Sunday, January 10, 2016

I sleep in the wrong century

I know eight hours sleep is recommended to be healthy and maybe wealthy and wise.

For me, it ain't going to happen and hasn't for years.

Yes, I go to bed at a reasonable hour and "pretend" to read as my daughter says. Rick often removes the book and my glasses from my body. I don't stir. Or we have the telly tuned to Midsummer Murders as we settle in for the night. I seldom stay awake for the discovery of even the first corpse (usually one of three).

And whether or not my bladder calls I am usually awake, bright eyed and bushy tailed by one or two. There are multi ways to treat this.
  • Stay in bed and think of things on my to do lists, plan my next day's writing, etc.
  • Read
  • Check my iPad
  • Worry that I should be asleep
  • All of the above
A couple of hours later my eyelids get tired of blinking and then it is morning.

I am seldom tired the next day although having read articles about the terrible consequences of not getting enough good sleep I wonder what disease awaits me because of my bad sleep pattern.

I was so happy to come across this post to learn that my sleep patterns are perfect for the Middle Ages when they had what they called First and Second Sleep.

First Sleep: Not having things like electric lights or even an abundance of candles, the First Sleep began at dark. In winter, bed would be warmer than sitting around the fire even if the house had invited livestock in to protect them from the weather and act as additional heat units.

Second Sleep: This could vary. Monks would wake for Matin prayers around 2 in the morning. Non religious people would just wake.

Jean Verdon wrote Night in the Middle Ages about sleep patterns way back when. And Roger Ekrich penned At Day's Close Night in Times Past.

From childhood thru university to today, I've been fascinated by the Middle Ages. Maybe I was even reincarnated so in the 20th and 21st centuries, I am sleeping as I did in my earlier lives.

Even if this is the only life I have ever lived I am once again reminded that yesterday's medical advice has been changed and may be changed again.

Once doctors recommended smoking. Eggs are being rehabilitated from not being as bad as they once were thought. Wine and the amount is bad-good-bad-good-bad good depending on the time and study. 

So I'll no longer worry about my middle of the night wakefulness and just make sure good books are next to the bed until I'm ready for the second sleep.

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