Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Thangs I Learn From My Blog Buds

Today I learned that I'm normal, or normal for another time, or more normal than most.  Courtesy o' Blogfaddah Lex, this (The myth of the eight-hour sleep):
In the early 1990s, psychiatrist Thomas Wehr conducted an experiment in which a group of people were plunged into darkness for 14 hours every day for a month. 

It took some time for their sleep to regulate but by the fourth week the subjects had settled into a very distinct sleeping pattern. They slept first for four hours, then woke for one or two hours before falling into a second four-hour sleep. 

Though sleep scientists were impressed by the study, among the general public the idea that we must sleep for eight consecutive hours persists. 
I gave up worrying about my sleep habits some time ago, accepting the fact that I sleep in shifts to be somewhat normal for a man of a certain age and station in life.  That said, it IS a right-royal PITA when your day begins sometime around noon (on most days) and you go directly from your "morning" coffee to Happy Hour.

And we'll have none o' that "Neanderthal" stuff, thank ya very much.  The foregoing assumes you read the linked article, of course.


  1. I like "pre-industrial."

    I also liked the list of things people used to do between the 1st and 2nd sleeps. Especially one of them. :)

    Buck, thanks for this. I'm sharing it with Joyce who's sometimes worried a bit about my broken sleep habits.

  2. It makes perfect sense. Now I know the ancient origin of "midnight attacks"!

    But on a boating front; I found that three hours on watch with six hours off makes for proper rapid eye movement sleep (Which is the good rest we all need) and enough time to do the three Esses before the next watch. We did 23 days with two on four off and we were perpetually exhausted.

  3. Virgil: Heh.

    Dan: Yeah, those options about which you speak rang a couple o' bills with me too. ;-)

    Darryl: You know a whole helluva lot more about watches than I do. And more than I care to know, too. That's yet another good thang about the AF... we didn't stand watches, as a rule.

  4. Normal Norman, what is normal?

  5. Phewf, do I feel better now! I seriously thought my sleeper was broken and now I find out it's normal. Thanks Buck.

  6. Lou: "Nearly Normal Norman," if you please.

    Deb: We live to serve!


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