2013. Vol.4, No.6, 510-514
Published Online June 2013 in SciRes (
Copyright © 2013 SciRes.
Sleep Time Transfer
Xincun Chen
School of Economics and Business Management, Sout hwe st Ji aot ong University, Chengdu, China
Received March 13th, 2013; revised April 16th, 2013; accepted May 15 th, 2013
Copyright © 2013 Xincun Chen. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attri-
bution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the
original work is properly cited.
The goal of the article is to definite that sleep with sufficient time and depth is a high quality sleep re-
gardless of whether the sleep time changes or not. The author had conducted an experiment about sleep
time. During the experiment, the author changed participants’ main sleep time four times. The result of
the survey shows that participants take a few days to adapt to the new condition after their main sleep
times have changed. It would not affect the recovery of the energy of the people even though the time
point of their main sleep changes.
Keywords: Sleep Time; Transfer
Sleep is a kind of quiescent condition which is spontaneous
and reversible. It appears periodically among higher vertebrates.
Its symptoms are the decrease of body reactive toward External
stimuli and temporarily interruption of consciousness (Fuller,
Gooley, & Saper, 2006). Sleep, which is the basis of keeping
health and recovery, is a kind of initiative process. The best
way of relaxing is to get a full sleep. Modern medicine gener-
ally considers that there are specialized hubs to manage sleep
and arousal. Sleep is just another work pattern of brain for
storing energy. Human, similar to other higher vertebrates,
always alternate the two conditions—arousal and sleep (Saper,
Chou, & Scammel, 2001). Human’s physical body can’t live
without sleep and food.
Medical Information (1997) reported that British and Ameri-
can researchers had researched the sleep time of 24 healthy
adults. The experimenters are managed to sleep four hours later
than usual every day. It will cause a circadian rhythm disorder
syndrome a few weeks later. What we got from up researched is
Everyone’s body has an inner clock, which is adjusted by the
extent of exposure to light and darkness. It determines the time
of arousal and sleep. People would be upset if its circadian
rhythm was viola ted by sleep time (Jiang, 1986). Yet, there a re
also researches on three 8-hour workers. The conclusion is that
the relationship between the sleep time of different teams and
the quality of sleep is not obvious. But it considers that the
quality of sleep relates to work, rest ambient noise, wok tension,
drinking coffee at night and smoking too much (Zhang, 2008).
Britain Nature reported that American scientists considered the
length of people’s sleep time may be partly related to inheri-
tance after doing research on drosophila’s (Shaker) mutants.
Mutation of a single gene can produce a very short sleep phe-
notype and put it on the shaker site. But it is not clear whether
the very short sleep is related to those factors in that research
(He, 1997).
Thus it can be seen that the sleep research is still superficial,
even murky. Many conclusions cannot be drawn from practice.
Although many sleep phenomena in daily life still cannot be
explained clearly, but while doing the time management ex-
periment, the author discovers an interesting phenomenon:
sleep time migratory. I discovered this phenomenon from my
experiment with sleep categories; so it is important to first un-
derstand sleep categories.
Sleep Categories
From the EEG brain waves taken from sleeping people, sleep
can be classified as Slow Wave Sleep and Paradoxical Sleep.
During slow wave sleep, the human brain activity progresses
from low activity to high activity and then a mixture of slow
and high activities. Slow wave sleep occurs during the begin-
ning of sleep and during brief waking up. Paradoxical sleep
occurs repeatedly during sleep and in a very excited state. EEG
shows high brain activity, like those during waking. It has very
rapid eye movement (REM) and often with active dreaming.
Slow wave sleep and paradoxical sleep changes throughout the
night, typically alternates four to six times.
Sleep cycle. Sleep can be classified into shallow sleep, mild
sleep, moderate sleep and deep sleep. Researchers consider that
there are 5 - 6 cycles in people’s night sleep.
The research shows that shallow sleep and mild sleep which
account for 55% of the sleep time has little effect on relieving
fatigue. Yet, such a deep sleep only accounts for 25% of the
entire sleep time. The evaluation of sleep should depend on the
quality rather than the time. Improving sleep quality finally
depends on the length of time of deep sleep. From the perspec-
tive of sleep science, the “deep sleep” is the depth of the rest-
fulness of the brain after you fall asleep. During the sleep night,
you first enter the shallow sleep and then naturally go into the
deep sleep and then back and forth alternating between deep
and light sleep until waking up. It is possible for people to
dream in shallow sleep, but never in deep sleep.
