Another hypothesis of great interest and potential relates to the finding that apparently all mammals spend a disproportionate amount of pre-birth time, i.e. in the womb, in a condition, at least very similar to REM sleep and we have known for some time that REM sleep predominates in infancy through childhood. Work is therefore being currently carried out to investigate the likelihood of any association between, on the one hand, this known behaviour and the programming and maintenance of genetically determined functions throughout life, on the other. It has also been cogently argued that REM sleep may also participate in the facilitation of nightly processes (“waves”) of recovery and regeneration of the brain.
So there you have it. Sleep – and even more to the point, the right kind of sleep – is no less than the “engine room” and ‘tiller’ of every kind of human coping. It is nothing short of a biological rhythm, into which we can and do nightly take recourse free from every exigency of life; without the limitations of time of day or season; away from all the sounds of our natural habitat; the polluting noises of the environment and every indication of clock, barometer or compass.
My hope for you is – helped perhaps a trifle by the contents of these pages – that you will sleep sweetly, softly and soundly. Neither voice nor pen could surely utter or record a more empathic and empowering sentiment than that.(C)SB.