Early to bed, early to rise – part 6 (the end)

“Hurray” thinks Sharon, “I can go back to reading poetry books and my paper in bed now that everyone else is asleep”.

Yep, we’ve come to the end of our five-night ‘live like animals’ experiment. Last night, like the night before, I slept right through from about 11 pm (having gone to bed at around 10:30 pm) to when I woke naturally some time around 6 am. I decided to sleep-in, it being the summer holidays and all. Finally, I woke for a second time and was convinced, by the height of the sun on the hillside opposite, that it mist be about 9 am, but no, it was only 7:30!

So another day begins. I wonder what we will all take from this little experiment? Here’s what I can gather, from my own observations, and from what the others tell me:

  • Sharon thought she was a night owl, meaning that she naturally inclines to late night and late waking the next day. I have always been interested in this idea that a small percentage of the population were genetically hard-wired such a way. (See: Rhythms of Life: The Biological Clocks that Control the Daily Lives of Every Living Thing by Russell G. Foster and Leon Kreitzman). I reckon that Sharon is less of a night owl that she thinks. She had no trouble at all falling asleep, and woke naturally around 7 am. Her habit to stay up late is more of a self- imposed habit (for which she has good reasons, it is the only time of the day that on one is around to bug her!)
  • We all found that sleeping in the same room, our well-aired veranda, camping out-style, was great fun and a great family bonding experience. I wouldn’t be surprised if we continue to do this on and off over the summer months, especially since it is a fair bit warmer one story up, where the girls rooms are.
  • The girls seem fine, not overly tired. Normally, in the summer, we would have them get bed-wards by 9 pm and well out of our hair by 10 pm. This week they have been getting to bed more like 10:30 – 11 pm, and insisting that we read an imaginary story to them. Last night it was my turn, I had to stop after 10 minutes as I talked myself to sleep.
  • I certainly feel somewhat less tired towards the late afternoon. Perhaps this is due to being asleep by 11 pm (perhaps my average sleep time these days is more like midnight); or perhaps it is due to spending most of the afternoon outside in the shade by the pool (working at my portable summer office!). Who knows.

More experiments need to be done!

If anyone wants to share their sleep-related anecdotes with me on this blog, please feel free!

Alex, France.

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