Pizza and beer on Mars

Living on Mars time is making Katie Worth fat. The journalist is attempting to live, on Earth, as if she's operating in a Martian time zone and blogging about the experience for Scientific American. On the 15th day of her experiment, she writes about how Mars time has changed her eating habits ... and made her drinking habits a whole lot sketchier-sounding.


  1. She is basically suffering what any shift worker suffers.

    I used to work a night shift.  I personally liked it in terms of sleeping because I suck at sleeping at night, but apparently rock at sleeping during the daytime, but it did makes social interaction tricky at times, which is why I eventually was happy to go back to 9-5.  I did 6:30 PM to 6:30 AM shifts or 6:30PM to 4:30AM (it rotated).  Personally, I loved it in a lot of ways.  When I wasn’t working, I could be a party animal of epic endurance.  I also loved just biking around the city at 3:00 AM listening to audibooks for shits and giggles.  You get the highs and lows of social interaction.  You are up and awake during the prime-time of 6:00 PM to midnight, but you also get the quiet hours of 2AM to 5AM all to yourself.  Yeah, you miss out on sunshine, but I live in the Northeast, so who cares?The real downside were that on days that I worked, I saw no one outside of work.  You can’t hang out with friends on a days you work.  You also are crippled in your ability to experience the outdoors.  If you want to go skiing or hiking, you need to do something stupid and painful with your sleeping cycle.  Sometimes you need to be awake during the day on your days off, and whatever you do to flip your sleeping 12 hours and then back again hurts.

    While it is great that we put lots of money into cancer and heart disease research, I really wish we would dump some serious cash into curing sleep.  Sleep takes 1/4 to 1/3 of most people’s conscious waking hours.  Curing sleep would be like slapping another 20 hours to  your lifespan.  I miss being up all night.

    1. There’s a class of anti narcolepsy drugs called ampakines, that seem to promote wakefulness and concentration without the high of amphetamines. I learned about them as an off label option for treating ADHD, but haven’t taken them.

      Perhaps they might be able to help people stay awake when they flip sleep schedules?

    2.  It’s a little bit different than normal shift work, however, as the Martian day is approximately 40 minutes longer than an Earth day.  That means her “shift” is shifting by that much each day.  She is in no way on a regular schedule according to Earth time.

      The funny thing is, at the same time that she is attempting to get on Mars time the Curiosity team is attempting to get off it by planning ahead for certain periods.  Nobody wants to live on Mars time for an extended period.

  2. It is absurd to think that adjusting to an extra 40 minutes per day on Earth would be the same as it would be adjusting to Mars’ extra 40 minutes per day. On Earth you’re adjusting while the daylight cycle isn’t, and its not like you’re adjusting a little to a new schedule once every week or fortnight or something (like shift workers), you’re constantly adjusting, just a little, every single day. On Mars however, you’d be adjusting to a slightly longer day, but you’d be doing it entirely inline with the night/day cycle. It would be much more like adjusting from Summer to Winter.

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