at that point, so we didn't risk freezing to death during our ancestral past.

Mind you, it's also a statistical fact that most deaths [of natural causes] occur about then...
Jan. 13th, 2009 09:49 pm (UTC)
according to demonologists, 3-4 am is when demons are most active :)
Jan. 14th, 2009 06:24 am (UTC)
If people are waking up around 3 or 4 AM in different time zones, then whatever's waking them is not global - otherwise, it would be 3 AM UTC, 10 PM EDT, 2 PM the next day in Melbourne, Australia, etc. I suspect it's because that time is roughly the midpoint of most daypeople's sleep cycle, when they're probably coming up out of deep delta-wave sleep. As siliconshaman points out, we're sort of biologically programmed to do that.

I sleep during the daytime. I almost always find myself waking up two or three hours after I've gone to sleep, either because I've gotten too warm, or because I need to pee, or because the phone rings. Once I've managed to fall back to sleep, I may sleep for another six hours or more, unless the phone rings again (or there's some other external interruption). However, since the time at which I go to bed is highly variable, that first waking can occur any time between noon and 5 PM.

So, no, I don't think there's a global pattern here.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )



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