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    Thread: What would life be like if you never slept?

    1. #1
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      What would life be like if you never slept?

      If your life was one continuous experience, would it be overwhelming? Would every moment seem even more unnecessary/insignifant than it does now? Will people go from moment to moment without the opportunity to stop and reflect or will the lack of sleep and order make people more sensitive to moments of stopping and reflecting? I just had this idea yesterdag or 2 days ago so I haven't formed any opinions. One thing for sure is that it would suck to not have lucid dreams

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      I believe sleep is a great opportunity to escape our everyday stress and problems. I think this is the best thing about sleep, and this keeps us going. We are not here 1/3 of our lives. Would we be able to handle a 3/3 reality?

      One more thing. Have you ever felt your opinion about a situation that had made you angry or sad had changed as you were sleeping? Sleep somehow helps with reasonal thinking. Lack of sleep could turn us into confused, angry, spontaneous creatures.

      Sorry about the grammar. Mid sleep, will be WILDing
      Last edited by figurefly; 07-05-2015 at 05:44 AM.

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      I don't remember where I got this from, but I read/heard somewhere that sleep dilutes emotions. It's a very useful things ^^ Alright so what if you didn't feel those effects? Let's say for the sake of this discussion that that dilution of emotions is done by a certain chemical and now we can release that chemical while awake. And we don't need to rest and do all the things that sleep normally does for us. What I'm interested in is your thoughts about purely the experience of never sleeping. When you are conscious all the way from whenever you become conscious until you die. Except when you become unconscious from drugs or getting hit or something like that.
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      I think we would not be stopping and appreciating the moments more than we do now. And yes I feel everything would feel more insignificant. Think of it, a whole day lasts 80 years. That would definitely make me feel purposeless and almost like a robot. I don't know why though, I can't put it into words right now. But will try again later. Great question with a cool approach.
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      Thanks

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      Hey Ginsan, check out the movie the Machinist
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      Merilly merilly merilly merilly
      Life is but a dreamm

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      I might watch that movie, but not for the reason I made this thread. It's probably about a man experiencing sleep devrivation, right?

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      Quote Originally Posted by Ginsan View Post
      I might watch that movie, but not for the reason I made this thread. It's probably about a man experiencing sleep devrivation, right?
      The man is insomniac and he experiences the effects of sleep deprivation. It's a dark, beautiful movie with a weak disappointing ending.

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      Quote Originally Posted by figurefly View Post
      The man is insomniac and he experiences the effects of sleep deprivation. It's a dark, beautiful movie with a weak disappointing ending.
      Sounds boring.
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      Ehhh? Baaaka its a thriller n a damn good one
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      Merilly merilly merilly merilly
      Life is but a dreamm

    11. #11
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      I am biased by your One Piece avatar because I watched the first 50 episodes and it sucked. But rest assured, I'll keep it in the corner of my mind along with all the movies I might one day watch
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      Quote Originally Posted by Ginsan View Post
      If your life was one continuous experience, would it be overwhelming? Would every moment seem even more unnecessary/insignifant than it does now? Will people go from moment to moment without the opportunity to stop and reflect or will the lack of sleep and order make people more sensitive to moments of stopping and reflecting? I just had this idea yesterdag or 2 days ago so I haven't formed any opinions. One thing for sure is that it would suck to not have lucid dreams
      I think if sleep were not a part of our lives -- if we were all genetically hard-wired to never sleep -- then we would likely live pretty much the way we do now. After all, if sleep -- and dreams -- weren't necessary, it would not be missed... our days would simply have some other way of being separated.

      I think this would follow even if we learned one day to safely do completely without sleep: we might miss it (I sure would), but, being an adaptable lot, humans would simply establish a new pattern to move through their days and lives that would work just fine.

      So, what would life be like if you never slept? Probably the same as life is with sleep, only with a bit more time on your hands, and a new way to split up your days.



      [As an aside: One Piece is one of my favorites. It wasn't at first, but then I started seeing it not as series of endless, boring story arcs where it takes 6 months of episodes to conclude five minutes of Straw Hat time, but rather as a lesson in time-dilation, where Luffy and his crew are managing to stretch a moment into months, and then it all gets pretty dream-like -- especially when you factor in the truly surreal characters and settings. Plus, the shows really do get better over (real) time.]
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    13. #13
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      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      .... our days would simply have some other way of being separated ..... but, being an adaptable lot, humans would simply establish a new pattern to move through their days and lives that would work just fine ..... and a new way to split up your days.
      Hmm yes I see.. Would you care to elaborate, oh great ??

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      Sure.

      I think that, with sleep no longer an issue, our days would be lived in 24-hour blocks rather than 16-hour blocks. Our routines would be spread out over the whole day and night, and undoubtedly be designed to take as best advantage of the time, just as it is now.

