For decades, sleep scientists have talked about uninterrupted seven to nine hours of night sleep for rest and rejuvenation. For some creative artists such as writers, an interruption in this night sleep turns out to be one of the best times for creative work. This short dreamy period is the right mix of dreamy state and wakefulness to create work. What happened to our creativity-enhancing broken sleep?
Are late risers immoral and slothful?
My friend is a confirmed night owl – getting up in the mornings is problematic for her. She is also ridden with guilt when social norms require that she wake up early. I am an early riser – my definition of an early riser is one who is up by 6 to 7 am. But for my in-laws, who live in the eastern side of the country where the sunrise is earlier, and who rise at four in the morning, this time is late. So, is it really true that early risers are healthier, wiser and morally superior?
“I wake to sleep and take my waking slow”
Our internal body clock tells us (without the help of an alarm clock) when to rise and when to sleep. Natural light patterns regulate the sleep hormone Melatonin. However, when we startle our body by artificial means – typically an alarm – and snooze it till we can’t snooze it any further (we are getting late for work), we wake up to a groggy state between ‘sleepfulness’ and forced wakefulness. Understandably, it is not a great state to be in.
One of my colleagues tells me that she can function well with little sleep. But, it is tough for me. Lately, I read two (kind-of) contrasting articles – one said that sleeping too much is not good and the other said that getting enough sleep is necessary (I am posting the link to the second one). The latter one also talks about a mutation that some people have – a gene mutation that helps them function well with less sleep.
Sleep and humour; 28-Aug-2014
Inspired by the article mentioned above, a cartoonist depicts some sleep humour: