Re: curing sleep
Thu, 28 Oct 1999 14:59:33 -0700

Zeb Haradon, <>, writes:
> I was wondering if anyone has any ideas on a possible "cure" for sleep - a
> drug or procedure which will eliminate the need to lay still with your eyes
> closed for 8 unproductive hours a day.
> As far as I know, scientists know very little about sleep. We know that REM
> sleep is required for mental well being. We know that the body is fine
> without sleep but the brain is not, so it's the brain that the attack should
> be centered on. The goal would be to understand exactly how sleep effects
> the brain, physically, and to replicate these physical changes with a
> device, or pill, that works in less then 8 hours.

I would look to the military as an organization which would desperately like to find a cure for sleep, and is well funded enough to do so if it were possible. Soldiers who could be freed from the need to sleep would be tremendously more effective and give a significant military advantage.

I believe that stimulants are used sometimes on special missions where a team may need to penetrate hostile territory and remain alert for days on end. However these are not a long term solution and have many side effects. They do not eliminate so much as temporarily suppress the need for sleep.