From the research of the sleep effects for human body, the
author believes sleep can be divided into primary period and
secondary sleep period. Primary sleep segment is defined as
primary sleep period, and secondary sleep segment is defined as
secondary sleep period. The primary sleep period bears the
primary effect of sleep. The two sleep classifications are stud-
ied according to the primary sleep period. An adults’ primary
sleep period time is between 5 to 9 hours. Having satisfied the
primary sleep period, the amount of sleep that is needed is ba-
sically reached. Secondary sleep period is the compensation of
primary sleep period. When primary sleep period does not meet
the requirement, the effect of secondary sleep period will be-
come visible. In general, an adult’s secondary sleep hour is less
than two hours. Some may be only a few minutes. Most of the
secondary sleep period is under moderate sleep. The slow-
wave phase is usually in period 1-2-3-2 and so on. It is easily
interfered by environment. Secondary sleep is caused by lack of
primary sleep and habits. The so-called “Zi Wu sleep” means
sleep deeply in midnight and nap at noon. The more actual
understanding is about the primary and secondary sleep rather
than sleep in midnight and at noon. There must be secondary
sleep between the two primary sleeps.
Study shows that only in a full resting state before the pri-
mary sleep can cerebral cortex cells play a decisive role in
eliminating fatigue, recovering energy and preventing disease.
It is easy for eyes to have secretions and for oral cavity to have
tartar and moss dirt after awakening is because of the deep
sleep and long time in primary sleep period. The primary sleep
can form a relatively stable pattern: you need to go to sleep and
awake at a fixed time. This kind of pattern is what people call
“inner clock”. If primary sleep time is enough, the natural
awakening people will feel full of energy. If you are awake
from the passive state before the natural awakening time, you
will feel dizzy, weak and hard to open your eyes. It is not easy
for eyes and oral cavity to have secretions in secondary sleep
period because of the shallow sleep and short time. Secondary
sleep period also has its own “inner clock”. It can also have a
relatively stable pattern. But it is much easier to change than
primary sleep time. Many people have a habit of noontime
snooze. It is necessary to sleep for a while when the time comes,
even just take a nap. If you are awake from the passive state in
secondary sleep condition, you won’t feel dizzy, weak or hard
to open your eyes. Even if you can feel that, it may be much
Sleep time migration refers to the changes in sleep period
within 24 hours, which mainly refers to the changes in the pri-
mary sleep period.
The Design of the Study
The Origin of the Problem
People usually have a sleep time. When this time arrives,
people will want to sleep. When the amount of sleep time forms
a habit, people will naturally wake up. This kind of life habit
about “sleep” and “awake” construct the inner clock. Go to bed
and get up according to the fixed time. It is natural that the
inner clock sometimes is very precise. Whether the inner clock
can be changed or not is still subject for a future study.
When investigating students’ study time in this study, the
author discovered that some students sleep more at night and
less in daytime. But some students are the opposite. They sleep
more in daytime and sleep less at night.
Example 1: After watching the European Cup, some students
feel that their sleep time changed. The students who can’t stay
the night originally don’t doze off any more at night after
watching football match. Many people’s sleep time changed.
They changed to sleep from morning to afternoon.
Example 2: The sleep time habit of some teachers who do
experiments at night also changed after changing their rest time
for a period.
Example 3: In daily life, it often can be seen that people’s
sleep time is not 11 pm-1 am. Night workers sleep even in day-
time. The author interviewed some workers who had to work at
night, such as doctors, entrance guards, night taxi drivers and so
on. They were not worried about the effect of night work to
sleep. What they were worried was the time wouldn’t be fixed.
They thought they could also sleep well in the morning for a
long time.
During the interview, the night taxi drivers thought that they
also could sleep for 7 - 8 hours in daytime. Due to the less night
passengers, they also catch the opportunity to nod. The entrance
guards said their night shifts were relatively fixed. It changes
every half a month. In their points of view, it was not bad. The
hospital’s doctors and nurses had often “three shifts” and pri-
mary sleep time changed frequently. They didn’t hope so. Some
preferred to value the graveyard shift
The author doesn’t want to deny the advice that the modern
medical science tells people to sleep at 11 p.m.-1 a.m. And the
author also has no intention to study what time to sleep is good
for human. The subject of the study is whether the primary
sleep can migrate.
