Sleep

popcorn-flower

Sleep is good, but when, how, where, how much?

Matthew Wolf-Meyer has a new book, an ethnography of sleep, The Slumbering Masses: Sleep, Medicine, and Modern American Life, that is amazing to read.

The favorite bit of wisdom I heard about sleep types was that some people are popcorn and others are flowers. Popcorn people POP! awake in the morning (often unbelievably early) and are sometimes already talking by the time their eyes are open. Their bodyminds are ready to work, think, write and they often go to it. As the day develops into the evening they slow down a bit, take things leisurely, and into the night many of them wilt (like popcorn in water) and tired slurred speech appears as they drift into bed.

Flower people are the opposite. Mornings see them embracing their pillows, dreams extend past their alarms, they ever so slowly open to the new day, like flowers; some of us are barely coherent until almost noon. As the day develops they get more and more awake, preferring to teach in the afternoon or even evening, and night is when they are actually, finally sharp, ready to talk fast, read deeply, write fluently. My most productive hours are 11pm to 4am. Skypeing then with European popcorns is a meeting of amazing intensity. I pop asleep too, transitioning from full alertness to out cold with almost no trace of tiredness. I save that for morning.

There are many other forms of chronotypes, and this nice article by Maria Popova is worth perusing when you’re up for it.

 

(there’s a bunch of other things i want to say but not now)

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