The Unexpected Consequences of Altered Sleep Patterns: A Three-Day Self-Experiment

ischroedi
2 min readMar 30, 2023

A personal exploration into the effects of unconventional sleep schedules on productivity and overall well-being

Introduction

In an age where productivity is often prioritized above all else, it’s no surprise that people are constantly seeking new ways to maximize their time and efficiency. One such method involves altering one’s sleep schedule to accommodate work or other commitments. This article details a three-day self-experiment that aimed to explore the consequences of an unconventional sleep pattern, despite maintaining a recommended daily sleep duration.

The Experiment

For three consecutive days, the participant worked on ChatGPT, an advanced AI language model, until 3 or 4 a.m. and then slept until noon, ensuring a total of 7–8 hours of sleep per day. While the participant reported heightened productivity during work hours, several concerning side effects emerged, including skin rash, pronounced dark circles under the eyes, and a feeling of inebriation despite not consuming any alcohol.

Scientific Background

Research suggests that our bodies follow a natural circadian rhythm, which regulates our sleep-wake cycle (National Sleep Foundation, n.d.). Disruptions to this cycle can lead to a variety of health issues, including reduced cognitive function and impaired memory consolidation (Walker & Stickgold, 2006). Even when individuals achieve the recommended daily sleep duration, altering their sleep schedule can still result in negative outcomes (Goel, Rao, Durmer, & Dinges, 2009).

Results and Discussion

Despite receiving an adequate amount of sleep, the participant’s unconventional sleep pattern led to undesirable consequences. The Smartwatch data revealed that the participant experienced sufficient REM sleep, deep sleep, and other sleep stages, yet the side effects persisted.

The skin rash, dark circles, and feelings of inebriation could be indicative of an underlying issue related to the disrupted circadian rhythm. In this experiment, the participant’s sleep schedule was significantly altered, potentially leading to internal misalignments within the body’s natural clock.

Conclusion

This three-day self-experiment highlights the potential consequences of manipulating one’s sleep schedule, even…

--

--