The everyday paradox!

I couldn’t think of a more apt title than this. Of course it could have been improvised but what is in a title? Some of you might disagree with that, but this is not a post about the “optimum titles” and their importance, rather it is about a much more important aspect of our day to day lives.

SLEEP! Yes, that’s it! The single most important thing that we do during the whole day. It’s more important than whatever work you do. In fact, it’s more important than all of your daily work combined. But why? Well, the neuroscience says that it is during sleep that we build our memories, consolidate the things that we learned during the whole day. So, if a person is not sleeping properly, then his/her ability to recall the things that he/she learned the previous day are tremendously hampered. Not only this, the person’s analytical abilities are also hampered. And if the person is sleep deprived for a long time, then it could also lead to stress and depression and from there to the world of drugs and alcohol. And it’s not that neuroscience has revealed something new altogether. We had long known from our personal experiences, how much a good sleep can increase the next day’s productivity. Shakespeare, in his play Henry IV part 2, writes this about sleep

O sleep! O gentle sleep!
Nature’s soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down
And steep my senses in forgetfulness?
Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,
Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee,
And hush’d with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber,
Than in the perfum’d chambers of the great,
Under the canopies of costly state,
And lull’d with sound of sweetest melody?
2 Henry IV (3.1.7-16)

So much has been written and said to emphasize the importance of sleep, but still we haven’t come to appreciate this fact fully. Since most of us think that we aren’t doing anything while asleep, we have come to regard sleep as a wastage of time. And then there are people, real successive people, like Mrs Margaret Thatcher who once said that “sleep is for wimps”. That’s arrogance right there! The fact is that sleep requirements vary from person to person and one has to synchronize the self with it.

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