Monday, March 19, 2012

My New Sleep Experiment...

And How It's Going...

It is 5:06am as I begin to write this. Any minute now I’ll be off to bed. My alarm is set for 9am and I have to teach my first T'ai-Chi lesson at 10am. I’ll probably be a little late for that first one…And then I have 3 more lessons to teach, which will take me until somewhere around 2pm. I might have lunch with my last student as that is often our custom if he happens to be free. After lunch, whether with my friend or back here at our apartment, I’ll check my emails and go back to bed. I’ll probably sleep from about 3 or 4pm until about 6pm. At that point I’ll get up, check my email again, maybe have a cup of green tea and then get ready to start recording my newest album, “Where I Belong”. My engineer and friend Tom Freeman will pick me up around 7pm and take me to his home studio and before too long we’ll get started. I’m hoping to get satisfactory takes on 15 songs in this session and believe it or not that’s pretty doable. I’ve done it before. I’ll at least take good shots at all of them and we’ll probably be done around midnight or so.

I’ll come home, probably pretty energized from the session and start working on some aspect of one or another of my various creative projects. I’ll end up going to bed somewhere between 4-6am and then I’ll do something like this again, except that the evening will not be spent recording but co-hosting an Open Mike. Believe it or not, this kind of schedule is actually feeling really good.

I've always been a night owl, ever since I can remember. Anytime my schedule would permit it, I'd shift to going to bed at 5am and getting up at noon. I've been struggling for years trying to reconcile my nocturnal nature with the demands of a diurnal world. This is by far the best compromise I've come up with yet. I’m getting between 4-6 hours of sleep at night, usually going to bed between 3-6am, and then I’m getting another 2-3 hours in the afternoon or early evening. So far it’s been a few months and I’m liking it, as well as getting used to it. I find I'm a little tired when I first wake up, but before long I'm good to go. I definitely crash majorly in the afternoon and need to go down for at least 2 hours then. It’s funny not getting all my sleep at once…and splitting it into two sections. The afternoon one is not just a “nap”, I really go to sleep. In fact the afternoon sleep sometimes feels more like “going to bed” and the early morning sleep sometimes feels like the nap. Anyway, so far so good.

I’m wondering if anyone else out there is also experimenting with non-orthodox sleeping patterns. Please don’t refer me to a website or some study about this. I can search those myself when I’m interested in doing that. I’m more interested in first hand accounts from people I might actually know or who are at least within my circle of contacts.


  1. i can totally relate to this schedule in sac....huh...huh....we called it the graff patern but that was because we were all on that schedule so we could be out all night painting freights but still function during the day like rubes honestly i think certain people are meant for that kind of schedule we are the siesta folk or something

    1. sounds like my school sleeping schedule. though half the time I'm debating whether or not what I'm doing is bad for my health and if I should start a regular schedule... and then it doesn't work and I fall back into it. it works alright but sometimes I miss my afternoon nap and become disoriented for the rest of the day..

    2. I do think it's the kind of schedule that people in Southern Europe favor. When we lived in Naples back in the 60's the whole town shut down every afternoon. And I am one half Italian...I have occasionally missed the pm nap and when I do, I just have a little black tea to get me through the energy dive and then a little green tea to prop me up a bit in the evening and then I end up going to bed around the same time as usual, maybe a little early like maybe 3am...I find that every now and then it's nice, like on a Saturday, to sleep in, but even then, I only end up getting 7 or so and just feel like waking up. I'm liking this new thing so far. I also do T'ai-Chi and Chi Kung in the mornings and late evenings to keep my body open and loose and uncompressed. That helps too. Also, I feel like I'm closer to my creative unconscious mind...since I don't go way down to it as deeply, it sort of comes up to me. That's just my subjective feeling...might be kidding myself. Thanks for the feedback. GB

  2. Gene ,
    Its been a while since ive been to your blog to see what yer up to . alot has happened in the last 2 years . My life has changed so much .have not been online much .I have been wisked away ,But thats another story. I spent most of my evening tonight seeing what your up to .Reading your blog and watching your videos . I am impressed by your new songs . Great job ! I like the one about "sin" . Sleep - I used to be able to relate to your sleep patterns ,but now that im single and alone . I love to sleep alot . I usually sleep eight to ten hours a night,and even more on the weekends .go to bed at 9 pm get up at 7:30 on the weekdays go to work . weekends- stay up to any where from 11 pm to 6am and then sleep most of the day till 5pm.Im 45 years old and Im not sure why ,But I just love to sleep and sleep and sleep and sleep and sleep , I sometimes wish i would never wake up. it just feels so good .
    Keep up the good work
    A Fan

  3. Thanks Anonymous. I enjoy sleeping too and it's never a problem for me to fall asleep. It literally takes a few minutes, sometimes seconds. Maybe if I did music *or* taught T'ai-Chi, instead of both, I might be into long sleeping too. But for now, breaking my sleep in two seems to be the best way to go. Take care and sweet dreams. ;~) GB