E is for Early to Bed, Early to Rise

by Mr Uku

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Last Sunday, the clocks went forward, you might have noticed. If you didn’t notice then now you know why you’ve been early…or late…or both…all week.

I noticed.

I’ve been noticing for the past 5 days. I hate it when the clocks go forward; it takes me months to get used to the new times.

I go from managing to get up at 08:30 – 09:00 to getting up at 09:30 – 10:00 instead which means that my walks get later which means I’m having dinner (lunch if you’re a southerner) not long after I’ve had breakfast which makes me feel groggy. I don’t have dinner later because it feels weird to eat anything after 14:00 because it’s around then I’m leading up to nap time.

Nap time is ace. Every day at 16:00 I head for the couch and have a bit of a kip. Thanks to Mr Jobs’ Magical Pocket Telephone I am able to set things up so I get no calls for an hour and won’t be disturbed. Well, except for those pesky PPI calls.

Some people laugh at my nap time. Some call me lazy. Some ask if I’m a toddler.

I pity those fools.

Nap time is a great way to procrastinate as it abides by the great procrastination rule – it helps to clear the brain and gives you something else to think about so you can take a long run at whatever you’re not writing.

How? Naps are by their nature a very light sleep. This generally leads to dreaming and dreaming is when your creative brain is allowed to run around unsupervised for a while.

Don’t like naps? Fine, but make yourself aware that dreams come in cycles, usually around every 90 minutes or so. That’s why you find yourself daydreaming at odd times.

Instead of fighting it, I recommend you keep an eye on how your brain works. You’re probably aware that some people like to work early in the morning or late at night. You might be like me and prefer to work in the day but think at other times.

I found, twenty odd years ago, that my best and most creative thinking tends to happen in the early hours of the morning between 01:00 and 02:00 when I’m tired enough to relax but not enough to actually be asleep. Also, there are less distractions at that hour. So I like to stay up late but I don’t like to feel like I’ve wasted my day by having a lie-in, so I get up early-ish.

See, now my afternoon nap makes more sense.

Naps, daydreams and general dreams are your friend which means that when a writer is sleeping, he or she is still working. Keeping a dream journal suddenly makes more sense now, doesn’t it? But keep that journal with you for the rest of the day so when that 90 minute cycle comes around, you’ll be ready.

Anyway, all of this has made me feel quite sleepy so I’m off to couch for “work”.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Nettie April 5, 2013 at 1:52 pm

Hmm… it seems to have most effect I’ll have to time your delivery of noisy stuff for around 4:30….


Mr Uku April 5, 2013 at 2:17 pm



Ailsa Abraham April 5, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Totally agree. Naps are the most wonderful invention and the greatest thing about being retired (or an invalid). Naps give the brain and body time to work in their own time. Only snag is when your own sleep cycles do not work in synch with a person with whom you share the bed.


Mr Uku April 5, 2013 at 4:08 pm

And that’s why I have a Not-Girlfriend 😀


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