Human beings perhaps have a penchant for self-sabotaging. It is easy to surmise that the cognitive revolution transformed us from just another species in the wild into a incredulous collection of beings capable of a collective imagination that created nations and currency and literally every marvel of technology that you can imagine. But somewhere in this quest to maximise our efficiency potential to ensure fulfilling lives, we forgot to respect and honour the building blocks of this success – ourselves.
I genuinely struggle with the idea of how we’ve structured ourselves into a world which has reduced human restorative behaviour to an object of laziness and ridicule. Sleep is by far one of the most important biological processes that we involuntarily undergo everyday, and ironically is something most people absolutely don’t bother about. Draw a parallel to any other activity that you do daily for a substantial amount of time, and the thought you put into it.
What’s actually scary is commensurately measuring the effects of incomplete or unhealthy sleep. Herein, Walker has done an excellent job of detailing and collating sleep research across the world to conclusively put across the detrimental impact irregular sleep.
What really got me thinking was actually a tangential thought. Working under the assumption that most of us have led lives with chronic sleep deprivation, the kind of lives we are living are…throughly underwhelming. It is mind boggling when you grab the true ramifications of it. To put it succinctly, compare your general levels of liveliness, productivity and happiness to say when you’re down with an illness such as malaria or maybe to a level when you’re intoxicated with a few drinks. Now what if I were to tell you that you’ve been ill or intoxicated for the largest part of your life. The thought strongly made me think hard about improving my sleeping habits.
PS: This book was recommended by Bill Gates, calling it one of the most interesting and profound books he has read on human behaviour.
Cross-posted at The Standing Coin