Ever heard of segmented sleeping? Me neither, until today. Well, at least, I heard that phrase today. Before today, it was just “two sleeps.”
About a week ago, I read an article that I cannot find now. Figures. But there seems to be many articles on “two sleeps.” It was called “two sleeps” in the article I read a week ago. Today, when I goggled it I found articles calling it segmented sleep.
Whatever you choose to call it, segmented sleep is this idea that the solid 8-hour recommended sleep is not the natural sleep pattern for people. The article I read suggested that the longer sleep pattern became a thing after the invention of electricity. Other articles suggested that two sleeps started to dwindle in popularity towards the end of the 17th-century and was pretty much dead by the 1920s.
So, how did people sleep? Basically, they slept for a few hours, woke for a few hours, then went back to sleep until morning. What did they do during the period they were awake? Fuck if I know. That seems to depend on the article you read. This is the part of the article that I read that made think the whole thing was bullshit and it doesn’t really matter now. The point of the article seemed to be more about the author’s creative process in the middle of the night rather than the history of segmented sleeping. And that’s the part that peeked my curiosity.
I’ve always been a night person. Currently, my job and school don’t allow for much nocturnal creativity. My blog, art, and various projects have suffered for it. The author of the now hiding article was trying it out for his writing and I thought I’d give it a try, too.
Night One: Wednesday, April 13
I decided to do my first sleep on the couch. I don’t know why I thought this was a good idea but I won’t be doing it again. I fell asleep about 8 p.m. and woke up 40 minutes later for I don’t know why but I rolled over and went right back to sleep. Around 10:40 p.m. I was woken up by a major storm. Normally, I wouldn’t care but Wednesday night one of my cat was still outside. So, I got up, opened the front door, and was promptly run over by my cat. I tried to go back to sleep but no joy, so I went ahead and got up about 11:15ish. I got a ton of stuff done. Dishwasher loaded, load of laundry done, two blog posts written, one album for my RS500 project listened to, bed made, Maya downloaded (I started a project but quickly realized that my instructor wasn’t lying when he said I needed a 3-button mouse), showered and ready to go back to bed by 3 a.m. Then I made another mistake. Thursdays are my early days at the j.o.b. so, I have to be up and moving around 7:15. Reading until almost 4 a.m. was a slight miscalculation. When the alarm went off, I hit the snooze twice before dragging myself outta bed. I was really tired.
Nope. Not gonna work for me.
Well, wait a minute.
The morning grogginess isn’t really all that unusually. I hate getting up in the morning. It wore off just like any other morning but then something kind of cool happened, or didn’t happen. I didn’t get that midday tired, I need a nap, feeling. I didn’t get tired again until around 7 p.m.
Night Two: Thursday, April 14
I did my first sleep in bed this time and slept through my midnight alarm (maybe, I might not have turned it on). I woke up on my own around 2 a.m. I didn’t have anything planned for this wake period but I did do another load of laundry (I try to do one load a day) and I watched the new episode of Bones on Hulu. I went back to sleep close to 5 a.m. and slept for until a little after 8, with only one snooze button smashing.
I’ve been working on writing this off and on all day. It’s currently almost 2:30 p.m. and my energy levels are still up. I guess I’ll keep trying this segmented sleep schedule through the weekend and see what happens.