I was at a conference in California last week and I’m at another in Spain this week. Lots of work travel in the summer, non undergraduate teaching months. (Not teaching free though. I do a lot of graduate thesis supervision in the summer.) I’ve written about academic conference travel here.
Over coffee in California there was much complaining about jet lag. I’m not immune. But it rarely results in me getting less sleep. I slept on the plane on the way to LA and I got a good night’s sleep my first night there. I joked that sleep was my super power.
Tracy blogged about the Lean Eating habit of setting a sleep ritual here, That ever elusive good night’s sleep! and about her struggles settling into bed in time. She used to be a “good sleeper” too, pre-menopause so I know what I have might not last.
I’m lucky about sleep. I know that.
I once shared a room with a senior, feminist philosopher, back when I was an untenured beginner. Come night time I brushed my teeth, put on pj’s, and turned out my light.
She said, “That’s it?”
Turns out she had a complicated pre sleep ritual that involved meditation, yoga, reading and often all for naught. Sleep eluded her many nights.
At the time I had young children and l had learned to sleep whenever the opportunity arose: trains, planes, my office if need be.
So far my excellent ability to sleep anywhere, anytime has stuck with me. My partner reports that I fall asleep within minutes of my head hitting the pillow and saying goodnight.
Do I do anything special about sleep? Not really. It helps, I think, that I rarely watch TV or use computers after dinner. I rarely even open my laptop in the evening. I do use my phone but my phone also runs an app called twilight that starts blocking blue light as day runs down. I like my room dark dark dark. Ideally, I like a cold room with lots of blankets. There’s never been a television in our room and if the watching of series on phones, tablets, whatever happens, it’s after I’m asleep, with headphones.
Right now we’re in the one season I find challenging for sleep. Early summer means long summer evenings. Biking until after nine at night! Wide awake teenagers prowling the hallways.
Luckily it’s also the season that’s most forgiving in terms of work schedule. So summer naps are definitely a thing.