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Sleepless over Sleep

on March 23, 2012

It’s horrible to not be able to write for so long. But I guess that happens when you get hit by a tornado of work and time slots start clashing and your prof sends you a mail saying he wants to visit your work place.

All of that left me a bit sleep-deprived. Or so I think. So I decided to find out.

The first article i found was this. Basically, that’s BBC telling you that 8 hours of sleep is unnatural, that humans never slept 8 hours at a stretch but broke their sleep into 2 cycles of 4 hours naps and that modern technology (the invention of lights that lengthened the day-time for humans) is to blame for less rest time which resulted in the present 8 hour cycle sleep cycle.

This was not a very encouraging post to start with considering I count my 8 hours and sleep and can go on if the alarm doesn’t ring or no one bothers to shake me out of my dreams.

Then I found this which was better because it talks about the importance of sleep and how you should definitely get your share of sleep. It delves into the science of sleep, talking about non-REM and REM cycles as well. Aah, see ? it says most humans require 7.75 hours (scientists and their precise numbers) of sleep. Now, I feel better.

And then I stumbled upon this – a Sleep Profiler. It’s a bit long but I went through it anyway and here’s what it says:

1. I am an evening person stuck in a morning job which is why the fatigue towards the afternoon. (I knew that!)

2. I do get the amount of sleep that I should get.(Did not know that.)

3. My room is conducive to sleeping. (No wonder I can’t study there!)

3. I am just worried that I won’t get enough sleep and so think I don’t get enough sleep. (Huh?!)

Which got me thinking : how many of us spend time worrying that we don’t get enough sleep ? I now know that I am one of those who are sleepless over sleep.

I guess it’s easy to remedy. I know I sleep enough and that completely takes away the excuse : “I am tired because I didn’t sleep enough”. Just mentally knowing you sleep well, helps one to physically stay up and about the whole day. At least, that worked for me.

The challenge for me was to wake up early. But I am doing it rather well now. All it takes is one day of getting late and knowing the latest you can sleep till, not setting a half an hour snooze buffer and catching a nap in the bus! I am not saying I love the morning schedule. I just don’t struggle anymore and that makes all the difference! it’s liberating.

But the most interesting thing I came across was this :

“Some scientists argue that the very question “why do we sleep?” is mistaken, and that the real question should be “why are we awake?”. If you are safe and warm and fed, it is a waste of energy to be awake and moving around (and possibly getting into trouble). Far better, this argument goes, is to be awake only when you have to and sleep when it suits you.” (Courtesy BBC)

Safe and warm and fed in bed. Yeah, why would one get up?


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