Sleep is an illusion of the mind? or Not

Each of us has an equal share of the day – 24 hours! How we use each unit of time distinguishes us from each other. How you spend the 24 hours of your day will determine whether you stay healthy or not; whether you become poor or rich; or whether you make improvements in your life or not. Out of the 24 hours, doctors recommend at least 6 – 8 hours of sleep. That leaves us with about 16 hours to actively get involved in doing the things that will make our lives better. Some people shorten it to 4 hours of sleep per day. Different people shall tell you different recommended sleeping duration. My advice is: Listen to your body! You are the best judge of your body, and your body is a perfect machine that can self-diagnose. It shall tell you when it needs food or rest. You shall know when the last bit of energy has been drained or when you need to take that glass of water. So, you ask me how long one should sleep? How about you let your body decide that for you? One interesting thing is, the body also listens! It listens to instructions from you all the time. It listens when you choose to stay awake longer, and it obeys. It may put up a fight initially, but if you insist on not letting it out easily, it shall grant you a few extra hours of alertness.

A few years ago when I was still in high-school and I had to race against time to cover as much as possible, I remember having to push my body beyond the limits. I coined the words ‘sleep is an illusion of the mind’, and believed it on most of those days when the going necessitated staying up late to finish up a chapter or two of Back House. More often than not, I succeeded in conquering sleep for a few hours until my goal was achieved. What usually makes the difference is the desire to not let sleep win, and as long as you still feel you are on the winning side, sleep can still be an illusion of the mind. But is it really? The common experience especially on my first days of attempt was that my body felt like it had a debt to pay during the day!  This debt could apparently be paid by just about 30 minutes of napping! Just enough to get me enough momentum for the remainder of the day.

The truth is, once you put your body to rest, and probably there isn’t anything to do even after you wake up, you can find yourself sleeping  longer than usual. If we rule out sleeping sickness and insomnia, the average man will choose to stay in bed longer than usual, especially if they have no urgent matters to attend to. Our brains contain the on/off switch for this behaviour, and we can exercise some relative control to determine when to sleep. In doing all this, we should bear in mind that there is a limit for our bodies, and a balance should be attained.

More at Resilience Beyond

Share this