Monday, August 26, 2013

Two Sleeps

I found this article fascinating -  Your Ancestors Didn’t Sleep Like You.

The existence of our sleeping twice per night was first uncovered by Roger Ekirch, professor of History at Virginia Tech.
His research found that we didn’t always sleep in one eight hour chunk. We used to sleep in two shorter periods, over a longer range of night. This range was about 12 hours long, and began with a sleep of three to four hours, wakefulness of two to three hours, then sleep again until morning.
The middle hours of the night, between two sleeps, was characterized by unusual calmness, likened to meditation. This was not the middle-of-the-night toss-and-turn that many of us experienced. The individuals did not stress about falling back asleep, but used the time to relax.
"I would go to bed really early, like 8:30, and then get up around 2:30am.  This was alarming at first, but then I remembered that this sleep pattern was quite common in pre-electric light days.  When this happened I would end up reading or writing by candlelight for an hour or two, then going back to bed.”
Why am I posting this?  What does it have to do with this blog?   A lot, actually.  It affirms what I've been doing for several decades.  Two sleeps.  It's when I often write this blog, especially in the winter time when the days are shorter.

I usually go to bed ten-ish.  I'm up at 3 AM.  Not 2:45.  Not 3:15.  I roll over and look at the clock, and 9 times out of ten, it reads 3:00.  Weird.

I know I can't get back to sleep, so what do I do?  I do a quick check of my email and Facebook, and then write a draft of the blog.  I'm back in bed by 4 or 5.  When I get up, usually around 7 or so, I then proof read the blog and publish it.

Yep.  That's how it's done.  Except sometimes, like lately, I think of a topic and actually write the first draft the night before, correct, rewrite, and edit it between first and second sleep, and then fine tune it and publish it after second sleep.  I try to do it before 8 AM, since I know that many of my readers check it as soon as they get to work.

I think I'm most creative between the Two Sleeps.   After working all day, I'm tired.  But between the Two Sleeps, my mind is clear and my unconscious has often written the blog while I've been sleeping.  I only need to put it on paper.  Um... my age is showing.  I meant type it on the laptop.

Pam and I went to visit her dad yesterday, our first visit since we've been back north.  We stayed for over five hours, leaving well after 7 for the long ride home from Schenectady to Bleecker.  The sun set before 8 PM and it was totally dark not long after 8.  The Two Sleeps will be more and more common now and hopefully the creativity of this blog will improve as well.

1 comment:

  1. t have come to realize the older I get the less sleep I need-- I can't sleep for like 8 Hours strait anymore... Maybe it's our body's say'n--"Stop Sleep'n So Much You're Run'n Out of Time!!"...

    We'll all go to sleep forever on day-- Lets not hope that doesn't happen before our Bucket List is complete...

    You two have a nice Bucket List going on!!

    It's been fun reading your Blogs since you started Drift Away Blog-- It was also a pleasure to meet with you two and your dogs in person and hope to see you all again some day...

    Well that's enough-- I've go to sleep!!