Saturday, May 14, 2011

What if No One Ever Slept?

What? What do I mean what if no one ever slept? That's crazy, right? Well, it's just a hypothetical question. I've stayed up all night. The whole day after I always have trouble thinking straight and often trip over things. But I'm not talking about people staying up all night. I'm talking about what if people didn't NEED to sleep.

Now, for argument's sake, let's just say it never got dark outside either. The sun shines 24/7. Would we still have days? Weeks? How would anyone tell time? No one would ever say "see you tomorrow" or "I'm too tired to talk to you" or "sleep on it." Would people plan things in hours? "I'll come over in 16 hours." That would be weird, wouldn't it?

Now, if people don't need to sleep, we can only assume that they also never get tired. So what? Would people who needed money simply work constantly and never go home? Would people work the 20 hour shift instead of the 8 or 12?

Children would be straight up crazy. Parents would likely go insane with no break. They'd be awake ALL the time, as energetic as ever. They'd want food all the time. Food is another point. People would eat SO MUCH food. The norm would probably jump from three meals per day to five or six, which would give people another reason to work longer hours.

There would be no dreams and no nightmares. No moon and no stars. Campfires wouldn't be the same. There'd be no sleepovers or camping. Vacations would be weird. If you didn't want to spend the money, what's the point of even finding a hotel? Just drive forever. People could drive all the way across the country without even stopping.

What about Christmas? Poor Santa Claus would have a lot of trouble getting down that chimney without anyone noticing. And don't even get me started about the tooth fairy!

So does that mean at college we'd just have lockers? Since no one would have to sleep, dorm rooms would not be necessary. Staying up late would never be an excuse for a poorly executed assignment. Being burned out, maybe, but never because of tiredness. Students would simply spend large portions of their time preparing for tests, and I wouldn't have to hear so much about my bad habits staying up late to study.

I just think people would do way more work in general if they never got tired. This may not be a bad thing. But in some perspectives, it would. No one would ever slow down. What would this do to families? Logically we think we'd have more time to spend together, right? But if no one ever got tired, who's to say that anyone would come home for dinner? And if they did, would it be at the same time? If it never got dark, there'd be no reason to come home at a specific time. In fact, why would people even bother with houses? Maybe with children it would be necessary to have someplace to stay. But a single person between the ages of 18-40? They could just go back and forth between work, the library, the mall, restaurants, outside, stores... You get the idea.

I'm not exactly the poster child for sleeping enough. In fact, I frequently get between 3-5 hours of sleep because I study/work/run around so much. But I'm thankful for nighttime, for sleep, for rest, for community. It's there for a reason. And even if I don't always take advantage of it, at least I appreciate it.

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