Bio · Performativity · Science · Technology

The end of sleep? Emerging technologies that could radically reduce our need to sleep

Work, friendships, exercise, parenting, eating, reading — there just aren’t enough hours in the day. To live fully, many of us carve those extra hours out of our sleep time. Then we pay for it the next day. A thirst for life leads many to pine for a drastic reduction, if not elimination, of the human need for sleep. Little wonder: if there were a widespread disease that similarly deprived people of a third of their conscious lives, the search for a cure would be lavishly funded. It’s the Holy Grail of sleep researchers, and they might be closing in.

As with most human behaviours, it’s hard to tease out our biological need for sleep from the cultural practices that interpret it. The practice of sleeping for eight hours on a soft, raised platform, alone or in pairs, is actually atypical for humans. Many traditional societies sleep more sporadically, and social activity carries on throughout the night. Group members get up when something interesting is going on, and sometimes they fall asleep in the middle of a conversation as a polite way of exiting an argument. Sleeping is universal, but there is glorious diversity in the ways we accomplish it.

Different species also seem to vary widely in their sleeping behaviours. Herbivores sleep far less than carnivores — four hours for an elephant, compared with almost 20 hours for a lion — presumably because it takes them longer to feed themselves, and vigilance is selected for. As omnivores, humans fall between the two sleep orientations. Circadian rhythms, the body’s master clock, allow us to anticipate daily environmental cycles and arrange our organ’s functions along a timeline so that they do not interfere with one another.

Excerpt from an article written by Jessa Gamble at Aeon. Continue HERE

Human-ities

Parasomnias: Can You Die From A Nightmare?

Doree Shafrir: It is the middle of the night, and there is something very wrong in my apartment. I leap up from my bed and rush to the closet and crouch down and throw aside my shoes, which are arranged on a rack on the floor. I know I must work quickly; I am breathing fast and hard. There — there, behind the shoes, I see it: I don’t know what it is, but it needs to come out, or I am going to die. I pull and pull and finally get it out.

But something is still wrong. I am now completely panicked, and I jump back onto my bed and lean over the half-wall that my bed is up against, overlooking the hallway. There, I see what’s causing all the problems, and I push it downward and off the wall with all my might. It shatters loudly, glass flying everywhere.

Then, finally, I wake up. My two dogs are cowering in the corner, and I put on shoes to sweep up the glass. I am confused and embarrassed, though there is no one besides the dogs there to see that I just pushed a framed poster off a wall and broke it. I clean up the glass and go back to sleep, and it is not until the morning, when I see my shoes scattered everywhere, that I look into the closet and realize that I have also ripped the TV cable completely out of the back wall of my closet.

Excerpt of an article written by Doree Shafrir at Buzzfeed. Continue HERE

Design · Performativity · Sculpt/Install · Videos · Vital-Edible-Health

Dreamtime Alarm Clock powered by Water

Social conventions are defined by time and success. Every day, we are pressured to complete many different tasks. This daily rhythm ignores our need to sleep, and yet it is sleep that makes this rhythm possible. We need to pay closer attention to sleep.

By filling the alarm clock with water, we focus our attention on the duration of sleep. The task itself becomes a ritual which positively influences our rest. As opposed to the incessant ticking sound of a regular clock, here time passes silently and purely mechanically. As the drops of water fall, the glass bowl becomes lighter and finally lets the hammer fall. As the tone bounces between the singing bowls, we are gently awakened and a new day begins.

Time is something hard to grasp, but sleep is an experience.

Via Vera Wiedermann