Archive for August, 2009

Aug 13 2009

sleep the sleep, I pray you…

I butcher a Shakespeare quote in the title to introduce today’s topic for thought. It might not look like sleep directly relates to writing, but one read of this article and you might see it differently.

I was chatting with a dear friend yesterday and we both found an interesting correspondence in sleep patterns, and I find myself wondering if others have noticed similar patterns. My friend and I have both discovered, in the course of our long and varied working lives, that if we follow our own body rhythms of sleep and wakefulness as those urges arise, we actually need less sleep than if we are conforming to someone else’s schedule or daily calendar. Sometimes these differences can be fairly significant: I notice I can do 5-6 hours easily on my own schedule, with maybe a bit of a nap now and then, but need a solid 7 hours or more to function well when I’m on another person’s clock. My friend has an even more dramatic difference, from 6 hours following her own rhythms, to 8-10 per day if she’s on some other schedule (often 6 hours and then a 3 hour nap later), especially if it requires early morning hours (she’s naturally a night person). She mentioned that it’s frustrating to realize that when she’s working for someone else, she loses several hours more than just the eight punched-in hours each day due to the sleep (and commute, and…)

I’m curious if any readers out there have noticed a similar phenomenon in their own patterns. Or are there folk who are reversed, needing less sleep when working for someone else and more sleep when working for themselves? Thoughts, experiences, questions to ponder?

One response so far