Caffeine and smartphones keep us awake, and where coffee and apps find their limits, we still have the news, the job and all the usual worries, to keep us on less than minimum sleep. When was the last time you slept well for three nights in a row? Most of us are sleeping too little. Several issues arise from our lack of sleep. There is the health problem. Lack of sleep makes you sick. Lack of sleep makes you stupid too. Your brain needs sleep to “clean up.” The lack of sleep among politicians could explain some decisions we have seen over the decades and centuries. But, well, the sleeper is not spending money. A sleeping consumer cannot (yet) buy stuff or watch ads. A sleeping consumer is a broken consumer. Even the mattress-buyer must be awake while buying his mattress.
Anyhow, I see another problem on a different level, one beyond health and even beyond intelligence: If you do not sleep, you do not dream.
There was a time before smartphones, a time when we drank coffee from coffee cups that seem ridiculously small, compared to today’s gigantic paper-containers.
Back when we slept, we had more dreams, I feel, a lot more dreams than today. We would tell each other about our dreams in the morning. “Dream” now is mostly used as a metaphor, meaning “plan” or “wish.” We will soon forget that dreams once were something that happened while sleeping.
I fear that we lost something valuable when we reduced our sleep to a minimum.
I want my dreams back!