"Sleep Is Death Without The Responsibility," A Reflective Essay

1584 words - 6 pages

"Sleep is death without the responsibility," but is sleep death, or at least how near to death is sleep? What is the point in sleep? What have we achieved after lying still for eight hours?Is it an escape? Does sleep wrap you up in a little cocoon of well being which nothing can penetrate? Or is sleep a little taste of death? Is that why sleep can sometimes be such a terrifying thing? Are dreams in a way our heaven and hell? Some dreams give a sense of happiness and contentment, some just confuse, and some terrify to the point anything seems better than sleep.But some people find sleep an escape from what is in the world, and escape from the stress and strain of life. This was illustrated when Sir Philip Sidney spoke of sleep as:"The poor man's wealth, the prisoner's release.The indifferent judge between the high and low."It is true that in sleep, as in death, we are all equal. No one can sleep a better or more fulfilling sleep just because he has more money or power; it is needed by everyone alike and no-one can escape its necessity. Just in the same way no one can escape the inevitability of death. Both are something uniting and universal, which everybody has the right to and can benefit from nightly. We can survive a shorter length of time without sleep than without food or water, but thankfully sleep is free and easy to come by, making it a daily escape available to every human.Without sleep humans cannot function; it is one of the necessities of our existence. If we cannot sleep it can make our life a living hell. Every mother or father woken up nightly by a crying baby will tell you the devastating effect this has on their life. Broken sleep makes us tired, irritable, unmotivated, and unable to function normally. Torturers often use sleep deprivation to break their subjects down, as it is a way of depriving humans of the thing they need most, making them desperate and prepared to do anything. In the long term a lack of sleep has been linked to heart attacks, strokes, reduced immunity, reduced mental capacity, reduced fat metabolism, depression and accelerated aging. This shows how important it is for humans to sleep, but in a society obsessed with work, we often devote too little time to sleep, masking the consequences with high amounts of caffeine. This is a prime example of society today, short-term gain at the cost of long-term goals and happiness. This lack of sleep can lead to a very difficult daily existence and early death, but this doesn't seem to matter if only we can get another few hours of work done.On the other hand, there are those who suffer the opposite problem, an inability to sleep. Insomnia can be one of the most physically and mentally draining illnesses, as many people know. The nightly torment of lying there willing yourself to go to sleep becomes almost unbearable, as do the days of complete exhaustion. Some people live with this day in day out for their entire life whereas others only experience it in times of stress...

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