March 18, 2006

In which the One Solves a Problem

Its habit of getting up late you'll agree
That it carries too far, when I say
That it frequently breakfasts at five-o'clock tea,
And dines on the following day.

- Lewis Carroll, The Hunting of the Snark

It has come to one’s attention that one requires considerably more sleep than the average person. Ten-hour stretches, for the One, are practically de rigueur. The occasional eleven-hour marathon is savoured, and filed away in the memory for reminiscence purposes. Twelve is heaven.

The problem, actually, is not that one sleeps so much. The problem is when. The lateness of the hour that one goes to sleep, people, is surpassed only by the lateness of the hour that one wakes up.

But there was this brief period when one became an Early Riser, yes, a fugitive glimmer of Hope in the drowsy blur that this life has been. That was when one went to the Netherlands a while ago. For a week, everything was wonderful. One would wake up at hours of the extremely wee kind, gaze at the rising sun, think all sorts of profound sunrise-related thoughts, and then set off on a Brisk Morning Walk. And then one would return, positively wallowing in inspiration, bright-eyed, and raring, yes, raring to face the day. And, in the evening, one would be fast asleep by eight or nine. The folks back home began to believe that there was some hope yet for the One.

But they, in their usual optimism, had not bargained for the superbly adaptive nature of one’s body clock. A fortnight, and one was sleeping at Dutch hours that were, if anything, even unearthlier than the ol’ Singaporean ones.

Nevertheless, the experience helped one find a Solution. Yes. The Solution is to keep travelling westwards, moving on when the body clock adjusts. So from Singapore one flies to, say, Bombay where 3 am is only 12:30 am*, which is an entirely okay sort of time to crash. After a week or so (as the bedtime gradually approaches 3 am IST), one proceeds to Dubai, and a week after that to London, and then New York, Los Angeles, Honolulu. Then we cross the date line to find ourselves in Sydney, and then we’re back in Singapore. And then we start all over again, perhaps along different latitudes this time round. We lose days somewhere, of course **, but then we always did have too much time on our hands.

And if anybody is wondering how one plans perpetually to fund such Foggean travel one shall subject them to the Withering Look, for one does not like practical details getting in the way of Great Plans.

* One accepts, of course, that Indian Standard Time is the One True Time and that one is being rather pretentious hurrying along a couple of hours ahead.

** That’s one aspect of the time-difference thing that one cannot quite comprehend, but one is assured that it happens.


DeepBlueSea said...

Ah, the One speaks of a blissful existence... and seems to have perfected the art of making it a freakishly normal process. Who can argue with the logic of timezone travel, if only to prove that One maintains a regular body clock.

Gotta go... it is almost the breakfast hour, IST.

Casablanca said...

Oh, if One needs a companion for these grand travel plans, I wouldnt mind accompanying. Of course, I'm assuming inconsequential details like financing will be taken care of by The One and Only. What's money for the sake of research on Better Sleeping Habits for Humans :)

Cynthia E. Bagley said...

Sounds like a good excuse for travelling... Ummm... as if One needed an excuse

Anonymous said...

you have been tagged =D

DSK said...

10 hours of sleep is purrrfect bliss especially
- when there's a thesis to complete,
- when there's a write up to be submitted,
- when a movie has to be analyzed...

when there is just sooooo much work to do!!!

Did someone say "Sleep your worries away"??? I totally agree!!!

Twilight Fairy said...

"Nice to see you around again!"
Wonder when one would be blessed with the same! At least one makes efforts to be seen around in a biz to get "the one" to ones blog.

BTW last night I slept after 36 hours. That, my dear, is another way of ensuring that one sleeps early and gets up early - minus the travel costs :)

Jasmine said...

This One is mystified as to why The One would want to change The One's bedtime from a perfectly acceptable 3 a.m. to 12:30. The fact that This One is usually asleep by ten pm does not in any way prevent This One from being mystified. But we do have one thing in common - the ten hour sleeping periods.

LAK said...

Stop, stop, am wildly jealous! Yours truly could easily sleep for 12 hours, but is not getting more than 6. Obviously, all you exalted beings do not yet know the "joys"of parenthood!*disappearing in green flames*

One in a Billion said...

Deepa: Precisely. Hence it is shown that bliss and normalcy can coexist. Unlikely as that may sound.

Casa: Financing? Certainly. Camping can be fun. And the outdoor atmo is most conducive to proper sleeping habits, too.

Cynthia: Ah, you see right through the One! But excuses are good. At least this one is.

Dee: Umm. Tag. Tough one, that.

DSK: Very true. One slept practically round the clock during exam week. Er .. maybe that wasn't such a great idea.

Twilight: Slept after thirty-six hours, you say? You be Quite Superhuman.

Jasmine: Three in the morning is entirely reasonable, of course. But little things have always got in the way of one's Ideal Schedule. School, college, work. All of which, for unfathomable reasons, are required to be endured during the day.

LAK: Six hours?! How do you manage to keep your eyes open? How are you even reading this? This blog is frequented by Superpeople! Superparents, even.

Anonymous said...

tough one???

But not beyond One, such a trivial thing, no, for he is afterall...... in a Billion =D


Aditi said...

good post, unfortunately me being an early riser fails to understand how people sleep so much and so late!

Anjali said...

Being at the moment in a place that is several hours westwards of where I normally am, I can completely empathize with waking up at hours that are really wee. And with struggling to stay awake past 7 pm (but not, however, having a chance to actually sleep, given that there is Work To Be Done and Social Events To Be Attended). I entirely fail to see the advantages of such a predicament. Why on earth would One recommend travelling westwards to prolong this state of being?

LAK said...

You've been tagged, but only if you want to be, of course!

One in a Billion said...

Dee: Ah, Dee. You flatter this humble blogger right out of his skin. But .. ahem, since you put it that way, we shall see what can be done.

Aditi: Ah, so you are one of Them. Rest assured that we fail to understand you, too!

Anjali : One understands your predicament, of course, but it would appear that our situations are quite different. First, one might assume that you were not a very late sleeper to begin with, so you should not have been travelling at all (if anything, you should have proceeded eastwards). Secondly, one rarely engages in either of the two activities you mention, and hence enjoys much freedom when it comes to body-clock adjustment.

In any case, we wish you luck and await your return.

LAK: Goodness. Two tags almost at once. Just as one was becoming quite certain that the entire blogosphere shunned him and did not think him tagworthy, you and Dee bring fresh joy into his sleepy life. Many thanks.

shakester said...

One doesnt know why but one cannot sleep 'early' either. On days one is tired, it is sometimes even more acute. So one knows what a bleary eyed existence is, slapped by inspiration at all the 9so called) wrong times...

One in a Billion said...

Shakester: Ah, a fellow sufferer. But (this) one is worse off, for he does not even get Inspiration for company!

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