Re: curing sleep

Bryan Moss (
Fri, 29 Oct 1999 20:28:48 +0100

Robert J. Bradbury theorised:

> Eastern mystics, gurus, etc. apparently need very little
> sleep (2-3 hours a night), while sociopaths confined to
> mental institutions sleep much more (12+ hours a day).

Does this mean my dog is a sociopath? I'm not sure how human sleep differs from animal sleep, but I'm quite sure animals sleep longer on average.

> Now, one would argue that the difference between these
> indviduals is their "closeness" to reality. The mystic
> really "sees" reality and accepts it completely. The
> sociopath has an internal "reality" that is much different
> from that which actually exists externally. If this is
> accurate, the sociopath needs much more sleep (processing
> time) to attempt to bend/integrate actual reality to his
> internal view of it while the mystic needs very little.

My first response to the above would be that sociopaths have *very* little stimulation in their environments, whereas mystics are probably dropping acid on a regular basis. Lack of stimulation often leads to sleep.

> So if you want to sleep less, you have to minimize the
> differences between the external reality and internal
> reality. Whether you choose to modify the external
> reality (minimizing perceived threats, making it more like
> your "ideal", etc.) or your internal reality (stop
> worrying about things you can't change, "delete"
> unsupportive thoughts or behaviors, etc.) probably depends
> a lot on your individual situation.

Being 'in tune' with reality could be considered greater stimulation (although sometimes it is seen as tranquility). However, being out of tune with reality seems to lead to an even greater level of stimulation (in the form of worry, needless emotion, etc). As you say, too much comfort can lead to sleep, and obviously discomfort can lead to a lack of sleep, so the whole situation seems to be a fine balance. Personally I fall into the category of Zen master when it comes to my oneness with external reality, and when unfettered by norm enforcing conformists I simply don't sleep, so you could be on to something.

> [...]
> I can state personally, that a couple of nights ago
> I got woken up from a dream that I *really* *really*
> would have like to have had continue just a bit longer.
> Reality bites.

In those kind of situations it's better to be woken up than to fall asleep.