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time shift

adjust daily schedule by eight hours
  (+8, -3)
(+8, -3)
  [vote for,

When the 24-hour day is divided into thirds, most people sleep in the first third (0000-0800), work in the middle third (0800-1600), and relax in the last third (1600-2400).

This schedule made good sense for most of human history, when the majority of people worked outdoors performing tasks that required good sunlight .

In most of the industrial world these conditions no longer hold. Even though most jobs could now just as well be done at any time of day, people are still forced to stay inside working during the pleasant daylight hours now best suited to recreation and family activities.

Today it makes more sense to work in the first third of the day (starting at midnight), relax in the second, and sleep in the third. A few people enjoy flexible enough employment arrangements that they could do this if they really wanted to, but only at the price of being out of phase with the rest of society. The real answer requires *everyone* to shift to the same modern, more sensible daily schedule.

Unfortunately, society has such deeply ingrained notions of "appropriate" clock times for various activities that it might be difficult for many people to accept the idea of starting work at midnight. The best solution, then, allows people to maintain their familiar clock schedules by shifting each time zone negative eight hours from their current UTC offsets. The times on the clock would then occur eight hours earlier (with respect to the sun) than they did before the adjustment. A simple and gradual way to accomplish this shift would be to observe daylight savings time at the beginning of the summer, but not return to standard time in the fall, for eight years.

(Potential problems with this idea might arise from the way the body uses sunlight to trigger awakeness and tiredness, and also from auto accidents caused by people driving to work in the darkest hours of the night. Modern lighting technology can help with both these problems, to at least some extent.)

mab, Aug 12 1999

A Day in the Night of America http://www.powells....nkey=1-0805028749-1
a book about people who work at night. [johan, Aug 12 1999, last modified Oct 04 2004]

28 Hour Days http://www.dbeat.com/28/
more arguement for alternative hours ( I read once that if you put someone in a cave with no indication of the outside time their body will settle into a 28 hour day schedule...and they will go insane) [blahginger, Aug 12 1999, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       as you suggest, towards the bottom, I imagine this would come up against the body's circadian rhythm. without a complete lack/change of natural stimuli (ie, the sun), I get the feeling the body'd never adjust to the new "setting", if even then.
neuromantic, Mar 02 2000

       My personal experiences support your assertion that most of "society" needs to adjust its notion of when people can be expected to be awake and in public, though some regions or cities are better than others.   

       I've been thinking that we could buy a brief respite from a lot of "load-related" societal problems such as auto traffic, or lines at the stores, by encouraging (really just "supporting") up to 66% of people to shift work into traditionally "non-work" time zones. Even if you have a coherent team of people who need to interact, you can still work it out where there's a little overlap, and people don't have to come into a meeting when they'd normally be sleeping.
johan, Mar 02 2000

       Why not just eliminate weekends? If anybody could take whatever 2 days off a week they wanted, traffic, etc. would be reduced by 2/7. This also supports different sabbaths for the different religions. (I want mine on Wednesday.) <rant> While we're at it, let's make it daylight savings time YEAR ROUND! If it's too dark in the morning to work, go to school, etc, then START THINGS LATER rather than making EVERYONE change the freaking CLOCKS TWICE a freakin YEAR! </rant>
rmutt, Mar 02 2000, last modified Mar 03 2000

       Setting the clocks back an hour for Daylight Saving is my favorite day of the whole year. I think we should do that every week. (see 28 hour day link at left for even better idea)
blahginger, Jul 28 2000

       My M-F workday runs from after 2:00 pm. until between 4:00 and 5:30 depending on workload. Second shift after 7:00 pm until between 10:00 and 12:00 Midnight depending on workload. In a major city, this has distinct advantages, not the least of which is Traffic. It has its downsides, but my mind and body have more resources to tap than if I were to do it the tradtional '9-5' way.
thumbwax, Apr 18 2001


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