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If you wake up mid-sleep do you want to know the time? October 17, 2013

Posted by Sharath Rao in Uncategorized.

Lets assume you  set up the alarm for a certain time every morning. Now if you happen to wake up in the middle of the night, do you, before you return to sleep, look for the clock? I know people who do. I don’t. I used to but I don’t anymore. 

I find that to me it has no upside and only a downside. If I have set the alarm for 7 am and I happen to be up at maybe 6:15, knowing that I have another 45 mins to sleep does me no good and simply ensures that I can’t go back to sleep. In fact, I may be tempted to not go back to bed if I know I only have 45 mins to go and thus give myself no chance at all. I therefore make a conscious attempt to not know the time, which means not even look towards the window. If, on the other hand I woke up at 2, knowing that I have 5 more hours to go does not necessarily help me sleep better either. I know people for whom this is supposedly an upside but it isn’t for me.

Of course, its a different story if the alarm is not reliable – perhaps then you can be more vigilant sleeping with only 45 mins to go. But that has better solutions including finding yourself a better alarm.

In a culture where keeping track of one’s progress and executing on one’s goals is prized, not knowing how much progress I have made through my (sleeping) goals gives me a better chance at achieving them.

Ignorance, for once, is indeed bliss.




1. hpsarathy - October 18, 2013

When you have the luxury of reaching work late morning, this would seem a nuisance. But when you have to reach at 7 am for which you need to wake up at 6 am, the knowledge that you have 50 more minutes to sleep is, quite frankly, precious. That, and you ought to be gifted enough to fall asleep the moment the eyelids close.

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