Quantcast
Latest Stories

KINUTIL

Sleep

By

There was a special feature on cable television about the science of sleep. And it was quite interesting. And as all interesting things go, it raised as many questions as it gave answers. Quite interesting to note that the most fundamental question of all is still quite a mystery, that question being: Why do we sleep at all?

The scientists should have asked their own moms. We sleep so we will grow. People who skip sleep become “putot”, which is the local word for short. The word is synonymous to the fruit of the coconut when it falls before it has grown to mature size.

Hey! Wait a minute. Why is that a disparaging word? So what is wrong with being short? Is it only an extension of our colonial past that we obligate ourselves to being tall? Or is this quest for height universal?

Ask Mom? She, who for years in our childhood practically dragged us to bed, ordered us in and when that did not work scratched our backs until we were lulled into dreamland. And she might have hummed for us some forgotten lullaby that will infiltrate our dreams for the rest of our natural lives making such inexplicable hits as “Gangnam Style” possible.

Mama, why do we sleep?

So you will grow up tall and strong, dear child.

And so we marked our adolescence by finding out how far we can go without sleep. This was in a sense our rebellion against the child still inside us. We marked our coming of age by staying up as long as we could. Which did not please our Mamas, of course. But we were older by then. We could stay up from time to time. Only babies sleep all day and all night. And so in time we learned to party.

To be sleepless is the essence of the party. Why do we party? We party so we can greet the early morning still up and awake. There is something about being up come midnight which puts the nostalgic warmth into our hearts. We know we are going to pay for it the next day when we wake up badly dehydrated and our digestive cycles ruined for the rest of the day. And yet we do it. We are better than Cinderella. We pass the midnight hour without our carriage horses turning to mice. We have no glass slippers to leave behind. This is what we work so hard for. And we have friends to be sleepless with.

And when we do sleep, we sleep because we’re tired. The more interesting the day the more tired we are when we finally come to bed. That’s just the way it is. But there will be days of course when sleep does not come too easy. There will be days when we feel the full weight of impending doom, a disaster perhaps waiting for its day to come. Or perhaps we have only been working too hard. We toss and turn in bed. Sleep becomes elusive. What to do?

Some will tell you, there are secrets to the craft. Pop a pill! Ah, but that’s no good. You wake up feeling tired still. And those things can become addictive. Better to find a better way.

Those of us who have religion can always turn to prayer. Or draw on faith to tells us there must be a higher logic to our miseries whatever they might be. Someone watches over us and things will be alright in the end. Besides this, there are yoga exercises to encourage sleep. Or one can always try self hypnosis. Or if not that, there is always reading. Don’t do those gossipy glossy magazines. Try a big book with a big heavyweight name like Kant, Marquez or Eco.

You can do one or a combination of many. But in the end they all come down to these: the bed, the big fat pillow, which reminds us of Mama or that young woman who lovingly once turned us into a man for the rest of time. Or the other way around if you’re a woman. Or an alternate combination of possible pairings if you’re a complex person. Whatever the case, the pillow is your friend. It is even more loyal than a dog.

Settle into its coolness. Feel how well it holds you and softly brings you to Birdland. Stupid scientists! Why do we sleep? Because sleep is so wonderful, so wonderful, wonderful, wonderfully wonderful, nice.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Other Stories:


More from this Column:

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
Advertisement

News

  • Malang the croc must regain strength before return to swamp, says mayor
  • Palace: Lacson’s version of Napoles testimony to be evaluated
  • Scientists eye iceberg bigger than Guam
  • Drilon: I’m not on Napoles’ list
  • Sonar finds 1888 San Francisco shipwreck
  • Sports

  • Promoters Dela Hoya, Arum in talks for Pacquiao-Alvarez—report
  • Benzema guides Madrid to 1-0 win over Bayern
  • Suns’ Goran Dragic win NBA’s Most Improved Player award
  • Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97
  • Ronaldo shakes off injury fears to play Bayern
  • Lifestyle

  • Gongs and southern dances star in a workshop at San Francisco Bayanihan Center
  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • Entertainment

  • Smithsonian wants photos, videos for ‘Day in the Life of Asian Pacific Americans’
  • What Garcia Marquez left behind
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Business

  • How ‘one percent’ economic elite was uncovered
  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  • Fil-Am youth conferences unite under one theme
  • Embassy advisory: Filipinos still need visas to enter US
  • No travel restriction to Mideast, DFA clarifies
  • PH-HK relations repaired, but families of victims still being courted
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement