No, not another fitness programme, nor another miracle diet, nor some panacea medicine, but something better still – being fit and healthy without lifting a finger!! How does that sound??
It’s no big deal. As an animal on the planet earth, health and fitness is a given. Look around you, from the stray dogs roaming the streets, to the birds flying in the air, to the mosquitoes hovering around you. They all have it; they’re fit (fighting fit, in fact) and healthy, while not attending any gym, not following any yoga/guru, not adhering to any fancy diet plan. No nothing, while surviving on whatever trash they manage to scavenge in the name of food!!
What have they got, which we as humans, despite all our technical advancements are lacking? For those not convinced yet, just recall that breaking into an impromptu sprint, as a stray dog does on the street all the time, to flying off (literally) into the air as any bird does all the time, requires very high levels of energy which in turn necessitates an animal’s being healthy and in the prime of form. The above two are the most obvious of examples. It is equivalent to a human being capable of jogging at least 20 miles every day. Even the most regular gym visitor will shudder at the thought!!
So, what have the animals got which makes them super fit which us humans cannot be despite visiting gyms and doing yoga and meditation and eating so much? Has the Almighty been unfair to us on the health and fitness front? Is not being so healthy and fit as our cousins in the animal kingdom the price we have to pay for being so technically advanced??
NO, NOT AT ALL!!
What I’ll be discussing further is controversial and 9 out of ten will not agree with me to the point of being abusive. I don’t care.
There is one dimension of health and fitness which is missed out by all doctors, yoga gurus and their scientist Uncles. HUMAN SLEEP. Yes, you read it right!! That innocent, demure, sweet little thing we all succumb to for 7-8 hours every night. Human sleep is the culprit, which doesn’t allow us to enjoy the full benefits of the engineering and technical marvel which the human body is.
Now, living in the 21st century, haven’t you at times felt that despite being a technological marvel all claim that our body is, we need to take ‘rest’ for one hour against every two hours of operations (that is what the ratio of 16:8 implies). And despite taking so much ‘rest’, we keep falling ill all the time, and despite eating so much, simply cannot match a stray street dog or bird in fitness and energy output, joule for joule, erg for erg.
But wait a minute, don’t animals sleep? In fact they sleep more than us, from dusk to dawn, instead of the MERE 8 hours we humans sleep. Agreed, but there’s a huge difference.
Animal sleep, at least of those who sleep in the wild, is a superficial or shallow sleep, not the deep (refreshing) variety as most of us humans enjoy. This deep, dreamy sleep which most of us consider as enriching and rejuvenating and indeed the one we all crave for, comes with a heavy cost in terms of health and fitness. I have a bloody experiment to prove that. Coming to that in a moment.
Throughout the animal kingdom, you would never have seen a mother animal cradling her puppies to fall asleep, as you must have seen a human mother so lovingly do. Survival is a fundamental question in the animal kingdom plaguing every animal each and every moment, not something which they can take for granted like us humans. Each animal has to learn to fend for itself every moment since a very early stage in life. Which in turn ensures that they sleep with one eye open, that is, do not sleep that carefree, luxury, deep version sleep of us humans which like an evil spell of a witch, is so difficult to get out of (despite multiple alarms!!)
Sustaining this deep, luxurious sleep, comes with a very heavy price, in terms of health and fitness. Want to see where all the energy of all the food that we eat goes? It goes, not in making us healthy and energetic, but in sustaining sleep (making us lethargic). Have a look at the video below…
This is just a rudimentary experiment I could manage with my meager funds to demonstrate that the deep, luxurious variety of human sleep is not that energizer which everyone including doctors and ‘fitness experts’ consider it to be, but a net consumer (wastage) of precious human energy.
Immersion in frigid, ice cold water is one of the shortest, one-way ticket to death (google hypothermia). Yet I survived for 51 minutes in the same on the first attempt of my life while going through depression due to a personal tragedy at that time. I’m no Yoga or meditation practitioner, (though I have rudimentary knowledge of the same as do most Indians) as you may be suspecting by looking at the video. It was one of those insider knowledge which I used to survive certain death.
My intimate knowledge of sleep.
We as humans love sleep infinitely more than what we could ever hate frigid icy water. That was the principle on which I worked upon to keep death at bay for 51 long minutes on first attempt. The above experiment is the scientific equivalent of a mother holding on to her infant child despite mosquitoes biting her forearms. A very small price.
Before entering into that steel tumbler filled with frigid icy water, I had slept 50% of what I usually do. I wanted to be 100% sleep deprived for a full 48 hours before entering into that steel bucket, but due to my personal tragedy, I couldn’t manage anything more than 50% sleep reduction in the night preceding that frigid icy water survival experiment.
And taking the frigid icy water by the horns, I decided to recoup my sleep while immersed in the frigid icy water bath!!
My target was 30 minutes. I managed a full 51 minutes. The water was sufficiently cold to kill me had I attempted the same on brute strength.
Speaking in energy terms, my humble experiment conclusively proved that sustaining the practice of sleep costs us more physical energy than what survival inside frigid ice water costs us.
The skeptics who have read this far would be scoffing, where’s that breakthrough as the title claimed? There’s one, if you leave aside your prejudice (9999 out of 10000 people blindly worship sleep and can brook no objective questioning of the same). In the medical science world, the phenomenon of sleep is still considered a complete biological mystery. Scientists and doctors, still, in this day and age, do not know why we need to sleep or what exact benefits the body gets while we fall asleep. Nothing proves the abject cluelessness of the medical science community on this matter better than the lame reply Dr. William Dement of Stanford University gave when asked by someone why we need to sleep. His reply (after 50 years of most scientifically researching the phenomenon) – “The reason we need to sleep that is really, really solid is because we get sleepy…”
This was the vague, circular reply Dr. William Dement could manage after easily spending hundreds of millions of dollars analyzing the sleep of literally 1000s of people. Against his research which has led humanity nowhere, I have enough insights of sleep; sufficient to the extent that I can play with death itself with my knowledge.
And against the public money and the sleep of 1000s of (paid) volunteers Dr. William Dement built his empire of 50 years of research upon (which has led humanity nowhere), I have fooled with my personal savings and my personal sleep in order to get a more intimate, first hand understanding of this biological phenomenon.
So, where does my research take humanity? With my over 20 years research on this topic and now with the frigid ice water experiment, I have laid the groundwork for realizing the exciting, sci-fi scenario (as well as my childhood dream) of living a 24x7, sleepless life. Basically, it’s no big deal. Our heart and lungs do it inside our own bodies. I want to make it even more convincing to the general humanity by becoming the first person who has voluntarily and successfully kicked sleep away from his life forever. I have already managed to bring it down to 4 hours per day on most occasions. I do not want to sleep even these four hours.
I am already offering sleep reduction training (to sleep four hours or less per day like our Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi) to interested candidates on a strictly operational expenditure basis only which amounts to less than Rs. 1500/- for a three days and nights residential course. I have a full time assistant to help me with my research work. I’m awaiting my first client.
Apart from the obvious addition of 6-8 hours in our daily kitty, successful control of sleep would enable one to come face to face with the raw power we’ve all been born with, but never realized we possessed. Far from giving us ‘rest’, the activity of sleep makes us feel lazy and tired all the time.