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November 26, 2008


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The New York City Math Teacher

Ah... This is where I would be without the 7:50am work start-time. So I have the six hour long morning rush through noon/one pm (aided by java, lunch, and methyl-phenidate), followed by the early-afternoon dip, the late afternoon dopiness (I almost never nap), then the evening acceleration towards a vertical stall and flat spin ~midnight.

If I take ritalin after two pm, I don't fall asleep until 2 or 3 or even 4 am - this wasn't true in the past, but something changed in my metabolism three or four years ago, and I am much more sensitive to stimulants. Is this the rumored death of sleep in middle-age?

And night awakenings? Those are happening with much greater frequency - (not apnieic, I don't snore). The 3am cup of herbal tea is far oftener companion. However, you can get *lots* of work done in the hours between 3 and 6.

There's a great book by Richard Coleman entitled "Wide Awake At 3AM", which is a nice study of the science and sociology of sleep and sleep disorders.

Will Baird

heh. I haven't examined my body's rhythm that closely, but I do know that if I were to let go to sleep when it wanted to and get up when it wanted to, I'd be hitting the sack around 4 am and sleep for 8 hours. I am very much a nightowl in my natural state.

Andrew R.

I am right there with you. It's particularly frustrating when trying to write a thesis, because it means that I've got a "sweet spot" from around 8 to noon when the coffee's metabolized and my neurons are all firing, but after that, garbage. I usually want to push past noon, but I run and lift enough that by the time it hits noon, I'm so hungry I could chop off my own leg and eat it, so then I eat lunch. The sad part of that is that as soon as lunch has digested, bang! I'm ready for a nap.

But I have discovered one solution to the afternoon haze. I drink a cup of coffee and then go to sleep. I sleep for about thirty to forty minutes, and then, once the coffee's metabolized, I awaken up, alert, and ready to read more of those exciting bishops' registers.


Andrew, that's funny - my Mom does the exact same thing. I always thought it odd but it works a charm for her - she drinks a very strong espresso, lies down immediately, falls asleep for half an hour, wakes up refreshed and ready to go.

I should try this.

Doug (not Muir)

Doug, why not get an East Coast client of some sort? Your evening peak period is their afternoon, so you're good for teleconferences and the like.

My crash-times are 2:30 and 8:30pm, and like several of the other commenters (correlation?), if left to my own devices I would definitely be a night owl.

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