We have stigmatised sleep with the label of laziness. We want to seem busy, and one way we express that is by proclaiming how little sleep we’re getting. It’s a badge of honour… No one would look at a baby asleep and say ‘What a lazy baby!’
Walker has a lovely turn of phrase, describing non-REM sleep as rhythmic chanting……like a deep, slow mantra….Vast amounts of memory processing is going on. To produce these brainwaves, hundreds of thousands of cells all sing together, and then go silent, and then on and on. Meanwhile, your body settles into this lovely low state of energy, the best blood pressure medicine you could ever hope for.
And he knows what he’s talking about. He’s a heavy-duty neuroscientist who’s spent more than 20 years researching sleep. Study after study into heart attack and stroke rates, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s Disease and mental health show the value of having more than 6 hours sleep a night. Yes, Shakes as always was right, sleep does knit up the ravel’d sleeve of care.