We all know a leader (or two) who works excruciatingly long hours and boasts about his or her lack of sleep. This person uses exhaustion as sign of work ethic, and lack of sleep as a taunt to others to work harder.
All those people who said, "Don't worry, your baby will be sleeping through the night soon enough!" have been lying to you. Or maybe they've blocked out their own sleep deprivation memories like childbirth because the pain is just too much.
A lack of sleep is a bigger problem of course than just being tired. People with insomnia are four times as likely to suffer from depression and are at greater risk of heart disease, obesity and diabetes. It causes more time lost at work and lowers enjoyment overall.
Despite five decades of modern neuroscience, we have only a very limited knowledge of the role of sleep and barely know anything about the role of dreams. Common experience tells us to agree with Shakespeare's simple conclusion that sleep "knits up the raveled sleeve of care."
In 2013, we continued to push the boundaries of what we know about ourselves; going boldly into questions no researcher has gone before. Like, what should we do when we need a little lift -- take a run, have a coffee, or grab a beer?
The judge presiding over the 9/11 case at the Guantanamo military hearings had one of the five co-defendants forcibly removed from the courtroom after he objected that he was being deprived of his right to meaningfully participate in his case.
Research is beginning to have us question where we put our attention as a society, questioning what we should care about. If we want to avoid any kind of derailing, perhaps it's time we all paid more attention to sleep.