Klamath Nat’l Forest: 16°

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Not for wimps!

I realize I might be preoccupied with the temperatures in the forest but, you’ll please forgive me for being so fixated on 16°and a minus 3° wind chill factor!

No, it’s not something for wimps—and yes, those flannel sheets did the trick! I will admit that, after going to bed around 8PM, I did awaken close to midnight—and I started the Sienna to load up on some heat for about 20 minutes.

Have you ever thanked inanimate objects? I slept through until the sunrise without any problems (Sunrise! Guess I slept in late this morning!).

Not too bad!

It was a lot more windy on Mount Shasta so, it seems I was warmer here at 16 than I was on Shasta at 17—with its wind and much colder wind chill!

You might be able to get an idea of the chilly conditions from the ground frost and frozen puddles shown in the above photo!

Very refreshing!

“First Sleep”

I have read some of the history of humankind regarding the nature of our sleep patterns in the not-so-distant past.

Life was pretty different for everyone before there was artificial lighting!

Oh, the “rich” humans had the benefits of candles and fires made by servants (and butter!) but, everyone else hit the sack shortly after the sun went down.

This was the beginning of your “First Sleep.”

Well, as any teenager would tell you: that’s too early! But, humans are built to do this and have since the beginning of time.

Au natural

We sleep in REM sleep periods of ninety minutes. That’s worth repeating: We sleep in REM sleep periods of ninety minutes!

So, three hours, four and a half, six and seven and a half hours later, we naturally wake up (or turn).

When we would reach the end of one of those markers in the past, that’s when “First Sleep” would end. And that’s when we would arise to build a fire, if we could swing it, eat, do a nature call and socialize—even if it meant traveling to visit others!

No warning.

Our carousing, as my grandmother would call it, would be complete, our bellies satisfied, our business taken care of, a little warmth from the hearth—and we would return to our pillows for (drumroll…) second sleep!

Life was like that!

Yes, we naturally do this. So, if you find yourself waking up after a few hours and find it difficult to go back to sleep, just have something to eat, build a fire and knock on your neighbor’s door to see how they’re doing.

You’ll be able to go right back to the sack yourself (maybe not so much for the neighbors!). It’s, naturally, the human thing to do!

Enter Tom Edison

Oh Tom, you changed the world in ways we can hardly fathom today. The first major change in sleeping habits since we discovered fire—for one!

Thanks Tom!

Light Emitting Diodes

But, the best lighting invention, in my not-so-humble opinion (IMNSHO), is the “little electronic device” (also “LED”—thanks to Dean Bailey for that) that gives light in very small packages—with minimal current drain—saving minivan and triple A batteries everywhere!

Tom would have been proud!

He’s doing it again!

Yes, I’m rambling again. But, it’s for a good cause! How, you may ask? Oh, thank you so much for asking!

Cure for the morning blues.

In broadcasting, we call this “backtiming.” Need to get up at 7AM? Backtime your sleep cycles—allowing for 12-15 minutes to fall asleep—in 90 minute periods (this is true for everyone who doesn’t have a sleep disorder).

Eight hours of sleep?

That’s the absolute worst thing you can do to yourself! Eight hours guarantees you will be waking up in the middle of a REM sleep period!

Aim for six or seven and a half hours of sleep (nine, if you can swing it without being shamed!). And don’t forget about that “falling asleep” time!

Details, details.

A 7AM wake up call means going to bed at 11:15 for five REM sleep periods of ninety minutes. Uh oh, the clock says 11:30? You’ve missed your REM window! Only one thing to do.

Stay up until 12:45 and get four REM sleep periods, instead.

I know that might sound a little crazy but, your entire sleep cycle will be completely natural—and you’ll wake right up when that alarm goes off feeling great!

Of course, you could try that First Sleep “knocking on the neighbor’s door” method—if you are really brave. I recommend the scientific approach with the REM sleep thing!

So, sleep well; sleep smart. Boy, the things you learn from blogs!

Happy trails my friend!

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