The most interesting thing about the article is that it explores the wonder that we don't really know why we're made that way, why we spend a third of our lives asleep:
"'If sleep doesn't serve an absolutely vital function,' the renowned sleep researcher Allan Rechtschaffen once said, 'it is the greatest mistake evolution ever made.'"After all, sleep leaves a creature extremely vulnerable, e.g., to predators.
"At Stanford University I visited William Dement, the retired dean of sleep studies, a co-discoverer of REM sleep, and co-founder of the Stanford Sleep Medicine Center. I asked him to tell me what he knew, after 50 years of research, about the reason we sleep. 'As far as I know,' he answered, 'the only reason we need to sleep that is really, really solid is because we get sleepy.'"Ha!
We may never have a tidy scientific explanation of these things, or be able to "overcome" this terrible, wonderful vulnerability, this need for downtime. I say, instead, let's not try. Instead, let's celebrate it; let's enjoy it.
Or, of course, ignore it at your peril. I'm still pondering Mark Buchanan's The Rest of God. I blogged about his description of "Those Who Will Not Stop."