I see some striking parallels between the way this society treats sleep
and the way it treats sex. Both are sinful activities, associated with one of
the Seven Deadly Sins (Sloth and Lust). Both are associated with the most
powerful biological needs. Both are supposed to be a taboo topic. Both are
supposed to be done in private, at night, with a pretense that it is never
actually happening. Education in sleep hygiene and sex hygiene are both
slighted, one way or another (the former passively, the latter actively
opposed). Both are thought to interfere with one's productivity - ah, the good
old Protestant work ethic! Why are Avarice and Greed not treated the same way?
Raking in money by selling mega-burgers is just fine, and a decent topic of
conversation, even a point of pride. Why are we still allowing Puritan Calvinist
way of thinking, coupled with capitalist creed, to still guide the way we live
our lives, or even think about life. Sleeping, whether with someone or alone, is
a basic human need, thus a basic human right. Neither really detracts from the
workplace productivity - au contraire: well rested and well satisfied people are
happy, energetic, enthusiastic and productive. It is sleep repressed people,
along with the dour sex repressed people, who are the problem, making everyone
nervous. How much longer are we going to hide under the covers?
[Everything you wanted to know about sleep]
Monday, January 17, 2005
Sleep, importance of
Circadiana is a blog dedicated to examining sleep. Besides the very informative and technical articles on the science of sleep, I'm also really grateful for the fact that someone is defending the importance of sleep in our lives!