      For instance, work would probably still be done during daylight hours, because we seem to operate better when the sun is out [though, now that I think about it, that too could simply be a symptom of needing sleep, and might not matter in a world without it]. Nights would probably be reserved -- as they are now, in part -- for more intimate, "safe at home" activities like family meals, all the hobbies and home projects for which there would finally be time, play, and, of course, making more humans.

      I also wouldn't be surprised if we built in small "down-time" blocks, throughout the day, in order to recharge our mental batteries or to simply lend a pause between our life's activities. These short pauses -- probably done alone -- might include things like meditation, contemplation of the day's activities/plans for tomorrow's activities, or just mindlessly relaxing with a nice glass of scotch. But this could just be a nod to our current need for sleep; perhaps once sleep is unnecessary, so too would any of the psychic repairs and resets that sleep enables. Though I personally would miss those pauses, we might just be able to hum right along without them.

      We would probably still count our days in 24hr blocks, of course, because the sun is still rising and setting, providing a nice marker for new days.

      Of course, as an obviously avid LD'er, I already believe my days pass in 24hr blocks, because I'm doing as much in my sleep -- if not more -- than I am when awake....

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      Those little recharche blocks already exist. Even when we are working or in class, we relax every now and then. But I agree with you. You know, it's funny that it's so disappointing to agree with you Usually I disagree with almost everything and get excited about explaining why I know better and sometimes I get a profound insight from someone else that I hadn't thought of, which is also exciting. But you gave a disappointing answer that I agree with completely.

      I wonder if we would get lazier or more active, or both because there will be time for both. I'm struggling to find something interesting, but this topic may just be a lot less exciting than I originally thought. Maybe "our days would be lived in 24-hour blocks rather than 16-hour blocks" is all there is to it.

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      At the risk of additional disappointment:

      I wonder if we would get lazier or more active, or both because there will be time for both. I'm struggling to find something interesting, but this topic may just be a lot less exciting than I originally thought. Maybe "our days would be lived in 24-hour blocks rather than 16-hour blocks" is all there is to it.
      We would probably be no more lazy or active than we are right now, given that those things stem more from our personalities than they do from the time we have to express those personalities. We might get a few more things done, and being awake all day might be a boon to that extreme minority of very creative people (more time for art, writing, inventing, starting businesses, etc.), but I would bet that, in the aggregate, all we would have in the end is more time to waste.

      So now I get to agree with you, in that this subject might be a bit less interesting than it seemed at first glance. But maybe -- as Figurefly already noted in the second post here -- the interesting part of all this is hiding in the negative space. What if we skip your post #3 suggestion and don't set aside all the things that sleep and dream does for us, but instead consider their absence? Let's say we simply learned how to say awake 24/7 without mental breakdown or apparent fatigue. What would we be sacrificing or lacking if we no longer slept?

      * Without all the repairs and rest that sleep provides, would we live shorter lives (perhaps ironically balancing out the extra wake time)?

      * Would life without a dream-life effect our personalities, because we lack, for instance, those truly formative moments of wonder, fear, excitement, and creativity that are generated nightly in our dreams but oh so rarely in waking life?

      * Would we have more trouble negotiating waking-life dilemmas and crises because we are not getting any advice from our unconscious?

      * What about the esoteric stuff? What if things like dream-sharing, extra dimensions, shamanistic journeys, time-dilation, persistent realms, etc, are all real, and we abandon them for a mundane waking-life-only existence?

      There are probably many more things that sleep and dreams do to support and nourish our waking-lives -- I wonder what we would all be like without that nightly psychic nourishment, and what in waking life could or must be done to compensate. So it may not be about what our lives would be like with an extra 33% of waking-life, but what it would be like without the things that sleep and dream do to enhance and maintain the 66%... I'm probably just continuing the same theme, only in reverse, but maybe I threw up enough words this time that you will find something with which you can disagree, Ginsan!
      Last edited by Sageous; 07-15-2015 at 08:46 PM.
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      You say: what if we simply refuse to sleep but without alternate ways to rest and repair, well, it would obviously be terrible xD We would suffer all the effects of sleep deprivation and probably die after living in agony for days or weeks. I think it makes no sense to think "what if we missed the nourishment and enhancement that sleep provides", with the exception of dreams, missing these things is just deadly, agonizing sleep deprivation.

      I never thought of dreams as formative moments. Not for myself and I would be surprised if there were many people who did have highly formative dream moments. Although it's obviously possible, but many people just don't have rich dream lives that they remember. For me, that has always been fiction. Animated cartoons (japanese), movies, tv series and books had formative moments for me and made me think about my own life, and they still do!

      Esoteric stuff, I wanted to say take psychedelics, which are much more potent than dreams, but these are a lot less accessible and frequent than dreams. But yeah I do agree that people like you, skilled lucid dreamers, would miss out on a lot of stuff.

      I said I agreed with you in my previous post but I changed my opinion to "I just don't know", because a long day just feels different. Staying awake when you're supposed to sleep is new and the effects of sleep deprivation contribute to the different feeling of a long day, but I just don't know if those are the only 2 things. Maybe continuous experience just is fundamentally different and maybe it will have a much more drastic impact than just not dreaming. I'm surprised that you seem so sure that it will just be *16h-block-->24h-block* I see a potentially endless discussion coming because of how widespread this change would be in my opinion.

