Friday, November 27, 2009

Mystery of Sleep

As usual, I will begin with an aside here..

Whenever I think of my baby, I find in me a curious ability to get under her skin and visualize how she is feeling. How about you?

When pondering over today's topic of Sleep, I thought of a time when the baby was just refusing to sleep. The thought was so deep inside that I knew, the baby sometimes wonders why it has to sleep. And I wouldn't be too far off if I suggest those were my thoughts too (at times) when I was at that age

It all would depend on how engaged the mind is. You could be up all night doing something that deeply engrosses you, quietly working away. Or in a lecture you may find the opposite.

Actually, the lecture example can happen due to a very different reason - maybe you are deeply pondering over what is being said, and your thoughts connect to various linked ideas and you lose yourself just thinking, so much that you are not listening any more

Ok, so what am I driving at? I am saying, that Sleep is one sneaky bas****. Yes, that's what it is. It happens to most, if not all creatures on earth. And a lot of them sleep when the sun is down and wake up when the sun is about to arrive (I will discount the millions of humans who dont wake up strictly according to this. Humans are special, in the sense they dont respect the laws of nature and always trying to work around it - but I will leave that for another day)

If we lived in a bigger or slower planet, our sleep and wakeful times would be adjusted accordingly. Where's the proof, you say? There is no proof. It is an extension of the limited ideas in my head. Again, another day

So the Sun dictates our lifestyle. Really. This is profound when you think about it. We are like battery operated devices switching on and off according to some pattern defined by the universe around us. We are zombies that go to work when it's day and retire to bed for the night. day after day, night after night

We are a phenomenon of this universe

And how did this phenomenon start? If I answer that I would indeed deserve the Nobel prize or more

But, back to sleep. When we sleep, we dream. Dreams are ideas in our mind, but in a twisted, mangled form. It's like accessing the hard disk of a computer without consulting the file locations. The hardware running without the operating system being on. The television left running when the programming ends (remember those days?)

And how do we wake up? A lot of people have difficulty sleeping, yet no one has trouble waking up! When does our operating system boot up? And how does it remember what garbage the hardware has been throwing out from the hard disk? The memory cache! The RAM memory. We are looking just like a comuter. Or is it the other way around?

How similar we are to devices. It makes me wonder. Yet, I am amazed at the profound-ness of sleep


  1. Our body indeed looks like a super sophisticated device doing functions of thinking, sleeping, getting lost in thoughts when someone is talking. It is amazing and bizzare both at the same time. Sometimes, I feel thankful that we have a heart too that is capable of feeling, else what would be life like? You have got me thinking about some of the astonishing facts of our existence. You seem to be looking at life from a distance. Great writing.

  2. Howmuchever our feelings may seem significant, they are not worth a dime for the Universe. We are born and will die at the more inopportune times and in the most tragic of circumstances. There is no compassion in the universe, neither has it any anger, love, hatred, or any other emotion. It just is. We are here staring back at a zillionth fraction of the Universe's time, during which no conversation can be made with it.
    At best our feelings may matter to one another, if that. But that doesn't change anything with respect to our significance here..
    Anyway, that's just my thoughts

  3. I'm in a quandry. There are so many good, juicy thoughts in your posts that I'm spoiled for choice! Which ones do I pick?

    My physical life has been given a certain shelf life and I want to make the most of it. Besides your juicy thoughts, there are so many other thoughts and things that I want to think about and do...-)

    Anyways, about sleep, it's a much underrated (and overlooked) thing I think. Often, I feel like I'm off to another dimension when I go to sleep. Now if I got better at remembering my adventures in this other dimensions when I wake up, that'd be really cool.

    Some people actually do find waking up difficult. There was a time in my life when I did and I know at least one person who could easily sleep all day for days. But when he's awake, he's reasonably alert and happy to spend time with us :)