People Like Sleep

After I got up this morning I had a conversation with a friend who I’ll call, let’s say, Justyna. The conversation went somewhat like this:

Justyna: Hey you!
Me: Good morning! Slept well?
Justyna: Yes I did, how about you?
Me: I did too, I like sleeping you see.
Justyna: Who doesn’t?

That was an interesting question that immediately caught my attention. Does everybody like sleep, or do some people hate it? As I had been recently appointed as a professor in the totally new research area of Trivial Matters and Obviousity at Trinity College, Dublin I decided to do some trivial research on the matter.

But before I get into my stunning results, let me first give you some familiarity with the field of TMO. Little over four years ago now I got a big grant to conduct research in the area in eye counts on homo sapiens. My Ph.D. thesis was poetically called “Those Eyes We Have” and without getting into the technical details, its contribution was to give a historical perspective on the number of eyes humans (homo sapiens) have from the seventeenth century until now. My initial grant was for three years, but it took an additional year for me to complete the work. This additional year was caused by the suggestion by some people that one-eyed creatures existed. This turned out to be true, but these creatures were not homo sapiens.

Already before I defended my thesis I managed to publish two papers in Nature magazine, entitled: “Eye Counts in the 17th Century” and “Trivial Matters: An Exciting New Area”. The latter eventually led to my appointment as a head of a new school at Trinity College: Trivial Matters and Obviousity.

But back to the question Justyna posed: doesn’t everybody like sleep? As with many research areas, also in TMO the most interesting questions come from every day life. I remember well that I came up with the idea for my eye count research after noticing that people generally have two of them. Is that really true, I asked myself. For the answer you’ll have to read my thesis. This morning it was the same. Doesn’t everybody like sleep? It seems obvious, which makes it perfect TMO research.

The main TMO research tool is Google. Using well-chosen phrases it’s fascinating to see how much accurate information you can get from a big demographic. The trick with doing TMO research is the assumption that it is true, unless proven otherwise. The key observation here is the second part of that statement: unless proven otherwise. So what we’re really looking for are people who do not like sleep; who hate it.

So we do a search on Google for “I hate sleep”. This returns 16,300 results. Promising!

The first result, which according to Google is most relevant, as most people link to this statement — which implies it is an authoritative one — is one from a guy called “d”. He states “I hate sleeping. What a waste of time. I want an alarm clock that will wake me up when I’ve had just enough sleep to survive.” We can safely assume this “d” person does not like sleep very much.

When we look at the rest of the Google results, we see these people don’t really hate sleeping, they don’t appreciate sleeping under certain conditions, such as sleeping on the floor, sleeping in silence, sleeping in hotel beds and sleeping in the Aviary.

So what we can conclude is that, with only one exception, people like sleeping.

As we say in TMO: QED (Quod Erat Demonstrandum).