Monday, February 27, 2012

do we even need 1 hour?

I am not even attempting to surmise that sleep is not necessary.  I have done my share of time without it and know the infernal hell that world is.  I wouldn't even support the title of this post.  This title is a lie.  But I had an experience recently that challenged my very ideas of what sleep was, should be, and could had previously been.

I was at a concert, a semi personal, completely intimate, obnoxiously loud concert.  I had been out all day dilly dallying with various errands, so when 8pm rolled around my body was showing the tell tale signs of fatigue.  You know that feeling in the back of your neck where it feels like there is no more back of your neck?  plus the overall corporally shared spirit of slag; I was tired.  I sat down and listen to the tunes of the bands.  the first was melodic and emotional, and started putting me into a trance.  then before sleep befell me, the band changed; into a gothic version of Samsung electronics.

This group was loud.  no other way of putting it.  A loud you have never heard and I'm sure of it.  I plugged my ears so I could enjoy, but felt bad because I might be giving the wrong impression to the band.  I totally how the crowd can affect your energy input into your performance.  But I don't think this particular band did because their second and final song was so selfishly them I really think they forgot there was a crowd throughout the 10 minute song.  They just kept playing even as people walked out, back in, then back out as if they were trying to communicate with their legs, "stop playing that infernal song!!!!!"  But the band oblivious to it all kept playing and playing that monstrous, murdering, melancholy melody.

I was at a crossroads.  do I follow in suit and do the walk in and out dance hoping that my pairs of legs hold the key to their attention, or do I close my eyes and let my imagination take me to wherever this band was trying to communicate to us.

I chose the rabbit hole. I closed my eyes and the images flooded my brain of large lumbering Leviathans,  completely clueless to the leagues of living creatures they were trodding upon with their tarantula limbs.  Happy and friendly as they were, it was juxtaposed picturesquely with the path of calamity and catastrophe they left behind.  Then I woke up.

I know......I am as confused as you.  I had to close my ears from the blistering volume of their instruments, yet I WOKE UP minutes later.  Woke up from what?  How could I have possibly slept with such rowdiness?  This is where it gets interesting.  I use the phrase "wake up" the context of sleep not because I have any conscious knowledge of sleeping as I have been so accustomed to at the end of any busy day, I say "sleep" because when I opened my eyes minutes later, my fatigue was gone.  I am making the presumptuous assumption that I slept because I was relieved of an ailment typical of a lack of sleep.

But if that is the case, then what IS sleep.  if both, closing my eyes for 6 hours quietly, undisturbed in my bed, and for 2 minutes sitting upright in a chair with loud music invading my ears relieved me of my fatigue, then is the latter justified as sleep?  Could two situations linked only by the closing my eyes be considered both as sleep?  Is the former in actuality sleep and the latter a game I played on my brain to fool it into giving me the full benefits of sleep without the actual effort required?

I feel there are many neurological implications that I am completely unaware of here so anyone from a well educated background in that field please forgive my ignorance.  I am just reacting to this outcome with a naive curiosity, but I also think this naivety of mine is what allowed me to notice this distinction, so please entertain me with that in mind.

I have read many opinions about the subject of sleep.  someone named V.S. Ramachandran
said that possibly we are always "dreaming" or "hallucinating" and that our perceived reality is simply that which fits best to our current point of view.  Another dude with a little more credibility (whatever that means) named Jaak Panksepp says that our current state of waking consciousness is simply an evolved state of our dreaming consciousness.  I think that means that what we see as unconscious dreaming is simply the only conscious our ancestors had, then we evolved brains that built upon that state to what we now call a waking conscious.

I personally like Jaak's idea more because it entails that we are evolving, improving (in our immediate scope of awareness, not in evolutionaric terms) on this conscious machine we have called a brain.  the idea of progress is what attracts me.  Mr. Ramachandran's idea is fun and would make a great movie, but it is too romantic for me to hold any ground in my life.  if he was right than if I thought hard enough I could just change my reality.  Choose a perception that although didn't fit my current reality, fit whichever reality I perceived as correct.  There seems to be too much subjective control there, as if this world were a computer and we can become master programmers.   Makes me wonder if the movie Matrix is simply Wachowski brothers' visualization of Ramachandranian ideas.

I like the idea that we once only had a brain similar to animals of today; capable of only keeping us alive and nothing more, then as evolutionary time passed the vehicle in which our brain resides got bigger and our brain of that time took the back seat in the form of our sleeping conscious and what we refer to as our waking conscious now filled in the drivers seat.  With this arguement it allows for the possibility that our current waking conscious will one day outgrow the drivers seat and will take its place together with our sleeping conscious in the back seat as a newly evolved part of our brain fills in the empty drivers seat.  This logic makes perfect sense and is totally possible under any form of Darwinian theory.  (Wow, I said that last statement with so much authority as if I was fuckin Darwin himself!!!!)

 (once again, a disclaimer, I am in no way stating that anything I say here is anything more than a thought in my brain, it is all open to debate and critique, and I hope anyone reading this will do so.  also the people I have mentioned who's ideas I myself have critiqued have written books about them.  Mr. Ramachandran's is entitled "phantoms of the brain" and Jaak's is called "Affective Neuroscience" check them out!!!!!)

Now I must tackle the heavy duty of linking these ideas (or my interpretation of them) with what I experienced that lubricious night.  Which I will do later, I am too tired right now.

No comments:

Post a Comment