Don’t slip this for sound sleep…
The definition of happiness may differ from person to person but most would agree that the happiest man is the one who gets an uninterrupted sleep. Not that I suddenly started talking about sleep as I’ve lost my sleep over something or I am suffering from insomnia. I felt like talking about it after I saw such a happy man the other day.
Cozy beds and comfortable houses don’t necessarily bring undisturbed sleep. Those who retire for the day under the open sky or find shelter at public places like bus stands and railway stations or find refuge in huge water pipes lying by the roadside would certainly bust the myth of ‘comfort sleep’. However, all those days, I believed that people, no matter how desperately wanted to sleep, would choose at least safe places! This is where our happy man stands out; he was sleeping on the road divider in the middle of a maddening traffic.
I chanced to look at him while crossing the road. Honking vehicles and the usual mess we are used to on our roads would drive you to wit’s end but this gentleman was peacefully sleeping at a spot with vehicles almost kissing him! For a few minutes I stood there and I must confess, I really feared for my life. I envied the man who was fast asleep caring the least for his life. I wondered if he was alive and asked about him to a shopkeeper nearby. “Don’t worry madam. He is taking his routine nap…” Perhaps, no one on the road found it as strange as I did. How can people be it so matter of fact?
I moved on but this happily sleeping man was in my mind. I don’t know if he was a beggar or a labourer. The only thing I observed about him that he was cool as a cucumber when things around were boiling hot. Is this level-headedness or peace of mind? Do we call this happiness? May be, he didn’t lose his sleep over traffic and noise, as he didn’t have anything to lose. But can anyone sleep at a place that can threaten life? Has he never seen vehicles ramming into the divider? The gap between the cup and the lip could be filled any time. Is he happy or reckless?
The man triggered a chain of thought about sleep. I had read that sleep and health were closely related but many interesting things unfolded in this analysis. Earlier, I hadn’t found anything striking in my sleep. It was normal like any other person. There were days I would be tired waiting to hit the bed and again some days I would be struggling to get it. But sleep never disturbed me to an extent where I would reflect over it. This analysis of sleep opened my eyes. It has more to do with you than your health and happiness, I realised.
There is a close connect between sleep and a person’s age. Young need it more and old less. This is what analyses of scientists, psychiatrists, thinkers and philosophers say. Still irrespective of your age, gender and nature of work, it’s your upright attitude, honesty and above all, control over mind that determine sleep. When you do something wrong, you can never sleep peacefully.
To me, sleep is not about keeping eyes open or close but stopping the chain of thought in your mind at will. There must be some such knob in the mind to make it go blank and this man seemed to have found it.