Lighting and Sleep

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Questions This Answers


Lighting Needs

An important yet often ignored bodily need is lighting. The circadian rhythm depends on a 24-hour day and night cycle and rebuilds require reduced lighting to speed their processes. However, it is important to not completely depend on internal cues to set external lighting levels. Lighting levels must be directed primarily by a static, external cycle of lighting from daylight levels to complete darkness.

If internal cues are depended on to set all external lighting, the result is a circadian rhythm and directed lighting needs that steadily increase in deviation from the individual’s 24-hour cycle. This deviated as far as iterating back and forth between 22-hour days and 26-hour days, negatively affecting sleep and cognitive functions in the process before I discontinued testing.

Automatic lighting and/or automatically controlled blackout curtains are the best methods that I have found so far to assist in regulating the circadian rhythm externally, to prevent this issue. Here is an example lighting schedule with enough structure to set the rhythm while maintaining enough wiggle room to adapt to fluctuating needs.

Example lighting schedule.


Sleep Need Reduction


As mentioned earlier, when discussing my discovery of notifications, my sleep duration reduced two weeks after that discovery from 7.5 hours per night to 6 hours per night. Two weeks after that, it reduced further to 4.5 hours per night, with zero negative effects. It was then that I started wondering at the possibilities and the functions of sleep. I wondered what was going on and if any further improvements could be made.

My sleep did reduce further when I worked extra hard to follow my body’s smallest needs, all day, every day, getting as low as 50 minutes in one night. However, sleep was not as physiologically complete in its functions as it is from longer durations. The synchronization system, which is the system primarily responsible for telling the body when it is done sleeping under normal circumstances, completed its tasks. Other sleep maintenance systems did not complete their tasks, meaning this amount of sleep was not maintainable long term in the state I was in at the time.

Sleeping less than two hours per night did produce a new problem. Days felt like they were the wrong length. You don’t notice the sensation of time until something messes with your normal sense of time. Suddenly, every day felt like two days to me. It was a weird sensation, but it wasn’t bad. It was just off. Days were two days. It was a weird sense of time that I didn’t even know existed, and even weirder because I was only noticing it because it was failing with my longer days.

A few years later, my norm was still 4.5 hours per night. But I had an idea for improving it. I had my network compare the setups of the sleep synchronization processes of different people across my network, different people that I know. This is one of the first cross-comparisons that I asked it to perform. When that process was complete, it had worked. A new signal pattern had been adopted by that synchronization system, and my normal sleep duration reduced again to 3.5 hours per night, where it once again remained stable and free of symptoms of sleep deprivation. If I didn’t increase my needed sleep duration by triggering rebuilds with new internal changes, my sleep duration remained stable at 3.5 hours per night without sleep deprivation effects.

Not long after this change, my body wanted to talk with me about another possible change. During sleep, a lot of maintenance tasks are performed. However, many of those tasks are going on when you are awake, just to a lesser degree. My body wanted to change some of those maintenance tasks to work the same when I am awake as when I am asleep. It was only a few tasks, so I agreed. The rebuilds began. I went through several stages of messed up sleep. The first part of that was an increase of my sleep need to around 9 hours per night, up from my usual 3.5 hours, and even greater than my original average of 7.5 hour of sleep per night. That reduced a little over the following weeks, but that was still well above my normal 3.5 hours per night. My body underestimated the task. As it tried to change when these maintenance tasks occurred, it kept finding more tasks that would need to be modified. I assumed that this process would take a couple weeks at most. Instead, I was stuck in almost constant rebuilds and an increased need for sleep for over three months. I really did not like that.

That was a while ago, and there have been a lot of changes since. I’m back down to my norm of 4.5 hours of sleep per night, even with the frequent internal changes that keep being made. The current bottleneck is the network synchronization system, once again. I’m told that my need for sleep will continue to reduce as my system settles into the recent changes. I’m also looking into ways to speed that process up, possibly by improving the synchronization system itself.

