The beauty of sleep is hard to describe. The complete absence of work or progress towards work is a testament to the said beauty. The pleasure involved in dozing off for several hours is so immense that we feel guilty at the end of it. People bathe to get rid of the guilt. When one sleeps, one is grateful. The experience is so pure. When Lord Krishna requested Arjuna to perform tasks unmindful of the fruits of the said task, He used sleep as the example. Sleep is where we fulfill that purity. We sleep unmindful of the perils of sleeping and expect no benefit at the end of it. It is an end within itself. It is the beginning , the end and the journey. In celebration of sleep - the unsung hero - we take a look at the top 10 list of 'The Best Sleeping moments' in a person's life;
Top 10 Sleeping Moments Of Human Beings
10. Sleeping after sedatives: Sleeping After sedatives is like a fast point-to-point journey. You are aware of getting on the bed and the next thing you know is sunlight hitting the room, the next morning. There is no 'Will I sleep in this pain?' anxiety. Guaranteed sleep is all you want when the body, mind and everything else is unwell.
9. Sleeping in moving vehicles: There are people who fall asleep the moment the engine of a vehicle, any vehicle, is switched ON. That is a remarkable gift. It is hard to believe that such people are often criticized by friends & family. Who cares for conversation or the scenery, when one can see better stuff in your dreams? Pilots, car-drivers, engine-drivers, bus-drivers, unknowingly switch on a very powerful sedative for such people. If you are ever in doubt about this form of sleep just peep into the IT company buses that pick-up half-asleep people at 7:00AM in the morning and drop them off to work at 8:45. Caged animals, with I.D cards hanging out of their necks, sleep in their seats like there is no tomorrow. The young generation of India march towards work with as much enthusiasm of a POW walking towards a firing squad.
8. Sleeping during a movie: This is a special one. It almost feels as if someone is carefully and gingerly carrying you into la-la land. There is a subtlety and class about this mode that is absent in many other sleep situations. A bad movie is like a surprise gift. Allows for a righteous sleep.
7. The 'Slightly relax on the Sofa' Nap: This is not necessarily restricted to a person's house. It can happen anywhere. You are watching TV and you say "just 5 minutes" and you are transported into a different world. You are visiting friends and the conversation veers to stocks and technology, all you need to say is 'I'll slightly relax on the sofa' keyword and fall asleep. People won't notice you until you have extracted as much as you can from a standard-dosage of sofa-sleep. If you have over-eager stock investors debating in the room, you just stuck gold.
6. The Sunday Afternoon Nap: As we enter a rarefied level of sleep situations, it would not be uncommon to find precious stones and gems such as this. I advise the reader to refrain from sending petitions to me on upgrading this or any other sleep levels to the coveted #1 position. The list is final. Sunday afternoon nap is great for one reason - It mocks Monday in the face. It lets out that belligerent scream against the cruel tyrannical Monday. It seems to ask "I am sleeping now. Look at me. What the hell can you do about it". Importantly, Sunday morning food tends to be on the heavier side and so sleeping is not a problem. Sleeping for 3 hours on Sunday is brazen show of aggression against Monday. There is a good chance that Monday will hit back with furious anger. But it is worth it.
5. Sleeping when it is raining outside: P.G.Wodehouse, Archie comics, rain and sleep takes us straight into the romance department. There is nothing more idyllic than sleeping when it is raining outside. The ithihaasas mention that the whole process of water evaporation, cloud formation, and subsequent rain is inextricably linked to fantastic sleep. Scientific research, the nonsense that it is, has been inconclusive on the effect of rain on sleep. However, experience shows that there is a cosmic link between Varuna and Urmya, goddess and protector of sleep. When Varuna visits during the day, Urmya is sure to follow. Who cares about peacock's dancing and rainbows? Wrapping oneself in the warmth of bedsheets/comforter as raindrops make music on the roof toop is an enchanting experience. One sleeps sounder than usual.
4. When Morning Nap runs into extra-time: People were born saying "5 more minutes". These three words have been encoded into our speech system during our zygotic stages. Statistics show that average human sleep time has been increasing by 5 minutes every day for the past several millenia. While sleepers feel that they have slept for close to 100 hours everyday, science has only been able to account for 10 hours of night sleep. Nowadays, technology is unable to keep up with our ability to squeeze out that extra "5 minutes" of morning sleep time. Snooze functionality, scream functionality, automatic iPod alarms, self-starting blast-mode stereos, the 'shout-like-L.R.Easwari' ear buds have all failed to stop humans from getting 1 hour worth of "extra 5 minutes". Boy! are those 5 minutes really superb? Even if you have remained awake for the entire night in insomnia, the arrival of dawn will instantly cure you and put you to sleep.
