October 25, 2009

The sleep factor

If you're a semi-insomniac like me, sleep suddenly becomes invaluable to you. Indeed most nights the last thing I remember is how I am tossing and turning to try and sleep ASAP. Other than the dreams of course. But it's unbelievable how someone who has so much trouble sleeping can sleep so immediately at a lecture/meeting that's thoroughly boring. I think it's more than just a chemical reaction. It has to be... There is no explanation otherwise as to how I can literally 'fall' asleep in a large room of sparsely filled with strangers while I have trouble in my familiar bed at a time I have exclusively allotted to sleeping. I thought that it maybe due to some amount of sleep depravation in the night… but I have eventually come to realize that that’s not the case at all. Indeed, even after a night where I’ve gotten my fair share of sleep, a boring lecture can have me snoozing in under 5 minutes flat; And yes, it is of that jerky variety where I am extremely conscious that I shouldn’t be nodding off and the second my neck rolls into a slumberous lull, I jerk awake and look around guiltily. Worse, I’ve had experiences where I’ve finally given up trying and figured that the worst thing that can happen is that I am kicked out of the class or lecture for which I can make up a plausible excuse later. I was discussing with a friend and he seemed to think that unless one had some inherent interest in the topic or if it was spectacularly interesting, all lectures were designed to be sleep-worthy. And this is a guy who’s shaken me awake many a time even in my advisor’s classes. And I’ve never caught sight of him snoozing the way I invariably do. Some people tend to occupy their minds with something else that interests them – playing games works almost all of the time, though it’s virtually impossible in smaller gatherings. Some other times, people just tune out and are on a parallel universe with parallel thoughts. As for me, I’ve tried chewing gum, which sort of works some times. Not always though. What’s the connection? Am I just prone to easy boredom? Do I lack enough sleep? Both? Something else? Anyone on my page who can share their experiences? It’s very interesting. Especially when it comes to plan your own talks. Everyone can agree that it’s the least flattering thing to catch sight of a snooze-drooping face in your talk/class. Which is why we strive to make our presentations as pictorial as possible perhaps, leaving all the words that we utter to fly over everyone’s head while the graphic sticks around trying to be self-explanatory.


On a lighter note, if there is an actual scientific explanation behind sleeping in drone-worthy lectures, then it should probably be tapped into some device that can naturally put people with sleep disorders to a good, deep slumber. Much better than pills and medication, I reckon. And should anyone succeed, I expect some royalty for saying the idea out loud. Sweet dreams!


On a different note, Happy birthday hubby darling (for tomorrow) :D


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