Warp Sleep by Mayank Chhaya
The idea of warp sleep came to me during a brief interlude of wakefulness one night quite some time ago. I am writing about it today because I had an episode of warp sleep last night. By the way, warp sleep is entirely my idea. So next time you use it, send me a royalty check.
Let me define warp sleep first. All of us experience being awakened by something in the middle of our nightly sleep. Say, for instance, you are woken up at 1.05 a.m. briefly and then you go back to sleep. Then as part of this experience you are awakened again. You might notice that the time is 4.36 a.m. For some reason, to your mind the passage of over three and a half hours between these two disruptions would seem very short. When you are awakened the second time your brain would remember the first disruption as having occurred just a moment ago.
The realization that more than three hours have elapsed between the two disruptions is not easily processed by your brain. This has been happening to me for quite sometime now. Last night, I first woke up at 1.03 a.m., fell asleep soon and woke up again at 4.04 a.m. Not being particularly fond of nights and sleep, I feel greatly elated on discovering that it is dawn. It is this seemingly lightening fast passage of time that I call warp sleep. It is akin to warp speed in the sense that a great distance is traversed in a blazingly short time.
I am not sure if it is just my brain particularly or the human brain generally which is not able to fully process the passage of long periods of time. It is almost as if the clock was 1.03 a.m. one moment and 4.04 a.m. the next. The dissolve between the two times was almost indistinguishable for me. You may also call this experience sleep leaping, as in you are leaping over time.
I suspect there is a perfectly ordinary explanation for this phenomenon. What happens is that your brain’s last memory in an awakened state was a particular time. In my case, it would be 1.03 a.m. this morning. The next time I woke up it was 4.04 a.m. For my brain nothing noteworthy happened between these two disruptions. So it did not register the passage of time. The brain merely stitched up the two moments of wakefulness occurring three hours apart as a seamless experience. Even as I am writing this, it strikes me that my explanation is even more complicated than the experience itself.
It is perhaps wise for me to end this post here, lest you begin to question my sanity.