And Baby Makes Three

6 April 2011

Having got my sleeping schedule out-of-synch with most of the world around me, I slept from early Monday after-noon into Monday night. One of my bedroom windows, which (from a third floor) faces onto the street, was open.

At some point, I caught a bit of conversation between a young woman and young man as they walked past. She, crying, was pregnant. And, from his tone and from what he said, it seemed that the young man loved her, but was far, far too weak to handle the situation well.

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One Response to And Baby Makes Three

  • Daniel says:

    Haha! Yes, I can see how someone unfamiliar with my personal life could read that entry title, and the opening words, and think that a Blessed Event were responsible for changes to my sleep schedule. But, in fact, I don't expect to have a child for some more years now, as I am not yet married and my fiancée and I would like to spend an initial period of our marriage as just the two of us. (Perhaps, once we have a child, we will consider it to have been a mistake to have waited, but at present that seems very unlikely.)

    I think that the reasons that so many people are having sleeping problems these days are multiple.

    First, although I do not take the claim to be as obviously true as do many, I suspect that our present era is one of greater every-day anxiety than were many before it. People are just more stressed-out.

    Second, it's easier to sleep when there's little to do, but a process of technological advance has brought everyone more attraction and distraction. A tension develops between our need for sleep and the attractions of light, books, radio, television, and the 'Net, and we do not always resolve this tension in healthy manner.

    Third — and this is most relevant to my own situation — not everyone is naturally diurnal. The problem for naturally nocturnal people is that the world isn't good at letting us work when are at our best. It wants us to work during the day, which is like making diurnal people work at night, and to sleep at night. The leisure infrastructure — largely the entertainment infrastructure — keeps running at night, but the work infrastructure is largely shut-down. So we try to work in the day, but we slip into working at night when we can do without that infrastructure, as it's just easier to work at night. Of course, eventually we are compelled to reädjust our life-styles to better fit the rest of the world.

    In a era before abundant energy (coal, petroleum, &c), we were valuable to the community because we stayed awake, alert, and implicitly on guard when diurnal folk fell asleep. But the same process that brought us the aforementioned attractions made it easier for diurnal people to assume the rôles that had been filled by nocturnal people, made it harder for diurnal people to understand the difference in being naturally a night person, and reïnforced a preëxisting presumption on the part of diurnal people that nocturnal people were wicked — earlier, because they were active in the dark, when dangerous things were active, so that nocturnal people were assumed to be amongst the dangerous; now because we are active in the electric light, when irresponsible people are indulging themselves, so that we are assumed to be amongst the irresponsible.

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