phase 1. /n./ The offset of one's waking-sleeping schedule
with respect to the standard 24-hour cycle; a useful concept among
people who often work at night and/or according to no fixed
schedule. It is not uncommon to change one's phase by as much as 6
hours per day on a regular basis. "What's your phase?" "I've
been getting in about 8 P.M. lately, but I'm going to wrap
around to the day schedule by Friday." A person who is roughly
12 hours out of phase is sometimes said to be in `night mode'.
(The term `day mode' is also (but less frequently) used, meaning
you're working 9 to 5 (or, more likely, 10 to 6).) The act of
altering one's cycle is called `changing phase'; `phase
shifting' has also been recently reported from Caltech.
2. `change phase the hard way': To stay awake for a very long
time in order to get into a different phase. 3. `change phase
the easy way': To stay asleep, etc. However, some claim that
either staying awake longer or sleeping longer is easy, and that it
is *shortening* your day or night that is really hard (see
wrap around). The `jet lag' that afflicts travelers who
cross many time-zone boundaries may be attributed to two distinct
causes: the strain of travel per se, and the strain of changing
phase. Hackers who suddenly find that they must change phase
drastically in a short period of time, particularly the hard way,
experience something very like jet lag without traveling.
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