Lying tennis champs and Prime Ministers make me sleepy. Well, at present, everything makes me sleepy; even waking up makes me yawn. With the adoption of a bi-phasic sleep pattern to retain Australian working hours from the UK (10pm-6am), I’ve also tried mid-morning naps, afternoon siestas, 40 winks before dinner, and quick snoozes afterwards. All in all, a lot of sleep. This from a person that never slept much at all. Patiently laying in my waiting-room of books was the phenomenal Why We Sleep, which has driven home the importance of this life-saver. Too early to call my book of the year in January? This from the very first page:
Routinely sleeping less than 6 or 7 hours (i.e. sleep deprivation) demolishes your immune system . . . doubles your risk of cancer . . . increases chances of Alzheimer’s disease, disrupts blood sugar levels to pre-diabetic proportions, increases likelihood of blocked coronary arteries leading to stroke, congestive heart failure and cardiovascular disease . . . is a contributor to all major psychiatric conditions, including depression, anxiety and suicide . . . and is a proven recipe for a desire to eat, resulting in weight gain and obesity.
To reiterate, all that is in the first page. As the author points out, the maxim “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” is at best unfortunate. For years I subsisted on minuscule hours of slumber. I’d evolved, or so I’d thought. Turns out not. And if you think you’re in that camp, you’re not either. “The number of people who can survive on five hours of sleep or less without any impairment, expressed as a percent of the population, and rounded to a whole number, is zero.” Not a lot of wiggle room.
Makes me want to lie down just thinking about it. Whist I’m there, I’ve been chewing through Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize winning The Color Purple and the 110-year old The Secret Garden by Frances Hodson Burnett, both excellent. I’ve been out walking, taking photos and getting exercise as much as I can to help those nap times, and watching my beloved Arsenal appearance in the FA Cup was a sure-fire snooze fest. Hiding away in Wales, I feel a little removed from the world. And Australia was pretty far removed as it is! The antipodes have slowed down it’s PCR testing dramatically, pushing people to purchase their own Lateral Flow/Rapid Antigen Tests at $15 a pop. Remember the President that claimed his country wouldn’t have such high covid numbers if they tested less? Yup. Welcome to Australia!
Right. It’s bed time somewhere; time to celebrate. Sleep like your life depends upon it. 2022, year of the yawns.
Writing and writing...