Not long ago, I heard a psychiatrist discussing the body’s need for the complete sleep cycle. If a person habitually has broken or inadequate sleep, then all the being suffers—body and mind. Health deteriorates, nerves are raw, and even decision making is adversely affected. Just a few days ago, an article cited lack of sleep as a cause for weight gain—not enough rest, take fuel. This sounds very commonsensical and could make one believe that those bouts of insomnia are the culprit behind major mistakes, body shape, love and the pursuit of happiness.
And yet – What if there’s another sleep cycle? More than two or five? What if there are sleep cycles that foster genius, for math, for literature, for stargazing, for communion with peace, for love of fellow man? What if the stumbler in the wee hours of the morning discovered the secret of the universe? New research indicates that prodding a particular part of the brain can cause an out-of-body sensation; what if broken sleep prods a part of the brain to function in another remarkable way?
Of course, we must sleep. And we must dream. And probably, we must dream while we sleep. It is a great gift and a great pleasure that we can usually do both without effort.