With eyes wide open

sleeping, eyes closed, baby girl sleeping
“How can you prove whether at this moment we are sleeping and all our thoughts are a dream; or whether we are awake and talking to one another in the waking state.”
Those were the words of the great thinker and philosopher, Plato and he did have a valid point there. And, so, this becomes the catalyst for my post on sleep. Yes, I can already see the smiles on your face while you imagine about your bed and you sleeping on it. Who doesn’t like sleep, right?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, 8 hours of sleep is optimal whereas another US study shows that 5-7 hours is what is needed for a full grown adult and results in longer lives, less than 5 hours or more than 8 hours results in shortening of life span. So, what does all this translate into?
Imagine the last working day of the week. You’ve toiled very hard at the office, handled a lot of customers and clients all week long, handled your boss even and somehow managed to survive those local as well as regional meetings. The weekend is upon you and finally office finishes and you’re ready to go home. Relief is finally within your reach. You spend a marvelous evening with your loved ones, friends, relatives and colleagues. And it is time to hit the bed because it is 1 a.m. in the night but when you finally get up, you see that it is 2 p.m. in the afternoon next day. More than 12 hours have passed since you went to sleep.
This was a typical situation which I talked of and it even happens during the week as well. What could be the  reason for this happening? Why do we sleep and then oversleep? Even after oversleeping, why do we still feel groggy and tired?
In today’s hectic world, a lot of times this is due to the stress, strain and anxiety which our profession brings us. However, there might be a deeper cause: reality. Yes, reality can be quite harsh, unyielding and painful at times and when reality starts to get the better of us, we find an alternate escape route from reality.

We escape to a place where things are not so gloomy, where everything is according to our wishes and fancies and where there are no rules almost like a dream state. In fact, it is a dream and that is the time we fall asleep. When things are not going as per our needs and wants, we start daydreaming and dreaming while sleeping and eventually sleeping more. So much so, that oversleeping is actually an indicator of your dissatisfaction with the current status of your life and career. Sleep, then, becomes an excuse to escape reality.

If you were totally satisfied with what you are doing with your life, would you feel like sleeping? Would you feel like oversleeping? Would you feel exhausted after getting up from that sleep? Think about it. Think of all those moments.

You are awaiting the birth of your first child at 3a.m. in the night.
You’re going to become a mother after 9 months of painful wait at 4a.m.
You’re going to meet your best friend and roommate of college days after 6 years.
You are talking with your family member/ friend in a different time zone.
You get the news of your grandparents demise.
You are awaiting the results of the final exams for your degree completion the whole night.
You and your soulmate end up talking nonsense over the entire night.
You’ve been living abroad for past 12 years and can’t wait for the flight to your home country to get over.

When we are happy, ecstatic and elated, sleep or no sleep doesn’t matter. Even if we do go to sleep, we get up in the morning with a smile on our faces. When you are happy with your life, you want to cherish every moment of it, by staying awake. Life is a gift meant to be enjoyed by living each and every moment of it. There will be enough time to sleep once you are in the grave and you have breathed your last. Till then, just keep riding the roller-coaster called life and have no regrets at the end of it.


So, then, how to live life with the definition of being awake? How to sleep?
Let me now bring you to an important equation or relation. If we denote:

the total time of our conscious lives (which we can actually feel through our five senses) by T
the total spent awake by A
the total spent in sleep by S

T = A – S
Now, consider the scenario. Your life is about to end in next 24 hours. So, starting from now, T=24 hours.
What do you want A and S to be? Do you want to make the most of your life and keep A= 24 and S=0
T = 24 – 0 = 24 hours
Or do you want to sleep and make the equation,
T = 0 – 24 = -24 hours which actually means that you didn’t actually live your life.
In the end, I would like to leave you with the words of the great poet, Robert Frost,
The woods are lovely dark and deep
but I have promises to keep
and miles to go before I sleep.

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40 thoughts on “With eyes wide open

  1. Yes, very true Ghazala, even I enjoy the lovely morning sleep but somewhere I realize, this morning time needs to be enjoyed with eyes open. Actually feel the morning breeze on your face and body 🙂

  2. Hey jay
    Very nice of you to write such a good information.Sometimes i only sleep for 5 hours a day and i don't feel like not sleeping for the rest of the day.Now i know the reason why.
    Thank you…..and please keep up the good information.

  3. I really like the description of the always happens with us..we sleep by 3am and by the time we awake the Sunday is almost gone doing nothing..:)..nice observation..

