Sleep. Most of us really love it. The others are not really human. One group will say our life is wasted away in sleep. People spend roughly 230,000 hours, equivalent to about one-third of their lives, in sleep. Which, at first, appears to be a really big waste. But then, a recent study showed people will spend a projected five years and four months on social media. Without sleep, that number will likely double. Do we really want more people to post about “bobs”? Are we really prepared to see more pictures of the same faces tilted at the same angle for another third of our lives? “Bobs” we may be okay with, but not more “same face” selfies. You know, those individuals that have 235 photos of themselves and they all look the same. And in case you are unsure of bobs, your next half-hour of trolling Reddit posts should clear that up.
Proud to be tired
We have established sleep is necessary so we do not see more evils of social media than we should. Many people wear sleeplessness as a badge of pride. Who are these people? Look around and you will notice squinty, red-eyed, yawning individuals who are two seconds away from proclaiming how awesome they are at being awesome. But tired people are not cool. Tiredness is a deficiency. It is like bragging, “OMG, I have acute diarrhoea and I'm too busy to change my pants.” Nope, no one thinks that is cool.
Do we brag about being sick? Er, yeah. But only illnesses that appear to afflict rich people.
“My appendix has been itching for a few days.”
“Herniated disc. You know, back pain because I am so busy with making life better.”
“Diarrhoea? No. Never had it in my life. It is literally beneath me”
We snap without sleep
Sleep deprivation causes irritability and lowered cognitive ability. It means you will end up having strange desires to build walls to keep Mexicans out of your city. Keep it up and it affects memory retention. Staying up late watching online movies mean you may blur the events occurring between Khaleesi and Khalifa two weeks later. Keep it up further and you gradually risk heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Yep, you stay up late, eat nachos and your body just wants to store more and more fat. The mind thinks you will go to sleep for months like a bear and will need to burn through fat to survive. See how your mind is confused?
Here's how we sleep to live to sleep
But it is a tough life we live between doing actual mind-numbing work and posting it on Facebook. Heck, you are probably reading this right now courtesy of a link on Facebook. There are two ways to avoid burning out.
You take a short nap. I know, it is difficult to want to wake up from short naps but they are proven to work. Force yourself up after 15 minutes and you are ready to go for a few more hours like a OnePlus phone (but not an iPhone). This is easier than you think these days. For most of us travelling in groups or in our own private cars, sleep is the easiest thing to achieve. We travel 10-kilometre distances in two hours because of traffic jams. Imagine a 20-minute nap in-between.
Everyone needs naps, studies show
A study showed everyone benefits from naps. Toddlers missing one nap expressed more anxiety and lack of interest in things that crawl interestingly on the ground. Grown-ups at work perform better with short naps in-between. My boss takes a mid-day nap. It is one of those moments I cannot find him anywhere. And he re-appears refreshed and ready to tackle whatever I throw at him (mostly requests involving a new car). 10-15 minutes of shut-eye improves cognitive ability and alertness. If a ninja were to attack you, you would know a split second before the katana punctured your heart, as opposed to never hearing it coming if you're tired. Luckily, ninjas do not come into the office as often as we daydream.
Our work culture often gives off the impression that overwork and tiredness are glamorous. But these very same tired people are cranky and continuously complain about how tired they are. And no one likes sitting around a complainer. Well, other complainers do but only if they get the majority of talk time. And they can be a drain.
Sleep makes us better workers, students, husbands, cats and/or toddlers. Rested, we do more. The popular story of Newton is that he found gravity when he was hit on the head while sleeping. Or maybe it plopped deliciously beside him. We will never know for sure. Well, gravity grudgingly existed before he found it, but no one really noticed it quite that way. But a well-rested Newton saw gravity as a beautiful force like 'Scarlett Johannsson slamming down off a dead henchmans shoulder after a kick in Ironman 2.
So, what are you not noticing because you are too tired and squinty eyed?
Ehsanur Raza Ronny is a confused dad, all-round car guy, model car builder, and cartoonist. He is also Editor of Shift (automobiles), Bytes (technology), and Next Step (career) of The Daily Star.