Random Thoughts

To Sleep, but not to Dream

Sleep is a vital, often neglected, component of every person's overall health and well-being. Sleep is important because it enables the body to repair and be fit and ready for another day. Getting adequate rest may also help prevent excess weight gain, heart disease, and increased illness duration. A few days back I read an interesting piece by a friend in FB titled ‘Less sitting, More sleeping; A Route to better Mental Health?’.

But, here there is nothing scientific but just sharing my romance with sleep.

I have heard and read about different kinds sleep disorders with ageing. When one is young and active, sleep, I feel, is no issue. When young, I never had any problems with sleep. Yes. During exam times and during the nights before the results, well, I used to have disturbed sleep. But, in the general sense, I never had much complaints.

During the days of my working, I had to travel to different places and stay in different guest houses most of the times. When we go for work, we normally had a tough and taxing schedule; so by the time I return to the room I would be thoroughly exhausted both physically and mentally. Physically as I had to go around the plant and see the installations in the hot sun (invariably) and mentally because of the brain storming sessions I had with the plant engineers mainly on issues related to process and safety.

Some days I would hardly have time to go to bed even after dinner since I need to study the plant or process details to be taken up for analysis the next day. So the moment I lie in the bed, I slipped into sleep. The only problem was when I get up, I had to remind myself where I was at that time and place. Because I had was traveling frequently those days. It would take a few seconds or minutes to understand that. I feel a tranquil ambiance is good for a peaceful sleep.

My profession sometimes demanded to give lectures to assorted group of people. Once I had to address an audience of different age groups from 30 to late 50s. After my talk I asked the mandatory ‘Any questions?’. One aged gentleman from the back row told me candidly ‘Sir, I cannot ask you any question because I didn’t listen to your lecture at all. I fell asleep as soon as you started your talk.’ There was laughter in the hall. I smiled and replied ‘Sir, at your age people will suffer from insomnia. I am happy that my talk had put you to sleep. Thanks.’ All including that aged gentleman laughed. You see, I have the capacity to put people into sleep. Any of you reading this have already gone into siesta by now? If so, good.

Ok. However, I am amused to witness my young friends’ sleeping patterns. When we meet rarely, we go out, talk, and will be awake for long hours. And on the next day I used to get up at my usual time while they sleep longer. One fellow will never get sound sleep at all. Even a little disturbance or noise will wake him up. His deep sleep time is after 3 am only. Another two guys will easily slip into sleep during a conversation. I will know that they have slept because I would not get any response for something I said.

About Dreams? Oh, no …don’t ask me. They are invariably weird only.


More by :  G Swaminathan

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