Yesterday was lovely here, a cool breeze blowing through, and I settled into a chair with three books in hand, and Bella asleep on "her" blanket, which used to be mine, and soon I was softly asleep.
This article celebrates the natural rhythms of sleep. I have read that native peoples didn't sleep eight hours a night like we are told to do. They were in and out of sleep, up and awake at different times, communing with the night light, dark, and stars.
Editorial | The Rural Life
Life on a farm is an exercise in comparative living. This is how the humans go about their lives, and that is how the other creatures manage. And the big difference, I can say after 12 years of watching, is sleep. What a lot of shut-eye all the other species get, and how sleep-deprived humans seem in comparison! I have to wake up the dogs to have a nap with me. Out in the pasture, two of the horses stand in the curious posture that says they’re sleeping: one heel raised, one hip dropped, lower lip slowly giving in to gravity. The entire farm is comatose in the day’s heat.
I can only wonder what it’s like to be so well rested, to know that the deep pool of sleep within you — the somnifer, I suppose it’s called — is filled to the brim. I’m a good sleeper. But not compared to the creatures around me. For me, sleep is a kind of orderly embarking. For them, it’s a sudden plunge into the somnifer — a nod, a shudder, and the instantaneous snoring of those that do snore, the dogs, and the silent dozing of the rest. They live in a mirror universe of sleep and waking, and all day long they pass effortlessly back and forth.
What I find especially admirable is the animals’ attitude toward daytime sleeping. It is without prejudice because, unlike humans, they know that there is no propriety in sleep. It steals upon you when it steals upon you. You are not a worse chicken for snoozing in the early morning, not an inferior pig for napping the afternoon away in the shade beneath your house. To grasp the force of human culture, all you have to do is consider how hard we try to organize our sleeping.And that is the nub of it. I belong to an artificial pattern of sleep, trying to get a mythic eight hours in the course of the night. But all around me are natural sleepers, sleeping in rhythms established only by their bodies and the flight of the sun and moon overhead.