Sleepless in…..

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As we continue our series on sleep, we turn our attention to sleep deprivation, its social and medical consequences, its human and cultural aspects, and its use as a method of torture.  Who sleeps? What is sleep?  Finally, a woman who works the night shift in a call center will share with us how her life and health changed with this job.

Why I Don’t Wake Up Early
(in response to Mary Oliver’s, Why I Wake Up Early)

i am an eight hour woman
do not even try to set any alarms
before i have completed the sleep
that restores my charms.
frequent insomnia insists
you do not ask me
to do anything
i can’t skip,
or be late for,
before noon.
besides all that,
it is so cozy under my comforter,
the air so nippy outside my bed,
there is the cold kitchen floor
to be considered before crossing
to get to the drafty bathroom
and a frosty toilet seat.
so often there is a dream
in mid-suspense
i would rather return to,
finish, and remember.
i relish the feeling
that every morning
is a weekend morning
i love reliving
that youthful carefreedom
of the lack of responsibilities
and duties
adults heap upon themselves.
besides all that,
i can listen to the chirping birds just fine
from my bed,
my head on the pillow,
while i drift back
into the luscious luxury
of sleeping just a little longer.

-jaysi, 2004

Authors

Author Spotlight

What is sleep?

Dr. Sanjay Manchanda
Doctor Sanjay Manchanda is a senior consultant and founder of the Department of Sleep Medicine (1996) at Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi.Read Full
Author Spotlight

The Sociology of Sleep Deprivation

Professor Indira Ramarao
Professor Indira Ramarao is a professor of sociology and director of the International Center at the University of Mysore. She earned her PhD in sociology from the University of Mysore. Her areas of interest are in gender and forest communities.Read Full
Author Spotlight

The Anthropology of Sleep Deprivation

Professor Vineetha Menon
Professor Vineetha Menon has a PhD in anthropology from York University. She is a professor and the Dean of Faculty of Humanities and Chairperson of the Board of Studies in Anthropology at Kannur University in Kerala. Her research interests are in the fields of anthropology of marginalized communities and deprived populations, medical anthropology, gender studies,development studies, and on micro-macro and inter-cultural linkages, utilization of knowledge for development. She is also interested in music, literature, nature.Read Full
Author Spotlight

Sleep Deprivation as Torture

Doctor Fatima Shahnaz
Doctor Fatima Shahnaz is a human rights activist, writer, and journalist with a PhD in French literature from Sorbonne University in Paris. She is president of the India Peace Organization.Read Full
Author Spotlight

Personal Story

Ms. Jyoti Mahendroo
Ms. Jyoti Mahendroo is a manager at a call center in New Delhi.Read Full