Sleep – Science Fiction Today

There’s a topic that’s on our minds a lot right now – sleep. With Holly sick last week, the Geek Baby and I spent the week sleeping in a different room. And, while the Geek Baby is a pretty good sleeper, the schedule change seems to have messed with her. So we’re taking advantage of it a bit – it’s time to start transitioning into the crib. There are a lot of suggestions on ideas and tips… but anyway, suffice to say: thinking a lot about sleep.

I have a troubled relationship with sleep. On the one hand, a good sleep – a fascinating dream, sleeping in, snuggled warm when it’s cold… these are good things. But I also feel like there’s so much more I could do, and would want to do, if I could just sleep less. I did sleep a lot less during college, which did leave me feeling like I got a lot done – and like I would fall asleep in early-morning classes.

There are interesting visions of sleep in Science Fiction – like the powerful dreams in The Lathe of Heaven, or the cryo-sleep in countless deep-space travel stories. However, what I’m thinking of I’m not sure I’ve read, but I’m sure it’s out there – what about not needing to sleep at all? Or about some sort of super-caffeine, where we can simulate having slept for a while at least.

Because even in, say, Star Trek where they seem to have solved so many things – like the effects of alcohol with Synthehol, or say scarcity… they still definitely sleep. Beds prominent in all of their cabins.

So I feel like because I don’t have specific examples, I would open it up to you – any good examples or thoughts on the future of sleep? Or, how about a poll?


5 responses to “Sleep – Science Fiction Today

  1. A tangent on the subject of sleep: I recommend When The Sleeper Wakes by H. G. Wells with the caveat that there is a racist implication near the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In Larry Niven’s Known Space books (which includes Ringworld), there was a device that would induce sleep by passing current through the brain. It seemed awesome. As someone who has trouble sleeping, I’d want that.

    Unfortunately, on one world it was used as a method for imprisonment. Criminals (especially political criminals) would be put to sleep, and kept asleep.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh man I didn’t even think of insomnia cures – for sure! But yeah, any of these things could be used badly… Something that keeps people awake forcing extra labor out of people, for instance. Like the office coffee pot…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Weekend Coffee Share – Sleep Deprivation Edition | Comparative Geeks

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