Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Open 28 Hours

I was going through some old e-mails today when I came across this site that a co-worker had forwarded me. It proposes a six day week with 28 hours in each day. The site talks about the benefits (including a four day work week and a 56 hour weekend) and addresses the sleep/wake cycle (you actually end up with 2 hours less sleep for the week, but you can always make that up on the long weekend) and work hours (four, ten hour days). That still leaves some questions unanswered.

When do you eat? The way I figure it, you'll have to abandon the "three square meals a day" model and adopt something like "four triangular meals a day". Since you would be eating four meals in 28 hours instead of 3 meals in 24 hours, the meals would probably be smaller. And they could be evenly distributed among the 19 wakings hours. You would eat every five hours, starting with breakfast when you wake up, followed by a late lunch, dinner, and a midnight meal that would land about 3 hours before bed (which is good, because you'll need one final burst of energy to get you through your longer day).

What about the varying number of daylight hours? The site assume there are twelve hours of daylight in a day. However, there are fewer daylight hours in the winter and more in the summer. Let's assume the shortest day has 9 hours of daylight and the longest has 15.

In the winter, Tuesday(the first day of their week - Monday is gone in this 28x6 scenario) sees the entire workday gobbling up the daylight. On Wednesday, you would wake up in the middle of daylight, leave work in the middle of the night, and go to bed with the sunrise. On Thursday, you would wake up around sunset, work through the night, and see about four hours of morning daylight before going to bed. On Friday, you would get out of work in time for sunrise and go to bed shortly before sunset. During your 56 hour weekend, you would be awake for every hour of daylight on your days off.

In the summer, Tuesday sees a couple of hours of daylight before and after work. Wednesday is still the darkest day since you wake up in the middle of daylight and still leave work well after dark. Thursday has more daylight hours after work. And Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are plenty sunny (though you may actually find yourself going to bed before sunset on Saturday).

So, if you're used to not seeing the sun except on the weekends during the winter (like I am), this schedule would increase your vitamin D levels. If you're used to seeing at least an hour of sun outside of work each day, Tuesday and Wednesday in the winter may be hard on you.

Imagine it: less time commuting, more sleep each day, more daylight (on average) during non-working hours, a longer weekend, and more hours in a day. But could it really work? Society would probably have difficulty adopting such a system. We're kind of attached to the idea of 1 Earth rotation equaling one day. You'd probably have to wait until humans were scattered across various worlds with different day/night cycles to even begin considering changing something as fundamental as the definition of a day.

Maybe someday... how's tomorrow sound?

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Blogger Diana said...

I do work 10 hour days (well evenings). I have 86 hours between the end of my last shift and the beginning of my next; it's 72 hours, if you only count whole days. Either way, the current scenario works better for me.

5/16/2007 12:51 AM  
Anonymous John said...

What about the cows in Indiana? They can't even adjust to daylight savings time!! And when will "The Tonight Show" come on? And God only knows when NBC will schedule "Scrubs"!! Also, I just bought a new watch. What am I supposed to do with that?!
- John

5/16/2007 6:53 AM  

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