Question As sumption
From interviews and social reality, there are quite a number
of people’s primary sleep period cannot be midnight. How do
they sleep? Some people’s primary sleep period moved because
of some special reasons. How can they adjust it back? Would
the primary sleep period move? How do people control their
own sleep? The author wants to find out some rules according
to the experiment.
The Implementation of the Study
Subject: 18 in-school male college students become experi-
mental volunteers. The youngest is 21 years old, and the oldest
is 24 years old, the average age is 21.95 years old.
Staff: 20 in-school male college students become experi-
mental volunteers. They are responsible for observing and re-
cording subjects.
30 days. July 15th 2012 to August 13th.
Quiet dormitory. There are six students in a dormitory. There
are three dormitories in total.
Experimental Observation Items
1) Subject;
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2) Age;
3) The number of yawning between the starting time of last
primary sleep time to the starting time of next primary sleep
4) The sleep time of this primary sleep;
5) The starting time of primary sleep this time;
6) The first natural awa kening time of this time;
7) The ending time of pri ma ry sleep this time;
8) The sleep time of this secondary sleep;
9) The starting time of secondary sleep this time;
10) The natural awakening time of secondary sleep this time.
Experimental Procedure
1) The total sleeping time of a subject a day is 8 hours. Pri-
mary sleep period accounts 7 hours and secondary sleep period
accounts 1 hour.
2) Transferring the primary sleep time 3 hours later. It is a
kind of protection that extends 3 hours of primary sleep every
week. After testing extending 5 hours of primary sleep, we can
discovered the subjects’ emotions are easy to become impatient
after changing the starting time of primary sleep beyond 5
hours many times in a month. It can be basically accepted when
reducing to 3 hours.
3) Sleep schedule is as follows:
Preparing period: The forecast period was in July 15th and
16th. The primary sleep was adjusted at 0 a.m. and get up at 7
a.m. Secondary sleep started at 13 p.m. to 14 p.m.
First week (July 17th - 23rd): The primary sleep was ad-
justed at 3 a.m. and get up at 10 a.m. Secondary sleep started at
16 p.m. to 17 p.m.
Second week (July 24th - 30th): The primary sleep was ad-
justed at 6 a.m. and get up at 13 p.m. Secondary sleep started at
19 p.m. to 20 p.m.
Third week (July 31st - August 6th): The primary sleep was
adjusted at 9 a.m. and get up at 16 p.m. Secondary sleep started
at 22 p.m. to 23 p.m.
Fourth week (August 7th - 13th): The primary sleep was ad-
justed at 12 a.m. and get up at 19 p.m. Secondary sleep started
at 1 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Experiment Approach
1) Experiment approach, observation approach and statistical
approach. The staff were divided into groups and took turns on
duty to organized experiment and collected data at experiment
field. Each subject’s single observation item should be recorded
each day.
2) Some of the data were written by subjects themselves.
3) Statistics aspect: using 18 people’s data to count in general.
In the observed certain span of magnitude larger items, remove
the two highest and two lowest data, and use the remaining 14
data for statistical analysis.
The adjustment of two-day probationary period is very
smooth. All the 18 people can do as the requirement.
Observing the average yawning numbers between the next
two sleep times.
On the provisions of the next two sleep time refers to the
original sleep time and sleep time when provisions. Observing
the yawn numbers is actually observing the sleepy degree. The
more yawn number it has, the higher the sleepy degree it will
be. From the result we can see: 1) The yawning number showed
a decreasing trend in the same test weeks. 2) In the 3rd week,
the average number of yawn was the highest. 3) It is interesting
that yawn was infectious. Sometimes we just did not yawn a
long time. Once someone yawned, most of the time someone
would follow. Sometimes all the people would follow one after
another, as well as the stuff. 4) The yawn number was counted
by the subjects themselves.
Observation of the sleep initiation time of the primary sleep.
