Baffled by Sleep

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Have you noticed that I’ve been posting a little earlier than usual for the past few weeks? For the past few months, even. Well, I have, and it’s deeply, deeply weird. For over 30 years, I’ve been the world’s biggest baby about waking up early. I get up naturally at 8 am, and being forced to wake up even an hour earlier has always felt like being dragged into the fourth circle of Hell.

But for the past year, I’ve been waking up occasionally at 7:30, or even 7:00, without anyone forcing me to. Then a few months ago that became routine. And a few weeks ago I started waking up way earlier. Yesterday I was up at 5 am. Today I was up at 6 am. And the really weird part is that it hasn’t had much effect on me. Maybe a tiny bit more tiredness in the late afternoon, but that’s it. I’m my usual low-energy self, but no lower than before, and I still fall asleep at midnight, same as always.

I’ve heard that sleep patterns get disrupted as you age, but I’m only 53. So what’s going on? How could I require eight hours of sleep for my entire adult life, and then, within a matter of months, transition to seven or six or even five and not feel a difference? I’m baffled. I wonder if it will last?

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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