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Julie Sascia Mewes: Matters of Sleep. Sleep Timing Devices Towards a “Sleep of Any Time”. [Abstract]

The article focuses on how sleeping as a daily practice is enacted through and besides “timing devices” for Northern Norwegian shift workers managing their sleep in the absence of common sleep-wake rhythms. Hospital staff working night and day shifts above the Arctic Circle are particularly challenged in managing their sleep-wake rhythms due to rotating working hours and contrasting seasons regarding extreme variations in light exposure. It is argued that uncommon sleep routines and subjective meanings of “good” sleep turn sleep from a merely unconscious mundane practice to an important “arena” of daily self-management. The article explores how timing sleep in daily life “comes to matter” within an interwoven network of social, material, environmental, and temporal arrangements. Methodically based on praxeographic participant observation and qualitative interviews with Nordic healthcare professionals, the article explores the socio-technological side of sleep (time). It discusses the notion of a “sleep of any time” building up on former notions of the “sleep of others” (Kroker 2007) and the “sleep of ourselves” (Williams et al. 2015) allowing further analysis of daily sleep timings (un)intentionally detached from common imaginings of “normal” or “natural” sleep-wake rhythms.

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