To sleep

Posted: May 15, 2014 in writing
Tags: , , , , ,

As I sit here awake at four in the morning, faced with a choice not between writing and sleep but between writing and fretting about not sleeping, I’m reminded that there are even less absolutes in life than we think.

Logan Ingalls

An uninterrupted  night’s sleep is not a universal human need. There’s evidence that in days gone by people used to get up in the middle of the night, potter around at other tasks, and then go back to bed. Today we tend to sleep straight through – a pattern that probably always held true for the exhausted rural peasantry – but it’s interesting to think that, like our eating patterns of breakfast, lunch and dinner, that’s as much a cultural norm as a biological necessity.

So next time you’re looking for an obscure detail to build into your fantasy world, or something that might change for your astronauts in deep space, consider messing with their sleep patterns and working out the implications.


Picture by Logan Ingalls via Flickr creative commons

  1. petrosjordan says:

    It’s pretty interesting how our patterns which seem so normal and self-evident have really changed drastically over the generations.

    My sleep patterns also don’t fit the current norm. Even though I woke up early for work every morning, I still struggle to fall asleep at a decent hour and stay asleep through the night, and I get my deepest sleep in the hours right before waking up. I guess my body is still stuck in college mode…

  2. everwalker says:

    You too, huh? We should have had a brainstorming session at 4am last night!

  3. Nathan says:

    Wow, was everybody having trouble sleeping last night? I was awake from about 1am to 4am, running on caffeine which is sadly happening far too often.

    • I’m guessing your case was less insomnia and more your own particular little monster?

      Another reminder – what we call ‘sleep patterns’ are not what parents get!

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