      Some things will obviously change, one of which is hanging out with friends! Because now you are not stuck to few hours in between sleep. You can stay for days without any problem. Society (not individuals) will be more actice because work can be done 24h a day. Every single place where you can pay for stuff (except those that depend on it being day/night) will remain open 24h a day. Scientists can do science for weeks or months on end, monks can meditate so much more effectively. Instead of meditating 18 hours and sleeping 6, they can meditate for years without stopping! Can you imagine the difference?

      But I don't find these nearly as interesting as thinking about just the experience of never sleeping, of having one continuous experience. Without thinking about particular activities or how our biology can possibly keep up with this. So this is still a completely open question to me.

      As you can see, I found some stuff to disagree with, thanks

    18. #18
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      I'm glad I could help (you to disagree)!

      But you may have based that disagreement on a bad premise.

      I did not say "what if we simply refuse to sleep but without alternate ways to rest and repair," as that would indeed be terrible. What I said instead was this:

      Let's say we simply learned how to say awake 24/7 without mental breakdown or apparent fatigue. What would we be sacrificing or lacking if we no longer slept?
      I think that is much different, and is a concession that must be made in order to have this conversation at all.


      Also:

      Quote Originally Posted by Ginsan View Post
      I never thought of dreams as formative moments. Not for myself and I would be surprised if there were many people who did have highly formative dream moments. Although it's obviously possible, but many people just don't have rich dream lives that they remember. For me, that has always been fiction. Animated cartoons (japanese), movies, tv series and books had formative moments for me and made me think about my own life, and they still do!
      I don't think you need to remember your dreams for them to participate in your life. They occur every night and (yes, perhaps) have their (possibly) formative/advisory impact whether you remember them or not. I also have a feeling that the dreams we remember are the ones that were more entertaining than helpful, and decidedly not formative... if that makes any sense.

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      I see, I misunderstood.

      But about dreams, I don't think I have the knowledge to talk about the phsychological effects of not dreaming. I think you need to know neuroscience for that and probably also things that are not yet discovered, if you want to go beyond the general effects. I remembed some material from scientists talking about how dreams help us memorise things, prepare us for possible situations and cope with the things that happen, whether we remember them or not. It's interesting for sure but I that's not what I had in mind. I think of that function of dreams as in the same place as repairing, obviously it's not repairing, but it's still some process that happens behind our awareness and that affects our consciousness. But what I am trying to get at, is only the experience of having a continuous experience. Also what I'm not trying to say here is "all that stuff boring, this is what we have to talk about", I'm just saying that I find that more interesting. Maybe I should have added "but we still get all the benefits from sleeping and dreaming, except for being unconscious for a while."

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      Boundaries between things would start to blur and disappear completely within only a few days. Information would start and perceptions would start running into each other and I would probably go into what one could view as perfect insanity. I doubt it would even take more than 2 weeks to be living entirely in fantasy if my ability to sleep went away.

      Or, is the point of the topic supposed to be more like "what would you do if you had all the 24 hours of the day instead of giving up 9 for sleep"? Maybe Both? The latter is kinda what it seems like.

      Also, on the note of The Machinist, the movie represents what happens when you are completely delirious pretty well. It's about a dude who works at an industrial plant making machine parts and is deathly skinny and stuff because he hasn't slept in "a year" according to him. They suspect him of drugs but he hasn't taken any, an accident happens in the work place and it's because he claims to be distracted by someone that doesn't even actually exist. Then the movie goes on and exposes that there is a reason why he hasn't slept for over a year (and it has to do with feeling guilty) by several delirious accidents and occurrences happen, leading up to him realizing why he couldn't sleep for a year, and then how he can fix it. Won't give away the ending any more than that. It's still worth a watch, not a great movie, but an interesting one... at least deserving of being called okay.

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      ^^ I think we massaged the premise of the OP to be something along the lines of "What if we did without sleep, and did not suffer the negative effects of sleep deprivation (aka, sleep dep would not exist)?"

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      snoop, I have tripped yesterday and friday last week on magic mushrooms and I may have caught a glimpse of mental delusion, and it's only favorable in good conditions. With a sober friend that you trust and love, good lighting, good music, comfy clothes, it really brings magic into your life. The magic during the trip carries over into your life. But, giving people psychedelics is, in my opinion, the most potent way to torture someone. In that world, 30 seconds of agony may very well feel hellish and may very well scarr you for life. Living your life sleep deprived? Damn.. And the horrible thing is that psychedelics intensify things, positive or negative, but sleep deprivation just gets worse and worse, it's just horrible. I can't imagine how people feel who are suffering from psychosis or severe anxiety..

      But Sageous, that was actually what I meant to convey when making the thread. But maybe I wasn't clear enough.

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