[Vwoolf] The Big Sleep

Mary Ellen Foley mefoleyuk at gmail.com
Fri May 15 13:24:32 EDT 2020

I've been enjoying the sleep discussion, Jeremy and all --

I would have thought the fact that Leonard carried veronal when they
travelled would argue, along with your quote about the sleeping draught,
would be all the evidence we needed to be certain that Woolf had sleep
issues, but as for her sleep patterns?  I wish I knew.  But surely Leonard
documented these, while he was documenting every calorie she consumed and
every penny they earned or spent?  So his notebooks might enlighten there.

And all those hours of enforced bed rest while ill would likely lead to
sleep problems, sleeping in the daytime being detrimental to sleep at
night, if you do too much of it.  Also (I don't have access to my books
right now to check, but) wasn't being awake for days one of her symptoms
when she was "mad"?

By the by -- I once knew in California an Icelander who, accustomed to
living where there was no light for months and then no dark for months,
just let himself sleep when he was tired and get up when he was refreshed.
He found that he fell into a 25-hour cycle, a pattern that has been
reported elsewhere, too.  As for Jan, he would come into the lab every day
for a while, coming in later and later until he was only coming in at night
and we never saw him until he went round the cycle again. He never
mentioned any first- and second-sleep phenomenon, though, in letting
himself sleep as nature (seems to have) willed.

Mary Ellen
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