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Old 03-01-2008, 07:35 AM   #1
George's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,036
Default Wake Up!!!

"Sleep is like a drug. Take too much at a time and it makes you dopey. You lose time and opportunities."
Thomas Edison

I remember being taught in school as a child, that Thomas Edison would go into a big workshop he had and start experimenting, until he became so tired, he had to lay his head down and just fall asleep. A few hours later he would awaken and resume work, until he fell asleep again, and so on. Perhaps, Edison's sleep patterns are now controverted fact, but what I originally learned makes sense to me.

Trying to create something, put something together, formulate a new design or plan, requires a certain mental energy, while the mind constantly searches through a maze of thoughts toward new discoveries, a process that cannot be interrupted by sleep. On resumption of the work, the mind wonders just where in the maze it was, and the patterns that were being woven together, that were so near completion, approaching a solution so perfect and beautiful, are completely gone and lost forever. And then, how does one begin again to find a path toward the chosen goal. The opportunity has been lost, and who knows how much time will pass until another arises. That's how the mind seems to works.

Very often in the past I would awaken in the middle of the night with an idea on some problem, and I would tell myself to go back to sleep, that I could consider the matter in the morning. But the next morning, I simply was not able to remember the beautiful insight that occurred to me in the middle of the night. So I learned to keep a pen, paper, and flashlight on the stand beside the bed, so that I could immediately record the details of the insight as it occurred. The next morning I might find that what I had written was ridiculous, or that it was actually fantastic.

Around 1990 I decided I really could not get very much done by sleeping eight or more hours a night, as my mind just wasn't working that way for the projects I wanted to accomplish. So I would just sleep in the intervals my mind let me have according to the natural thought processes of what I was working on. Dang, it was great, all that I was able to do, how one thing after another came to fruition.

But then, I was informed that not sleeping precisely eight or more hours a night affects the immune system and health. So I decided to return to my old sleep pattern a couple years ago to see how that might be experienced again. Well, I have to admit that I really feel healthy. But what am I accomplishing? It is extremely disappointing. I am always shutting my mind down as it is just ready to accomplish something substantial, and then resuming the next day is most inefficient. And lately, I wake up at 2 or 3 a.m. night after night, with my mind telling me it's time to work things out, that things can get done in just a certain way right now. And if I heed this calling, indeed, the results are pleasant.

And medical theory on these type things does seem to change every few decades. Can it really be that patterns of thinking must be at variance with those of sleep??

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