I could say I was doing it to bond, but the truth is, I mostly wanted to give him a hard time because he didn't go to bed until 4:00 a.m. I am aware that young adults are hardwired to stay awake late at night and sleep late. Lord knows, I don't get up at the crack of dawn myself. (I sleep A LOT. I explained to Bob that I could either stay up as late as he does or wake up with him, his choice. He opted for company in the evening.) I have a secret fear that the world's artists and highly successful people all sleep five hours a night, and that my tendancy to sleep nine hours a night means I am finally second-rate. I tell myself that Proust spent a lot of time in bed, but of course he was an asthmatic insomniac so who knows how many hours he actually slept.
I'm pretty sure Shakespeare was a five-six hour a night dude.
I am somewhat obsessed with sleep. Both because I hate to be tired and because I both never get enough of it and often feel I spend too much time doing it. I have a skittish relationship with sleep. Not a fullblown sleep disturbance insomnia relationship. I am not like a friend of mine who, as he feels more anxious over, say, work deadlines, finds that he wakes up earlier and earlier until he wakes up at 3:30 in the morning and waits until his coworkers wake up so he can call them. But I never go right to sleep at night. I'm better than when I was younger when it always took me an hour to go to sleep, but I'd say I never go to sleep in less than 15 minutes and usually take longer. I have had early morning wakefullness. I sometimes fall into a pattern where for four or five days I will wake every night between three and four and lie there for a couple of hours before going back to sleep.
Mostly though, it is the promise of sleep that is so double-edged for me. I like to sleep. It's safe and comfortable to be in bed. But when I am sleeping I'm obviously not doing something else, like composing a major work on sleep. Karl Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto at night.
"Sleep that knits up the ravell'd sleeve of care,
The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,
Chief nourisher in life's feast--"
How much sleep do you need? (I am particularly interested in hearing from geniuses but will be delighted with reports from mere mortals like myself.)