In the previous four days of each test week, we set a com-
pulsory sleep initiation time, but we took a flexible way in the
after three days. When view from the frequency of yawns, we
noticed that during the beginning few days, people were tend to
take naps to a much high degree. What’s more, they apt to feel
sleepy near the time they regularly fall asleep. After a few days’
adjustment, it appeared to come close to the time they are made
to sleep in the test, but in a scatter way. As the dispersal scope-
was relatively large, this study applied mode in the statistics
analysis. After a few days again adjustment, then formed a new
time of sleep habit. Observation found that after the fifth day,
although there was no regulation to sleep time, but, most of the
participants dozed near the new sleep time, at most in 26 min-
utes after this time point all fell asleep. Thus a migration from
the original sleep habit time to a new sleep habit time of the
main sleep is finished. Four weeks’ tests are so. Thus it can be
deduced that sleep habit time can migrate in 24 hours.
Observation of “habitual time point reaction”.
During the observation of sleep status, this study found that
the reaction of participants were strong when it was close to last
habitual time point to get up in the first day, almost in an am-
plitude of 30 minutes when it was close to the original get-up
time point. All participants appeared different degree of para-
doxical sleep, even awakening reaction. Some repeated keel
over, snoring stopped, and some woke up to drink water or go
to the toilet. Some even couldn’t sleep after waking for half an
hour. The phenomenon appeared after the adjustment of the
sleeping time, and people still get used to reacting at the origin-
nal period of time. In this study, we called this phenomenon the
habitual time point reaction. In fact, it is much more compli-
cated than the paradoxical sleep. After the second day, this kind
of phenomenon appeared directional dispersion, and was
gradually close to the new regulation time point of getting up.
The observation of primary sleep awake.
The subjects were woken after sleeping 7 hours from 1st -
4th day. The subjects were woken from the passive state. Sleep
was interrupted because of the effect of “habits time point reac-
tion” which appeared in early time. If going on sleep, the sub-
jects would soon fall into the slow wave sleep. When primary
sleep reached 7 hours, almost all of the subjects could not wake
up by themselves, they needed to be woken up forcibly. Sub-
jects generally felt tired and fatigue lethargy after waking up in
first two days and all day would feel dippy. Symptoms gradu-
ally reduced after the third day. Without waking up them after
5th day, and observe the naturally waking time of the subjects.
It could be observed that the majority of subjects naturally
woke up at magnitude of 40 minutes to the wake-up time of the
first four days.
The observation of secondary sleep.
Because of the short secondary sleep time, its corresponding
changes are less. It is mainly reflected in:
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Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 513
1) It was less and shorter to be awake during the secondary
sleep; it may say that only paradoxical sleep does not have
habitual response in point-in-time;
2) They must be woken up a few days before test week.
When most people had slept for nearly 1 hour, sleep still sink-
ing, they still slept soundly. There was no indication that they
would be provided to wake up naturally on time;
3) Waking them up forcibly for 4 days, and then we didn’t
wake them up after the 5th day, observing the natural waking
time under test. From the observing we can see that most sub-
jects woke naturally around 30 minutes of the natural awake
time of the first 4 days.
Results in Table 1 showed that all testee will spent 4
days(fixed sleep time 1 - 4; awake time period 1 - 4 awaken) to
be formed new habitual sleep time that in both “PRIMARY
SLEEP” and “SEC SLEEP”, so the day 5 - 7 (awake time pe-
riod) showed natural waking up (5 natural, 6 natural, 7 natural)
in new time through whole test weeks(test week 1, test week 2,
test week 3, test week 4).
It is easy for sleep to form a relatively stable pattern. Good
sleep needs a stable time. Only developing good work habits
and having a stable time of work and rest could people coordi-
nate their physiological function well. Sleep habits can be
formed within a week. However, long-term stability is condu-
cive to good health.
Table 1.
Descriptive for rela t i on s hi p be t w ee n s l e ep t ime and awake time by tested 18 male students.
