Re: sex vs sleep

Freeman Craig Presson (
Fri, 2 Jul 1999 11:04:15 -0500

On 1 Jul 1999, Brian D Williams wrote:
> According to the legend R.Buckminster Fuller once undertook to re- engineer
> sleep, it is claimed he slept whenever he was tired which worked out to a
> half hour nap every six hours, giving him a 22 hour day, legend has it he
> did this for many years.....

In the late 70s, I worked with a proto-transhumanist kinda fellow who went by his initials (dib). He lived near the office so that he could easily pursue his reworked sleep schedule. He tried taking naps that would be exactly one REM cycle every six hours or so. Thus, he was sleeping about three hours out of 24. Being a serious geek, he tried to be extra precise about this. He started by timing his sleep for several nights. If his average sleep time (without an alarm) was, say, 7:50, he concluded that his idiosyncratic sleep cycle must be 47 minutes instead of 45. So when he started his onerem system, he would set an alarm for 47 minutes.

He seemed to think it worked fine, while most other people seemed to think he was groggy all the time. He also decided to simplify a few things such as haircuts -- bought a clipper and wore a self-styled buzz -- and getting dressed -- he bought jumpsuits in various colors. He carried a minirecorder to take notes -- no idea what he did about transcribing them or finding any particular memo on the tape.

Definitely a fun guy to work with. I lost track of him -- would be interesting to find out what he's into now.

(I'll try to mash the send button just once on this message).