Baffled by Sleep

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Have you noticed that I’ve been posting a little earlier than usual for the past few weeks? For the past few months, even. Well, I have, and it’s deeply, deeply weird. For over 30 years, I’ve been the world’s biggest baby about waking up early. I get up naturally at 8 am, and being forced to wake up even an hour earlier has always felt like being dragged into the fourth circle of Hell.

But for the past year, I’ve been waking up occasionally at 7:30, or even 7:00, without anyone forcing me to. Then a few months ago that became routine. And a few weeks ago I started waking up way earlier. Yesterday I was up at 5 am. Today I was up at 6 am. And the really weird part is that it hasn’t had much effect on me. Maybe a tiny bit more tiredness in the late afternoon, but that’s it. I’m my usual low-energy self, but no lower than before, and I still fall asleep at midnight, same as always.

I’ve heard that sleep patterns get disrupted as you age, but I’m only 53. So what’s going on? How could I require eight hours of sleep for my entire adult life, and then, within a matter of months, transition to seven or six or even five and not feel a difference? I’m baffled. I wonder if it will last?


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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