Monday, August 13, 2012
Mark Twain: "Give a man a reputation as an early riser and that man can sleep until noon."
I am continually irritated with people who obviously think it is somehow noble to "get up early". They always say "I'm an early riser" with a sort of moral superiority.
Gerald says, "I got up at 4:30 in the morning for 30 years and I'm gonna sleep as late as I want."
I sleep very little. Gerald sleeps a lot. If I need to get up early, I do, but I am a night owl who spent nearly all of my work life on first shift. I was always happier, physically and emotionally, and more productive at home and at work, when I was on second shift. I could not tolerate third shift.
I am a night person; I've always been a night person. I have more energy at night. Obviously my CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS were inherited from my father who spent the majority of his work life on second shift.
I say that the only thing Mother ever taught us that was sinful was sleeping. She was also one who had the air of moral superiority of being an early riser.
I can recall in school that I was telling what someone had said on the Jack Paar show the previous night. My teacher had a sudden intake of breath and said, "Your mother shouldn't let you stay up late like that!" My mother didn't care if we stayed up late; she was always up--usually still working--but we had better get up the next morning!
When I was a kid, I thought that my mother NEVER slept, as she was always UP--and cheerful! When I was working, I would be rushing around in the morning, getting ready. I am known as "The White Tornado"! I know that Mother was always awake but would never bother me in the morning, because I am totally anti-social until I've been awake at least two hours. When I was ready to leave, she would open her bedroom door and say, "Have a good day, Hon!" By that time I could barely mumble a response, "You too--love you."
Circadian Rhythms (according to ScienceDaily.com):
A circadian rhythm is a roughly 24 hour cycle in the physiological processes of living beings, including plants, animals, fungi and cyanobacteria. In a strict sense, circadian rhythms are endogenously generated, although they can be modulated by external cues such as sunlight and temperature.
Circadian rhythms are important in determining the sleeping and feeding patterns of all animals, including human beings. There are clear patterns of brain wave activity, hormone production, cell regeneration and other biological activities linked to this daily cycle.
Circadian rhythm sleep disorders are a family of sleep disorders affecting the timing of sleep. People with circadian rhythm sleep disorders are unable to sleep and wake at the times required for normal work, school, and social needs. They are generally able to get enough sleep if allowed to sleep and wake at the times dictated by their body clocks. Unless they have another sleep disorder, their sleep is of normal quality.
Humans have biological rhythms, known as circadian rhythms, which are controlled by a biological clock and work on a daily time scale.
Due to the circadian clock, sleepiness does not continuously increase as time passes. Instead, the drive for sleep follows a cycle, and the body is ready for sleep and for wakefulness at different times of the day.
Delayed sleep-phase syndrome (DSPS) is a chronic disorder of sleep timing. People with DSPS tend to fall asleep at very late times, and also have difficulty waking up in time for school or work which begins in the morning. Often, DSP individuals report that they cannot sleep until early morning. Unlike insomniacs, however, they fall asleep at about the same time every night, no matter what time they go to bed. People with DSPS have at least a normal - and often much greater than normal - ability to sleep during the morning, and sometimes in the afternoon as well. In contrast, those with chronic insomnia do not find it much easier to sleep during the morning than at night.