  4. Thank you Ranita 🙂
    Yes, I know, even I have been subject to that on quite a number of occasions. Hope this post helps you realize the importance of life 🙂
    Keep visiting 😀

  5. Thank you very much. We always feel refreshed doing the stuff we love to do, so much so that we even sacrifice our sleep for it. Hope you find that particular stuff in your case.
    (Does this anonymous have a name? 🙂 )

  6. Hi

    Brilliant post…'You're going to become a mother after 9 months of painful wait at 4a.m.' Nature does not let you sleep at that point…She would be howling with labor pain ha ha…

    Loved the post and I agree!!! Dont waste time sleeping! 🙂

  7. Thank you very much Jaish 🙂
    Well, I do agree, the pain is of the highest degree which a human being has known to tolerate. Still, even after all that is over, the mother would definitely not feel like sleeping. Watching the baby is the epitome of happiness.
    Keep visiting Jaish 😀

  8. I like this quote and dislike this quote 'there is only one thing people like that is good for them; a good night's sleep till late morning.' life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep. it is better to sleep on things before hand than lie awake about them. Ah sleeping :/ It takes up almost a third of our lives and so that good command to sleep less and live more to get, see and achieve more in life. excellent.. Veryy Nice.

  9. Very nice. very well explained and will definately try to maximise my life time and will follow. Keep writing, keep sharing. 🙂

  10. Sleep less…Live More. 6hrs sleep and you daily saving much time which we can utilise to stay healty and proactive in life. Very Nice. Keep sharing 🙂

  11. Thanks a lot bro 🙂
    In a way, this generation has become more unsatisfied with their lives. Most of the times they are themselves to blame while most of the times it is peer or family pressures. However, we end up in a profession or career because it looks more fancy to us and since it not our field of choice, we end up not doing justice to it.
    Is this applicable to you as well?

  12. in mine case time is not on the extremes…. the best part of the day i like to recollect is taking a ride on my scooty early in the morning and feeling the breeze on my face………:-)

  13. Thank you very much for your feedback Umashankar 🙂
    Well, it is a situation which no one foresees but is a possibility nonetheless. That brings out the essence of this life which has been given to us by the Supreme Power.
    Keep visiting 🙂

  14. Thank you Sony 🙂
    True, the gush of wind on your face and feeling fresh, all of this is so full of life. Life is not about the big things, its about enjoying the small things of life.
    Keep visiting 🙂

  15. Awesome post!! A good food for thought!! It's true and even scientifically proven that sleep is an indicator of one's well being. Patients suffering from depression tend to oversleep.

  16. Thank you very much Ashwini 🙂
    Yes, oversleeping is not something to be happy about, usually it means that there is something in the real life which is bothering you and you don't want to face it.
    Keep visiting Ashwini 😀

  17. Now this may sound trivial, however I cannot help but correct your equation to be
    T = A + S

    And just to offer a different perspective, sleep is also when our subconscious comes to the fore, which can lead to ideas and creations that wouldn't otherwise have happened. Although I agree with the broader theme that anything beyond the required amount of sleep is wasteful.

  18. very well written.n wat u have written is truth.sometimes all of us try to escape from real world by sleeping.besides this d write up is very motivational…there's lot of tym to sleep in our graves..thank you for sharing good toughts.

  19. i sumtyms wonder wht if evrythn happenin around us includin r families n closed 1z is al jst a part of dream, n whn v wake up d reality is compltly diffrnt..n nuthn lyk it used to be..a strange world it wl b !!

  20. Thank you Silent Observer 🙂
    Well, the equation would ideally have a plus sign but to indicate the gravity of this situation, I tweaked the variables and the signs.
    You are correct on that aspect about the sub-conscious but yes there has to be an optimal limit to everything in nature. It wastes time beyond a certain level.
    Keep visiting 😀

  21. Thank you Aprajita 🙂
    Well, that is quite a scenario you have thought of. The chances of that being true is quite high as we have been shown in The Matrix.

  22. And this has been written by someone who sleeps late every night, and when someone says "goodnyt" to him at 2, he laughs and tell " you are wasting time sleeping "..
    But, a very nice post nevertheless 🙂

  23. To be very honest..u are absolutely RIGHT…I just realized that i used to sleep more than 16hours a Day when their was downs in my relationship…it must be that i don't want to wake up and feel miserable .. and now when its all over and i m over it…i feel like to hang out with my friends 24*7..Infact i was just sleeping 4hours for a week and was awake almost 36hrs when i went for a Trip to Goa with my Best Friends..

  24. Thank you for the feedback and welcome to my blog Fijo 🙂
    I am glad that you have realized the importance of sleep and life and that you were able to relate to the post.
    Keep visiting 😀

  25. Makes a lot of sense…and I agree completely! One might think it is just a part of routine life but then it is a big part and involves more of ourselves than we think it does. Very well written as well, I especially enjoyed the constant undertone of positivity that runs through it. 🙂

  26. Welcome to the blog and thanks a lot for the feedback Akriti 🙂
    Yes, very true, it becomes a granted thing for most of us. We usually turn a blind eye to it.
    Glad you could connect with the underlying theme.
    Keep visiting 😀

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