I’ve been up since about 1:30 am. I am beginning to accept this tendency to wake up early, though early is more likely 4:30 or so. When I look at the time on Facebook that people write their comments, I realize I am not alone.
That makes me wonder where people got the idea that we are supposed to sleep X number of hours per night in order to be bright and useful the next day. What if we didn’t have to go to work or to school? Would it matter when we did our sleeping? Would it matter if we did it in 7 or 8 hour streatches? What if we could just go with our energy flow? Take a nap when I get sleepy, charge ahead when I feel energetic, stop when my energy is spent.
When I was a kid, I used to go visit my Great-Aunt Mary. You could be sitting at Aunt Mary’s kitchen table having a conversation with her when all of a sudden, she would bow her head and close her eyes. She was old, I figured. It didn’t occur to me that Aunt Mary might be bored listening to an eight-year-old called “jutebox” by Uncle Earl because she never seemed to stop talking. I prefer to think that Aunt Mary was just letting her body have its way. People talk about catnaps taken at just the right time. Ten minutes and you wake up full of energy. If we could just take catnaps whenever we need them, life would be wonderful. People do it in nursing homes all the time.
Of course, this isn’t really practical. Parents, for example, can’t just drop off into sleep when the two-year-old is running around the house or when something is simmering on the stove. Bosses wouldn’t tolerate it. Dozing off when your spouse is trying to tell you how they feel about your relationship…wow, that would be consequential! So God created coffee…really, He did.
As I was thinking about this around 3 this morning, I had this vision of our ancestors who lived in caves. No doubt, someone had to be up during the night to keep the fire going so it would be there to cook breakfast in the morning. That would make middle of the night wakefulnes useful. Come to think of it, if we lived in community like the cave people did, catnaps would be quite workable. If my two year old is running around the cave and I doze off, my mother or my friend, Brutus, will keep an eye on him.
Enough of that. I am going to go take a nap.