This archived forum used to be called 'Peatarian' (in reference to Ray Peat).

Time perception

In the last few months I've had the sensation that time passes by too fast... Like an hour will sometimes feel like 10 minutes. I look down at the watch and am always surprised at how fast time has passed by. When I go to bed at night, and wake up in the morning, I always have the feeling that I just laid down in bed, and now it's already morning.

It's very uncomfortable and I'm not entirely sure at what the cause is.

I've experimented with many supplements and foods, and it seems that some foods which are allergenic to me make the problem worse, so I think there could be a connection to serotonin or other related neurotransmitters/hormones.

I've tried anti-serotonin things, like cyproheptadine and tianeptine, and tianeptine does seem to "prolong" the moment slightly but the whole day still seems like it passes by fast, and I still have the frequent feeling of "how did I get here so fast". I've tried Thyroid (t3) and progesterone too, and they seem to have a very mild effect on time perception, but I don't feel like they are solving the issue, plus I can't really take those for too long (even in minimal doses), as I get bad side-effects.

Has anyone experienced problems with time perception (either time passing too slowly or too quickly)? What was it like for you? Did you find anything that normalized it?
asked Apr 11, 2015 by freshness

4 Answers

In his book, Mind and Tissue, Peat describes a boy's symptoms following an attack of malaria to illustrate "the connection between pace and space":

Objects began to seem much smaller in size. The patient's perception of speed was no longer correct: Everything seemed to him to be taking place faster (people, for example, did not walk, but ran). For this reason he too began to do everything very quickly. After treatment with quinine, these aberrations disappeared. (Pages 173-174, Space and Time Perception by the Cosmonaut, Leonov and Lebedev.)

In the anxious sympathetic state, nerve threshold would be lowered, and reflexes would be triggered more easily: This would increase the pace of activity, but since the energy charge wouldn't return to the highest level, the action would be smaller. This would presumably apply not only to heart-beat and respiration, but to other reflex actions such as orgasm.

The thyroid hormone keeps the cellular energy high, the adrenaline low, and reflexes strong. It undoubtedly has an important effect on both perception and responses.

[End quote]
answered Apr 11, 2015 by visionofstrength
This is really interesting, thanks for sharing!
I notice that time moves by fast when I am bored and lonely while doing something repetitive.

A day full of collaborating with a group of different personalities for fun and enjoyable challenging work seems to last many times longer.

A day of hiking on a mountain trail feels even longer.

It probably has something to do with how complex and novel the stimulation from an experience is.
answered Apr 11, 2015 by Brian
edited Apr 11, 2015 by Brian
I had this sensation when I was doing a job I hated, and it went away when I started grad school doing research that was interesting.

Check out this article "Does Batman suffer from age anxiety" at

Mikael argues that the perception of time going faster comes from boredom, not challenging yourself, and not experiencing new things.
answered Apr 23, 2015 by bioassay
I've wondered about the saying, Time flies when you're having fun?

For me, time all but stands still when I'm having fun, and seems even days or years later, frozen in my memory.

And when I'm stuck somewhere I don't want to be, I think I go into a kind of micronap and wake up when it's over to find, mercifully, time has disappeared into a cosmic sinkhole.
I really don't think this is something you should be approaching with diet or supplements.

Working towards a happy and fulfilling life with lots of social interactions and spiritual health in general seems like the better way.
answered Apr 11, 2015 by skally