“Stuff of Seth”: Faces/Mood and Anticipatory Waking

After trying the Shangri-La Diet, Jazi yechezkel zilber found that other aspects of my research (“stuff of seth”) were relevant to his life:

Years ago, I was part of a community where people would be up early praying etc. For an hour and then eat together. I noticed that going there in the morning was good for me, but was puzzled by the effect. I hypothesized it was the social effect per se.

At some point, I stopped this (what the hell do I have with religion and prayer?) and noticed that I got depressed. I remember that the depression came with a delay. It was funny to see it, as I could not make sense of it. But this I remember well. The depressive effect was not the same day as not going to the prayers but tomorrow (or later?).

I was not having early awakening then. Afterwards, I started having periodically early awakening, I cannot remember the frequency, but it was there and annoying. Now when going to the community, I had two hours between awakening and eating. Whereas at home I would eat immediately after waking. Another thing that puzzled me was how I came to wake up naturally *before* my scheduled wake-up time. I used to wake up much later. With food anticipation it makes perfect sense. I woke up two hours before conditioned feeding.

The Amish have extremely low rates of depression — and eat communal breakfasts. The story about early awakening reminds me of a student who told me when you told us this in class I didn’t believe it but lately I started waking up too early and was puzzled until I realized I had changed my breakfast.

5 Responses to ““Stuff of Seth”: Faces/Mood and Anticipatory Waking”

  1. q Says:

    do people who ride mass transit in the morning have lower rates of depression?

  2. Seth Roberts Says:

    You need to look people straight in the face to get the benefits. What you see during a conversation. I have found that is very hard to do via mass transit.

  3. dilys Says:

    I do think “stuff of Seth” is a phrase that will have legs…

    This material interests me because I expect some day in the middle distance to look at retirement-and-beyond housing programs. I notice that the most well-regarded place in my city has excellent dinners, but people are on their own for breakfast and lunch. It strikes me that if I moved there — or elsewhere — I would try to spearhead a cadre to have breakfast together, even if they are not a natural seamless social group otherwise. (Fortunately I enjoy cooking and serving simple meals.) The retirement programs sponsor lots of social features for the apparent purpose of keeping depression at bay; but not in the relatively early morning.

    In fact, I now think I will keep my ear to the ground in my current homeowner’s association for a chance to set up something. And do some very simple kind of record-keeping of the results.

    Here’s to further testing of Stuff of Seth!

  4. Rachael Says:

    The waking up thing works in the other direction too: I had a really hard waking up on time for years, I started eating a higher protein/fat breakfast with about double the calories of my old breakfasts and now I wake up on my own about an hour before my breakfast time, which is great, since I lie in bed and read and have time to get dressed, etc.

  5. Seth Roberts Says:

    around the same time I discovered that breakfast is bad for sleep I discovered that the faces you would see at a communal breakfast are very good….