⪧ We left our life in New York City to make a new one in Provence ⪦

February 26, 2013

Awfully embarrassing.

My dad is what is considered a "short sleeper." He and one of his brothers (probably many of his siblings, actually). This is, apparently, a rare and lucky thing to be. He functions very well on 5 hours of sleep. Weekend mornings from childhood through teenagehood were punctuated with my dad's voice pummeling through my early morning sleep, "Get up. You're wasting your life away." I have never known him to sleep past 6am. He is one of the most voracious readers and productive people I know. I guess he has the advantage of more waking hours.

Well, he is being studied. A researcher at the University of Utah is conducting research on short sleepers and the potential genetic component of this phenomenon. The researcher not only wanted to study my dad, but a few of his children as well. Although there is no way in the whole world that I am a short sleeper (I am falling asleep by 10pm most nights, can hardly make it through a movie and function best on 9 hours of sleep), it is fruitful to study children in genetics. So, three of my siblings and I are using gadgets to chart our sleep and answering questionnaires and being interviewed by this researcher. I hope that I will pass on the short sleep gene to one of my children as remuneration for my efforts (although I hope it won't kick in until after babyhood and night wakings).

In any case, the other day I was filling in one of the questionnaires for the study. Some of the questions were puzzling - gauging things like feelings of worthlessness, indecision, punishment feelings, loss of pleasure, guilty feelings, sex drive - which I guess is all related to and wrapped up in sleep. I dutifully checked the boxes and even filled in extra commentary for the researchers to give them as much color as might be helpful in understanding my current sleeping patterns. I did this at work, where I have a few extra minutes here and there to sit down and concentrate. I scanned it. I came back to my desk and emailed it off to the researchers. Later, in communicating with a colleague at a partner bank, I sent an attachment. What I thought was the same spreadsheet I update and send daily was, in fact, a special treat for this banking friend. He now has a lot more "color" on me. I hope it improves our daily interactions. Ha! Awful.

4 comments:

Emily + Eric said...

This sounds like a play from the Emily Stauffer book! Just think how delighted your Banker friend was to receive something other than the same old e-mails. Wonderful.

TSL said...

I sank a serious three inches down in my seat when I got to the bottom of your post. I've been there and can relate to the horror upon first realization! The world is your oyster, you carry this off well.

Aralena said...

Oh no! Hilarious error, Emilie. Did you chalk it up to lack of sleep?

JB's mom is a short sleeper. I wonder how living in a country where nothing except la boulangerie opens before 10am would make being a short sleeper somewhat frustrating? Versus the U.S. 24/7 lifestyle?

Xtreme English said...

Post it on your blog!! Then we can all be fascinated. Not just bankers need to know these things about people.

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