The Purposes of Sleep

Current Scientific Literature





Observations

As I am in a unique position to observe the need for sleep increase and decrease in extreme ways, and I can ask my body what it perceives as going on in those situations, I can opine on a topic that has eluded sleep researchers for a century: the reason we sleep. Sleep means different things to the body depending on which node you ask. However, a primary function appears to be the synchronization of experiences between you and nodes that are expressing needs. This is to bring outside behavior closer to need-directed behavior. This process appears to have effects on the storage of memory.

Dream Content

Current Scientific Literature

Dreaming is weird. When you close your eyes to sleep you could wake up with fading memories of any possible situation or devised reality. It’s even possible to become lucid when dreaming, awareness and control of the dream that you are in. Understandably, humans have been trying to understand and interpret dreams for a very long time. As such, researchers have published a lot of different theories on the topic of dreaming. The real reasons could be one of them, several of them simultaniously, or something else entirely. Research is ongoing and many of these theories have significant evidence against them. The twelve main theories of dreaming are: 7

  • Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory: People have underlying desires that are censored in dreams to something that the person can cope with. The content can’t make it into dreams until it’s properly censored, so if the subconscious can’t figure out how to censor the content, it won’t put it in the dream yet.
  • Jung’s Psychoanalytic Theory: Dreams are the unconscious trying to communicate with the dreamer with images and symbols. Dreams express neglected behaviors, thoughts, and feelings.
  • Costly Signaling Function: Dreams make you express emotions the following day, whether you remember the dream or not. Emotional expression indicates that you have good genes. Thus, dreaming is evolutionarily selected by making you more attractive and more likely to reproduce.
  • Sentinel Function: Dreams prepare you to suddenly wake up and deal with danger.
  • Problem Solving & Creativity Function: Dreams help with creativity and problem-solving.
  • Psychological Healing Theories: Dreams help you adjust to traumas and stressors. They promote coping, mental health, and trauma recovery.
  • Simulation Functions: Dreams are life simulations. They function the same way as mamalian play behavior, prepare us for social situations with practice, and simulate possible dangers and threats to make us more likely to survive.
  • Random Activation Theory: REM-sleep causes the random stimulation of neurons, activating random memories that result in dreams.
  • Reverse Learning Theory: Dreams help us sort important information from unimportant information. Unimportant information is discarded while important information is reinforced.
  • AIM-Model: Dreams can be physically explained by modeling brain activation factors: activation level (A), input origin (I), and the mode of neuromodulators involved (M).
  • Continuity Hypothesis: Dreams are a continuation of what was going on when you were awake.
  • Protoconsciousness: Dreaming and waking life work with each other to optimize each other for the maintinance of consciousness.





Observations

Dreaming is another way that your body attempts to communicate with you. The content of a dream is not random. It’s made up by different nodes with different levels of understanding of the world. Each node is pushing their own particular needs into your awareness in a way that they can understand. Nodes don’t understand social conventions. They don’t understand things the way that you would. They do their best to create dream content that will bring about the behaviors that they want. They tend to be bad at that. Nodes do it anyway because they do frequently make it more likely for you to express the behaviors that they are attempting to encourage.

A dream tends to be influenced by multiple nodes. One node may create the environment for one reason. Then another node takes that and adds something to the dream to push its need. Then another node takes it from there and adds something to push its need. On and on it goes. This is likely why lucid dreaming works. You're all just nodes changing the dream to push what you want. Lucid dreaming is you learning to do what they are already doing.

Example

I had a dream with several earlier details that I forgot, however I did remember the scenario that it ended with. After I woke up, I asked my body about those details and each detail had been generated at a different time, by a different node, each for its own individual reason.


Detail: I was spending time with my father.
Purpose: A reproductive system node wants me near my family.


