Verastructure 1.0 – Sleep

Micah and Jess Russell
January 2018

A human being will die at the same rate from lack of sleep as with lack of food. In about a month, everything else in abundance, a human will die without sleep. And yet we are getting less and less of it. Not only have we dismissed a full-night’s sleep as non-essential, several advancements the past century or so have also contributed to this dramatic decrease in dormitory recharging. 

We cannot talk about sleep without talking about the circadian rhythm or cycle. Our brains subconsciously analyze lighting, metabolism, and hormones to decide when we are to go to sleep. This is to create a healthy rhythm based off how effective and efficient we can be day after day. Before the invention of the electric lightbulb, humans could only be most effective during the day, in the light of the Sun. 

Were the lightbulb all, we might still be getting enough sleep, but with the invention of attention-grabbing lights such as the TV and smartphones, we are enticed into throwing off our subconscious sense of when to sleep. We stay up late into the night and into the early hours of the morning staring at these enticing lights, programming us to sleep when its light is gone rather than sleeping when our celestial light has receded. 

Some detractors of our sleep predate the modern era. Alcohol promotes sleep even during peak effectiveness, coffee generates an alternate cycle by manipulating our metabolisms, and eating large meals late in the day delay the onset of the cycle. 

To promote best sleep practices, one must remove all of the detractors, modern or pre-modern, which would inhibit or otherwise subterfuge the circadian rhythm. Artificial lights intended only to indicate rather than describe our environment are necessary so as not to disrupt our photic sensors, but enable us to make swift trips in the night to get some water or go to the bathroom. Indirect and faint lights which indicate where to walk and where to open a door with a handle can provide this direction without engaging our subconscious drive to work.  Any substance known to waken or put to sleep should either be removed from or minimized in one’s daily routine. Meals in the afternoon should be akin to light snacks to tide you over until the morning, never to reengage your metabolism for a secondary energy period. Dinner as we know it cannot exist. Above all, no personal devices should be allowed as the sun has gone down. No activities should continue or start without the light of the sun. 

Though you won’t feel like going to sleep when you first turn off the lights, cease activities, and stop eating, sleep will come to you. These internal forces are more powerful than even the artificial ones we have generated to subvert them. The circadian rhythm not only is necessary, but improves life dramatically. 

The best way to create these conditions is to have your abode and workplace flooded with the light of the sun. Eating a large breakfast and lunch, in which absolutely no sleep-altering substances are present.