So I’m currently sitting in bed working on a chapter of my third book in the Continuity series, and I noticed something that made me wonder about this. Mr Baxter, my loyal pup, is laying on his back with his paws stretched out in front of him dead asleep. Snoring like a madman.
I’m looking at him, and suddenly I began to wonder – what if he didn’t need to sleep? A preposterous notion, of course, but one which I can’t help but consider. What if science, someday and somehow, discovered a way to provide humans with the necessary benefits that sleep provides through some other mechanism, be it a drug or otherwise?
So I began thinking about this, and decided to do a little research into why exactly we do, in fact, require sleep.
The easy answer is apparently “we don’t know.” But there are several theories. One, interestingly, was that it evolved as a survival mechanism. Our bodies simply shut down during dark hours when there were predators lurking about, keeping us quiet and thus less likely to be discovered and eaten. This theory I’m skeptical of, but it’s intriguing nonetheless. The most commonly agreed upon idea it seems is that our brains and bodies require downtime to replenish energy and file all the nutrients and whatnot we consumed during the day. Furthering this theory is the notion that our brains have to file and refile the information we absorbed that day, moving and organizing our memories from one lobe of the brain to another. Evidently this is how long and short term memories are reconciled.
But what if we somehow figured out how to do these things in another way? Imagine how absurd the increase in productivity would be and how much life as we know it would change. We would see stores and businesses open 24/7. The concept of a bedroom or even bed would vanish, with the exception of traditionalists who wouldn’t adapt to the new culture. The hotel industry would likely collapse. Everything would change.
In any case, the possibilities are endless. And again, I’m well aware how far fetched this is.
But it’s cool to think about, ya know?