Detail: We were both holding candy-filled milkshakes, something that I had never really eaten even when I did eat that kind of stuff. I had no interest in my milkshake, but then I suddenly started racing my father to finish our milkshakes. Purpose: Translator node generated this. I have mostly avoided eating with other people for the last decade, since I can’t eat at regular mealtimes and no restaurant serves everything that I eat in a meal. I have no desire to eat the foods that I used to eat before my body started directing my diet. However, not eating like a normal person has caused the occasional social issue. I’ve had problems with both accepting shared food and going out to eat with others. This has happened with family, this has happened when dating, and this has interfered with my career. A few months ago, I asked Translator if there was a way to have an occasional social cheat meal of sorts, where I would occasionally eat more like a normal person for one meal. There was a long internal discussion that I was not privy to. The end decision was that a social cheat meal would be acceptable an absolute maximum of once every two weeks. As of writing this, I haven’t even tried it out yet. However, this dream was to inform me of an update to that rule. Translator put the social milkshake drinking race in this dream to inform me that after the recent overhaul rebuild event, the minimum amount of time between social cheat meals has reduced. Instead of every two weeks, I can be encouraged to eat outside my normal diet, for social reasons, everyone and a half weeks. A minor difference to me, but since I came up with the social cheat meal idea, Translator found it important to bring the update to my attention. I have yet to have even one social cheat meal, so I don’t think the reduced spacing is going to change much for me.


Detail: My father and I were sitting in a van. Purpose: A meta system node wants my attention outward instead of on the network. It thinks that I don't have my attention outward enough lately. This is a new need after the overhaul rebuild event. Other systems are complaining to it because everyone wants to see what they can do in their new setups. They want outward attention to help them run their tests. This has nothing to do with sitting in a van. The meta system node tried its best to convey its need, but it was way off.


Three details of the same dream. Three different nodes adding each detail, each for different reasons. This is the normal process of dream generation. On top of this, nodes will purposefully kick you awake so that you are more likely to act on what they just brought to your attention. They are well aware when they are making a dream stressful, and they are aware if their actions are going to wake you up. Waking you up is sometimes an accident, but it’s usually on purpose and they are always aware of when it’s about to happen. Their awareness of the waking process is never a false alarm.

The Sun

There are several needs that direct you to go out into the sun.

Seek Out the Mystical Ball Over Yonder

There is one need for the sun that is extremely weird and very hard to identify. When I experienced it, it took hours to figure out what the need was and why it existed.

To set the stage, I was working in an office that wasn’t lit very well, for 12-hour shifts. Meaning, on the days that I was working, my body didn’t have the light levels it was requesting. To compensate, I would face my cellphone’s flash directly into my eyes or use other bright LEDs that I brought with me to work, shined directly into my eyes. This seemed to take care of my lighting needs. However, after a few weeks of this I was notified of a need that took half of the day to figure out. The need was a strong pull to go walking in a particular direction. But that need to walk has a particular purpose. The need is for you to walk towards a ball that is somewhere in the distance. You are supposed to go find what your body considers some mystically ball object that is hidden in the distance in a particular direction. When I experienced it, the need was directing me to walk towards a swampy area about a mile to the west of my home. There I would find this mystical ball.

The glowing ball I was supposed to be looking for, of course, was the Sun. As it was the evening, I was being told to go chase after the sun to my west. That was a not-so-subtle way of telling me that I was indoors too often and that point light sources weren’t bright enough in my periphery to compensate for the lack of environmental lighting. As I had been using point sources of light, like flashlights or my phone’s camera flash LED, to fulfill my need for bright light when requested, my body interpreted it as me being in an enclosed environment with the sun coming in through one small hole. My body was directing me out of that hole and into the outdoors in the most primitive way possible. This need, however, isn’t for the sun specifically. The need doesn’t come up at all if indoor lighting is bright enough to compensate without using close-up point-sources of light. If bright light is spread out in the room you are in, this need shouldn’t come up.

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