Would you skip sleeping if you could?

filed under: , science, health
Image credit: 

New Scientist has a piece on the possibilities of 24 hr awake time and many sleep scientists believe it's inevitable that we'll get pretty close to this one day. With drugs like modafinil, people are already staying up many more hours without the side effects of caffeine or amphetamines (so they claim). This is just the first step toward doing away with sleep entirely. And it's one of those subjects that's going to face incredible division of opinion:

"The more we understand about the body's 24-hour clock the more we will be able to override it," says Russell Foster, a circadian biologist at Imperial College London. "In 10 to 20 years we'll be able to pharmacologically turn sleep off. Mimicking sleep will take longer, but I can see it happening." Foster envisages a world where it's possible, or even routine, for people to be active for 22 hours a day and sleep for two. It is not a world that everyone likes the sound of. "I think that would be the most hideous thing to happen to society," says Neil Stanley, head of sleep research at the Human Psychopharmacology Research Unit in the University of Surrey, UK. But most sleep researchers agree that it is inevitable.

Check out the article and tell me, if you could skip sleep and suffer no side effects, would you?

More from mental_floss...

November 20, 2006 - 7:13am
webby
submit to reddit