As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep. Sir, I am vexed.
Bear with my weakness. My old brain is troubled.
Be not disturbed with my infirmity.
If you be pleased, retire into my cell
And there repose. A turn or two I’ll walk
To still my beating mind.
Prospero, The Tempest, Will Shakespeare
There was an interesting article in the New York Times Sunday Review on the benefit of sleep about a year ago. The illustration was what caught my eye: a layered cutaway of the head with little cleaner people sweeping the detritus of the day out of the brain.
The article instigated two thoughts. First, the illustration was telling the story well enough to compel reading about sleep. It made me wonder how I could have made that idea work and then about how paintings should work. It also made me consider the value of sleep.
|Murder of Crows, Heaven Hill 12x18 pastel|
The article was questioning why we, as human beings, need sleep in spite of the fact that it would have seemed detrimental for our survival to be asleep when evolving in the savanna. The writer went in one direction explaining how sleep clears out accumulations of chemicals made during the day while using the awake brain. These chemicals, if left lying around in our heads, could trigger dementia and other aged brain issues. How, perhaps there is something that could be taken to alleviate the need for sleep - in spite of the fact that if sleep is what is beneficial for the brain, that there needs to be some pharmaceutical that could do the same thing. Shades of 5 Hour Energy ughh.
The article did not even come close to the idea of an afternoon nap or a brief walk to clean up some of the days accumulations. Did not recommend more than in passing, actual sleep really being a good idea for your health.
So I will. Not that I practice what I preach in any consistent way. A cat nap in the afternoon will often allow me to complete that insane to-do list I conjure for myself everyday. An afternoon nap turns tired children into charming, lovely creatures for the duration of a day so why not adults, who surely would appreciate it.
As for sleep at night, it is hardly recommended to look at emails just prior to heading to bed nor tackle the pile of bills or other bookwork. That will usually defeat the whole purpose of slipping into darkness and quiet of the wee hours.
|Contemplation 20x16 pastel|
Not enough sleep and things seem to move too slowly. I become convinced I am unable to achieve what needs to be done and somehow not quite enough umphh is left for the effort needed to actually create.
I do wish for more time in the day, more energy for the creativity. I need to resign myself to more creativity initiated with less waking time.
Methinks Master Will was on to something.
"To sleep perchance to dream—ay, there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life."
Hamlet, Will Shakespeare