Ten days a week

“You must sleep some time between lunch and dinner….. Don’t think you will be doing less work because you sleep during the day. That’s a foolish notion held by people who have no imagination. You will be able to accomplish more. You get two days in one – well, at least one and a half, I’m sure. When the war started, I had to sleep during the day because that was the only way I could cope with my responsibilities.” Winston Churchill 


On those days when I have become overwhelmed by too much to do, I have often felt that I would be able to cope better if only there were ten days a week. I could then more easily divide my time up into work, family, friends, self, marital mud, future planning, domestics and maybe even a day for doing nothing (what a luxury that last day would be).

To fit everything in I tried for a while working my schedule over a fortnight. That was only fooling myself because it did not really give me any extra time.

Then I tried for a while squeezing in an extra half day here or there. For example I started devoting four hours one day a week to domestic chores, then started my real day at mid-day and worked through until 8 pm. That worked well but was exhausting.

Then by chance I stumbled on an article about Winston Churchill. Apparently during World War 2 he squeezed two days into his hectic daily schedule (from about 8 am start through to about 3 am finish) by having a late afternoon sleep of about two hours every day. Therefore he scored two work days in every twenty-four hours. Brilliant!

Little afternoon naps have been a long-time friend of mine and yet the voice of conventional wisdom cries out they will destroy my ‘proper’ night-time sleep, or worse still they are the sign of an horrendous disease (sleep apnoea). So I had often fought against them.

Then a little while ago I decided to stop listening to the voices of wisdom and instead to adopt a sleep pattern that followed my natural rhythm (ie: sleep when I felt tired). I have found it feels natural to me to have a sleep sometime between 11 am and 3 pm. This may be a longish sleep of about an hour, if I am at home, or a shorter ‘power nap’ of about twenty minutes, when at work. If I have this sleep I then feel more energetic through into the late evening. I also require less sleep at night – about five or six hours at night is plenty for me. So there are two benefits of my day sleep. I require less sleep overall and so do actually gain more hours from each day. The second benefit is I am more productive and energetic for more of those hours. There are far less ‘feeling like a useless blob’ hours.

There is a third benefit. With the incentive of gaining an extra ‘day’ here and there, I become motivated to power through domestics or mucky marital settlement stuff in the mornings without the ‘what a waste of a day’ attitude; knowing that I still have a whole ‘day’ ahead of me for more enjoyable pastimes when I wake from my day sleep.

I may not be saving the free-world, but it it is still an excellent tip. Brilliant idea Mr Churchill! Thanks for your endorsement of my strange sleeping habits.


Image courtesy[SalvatoreVuono]/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
You may want to read further on biphasic and polyphasic sleep patterns.