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Do You Feel Sleep-Deprived? Blame Capitalism

Our day begins and ends with social media and doom-scrolling. We see our friends taking trips to exotic destinations, reading books we never heard of, and watching movies in languages we don’t understand. And instantly, it hits us - we are missing out on so many things. Everyone always says that we have the same 24 hours in a day. But in reality, do we?

Do You Feel Sleep-Deprived? Blame Capitalism

Someone can have a million dollars in their bank account and spend days on vacation. Others might be broke and depend on daily work to get through life. We may have the same 24 hours, but the resources we work with are poles apart. And add to that the burgeoning pressure of staying on top of trends and doing everything Instagram is doing. It is virtually impossible to keep up with this ever-trendy and transient world of social media hype. If social media is the biggest instigator of FOMO, then capitalism is to blame for our sleep-deprived generation.

The CEO of Netflix even commented that their biggest competitor is not Amazon Prime or Disney+, rather, it is sleep. The time people spend sleeping is considered a waste of crucial 21st-century resources that our forefathers yearned to have. And when the entire day drawls by in mindless work and commute, the nighttime is ours alone to binge unmissable content and fill our minds with something outside our mundane routine.

What most of us try is to reduce sleep, because who needs sleep, right? (Duh!) Rather, try to fit in as many activities as we can in a day. Start the day by going to the gym even though your body craves 8 hours of sleep and the comfort of the bed. Then grab a cuppa coffee from your nearest Starbucks and gain back the crumbs of calories that you just worked hard to burn. After that, you need to get ready for work and put on your most fabulous outfit. Every day needs a different style because repeating outfits is so 2010.

The idle hours between the sunset and the beginning of a new day are now filled with eyes bejeweled with dark circles, engorged in the blue screens of their devices. We do miss nodding off to the land where dreams are made. We know our heads constantly hurt, and our eyes water with a need for sleep, but how will we then catch up with the world, and be hip and trendy? On one hand, capitalism takes our sleep away without a moment of doubt, and simultaneously, it creates newer avenues for generating more money. How’s that you ask? Look at the international bestsellers in the self-help section, all of them deal with the art of falling asleep and the method of having a good night’s sleep.

Since when did sleep, the act of actually just relaxing and not doing anything, become an art? It is literally something we have been doing since the minute we were born. Just as no one teaches us how to breathe, we intrinsically know how to fall asleep. Remaining awake is actually harder and I am surprised how we brave that challenge almost every day in a phenomenon called revenge bedtime.

And if the books and podcasts on falling asleep are not enough, we see a plethora of spa facilities, yoga retreats, and even mass products coming up that will supposedly help you have a comfortable sleep. We should have seen we were in trouble since we had to depend on external products to get good sleep. From potions to sleeping pills, capitalism has been enveloping every aspect of our lives and sleep has been a constant target because, at the end of the day, we all need to close our eyes and drift off to dreamy land. In reality, the land of dreams will soon be filled with nightmares because most people will become addicted to binging nights and rely on pills to relax.

Now, REM sleep seems like a far-fetched phenomenon as we would be happy with even a power nap. However, in previous studies and research, we found that humans function best on proper sleep which can sometimes be 10 hours long, and even daytime naps that help realign focus and increase productivity.

According to the health-marketing analytics firm IMS Health, sleep in the United States has become a $32 billion business, which includes the immensely profitable Ambien-type medications, sleep clinics, and those candles that crackle like fireplaces. It wouldn’t be much down the line when capitalism convinces us that even the most basic human functions need assistance or tools to maximize their utility. Would we need a special chair to help us poop or a nasal gimmick to help us breathe better? Where does it all end?

Looking at our fast-paced world, we should prioritize and revere sleep as an escape from our hellish mundane schedule. After clocking in long hours at work and with home chores, we all need a proper time to rest and recuperate before the sun shines again and we repeat our schedule down to the last second. Sleep does not ignite FOMO but is a way for us to remain sane and continue living an stress-free life. Let’s not let sleep be colonized by the evil ways of capitalism and keep it as our sole escape from life (other than dying, lol.) Blame Capitalism Blame Capitalism Blame Capitalism


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