It is. I keep thinking about an article I once read, maybe ten years ago, about a chinese woman who was 123 years old (according to her own account). The reason she gave why she lived so long was that she used a very strange two daily sleep cycle: she slept only once every two days.
Off coarse this is extremely anecdotal, even if it proves to be true, but I can't stop thinking about a possible connection: what if she grew so old because her slowed down circadian rhythm also slowed down the aging process by slowing down the 7-8 day cell growth cycles?
- Sleep in until noon (~14 hours sleep)
- Pull an all nighter that night
- Go to sleep around 10pm the next day (~34 hours awake)
It had its ups and downs, but the primary reason I stopped is because, while I was able to do more, I felt like a zombie most days (even the first day of the pair) and my work suffered greatly.
I'm a software dev by trade, so I had some luck mitigating the loss of clarity and quickness in thought by structuring my workload where I'd write a suite of tests upfront in the first 4-6 hours after waking up (when I felt the most rested), and then relied on them for correctness while coding for the rest of the 2 days, rather than needing to think through issues. Things still slipped through (because often I was too tired to realize when the tests weren't comprehensive enough), but honestly it was a boon for my test-writing abilities and I think I could have eventually pulled off a decently high quality had I continued.
Eventually I went back to a normal sleeping schedule, and I felt leagues more well-rested each day. My mood increased (well, except when thinking about all the stuff I could be doing if I didn't have to sleep as much) and I generally enjoyed life more on the whole, which is a huge bonus that I don't think I'd trade much for.
It was an interesting experience, and one I've busted out for shorter periods when things at work need a lot of manpower behind a single man, but not something I'd go back to for a long period of time, I think.
"Researchers Find Missing Link Between the Brain and Immune System" -- https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9647253
"New Brain Lymphatic Vessels Drain Old Concepts" -- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4563157/
"tl;dr lymphatic nodes go all the way up the back of your brain and into your sinuses. We'd been ripping them out and throwing them away every time we did autopsies or dissections because they were attached to the inside of the skull. Oops."
From wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circadian_rhythm
Hats off to Dr. Bromage for this. Mark of a pious man.