A few weeks ago we heard from Dr. Cozy Futon of Physicians for Bedrest, promoting the idea that sleep is an important activity and that Americans should do it with pride. Baboons were supportive of the idea, though the readers of this blog are hardly in the mainstream when it comes to prevailing attitudes about unconsciousness.
I think it’s fair to say that America is suspicious of those who get sufficient sleep. We wonder about their work ethic and their taste for fun.
Last month the National Sleep Foundation released the results of a poll indicating that almost two thirds of those surveyed report their sleep needs aren’t being met during the week, and virtually everyone questioned reported involvement with some sort of electronic communications technology in the hour before bedtime.
Coincidence? I’ll text you at midnight with my answer.
But evidence is building of a growing appreciation of the value of sleep, and even that the tide is turning with regard to the cool factor of afternoon naps. Professional basketball players in the NBA are said to be unreachable at 3pm most days for reasons that would make sleep researchers glad.
Marketing wizard and Big Idea Man Spin Williams feels the shift and sees an opportunity. Here’s a tidbit from the most recent newsletter to come out of The Meeting That Never Ends:
Where is the activism for better sleep? They do a great job at The National Sleep Foundation, but we at TMTNE agree that better sleep promotion needs an energetic boost, and should go 24/7.
The problem – people don’t have enough respect for sleep because you rarely see anyone else doing it. And when you do, it’s happening on a park bench, an airport gate or a city bus and it is not attractive.
Our idea – establish a corps of healthy, enthusiastic, great looking people who will go into public places and Sleep For America! They’ll sleep in the malls, at office parties, in factories and at sporting events. The bigger and more important the venue, the better!
How great looking should they be? For obvious reasons, each SFA volunteer, men and women both, should be a genuine knockout! They should also be thoroughly screened to verify that they don’t snore, snort, talk excessively while unconscious, or drool. By snoozing prettily in public, these sleep models will change our thinking about the appeal of not being awake.
They should also not carry any cash.
But just imagine an America where sleep is respected, and getting a sufficient amount of rest is a sign of winning in the game of life. Once Sleep For America gets established, we can organize group sleeping events, culminating in an annual sleep-in called the Stupor Bowl!
How about it? Are YOU willing to Sleep For America?
The public safety downside of Spin’s idea is daunting, though I admire his optimism about changing behavior and his excessive faith in the general public. Role models can make a difference, though their leadership should come naturally from the good things they are already doing, rather than as an assignment.
What would be your most comfortable role model role?