A week or so ago, I saw a report that scientists had carried out experiments to determine the ideal number of hours of sleep an adult Homo Sapien needed each day. All very well, you might think, but one needs a proper spread-sheet to cope with the variety of situations one of our species can find themselves in. For example, how many hours does one need to return to normal life on a morning after an evening of pints and drams with drum beats in the head and a tide ebbing and flooding in the boiler room? That is unknown because it is usually interrupted by information about it being one’s own fault, demands about when are you coming to breakfast, and warnings we are expected at Aunt Agatha’s in an hour.
Then there is the weekend the grandchildren come. After two days of being begged to be a horse, or some other beast of burden, or a fast bowler, or answering the questions their parents don’t want to answer, or even just listening to their
(screams) joyous voices. Has that been tested? The required time to recover could be several days, include three counselling sessions and a case of brandy.
I’m trying not to be facetious but what about after that twenty-four hour return trip from Australia? That needs more than cultural detoxing, a cuddle from your Sheila, and a nice billy of tea by the billabong. In some cases, there are no signs of recovery to normal conversation for a year or more. Is that classed as a sleep and an awakening?
All this makes one feel for the poor researcher watching for signs of returning normality in any of us.
Regarding normality …