3. The Week-day Afternoon Nap During Vacation: Sleeping during vacations needs to have it own temple. People get burgled when they sleep. People sleep in buses and lose their suitcase ( 5 lac rupees included). These people don't get up and blame sleep. They blame the burglar. The police search for the burglar, not sleep. Imagine what would happen if these people were given a guilt-free license to sleep on a 4 month-vacation. For several days during my 12th standard vacation, I got up at 11:30 AM in the morning, brushed my teeth, had lunch, and went back to sleep at 12:30PM. I got up again at 4:30PM, took bath, watched TV, ate dinner and went back to sleep at 9:30PM. For an entire month, I did not leave my house. Never crossed my door into the outside world. I tell you - this sleep is a once-in-a-life-time opportunity. Rarely will you get an extended 3-4 month vacation where you just sleep your way to glory.
2. Sleep Before Exams: You are studying hard. It is the day before exams. A fight against the clock is in progress. 11 chapters to go and you calculate that you only have 10 more hours today an maybe 4 hours the next morning. It is a close call. You may not have enough time to finish all chapters. That is the moment when you make a crucial decision. You sleep. You decide that all your problems will be put into proper perspective after 1 hour's sleep. And you sleep. Ladies & gentlemen - that is the most precious sleep you will ever encounter. Horror, fear and near-death situations await you at the other end of the sleep and yet you sleep peacefully. Everything is paused, danger is ignored and the only victor is sleep.
1. The Afternoon nap after a feast that involves curd rice + vadai-payasam. The most dangerous type of sleep is the one you have immediately after heavy meals. Imagine a super-powered, magnum opus, extra-dimension lunch that simply beats you up again and again and again. A powerful, unmitigated, relentless attack on your taste buds. When it ends - it ends with a curd-rice and a killer of a payasam. A lunch so powerful that your legs fall asleep during the time you were eating. 2 people need to lift you and re-seat you on the couch. A sleep after that, as evil as it is, is the best. The payasam delivers the killer blow that no other sedative can deliver. You sleep like there is no tomorow. You sleep like a man who is about to be sentenced for eternal consciousness and this is the last ever sleep you will get to sleep. Words just fail the author at this moment. Tears flow freely as one imagines this moment of sleep. It rarely happens and when it does - we believe in god.
Worst Sleeping Moments
5. Other People Sleeping when you are not: This is very annoying. You are tense, cramming for exams and working on a homework - and you see people around you sleeping. Grandmother, mother, brother, arbitrary cousin, aunt-from-outer-space, wife and neighbor's cat - they all seem to be sleeping around you. It is very frustrating when sleep is happening and you are not the subject.
4. Sleep during home-lunch visit on an Office Work-day. This is the most unsatisfactory sleep experience for me. Not because of my 'kadami unarvu' (work ethic) - I don't have that. This sleep is so guilt-ridden. Mind constantly worries about various possibilities playing out. This sleep always terminates prematurely.
3. Jet-Lag Sleep. This is when you don't sleep now so that you can sleep well later. It sounds ridiculous. This whole 'not sleeping for the sake of saving sleep' confuses the mind. On one hand it feels like you are doing a noble thing to ensure survival of 'sleep'. On the other hand you feel guilty resisting the allure of instant sleep. Most annoying.
2. Sleeping During Dusk. Maybe its me. If I sleep anytime between 5:30PM and 7:00PM, I feel lousy when I get up. Usually all feelings of guilt, worry and fear disappear when one sleeps. But this sleep does the opposite. One feels depressed and dejected when one gets up. There is of course the fear of not being able to sleep at night.
1. Going to sleep with an upset-stomach/Over Sleeping on Exam Day morning: Sleeping on the morning of an exam and sleeping after taking a laxative is the same thing. You are always on the alert. You are torn apart between two primitive forces. Both are powerful. Here is when you don't want 'sleep' to win the fight. Because if it wins, you are in a mess. There is no pleasure in waking up too. Once you get up, you have to face the ordeal. A loss-loss situation if ever there was one.