Ours is a society with a low regard for sleep. And we are all paying for it.
I remember being inspired as a newly married wife by the stories of saintly women who worked themselves to the bone with little sleep and less rest. Did I feel sorry for these women and resolve not to repeat their tragedies in my own life?
No sir! I did my best to emulate them. Felt guilty if I slept much, ashamed if I took a nap.
I knew a man who slept four hours a night. I guess this was supposed to be some kind of achievement. Look how little he sleeps. He must get a lot done.
But from this side of CFS, it doesn't look that way to me at all. He looks like a guy who either has a highly efficient body and brain, or a sleep disorder. And he set a bad example for the people around him. Including me.
We are prejudiced here in North America against sleep and those who insist on partaking in it.
For too long, our culture has admired those who don't sleep much. We assume they must be brilliant, and ambitious and hard-working and ... wonderful. Better than us at any rate. Look how little they lay around. They're productive! They don't fritter their time away with something as non-productive as ... sleep.
I love it so!
I have gone in this past decade, from being a wakefulness junkie, to a sleep hoarder. And I'm so glad I did. And so are my brain and body.
I hope I never meet the first person who said, "I'll sleep when I'm dead." Okay, to be honest, I thought it was clever the first time I heard it. And, you know, it was. It is. As long as we don't take it seriously and I'm afraid many of us do.
People being awake too many hours in a day doesn't make them wonderful. It makes them burned out. It makes them less efficient. It makes them more prone to illness and infection.
People who are well rested on the other hand, are a delight. They have been refreshed, restored, their brain is rebooted, and they are rarin' to go. They are less likely to be felled by disease, and more likely to have a clear thought in their head. Their very cells are grateful. And so are the people around them.
So here's to the man who gets 8 hours of sleep a night and can arise in the morning with a song in his heart. And here's to the woman with the sense to take a mid-day nap whenever the opportunity avails itself. For they shall be revived.