Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Song the Storm-King Sings

This morning my mother shows me an article about how sleeping more than or less than your required hours of sleep was fatal in the long run. The study says it increases your mortality by about 110% -- I have no idea what that meant, but what bothered me, really,was how they never got around to defining what is the required number of hours of sleep. My sleeping problem is legendary. I won't bore you with it (but I did fall asleep in Geometry class once, and during a Marketing exam in UP, just so you know) but this is a very important issue to me. I think sleep is so magical, so fleeting, so illusory -- the more you talk about it the stranger it becomes. Most people I know never really notice it, or appreciate it, but only because they're used to having a good night's sleep. It's the same thing about a lot of things, but for me, my fascination with this matter is endless.

What is sleep, really? What happens when you go? Why don't you die when you sleep? Why does your heart know enough to keep beating? Why do I remember my dreams so well? Why do I dream in the first place? Why do I wake up everyday feeling I have not slept a wink? Why do we fall asleep at night? Why do I fall asleep every chance I get? Why, in all the times I sleep inside public transport, have I missed my destination only once? Why are my naps more efficient than total slumber? Why can't I get myself to last an entire night without sleep? Why do I feel dirty if I haven't slept for the night?

My research into this thing has gone on for as long as I've had access to the net. The best ones made it to my sleep tags over at del.icio.us are this (where I realize I have a large neck; they give a good assessment at the end of the quiz thing) and this. There are also some really good ones at Steve Pavlina's blog -- you better read this guy, he's this total productivity guru -- about how to be an early riser. He's also the guy who's done this whole polyphasic thing which may freak you out -- I've read him while he was trying out the thing and I gotta tell you the guy's driven. He did stop the project but it's fun reading what happened when he was still on it. [Polyphasic sleep is when you take lots of naps during the day so you don't have to go for the long haul -- meaning sleep -- at night.]
Mood: sleepy, I wish
The title is from a Norse lullaby which you can read here.

4 comments:

ian said...

i totally get where you're coming from.i want to learn more about sleep as well to find ways of getting by with as little as i can because i feel that time spent sleeping is time wasted.i'm also familiar with Pavlina and polyphasic sleep.polyphasic sleep isn't applicable to regular employees cause i don't think the employers would appreciate the "lots of naps"

Macky Cruz said...

me too! it's a lifelong quest. and when the experts keep harping on how it's all about the quality of your sleep and not the quantity I keep thinking gaaaahd my 14-hour slumbers are crazy!!

re polyphasic sleep -- that's why Pavlina's an advocate of being your own boss and getting out of the rat race haha

chase_papi said...

this steve pavlina blog is a great find. i'm so guilty being a member of the Snooze Club, hehe. and not just about sleep. lots of great stuff here.

Macky Cruz said...

papi -- and that's just the tip of the iceberg about steve -- he's totally OC about being productive and living a stress-free life. pretty amazing stuff even if it gets weird sometimes.