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2000:  O and Fry's
2001:  Patriotism Is Not Enough
2002:  A Moving Experience
2003:  Perfect
2004:  Goths, Visagoths and Vandals
2005:  Bitch Hunt
2006:   A Food Meme

2007:  ...and the Emmy Goes to...
2008:  Everybody Has a Job
  Bring Back My Puppies!
2010:  A Boring "How I Spent My Day" Entry
2011:  Good Mail Day
2012: Day of Rest
2013: I Wasn't Ready

2014: Welcome to Davis
2015: Unanswered Questions
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2017:  Sunday Stealing
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The Philosophy of Juice & Crackers
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Who IS this Gilbert person anyway?

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September 17, 2020

There was an interesting thread on one of the "old ladies" groups on Facebook this week.  ("Old Ladies Groups" - Pen Pals for Ladies 50 and older, Women over 70, Sassy Senior Society, and Wonderful Women Pen Pals, 50+).

I can't remember which group it is now, but someone asked about sleeping and wondered if she was weird because she sleeps for 2 or 3 hours, then is up for 2 hours, then goes back to sleep.  Which is, of course, how I sleep.

What surprised me is how many women have the same sleeping pattern.  It's not my bladder that wakes me up after 2 or 3 hours.  My body just wakes up.  Depending on what time I went to the couch to sleep, it's either around 2 a.m. or around 3 a.m. when I wake up.  I sometimes watch TV, sometimes come into the computer.  After an hour or so (sometimes two), I go back to the couch and fall back asleep and wake up somewhere between 6 and 8 (8 is pretty late).

I read a few years ago that this used to be the normal sleep pattern.  A little research on Wikipedia found that in the early 1990s, psychiatrist Thomas Wehr conducted an experiment in which a group of people were plunged into darkness for 14 hours every day for a month.

It took some time for their sleep to regulate but by the fourth week the subjects had settled into a very distinct sleeping pattern. They slept first for four hours, then woke for one or two hours before falling into a second four-hour sleep.

In 2001 another scientist checked all sorts of references to sleep in diaries, court records, medical books and literature from Homer's "Odyssey" to an anthropological account of modern tribes in Nigeria.  In all these references he found described a first sleep followed by a waking period of 1-2 hours and then a second sleep.

Who would have guessed I am normal?

During this waking period people were quite active. They often got up, went to the toilet or smoked tobacco and some even visited neighbours. Most people stayed in bed, read, wrote and often prayed. Countless prayer manuals from the late 15th Century offered special prayers for the hours in between sleeps.

It's too bad Gilbert isn't still around.  It would be nice to be able to tell him that his weird sleep habits weren't so much weird as they were normal.  That was always the first thing he told me about whenever I saw him, how many hours of sleep he had the night before.

I found something else that is common

Back in the days of Cousins Day, we were comparing how we sleep and we discovered that all three of us slept like this, with a leg sticking out.  Peach always called it a Scott thing.

But again, in discussion with the Facebook Old Ladies groups, I find that this is the way a lot of people sleep.  I find I need a blanket of some sort that covers my shoulders.  I don't need it for warmth, but for weight.  Somehow with a blanket on my shoulders, it feels like I'm cuddled up and ready for sleep, but I often have nothing on the lower part of my body.  If I cover myself up entirely, I have to have one leg sticking out.



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