We talked about political tensions causing insomnia, but it can also work the other way around — insomnia causes political tensions, and back again in a vicious circle.
At last autumn’s Psiber Dreaming Conference put on by the International Association for the Study of Dreams, a major dream researcher spoke on the dream deprivation epidemic in America, and about the terrible consequences of dream deprivation.
Unless you’re narcoleptic, when you’re sleep-deprived, your body puts physical restoration first in the little sleep that you do get, delaying most dreaming till you get out of what it thinks must be survival-mode. Also, most sleeping pills, tranquilizers, stimulants, caffeine, alcohol, marijuana, and a whole lot of other substances can constrict dreaming. What you get might be more intense, but that’s because it’s trying to squeeze a lot into little.
Dreams enable you to make neural connections out of what you learned that day.
But your dreams enable you to make neural connections out of what you learned that day. Take that away, and people lose the capacity to extrapolate from what they’ve learned — they can only memorize and regurgitate information. And they can’t always discriminate between good and bad “facts.” They can’t apply something they learn to a similar situation. They can’t think fairly because they can’t see how A resembles B or how what’s true for one group might not be true for another.
They cling to what thoughts they do have (often taught to them) increasingly fiercely the harder it gets to think. They become irritable, then combative. They become suspicious, and gradually paranoid. Extend it long enough and the memory starts to go. Alzheimer’s, in fact, might well be caused or triggered by dream deprivation.
Have you noticed lately how more and more people are flunking the Turing Test? Whether they agree or disagree, whatever their party, they respond more like robots than people — answering not what you say, but the closest thing in their programming to what they expect you to say.
It’s more obvious when people disagree, but even when they agree, you will often find that they don’t actually know the details of your position — just that it resembles something that they feel they ought to support. And they will post lots and lots of memes rather than original arguments, including some that, when examined, champion things that they disagree with (sometimes vehemently!) once it’s pointed out. But they won’t take it down because it came from the side they aligned with. And yes, you can find this behavior from people of all political parties. It’s classic dream-deprivation thinking.
Never think that sleep hygiene is self-indulgent. It is your duty to your community to maintain your brain in fit shape to play your part as a citizen