Philip Brewer's Writing Progress


Sunday, 03 April 2005

Most people are chronically sleep deprived. Are you? Do you use an alarm clock to wake up? As far as I'm concerned, if you use an alarm clock to wake up more than a few times a year, then you're chronically sleep deprived. (If you use an alarm clock to wake up just a few times a year, then you're acutely sleep deprived on those few days, but that's a different thing.)

I quit using an alarm clock years ago. The proximate cause of stopping was getting a cat that woke up me up to feed her, so that I didn't need the alarm clock any more. But it made a much bigger difference than just a change in alarm technology: The cat didn't try to wake me from a deep sleep. She would sit by my pillow and wait for signs that I was waking up, and then would apply herself to getting me to get up and feed her. Not getting jolted awake makes a world of difference.

Avoiding chronic sleep deprivation is a good thing, and I advocate it to people. I try not to get overenthusiastic about it (nothing more annoying than people who make a healthy lifestyle change and try to convince their friends and relations that it's a miracle cure for whatever ails them), but I do wish there were fewer chronically sleep deprived people on the roads, at the office, operating heavy equipment, etc.

I'm thinking of this today because of the start of daylight savings time. Among my chronically sleep deprived friends are people who claim to have "lost" an hour by the time change, which is a preposterous idea: the sun rises and sets exactly as it would have anyway. Changing what we call it doesn't lose anyone an hour. Even in the hypertechnical sense that there's one less hour between quitting time on Friday, April first and starting time on Monday April fourth, I don't think an hour was lost in any meaningful sense--time passes exactly as it would have anyway, we're just calling it something different.

No writing today. In the morning I took mom to Uncle Dave's house. He'll take her to the airport tomorrow. In the afternoon Jackie and I went for a bike ride, our first ride of the season. We went 8 miles and it left us feeling like a 100 mile ride in mid-July would be entirely doable. In the evening we went to a dinner party.

Tomorrow I need to get started on the taxes. I would have done them weeks ago, but the software didn't arrive and I had to get them to send me a replacement CDROM, and then just when it did arrive I got sent to France for a week, and the past week mom has been here. But tomorrow I'll get to the taxes.


Philip Brewer's Writing Progress homepage