Sunday, 1 January 2017

forty-winks or inemuri

From BBC Future’s curated best features of this past year comes an interesting investigation into the rather contradictory Japanese art of not sleeping.
A society that cultivated a respect for sleep-deficit and foregoing rest in order to get ahead in business (as evinced by this jingle for an energy drink referenced in the article) at the same time honed a great tolerance for inemuri (居眠り) that is not exactly the same as sleeping on duty but rather “sleeping while present.” While not restricted to commuting or other instances where dozing off might be excused but is also seen as a badge of dedication to one’s job to nod off in classes or in meetings or anywhere in public. Some employees even admit to faking inemuri in order to appear just as devoted as their colleagues. Confronted with this distinction that’s other than the traditional ideas of sleeping or napping, the author was admonished of her own difficulties faced in convincing the academic world that repose and its history was a serious scholarly topic. Could one say that this was a power-nap under a name and where does this fall into the spectrum of sleep-hygiene? It seems granting license for to perhaps be off one’s game, a bit absent for otherwise budgeting one’s time seems very different than any moral failings for indolence and a wholly unfamiliar dispensation for work-life balance.