Ahhh! Peaceful, beautiful sleep. A blessing if you have it, a curse if you do not.
I was not sleeping well and waking up tired. I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, endured a sleep study and got a CPAP machine. Scary at first, but now I love the thing. I sleep so well with it . . . BUT!
Always a but, huh? Well, here’s mine. I shed all of my cares and worries and got to a place where I can do as I please, almost. I started waking up after about four hours, give or take. I would try to keep sleeping, but would finally just get up. I would be active, have breakfast, surf the web and check email. I might even do laundry or some other stuff. Then I would go back to bed and sleep another four hours, more or less. I would enjoy a deep sleep, dream, and awake totally refreshed and invigorated.
I thought my split sleep schedule was a problem. I did some research and found that my experience is the norm for natural human behavior. People lived like this forever. Their homes and lives were arranged around a split sleep schedule. The second sleep was always the deep R.E.M. Sleep.
Then came the industrial revolution. We were duped into believing that we should sleep eight hours straight and then be ready for work. We were led to condescend towards those quaint Mexicans and their “siestas.” I lived in Mexico for five years. I helped to change the ways of a few thousand Mexican workers. Now I feel bad about that. The siesta started in Spain. It was a two hour afternoon break to escape the heat. It really had nothing to do with a split sleep schedule.
As they say, “All is well that ends well.” I am never sure that’s true, but here I am in my golden years. Well, let them say that seniors need naps. That would be us. They can call it a nap if they want. Sleep on. I will join you.
If I must I can go on the old schedule, but I have learned how to plan to avoid that. I can almost always just cancel and reschedule. Phones have an off switch and I use it. On my phone it is called “Airplane Mode.” If my second sleep becomes five hours rather than four, or if it gets a late start, so be it and don’t bother me. I already know this makes me a bad overnight house guest.