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Old 11th September 2019
Lives for gear
rosewood123's Avatar

I read a book a couple months ago called Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker. It's basically a summary of all the known research and facts about sleep. Aside from covering the history and purposes of human sleep, there are also some cool things in there, like how dolphins and other water creatures sleep literally with half their brains at a time because they're suspended in water around other creatures. They basically need to stay semi-awake while they move around, and they rest one brain hemisphere and then switch to the other. Birds do a similar thing but not to the same extent, and they sleep in lines and take turns getting deeper sleep (the birds on the ends will be the most awake and "watch guard", and then they'll eventually move down the line).

Anyway, the main thing I wanted to say is that a minority percentage of people are night owls (late to sleep, late to rise), myself included. Their circadian rhythms (the body's rhythms that dictate when we're awake and asleep) are phase shifted to later times than others. The book talks about why there are evolutionary advantages to this (good to have some people awake while others are sleeping for safety), and also how night owls face potential health drawbacks because of work culture (wake up early and work during the day), and also how they face negative perceptions (I've been cast with "lazy" label too many times ...).

Yeah, interesting book. It's very well written and accessible if you're interested in sleep research.