A Polar Night Blog

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  • NOTES ON FORCED DESYNCHRONY

    NOTES ON FORCED DESYNCHRONY

    Above: an emotional crashsite which set off a bout of severe insomnia is marked in my schedule

    6th December Day 12

    Rise time 2300 Scheduled bedtime 1740

    Along side my wilderness explorations, the last 14 days have seen me engage in a performative 'forced desynchrony' study of my own body clock. For two weeks I have been running on a 28 hour cycle of 9 hours 20 minute for sleep and 18 hours 40 minutes per subjective 'day'. Using the polar night's long hours of darkness (and hence deprivation of the body's major exogenous zeitgeber- sunlight) as a clean slate against which to tinker with the machinery of my own circadian rhythm I have harnessed my out-of-step wake time to explore Kilpisjarvi's unique environment from multiple temporal perspectives.

    My two weeks of observation are slowly revealing what a restless lattice of different time scales make up this unique polar environment, myself included. Disparate bodies, land, water, sky and animals all move about this space at vastly different frequencies. I had not foreseen the wealth of inspiration that this interplay of cycles would provide and I am excited about exploring and reporting on the concept further.

    I had also not foreseen the crippling insomnia that this performative attempt at 28hour entrainment would bring into my life. At times the mental health consequences have been quite severe. Long drawn out paragraphs bemoaning this self inflicted sleep disorder are best kept to the handwritten journal which I'm keeping as part of this project. But the documentation of it's effects and my experience have inevitably become interwoven into the project.

    Above: Coffee soake insomnia: caffiene study i

    Below: sleep/wake cycle with environmental light and noise