November 25, 2015

Second sleep

(In which I wonder about blue light and its effect on my sleep)

Chasing Phillip around bounce houses for 80 minutes this afternoon utterly exhausted me.  Came home and drifted off for thirty minutes.  Made it past his bedtime and fell asleep again at 8:30.  Awake at 11:30 and now I'm in the recently familiar conundrum... I've had 3-4 hours of sleep but still need to go back to bed.  I'm not tired so that may be tough.
Given the expected norm of eight hours of sleep my situation seems really weird.  Luckily I talked to my friend a while back who has vast knowledge of all things historical.  A historian has studied sleep patterns and argues my "conundrum" was the dominant sleep pattern for a long time.  You can read the Wikipedia article under segmented sleep. There's even an argument that segmented sleep is the natural sleep pattern of humans.

For a while I've been using the computer program called f.lux which is supposed to take the blue light out of your monitor. That didn't really solve watching TV at night so I bought some $3 blue blockers from Amazon.  Not really sure if they truly work and I've not been wearing them religiously.  Could those things combined be in the process of shifting my sleep pattern "pre-Industrial Revolution"?

The whole thing reminds me that perhaps we should all have a healthy skepticism for what modern society thinks of as the norms.  Perhaps even mental health norms?  Not to imply that those with mental illness were treated better than the 20th century and that we aren't progressing.  But have we gone overboard in defining the norm as overly untroubled, an existence that few if any experience?  This would mean that psychiatry and the DSM could be contributing to stigma.  If I'm in the DSM, I must be crazy, when actually you are quite average.

Image credit from pixbay

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