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Who else is awake?

Insomnia loves company
  (+8, -1)
(+8, -1)
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Last night i was lying awake, as so often happens, and i wondered if my brother, who lives across the city, was also awake. When i spoke to him today, it turned out he was. It seems that it would be better to sleep, but if sleep really is unfeasible but one isn't wide enough awake to get up and do something like mess about here or make a drink, it would be good to know if a friend was also awake, so one could share one's nocturnal miseries, paranoid worries and loopy musings.

Therefore, i envisage an EEG-style headband donned on retiring to bed. If it detects more than ten minutes of waking brain activity more than an hour after the onset of sleep, it sends a signal to a central server via some kind of network, perhaps the internet or the mobile 'phone system, storing a list of one's friends who have previously registered for this service. This then activates a small device on the bedside which displays the names of other people who can't sleep. One can then communicate with these people via voice (if one is unlikely to disturb other sleepers at either end), by a text-based interface like instant messaging, or a braille system with a chord keyboard to minimise disturbance.

Such communication may lead to a better night's sleep for all concerned.

Apologies for the ramble, but it's hardly surprising really considering the subject.

nineteenthly, May 27 2007

And when you're sure you don't want to be awake yet - Please_2c_20just_20let_20me_20sleep
[normzone, May 29 2007]

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       Seems a little excessive considering you could just press a button every couple of minutes during your time spent awake, but ok, EEG it is.   

       I do like the idea, it's a nice way of being able to start a (most likely short) conversation with someone that has atleast one thing in common with you.
fridge duck, May 27 2007
  

       Marvellously overcomplicated. Why must the wearer have been asleep for at least an hour?
hidden truths, May 28 2007
  

       If they were asleep for a shorter period, it could be that they'd just got off to sleep, and Murphy's Law would dictate that someone would have just got off to sleep when they were interrupted.   

       I don't think pressing a button would work, because either that in itself might keep one awake or one would be lying awake for hours thinking "shall I press the button? No, I'm about to drop off..." over and over again.
nineteenthly, May 28 2007
  

       Good point, how about a wrist band to measure pulse rate?
fridge duck, May 28 2007
  

       + I like it, but isn't there always someone else awake around the world?
xandram, May 28 2007
  

       You just re-invented MSN.
croissantz, May 28 2007
  

       Or facebook's snappy new "check who's online" feature.
hidden truths, May 28 2007
  

       The autoboner never sleeps.   

       This is different to web-oriented solutions because the sole function of the device is to allow people in bed to communicate with each other without having to use an overpowered device such as a PC, mobile 'phone or PDA, which would also be likely to keep one awake with a relatively bright/large screen and cumbersome interface. Having said that, it could be done with peripherals to such devices.   

       Pulse rate measurement would mean that nightmares would trigger off the device, but, less desirably, also erotic dreams.
nineteenthly, May 28 2007
  

       Can we start by assuming that all of us who commented here were awake when we posted our comments? One can never be sure, based on content alone.
Ander, May 28 2007
  

       I'm not even sure i was awake when i posted the idea.
nineteenthly, May 28 2007
  

       <snores>
hidden truths, May 28 2007
  
      
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