Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep came in the mail the other day. The book, by David K. Randall, promises to answer some of my questions about sleep and dreams. But I doubt I’ll get all the answers I’m seeking. But, then, when do we get all the answers we’re seeking?
I find it fascinating and frightening that we know so very little about one third of our lives. I have forgotten half of my waking life since I was sixteen, so there’s very little left of my consciousness to explore. Knowing just a shade more about what I’m up to during my 6-8 hours of sleep would be illuminating, I’m sure.
We use the word “sleep” in such odd ways, don’t we? It’s a euphemism for sex (as in “I slept with her”) and death (“to sleep, perchance to dream”), yet in my opinion we don’t know enough about it to treat it so casually.
I sometimes wonder if we’re afraid of sleep. Does its mystery morph into fear? When I read of sleepwalkers walking off balconies, I become highly concerned about my sleep habits. It’s disturbing, especially, to learn that sleepwalking and other sleep-related anomalies can commence in one’s later years (read: fifty-plus).