Ex Die in Diem


Circadian Rhythms

Having a cold can make it difficult to get to sleep: breathing is muffled at best, aches and pains get in the way of relaxation, and just as you’re getting off, a hacking cough can bring you right back to the world of the wakeful. All of this has been my excuse for staying awake until the not-so-early hours these past few days, but in all honesty, I’d more than likely be up at these times anyway.

I’ve wondered a few times over the years if our sleeping practices are strongly influenced by the nature of our work. I can certainly say with confidence that the summer I spent working evenings in a pub in the hebrides was one of late nights and later mornings. It was whilst doing that job that I discovered that I can manage very well on six hours sleep a night, provided that those six hours are between six and noon. If I need to be up at half past seven, on the other hand, I’ll feel robbed if I’ve had less than eight and a half hours.

I’m honestly not sure how much my real sleep patterns change with different employment, though: the year I spent teacher training involved an extraordinary number of very early mornings, especially those that entailed public transport across rural Norfolk. To this day, that’s the only bus service I’ve used that has experienced regular forty-five minute delays without a change to the published timetables.

My current job, of course, rarely has me needing to be awake before ten in the morning, and so I find myself free to stay up late, which is how I like it. If and when I get a “proper” job, I expect to come back down to earth with a bump in this regard: after only a short while, late mornings start to feel more like a right than a privelege. I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it, though.

This is from the