Don’t go to bed yet – too much sleep is worse than not enough
I would raise a lay person’s hand and say: maybe the study was confounded by the fact that, if you sleep for more than 10 hours, there is something wrong with you already, some weltschmerz, some desire not to be awake, that increases your risk of disease at the level of the soul. But that would probably be annoying to the scientists, who surely adjusted for soul.
This news is surprising because we assume that anything we mean to do yet don’t must be better for us than the thing we end up doing. Everyone means to go to bed earlier. Everyone means to get better at managing their time, so they are not shaking themselves awake at 6.45am because they forgot to put a wash on. Ergo, there must be an alternative universe where our better selves are living, where we follow through on our resolutions and end up healthier.
But what if our delinquent spirits know best? What if the voice telling you to stay up and watch another episode of 24, which you have already seen yet can’t completely follow, is actually more plugged in to your physical needs? What if the architecture of self-care is built on self-doubt, a nagging sense that, if you felt like doing it, it was probably wrong?
This could turn scientific inquiry on its head. I am looking forward to the study that finds staring out of the window eating liquorice allsorts is a prophylactic against cancer.