The Promise of Sleep

The Promise of Sleep - ANTH-10105 Professor McKenna The...

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ANTH-10105 Professor McKenna The Promise of Sleep 2/15/10 The Promise of Sleep, a informative novel written by William C . Dement, takes an in-depth look at the binding relationship of a good night’s sleep, health, and happiness . Dement starts off his writing by defining what he believes sleep to be and helps his readers connect to this through a series of metaphors . The most interesting, and probably relevant to college students, aspect of his writing came in the discussion of how alcohol plays such an instrumental role, in a negative way, within sleep, health, and fatigue . Dement also strives to answer the issues within solving sleep deprivation and insomnia, as well as how sleep is connected with the human’s immune system . Although Dement’s definition of what is needed for a good night’s sleep is a bit extreme and impractical, the majority of his novel is helpful and provides a good insight in ways to better our lives through our sleep patterns . When looking to define sleep, Dement focused around the question: What is there about sleep that absolutely cannot be simulated? Dement’s definition of sleep has many different aspects, but is focused around two main principles . The first principle his definition is focused around is that sleep erects a perpetual wall between the conscious mind and the outside world (Dement 17) . This means that when we are asleep we have no connection or understanding to the world that is going on around us, the one we experience when we are awake . The second main principle is that sleep is immediately reversible, meaning that even the deepest of sleepers can be instantly awaken by stimulation and loud sounds . If not, Dement says these people would not be sleeping, rather they would be unconscious or dead . A smaller prong of his definition is that sleep occurs naturally and periodically, stating that sleep is not influenced by outside factors such as injury or drugs and that most humans experience sleep throughout the day, most commonly during the night and early morning hours . Lastly, Dement says sleep is characterized by electrical changes in the brain (Dement 18) .
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This note was uploaded on 01/05/2012 for the course ANTH 10105 taught by Professor Mckenna during the Winter '11 term at Notre Dame.

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The Promise of Sleep - ANTH-10105 Professor McKenna The...

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