Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Blessings of Sleep
So, I was cranky and tired last night, grouching at my family, etc. This is the kind of crankiness not even a bowl of ice cream will fix. Not a pretty picture. Then I got a good night's sleep. When I woke up, everything just seemed easier to tackle. You know what I mean? It's not so much that I couldn't manage to wash the dishes last night. It just seemed so LARGE of a project. Sleep is a blessing in that way: it gives us perspective.

Now, an interesting thought about sleep and breathing. Did you know that some animals are conscious breathers? This means that they have to consciously think about every breath they take. Dolphins and whales are conscious breathers. Wouldn't that stink?? I mean, I have enough to think about. Thankfully, my body breathes without me making the decision to do so.

So then the question becomes how do dolphins and whales sleep? See here, and here for more info. Scientists have found that half of the dolphin's brain is asleep, while the other half is sort of dozing. That way they can still come to the surface when they make the decision to breathe. Then, I guess, the other half snoozes at some point too. Isn't that wild?

So, that's how dolphins are able to sleep and still breathe consciously. I'm so glad I'm an unconscious breather. Aren't you? Now I'm thinking about all the things that I wish were unconscious too. Wouldn't it be great if meal preparation were unconscious? I would just show up in the kitchen, and then I'd just sort of unconsciously figure out what to make, how to make it, avoid burning it, etc. Then I'd show up at the table, and I'd think, "Cool, I hadn't really thought about having chili for dinner, but here it is!" That'd be awesome.

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