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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Adventures in Enlightenment: The Sleepy Taoist

When hungry, eat, when tired, sleep.
So this month I'll be a Taoist. Specifically my challenge will be to sleep when tired. This is actually a big challenge for me. I've actually spent enormous time and energy fighting the natural sleep cycle. At the height of my disciplined sleep reduction program I had gotten down to about 5 hours a night. I'm currently averaging about 5 and 1/2 during the work week and eagerly catching up as much as I can on the weekend. If prayer worked I'd use it to get my kids to sleep in on Saturday and Sunday. But alas if it works at all it is only ironically.

As someone who has to hold a job, I need to be in a certain location at a certain time most days so the rules of engagement for this month will be to fix one end of my sleep cycle and let the other be controlled by the Tao. So I will wake up at 5:45 am every day (including the weekend) and just let my natural urge to sleep happen at the other end.

I am very curious to see what happens. I actually think I naturally tend to need less sleep than average but I'm not really sure anymore since I've been fighting sleep for so long. I don't know if I know what natural is with respect to my sleep habits.

I can tell you that waking up at that time on the weekend will require an iron will (not very Taoist I reckon) but if I'm truly getting enough sleep then it really shouldn't be a big deal. I'm very interested to see what it's like to have an hour of two to my self in the morning on the weekend. Sounds almost decadent.

I'll assume when I nod off the first time in an evening that this is the Tao telling me to go to sleep and I will respect it, no matter how many interesting things I can think of that I'd rather do than sleep (which is a lot).

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