Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Waking from Sleep at No Particular Hour

Somewhere, sometime (both particulars being beyond my memory's reach) I read something (which is only in the most vague and general way still within reach of my memory) about sleep schedules. The figure of ninety minutes juts out like an odd spike from the misshapen remembered nugget, and whether I have correctly reconstructed or recomposed this figure in any way that accords with the originary source's composition, I cannot testify; but nevertheless I have used the same figure which I'm certain is remembered (from a context having to do with sleep) in order to establish my own theory. Which follows.

Having recently been frequently waking up before my alarm due to environmental factors (from light in the room, to the noisiness of morning birds, to a full bladder, to chilliness in the air because of a temperamental A/C unit), I have decided rather than trying to go back to sleep always to just get up if I am within 90 minutes of my planned time of rising. Thus, this morning, when I had hoped to awaken at around 5:30 A.M. but was naturally woken instead at 4:45 A.M., I am not back in bed trying to catch a bit more sleep but sitting groggily in front of a computer screen with an insufficient amount of cold coffee remaining in the bottom of my mug (which bears a wonderful image and quotation of G.K. Chesterton).

For the most part, this new philosophy of waking has been working out well for me and I've found myself to have more energy during the greater part of the day than on days following multiple snooze-button-use mornings. I deviate from my present plan only when the factor awaking me is "unnatural" enough to be liable to have aroused me from a deeper rather than a shallower part of my sleep cycle (a loud boom of a dumpster being dropped by an early morning trash pick-up, for example). And regardless, there are still days when my mental activity suddenly slows at some point in the afternoon to the level of an encepholapathic cow or a professional politician. Still, for the most part, the thing is working out well.

Of course, were I to apply any real science to the matter, I might test my hypothesis of this being a healthy and fruitful choice by monitoring and inventorying my own behavior, watching for anomalies and aberrations, as such can be a sure sign of sleep-related problems like insomnia. For example, if I were of a particularly scientific turn of mind, the fact that I'm writing a blog post at 5:30 A.M. on a page I haven't used since May of 2011 might give me pause. But that would be a post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy as I cannot say for certain that my sleep deprivation has been instrumental or efficient in producing this strange behavior and activity, nor can I isolate it from other factors that might equally be argued to have causal relation, such as the winsome and charming little Fauntleroys with gnomish beards dancing across my keyboard and making oaths of sharing with me their magical powers in exchange for a frequent engagement of the space-bar, which evidently excites them (and, one tells me, keeps the 'Wraoughthloarg' at bay).

But I didn't come before the keys this morning to write about my sleep schedule at all; rather to craft a post announcing that I will be giving blogging here a try once again after a too-long hiatus. The challenge to write such a post without it seeming horribly vain and self-serving [as if anyone cares, and does anyone even read this thing anyway? did you miss me? please write] was beyond my capacity, and really there's nothing momentous in this decision even for me, ergo a leviori for you.

A serious note must sound, though, here in closing, so that this won't be dismissed entirely as a half-assed and half-baked intention like the many previous ones I've announced here before of being more regular in my output. The past year has been something of a prolonged watershed moment for me furnishing quite a few new perspectives, carving new facets in old stony ones, and generally filling my head with a great messy jumble of ideas and aspirations and the seeds of many plans. Maybe watershed isn't the word. In a way, it's been a long winter, but inasmuch as that indexes a negative experience I'm not sure that will do either. It's been a winter of drowsing by a warm fire and ruminating; of experimenting in the thinning larder; of starting in pots the plants to be put down in rows come springtime. What is still wanting is that late task of organizing the shed so that the tools will be in good repair and ready when the time comes to sow. [I'm still using the language of metaphor, but decided to drop a knot here so you could find and pick up the thread again in case you lost hold of it and started thinking, "Oh, so he's up early because he wants to clean up his shed! Why the hell is he wasting time on the blog, then?" We good, now? Check.] I've tried many ways to take inventory and do that work of arrangement that needs doing but with little success. And it was from this necessity that my desire arose to return to blogging. As it has provided me in the past a way of getting the cluttered and miscellaneous out of my head and composed into something with a kind of form and reason, so I hope it will be in the coming weeks and months and for however long I need to go about that work.

The gnomish lads have promised their magic and dancing to aid the project. But if you're still with me, or have newly found me at this little corner of the web I used to enjoy haunting, I hope you too will join in the fun clearing out the cobwebs and inspecting for signs of rust that need a good squirt of WD40. There's sowing and reaping to do in due course, but we will do as Father Vincent McNabb continually extolled, and put first things first.
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