Sleep, Dream, Inception

By Xah Lee. Date:

Watched movie Inception (2010) today. Buy at amazon Not bad, but i wasn't thrilled.

Was drawn into the movie because i was a big Lucid Dreaming fan. Kept a dream journal for about 2 years when i was about 13 (~1981). Sometimes in 1980s, Omni (magazine) published a article about lucid dreaming. In the article, i recall the researcher solicit reader's participation or sending in their dream journal. (i recall, the research team at Stanford University) I responded by postal mail my dream journals to them. (was written in Chinese) This is when i was living in Montreal, Canada. I was about 17 at the time.

I read rather a lot about dreams and sleep in my life. The whole science of it. REM, stages of brain waves, physiology of dreaming, and of course some about interpretation. “Some”, because literatures on interpretation of dreams are mostly superstitious garbage.

The science of Sleep is also fascinating. I particularly recall, in early 1990s, i read about it in encyclopedia Britannica. I recall, at the time, even the purpose of sleep is not well understood scientifically, and i think there were even some claim that sleep is not necessary, because it does not seem to have any direct effect on the physiology of human body system (e.g. cells, muscles).

Have actually experimented with sleeping cycles for many years throughout my life. For example, one idea to reduce required sleep time is to break sleep into multiple periods. A day has 24 hours. Each of us roughly spend 1/3 of it in sleep. So, it seems, every 1 unit of rest by sleep gets you 2 units of awake time. So, you could sleep 4 hours then stay awake for 8 hours, then repeat. Or, you could sleep for 2 hours, wake for 4 hours, repeat. Also, once you break them into periods, one idea is to reduce each period of sleep so that you might reduce the total time you spend in sleeping but not experience fatigue.

I've done this continuously for i think at least 1 year straight. But been doing this on and off for months or weeks in my whole life. Am 42. For perhaps a total of 6 years of my life, i sleep twice per day, roughly 4 hours each.

The other theory is to find the “natural day” period. That is, if without the hint of sun, if you live in a cave, what would be “day” period you naturally develop? It was said to be something like 25 or 26. That means, if you normally go to bed at 23:00, the next day you'd go to bed at 00:00, and next day at 01:00. That is, your sleeping schedule shifts by 1 hour later per day. This i've done for perhaps 20 years.