A recent study shows that when we don’t get enough sleep, it actually alters our genes, and can lead to degenerative disorders. When we sleep, our bodies get to work repairing themselves, and if we don’t let them, it can damage our immune systems. Our cells have to replenish and replace themselves, and sleepy cells don’t like to work.

Lead researcher Colin Smith said, “There was quite a dramatic change in activity in many different kinds of genes … clearly sleep is critical to rebuilding the body and maintaining a functional state, all kinds of damage appears to occur—hinting at what may lead to ill health. If we can't actually replenish and replace new cells, then that's going to lead to degenerative diseases."

Interestingly, another “body clock” specialist, Dr. Akhilesh Reddy, commented that if we could eliminate the effects of sleep deprivation (i.e. keep our cells from deteriorating our genes), “You might be able to get away without sleep.”

No sleep! Can you imagine the things you could accomplish with an extra eight-ish hours a day to get crap done? You could take another fulltime job with that time. Or learn to play the piano or speak another language. You could train for a marathon!

Who are we kidding? If you don’t make time for it now, you’re probably not going to make time for it if you didn’t need sleep. Here’s are some of the more realistic things that would eat up my extra hours:

The laundry might actually get put away. Please tell me I’m not the only one that has basket of clean clothes and dirty clothes, and thank God daily for the wrinkle-release cycle on my dryer? Hey -- I’m impressed we even have clean clothes some days.

I could watch Real Housewives and finally find out what all the fuss is about. Right now I’m under the impression that it’s a bunch of rich bitches in major cities that like to catfight. It probably is, but it sounds awesome and I’d like to witness it myself.

Two words: Daily. Shower. Enough said.

I’d gossip chat with friends more often. Phone conversations wouldn’t begin with, “I only have two secs …” and end with, “There’s so much more I want to tell you but I have to run!”

There would be time for more reading. Maybe I’d tackle Jane Austen’s entire collection. And by Jane Austen, I mean Julia Quinn. Actually, I’ve already done that. See? We do make time for the important things…

Wait! Does this mean our kids wouldn’t need sleep either? Never mind. Give me naptime or give me death.

What would you do with your extra time if you didn’t need to sleep?

 

Image via William Klos/Flickr