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What if sleep was taken out of the human body system?

I may be a slightly sleep-deprived as I write this, but the consequence of my sleep deprivation is a hypothetical situation that might just end up changing your life.

Published: 20th May 2017 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th May 2017 10:13 PM   |  A+A-

I may be a slightly sleep-deprived as I write this, but the consequence of my sleep deprivation is a hypothetical situation that might just end up changing your life.
Food and Sleep are two of my most favourite things in the world. I love eating and sleeping, but there’s always a ‘but’. Come to think of it, the contribution that sleep and food make to our life is the reason we love it so much, otherwise, isn’t it just a waste of time?

Yes, sleep and food do have intrinsic values that cannot be discredited, but that’s only because our bodies are designed that way. Food does constitute our intake of energy, but if there were an option that involved not spending time on making and consuming food, we would take it, because it does save us a lot of time. But being the species that we are, we have managed to romanticise a function of the body — eating food isn’t just about replenishing our bodies, it’s about tasting good food. We make a conscious effort to consume food that suit our taste buds and give our tongue an experience.

With respect to sleep, all we manage to do is shy away from our other problems while we lie there unconscious, playing out our dreams in our dreams. And scientists mandate that for a human body to function without hassle, it needs at least seven hours of sleep. That’s a lot of time wasted on something that doesn’t really contribute too much. What if sleep was taken out of the human body’s system? What if resting every now and then was enough, or what if our bodies evolved and did not require sleep cycles?
I do sense a little tension between us.

All of us love sleep over most other things that we do in life; to construct a hypothetical that takes away the one thing that you love is a bold move on my part; agreed. And before you call me out on not considering how important sleep is to our system, I recognise that, my sleep deprivation knows that, but at its core, taking away how much it contributes to health and wellness, sleeping is just eight-hours of doing nothing.

Now, put aside your prejudice, and think rationally (sans any scientific base), what if you really never had the need to sleep? Assuming you sleep at night, imagine what you could do with eight hours of not having to lie down and let your brain and body rest? You could listen to the sounds of the night, which are mostly dominated by long silences followed by a cricket chirp.

But that might not be the case in this hypothetical because if you don’t have to sleep at night, no other human being has to. Night will just become a darker version of day. The noise will stay the same, while we might end up having a lot more accidents because I learnt only recently that some drivers, in order to save fuel and battery, don’t turn on their headlights. We don’t want road accidents at night. That’s not the night I envisioned. In conclusion, good night.

(The writer, also a creative producer with The Rascalas, loves to watch a lot of ‘cat videos’ on YouTube)

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