Friday Night Jukebox: Dorveille


Jason Kuznicki

Jason Kuznicki is a research fellow at the Cato Institute and contributor of Cato Unbound. He's on twitter as JasonKuznicki. His interests include political theory and history.

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13 Responses

  1. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    Do you ever just not sleep at all for that effect?Report

  2. Avatar Turgid Jacobian says:

    So I’d love to do this but I’m so generally anxious I think that I’d never get the second half. Boo.Report

  3. I would give this a try if I were not an absolutely terrible sleeper.

    But I am an absolutely terrible sleeper, and am entirely certain if I woke myself in the middle of the night I would never get back to sleep again.Report

    • Avatar Turgid Jacobian says:

      That’s more or less what I mean. I’m just trying to assign a reason for my bad-sleeper-ness. I assume it is because I’m a worry-wart. Could be that I’m an apneaniac or over-caffeinated.Report

    • Avatar Jason Kuznicki says:

      I felt that way too. I’m a very jumpy, nervous sort of person, and formerly I often had trouble with staying asleep through the night.

      Then I started spontaneously having a dorveille whenever I was on vacation. I also noticed that I felt more alert and awake afterward.

      Once I realized that I didn’t really have a problem, I started doing it weekends, then weekdays. Now I typically wake up at 3:15. I set an alarm for it. I stay up for a while, and then I go back to bed. I’d encourage you to experiment in low-pressure situations first.Report

  4. The New Yorker just had an article about sleep and said that this is how people used to sleep before modern lighting and work patterns made us bunch it all up into one session. They think a lot of sleep maladies are caused by following patterns our bodies weren’t designed for.

  5. Avatar BlaiseP says:

    Written about the time I began my own dorveille period:

    Dreamed hard, woke around 0200, hungry and out of sorts. Out of the hotel room in old black jeans, a baggy un-ironed shirt and Corona flip-flops. I drove down to the Waffle House, into the familiar Edward Hopper painting “Nighthawks”, updated to a handful of friendly black people manning both sides of the counter. A drunken Eastern European girl, impossibly pretty, stumbles out of her boyfriend’s Beemer wearing a beaded party dress. She waves and twitters “Happy New Year!” on her way back to the restroom. Her boyfriend sits impassively in his chariot. Perhaps he’s her pimp. He has that pimp vibe: taciturn, overly groomed. If he cares about her, he doesn’t show it. Babnik.

    The man down the counter, a cheerful, chubby man of color gently scoffs at the waitress. “Ain’t you got anything better to do than come in here of nights an’ terr’rize me?” she responds, laughing in that odd admonishing way of waitresses and longtime customers. He’s just started at DeVry, about to get laid off from a local newspaper, trying to become a network administrator. I talk to him about the advantages of Linux. He tells me he didn’t study hard enough in his hardware class, but he wants to take his A+ certification. I write “Fedora Linux” on a napkin, carefully retracing the letters with a balky ballpoint pen.

    “Learn to use a UNIX command line and you’ll never starve” I tell him.

    The night can’t decide if it wants to go on raining. I get a cup of coffee to go. A Norcross police cruiser idles in front of the hotel office, its dome light on: hotels are nothing if not drama on an ongoing basis. I climb the stairs, into the chilled air of my little suite. Poring over the latest doings out of Pakistan, the Indians and Pakistanis are at it again, hammer and tongs in Kashmir. The US managed to whack another of those Bagram prison escapees: Haqqani and his brutes seem to be moving in the Swat valley, consolidating power with Mehsud: between the two of them they have assembled perhaps 200,000 fighters.

    Muslims around the world celebrate the Isra, the Night Journey of Muhammad the Prophet A solar eclipse begins in the Arctic. I contemplate the geometry of our moon in the heavens, its apparent circumference such a perfect match to the apparent circumference of the sun. New details about the Antikythera Mechanism emerge: it was also used to predict eclipses and calculate the four year interval of the ancient Olympics. The old month names of Corinth appear in glyphs: the Metonic calendar of Babylon. Which un-named genius wrought its gears? Who commissioned its making, and why?

    Thus move the gears of my mind.

    Perhaps I have no true home. C.S, Lewis once said, “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”

    Once I loved hotels. The universe smiled grimly like the genie of the lamp and granted my wishes in ways I could never have expected. This world is not my home. I write this in a hotel, sleepless, my mind sharpened to a brittle edge by too much coffee and a gutful of greasy spoon diner fare. NASA shows the advancing eclipse. CNN burbles at the other side of the suite.

    The moon advances across the face of the sun. In software, the gears of the Antikythera Mechanism advance. I close this at the moment of total eclipse.Report

  6. Avatar Stillwater says:

    I’ve experienced durveille many times – waking in the night, roaming the house, reading, stuff and things, then returning to an especially delicious sleep cycle – with exactly the same experiences you outlined here. It always struck me as an accidental correlation, happenstance, so it never occurred to me to systematize the process. I’m gonna try it. Thanks!Report

  7. Avatar Miss Mary says:

    How long should you be awake for?Report

  8. Avatar Sam Wilkinson says:

    I missed this when it first went up, but I’ll note that the idea of having vivid, lucid dreams is terrifying. I already have them and sometimes struggle to tell the difference between what I’ve dreamed and what is real. Once, I was prescribed a medicine, and because it seemed to have worked a bit at a lower dose, the doctor I was seeing recommended doubling it. I lost the month of July 2007; I don’t remember it. My dream life and waking life became nightmarishly intertwined.Report