Items Total days Test week 1 Test week 2 Test week 3 Test week 4
Top/bottom fixed
sleep time periods;
#times yawning
Order by
1 to 7 16;9; 7.14; 5.43;
3.43; 2.86; 2.1 4 21.29; 17,57; 14.86; 11;
6.29; 3.28; 2 21.57; 18.29; 15.06;
12.75; 6.46; 3.89; 2.58 15.36; 14.20; 12.46;
8.78; 7.46; 5.59; 3.23
Fixed sleep time 1 - 4 3:00 6:00 9:00 12:00
Sleep time period 5 2:45-3:21 5:46-6:12 8:38-9:17 11:35 -12:12
Sleep time period 6 2:53-3:15 5:50-6:14 8:48-9:26 11:38 -12:20
Sleep time period 7 2:55-3:23 6:02-6:17 8:53-9:20 11:58 -12:26
1 7:25-8:12
(have 18 T) 10:12-10:28
(have 17 T) 13:06-13:34
(have 18 T) 16:06-16:46
(have 18 T)
2 8:05-9:51
(have 15 T) 10:32-11:15
(have 11 T) 13:19-13:56
(have 12 T) 16:11-16:51
(have 14 T)
3 9:12-9:55
(have 11 T) 11:48-12:38
(have 8 T) 13:47-15:23
(have 8 T) 16:40-17:45
(have 10 T)
Habitual time
reaction tim e (5 - 7
days return t o
awake time)
4 9:39-9:58
(have 3 T) 12:28-12:56
(have 5 T) 15:42-15:58
(have 4 T) 18:02-18:57
(have 6 T)
1 - 4
(awaken) 10:00 13:00 16:00 19:00
5 (natural) 10:05-10:23 12:54-13:19 15:46-16:27 19:05-19:31
6 (natural) 9:57-10:30 13:02-13:25 15:58-16:19 19:03-19:21
Awake time period
7 (natural) 10:03-10:45 13:08-13:36 16:12-16:33 19:12-19:39
Fixed sleep time 1 - 7 16:00 19:00 22:00 1:00
1 16:52-16:55
(have 2 T) 19:46-19:55
(have 4 T) 22:53-22:57
(have 2 T) 1:55
(have 1 T)
2 16:40-16:55
(have 5 T) 19:39-19:58
(have 7 T) 22:48-22:58
(have 5 T) 1:48-1:58
(have 4 T)
3 16:35-16:58
(have 9 T) 19:36-19:58
(have 10 T) 22:46 - 22:58
(have 11 T) 1:50-1:58
(have 8 T)
REM sleep start
time (5 - 7 day s
return to awake
4 16:42-16:59
(have 10 T) 19:45-19:57
(have 13 T) 22:45-22:57
(have 14 T) 1:45-1:56
(have 12 T)
1 - 4
(awaken) 17:00 20:00 23:00 2:00
5 (natural) 16:53-17:15 19:50-20:13 22:52-23:07 1:54-2:16
6 (natural) 16:55-17:18 19:51-20:19 22:54-23:22 1:55-2:20
Awake time period
7 (natural) 16:45-17:23 19:55-20:21 22:57-23:28 1:57-2:25
ote: T = Testee. SEC SLEEP = secondary sleep.
Sleep time can be transferred. Sleep experiment shows that
sleep habits can be moved within 24 hours. It is customary that
people can get good sleep only at night. Sleep experiments
shows that the key to good sleep is not the time, day or night,
but the quality of sleep. The quality of sleep includes sleep time
and sleep depth. As long as the primary sleep can get the sleep
time with sufficient depth, people can fully recover. Although
the sleep time can be transferred, it will affect the quality of
sleep if the sleep time is changed frequently. A basic condition
for good quality of sleep is a regular daily routine. Therefore,
one does not have to worry about he won’t sleep well after
midnight or night work. As long as there is a relatively fixed
timetable, he also can get a good sleep.
Sleep time can be artificially controlled. According to dif-
ferent types and needs, you can adjust the sleep time. As long
as the arrangements are proper, it will not affect the body.
Yawning is infectious. It can also be considered that sleepy is
infectious. Yawning is a manifestation of exhaustion. A per-
son’s yawn can bring other people’s yawning. Similarly, a per-
son showing sleepy also might make other people become
sleepy. Therefore, the sleepy people who are in the same group
should be separated as soon as possible. Otherwise it will affect
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Jiang, D. F. (1986). Sleep and brain function. Environmental Vibration
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Saper, C. B., Chou, T. C., & Scammell, T. E. (2001). The sleep switch:
Hypothalamic control of sleep and wakefulness. Trends Neurosci-
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Zhang, D. (2008). The relation between sleep time and sleep quality in
night time job. Science in China, 10, 78-98.
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