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Friday, October 3, 2014

Second Sleep

Squash stored in the off-the-grid compound. Wish I would be here in the winter.
My current travels have made me think about segmented sleep—the idea that we sleep in two separate chunks during the night. Over a twelve-hour time frame, people historically slept for 3-4 hours, were awake for three or four hours, and then slept again for three or four hours. This is not a new idea, and a lot of research supports it.

Sea captain carved by a Maine ship's carpenter some time in the last century. A few pieces by him in the off-the-grid compound.
Like all kids do, my new grandson Jake came out of the womb as a nocturnal creature. Listening to him fuss during the night, I was reminded that the first, most pressing job of new parents is to train their children to sleep at night. I remember this as the hardest job of parenting, and my own children effectively wrecked my ability to sleep through the night. I’m still a cyclical insomniac.

I'm in Maine looking for locations for my 2015 workshops. Here's surf at Popham Beach.
We’ve spent the last two nights off the grid, where the only light from 6:14 PM to 6:38 AM comes from the moon and stars or candles and flashlights. Since a lot of hay has been made about how electric light, TV, radio, and the internet confuses modern man’s sleep cycle, being off line should help, right? Honestly, I don’t think it has, but perhaps a few nights here and there can’t erase a half-century of bad habits.

Granite blocks at Ft. Popham State Historic Site, a Civil-War era fort.

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