[Vwoolf] The Big Sleep

David Eberly davidmeberly at gmail.com
Thu May 14 10:39:22 EDT 2020

I thought I’d add my downtown Boston perspective to the 3 a.m. New England sleep discussion.  I got woken at 3 a.m. last night by a loud argument beneath my window between two homeless men about a telephone one was accusing the other of stealing. Not conducive to spiritual reflection, except perhaps gratitude, even in these times.

When I first read of the N.E. sleep pattern I wondered if I got it by osmosis, growing up in a town founded in 1636 and surrounded by what are now Unitarian churches.  Occasionally I wander out to Concord - I have a fondness for the Emerson House, if not always his essays!  

Speaking of Emerson, I’ve been reading John Lysaker’s Philosophy, Writing, and the Character of Thought In the vain attempt to be less frivolous, David

Sent from my iPad

> On May 14, 2020, at 9:10 AM, Mark Hussey via Vwoolf <vwoolf at lists.osu.edu> wrote:
> Thank you SO much for this Gretchen. For the past couple of months I have been falling asleep almost as soon as I turn out the light, then waking about 3 hours later feeling that it is time to get up, around 2.30/3am, and lying in the dark for hours before getting another couple of hours around 5/6am. I have even resorted to sleeping pills to break this cycle, but now perhaps I see I should just get up and answer some emails, ha ha. Better living through the Woolf listserv. Stay safe out there everyone…
> From: Vwoolf <vwoolf-bounces+mhussey=verizon.net at lists.osu.edu> On Behalf Of Gretchen Gerzina via Vwoolf
> Sent: Thursday, May 14, 2020 8:48 AM
> To: Vwoolf at lists.osu.edu
> Subject: [Vwoolf] The Big Sleep
> Dear Pavasha,
> There’s been a lot written about the two-sleep cycle, which dates back to Roman times, and was common throughout Europe and America. A great book on this is E. Roger Ekirch’s At Day’s Close, which gives the whole history of this. Lots of people wake after 4 hours, then sleep again for several more. In early New England, people used to get up after their first sleep and greet others in the street, before going back to bed for their second sleep. It wasn’t unusual for people to ask in the morning, “how was your first sleep”?
> Gretchen Gerzina
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