Let’s Sleep Together

I mean it quite literally. I sleep in my bed, you sleep in yours, in our respective bedrooms.

I finished Ariana Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution last weekend. It felt like an extended pop article/essay about sleeping. Witty writing, brimmed with catchy facts based on recent studies. Hey, more argument to be made to your boss! The general consensus is clear: sleep is important.

Everything you read in The Sleep Revolution is probably all the things you’ve read or heard before. The dangers of sleep deprivation and fatal accidents it caused; the health benefits; the sleeping industry; tips, hacks, and how-to’s of a better sleep; and a bunch of sales pitch of sleeping products. I admit it’s handy to have all the information in one book. But there is one discussion missing in it.

Different Circadian Rhythms

In my personal observation, those around me are not aware of how circadian rhythm works. We commonly hear it as biological clock. Our biological clocks are different. Some are early risers, others are night owls. It could be formed by habit, but most likely it’s biological. Our bodies regulate itself at different times of the day. On normal days, I will never be able to sleep before 11pm; while my friend, Cici, shuts down at 9-ish.

The issue is, we need 7-8 hours of sleep every night. If I sleep at 1 and wake up 8 hours later, that will be 9am. Work starts exactly at 9. I need an hour to really wake up and get up; half an hour to dress and have breakfast; and half an hour to commute to work. By now, I’m already 2 hours late to work.

Most companies here still adhere to traditional business hours. They won’t compromise with your circadian rhythm. So you have to make the adjustment. If you don’t, they’ll deduct your salary think you’re lazy. That means, in order to be in the office by 9 in the morning, I have to sleep before 11pm, and this is a difficult habit to start. This is just not working.

A glimpse of my sleep tracker. It’s shit. And what’s the point of putting the number 10 there? 😩

There are more and more studies about our internal clock, which confirm that, yes, some of us sleep and wake up late. But they say it’s possible to reset that clock by altering your light exposure. I’m going to try sleeping with my curtain half open, so the sunlight will wake me up. I can already imagine my morning struggles.

Nevertheless, I still believe the adage needs to change: get enough sleep at the right time.

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