Information Explosion and Induced Insomnia
I am an information addict. I feel the need to know more and do more all the time. As a result, I have managed to induce insomnia into my life. Induced Insomnia, what the heck is that?? Let me explain, its the state where your body does feel the need to rest but your mind just won’t shut off because it just wants to keep going on!!
The next question would be, why the heck would the mind want to keep going on?? That could be answered by first part of the title. There is just too much information and you crave for it. The internet today is a source of near infinite information. Wikipedia alone has enough material than anyone can consume in a lifetime. Couple that up with social networks, news portals and twitter, there is always something or the other to consume on the internet.
Another question that pops up is, could this just be real insomnia? The answer is a straight forward NO. I say that because I just got back from a rather refreshing vacation on a very aloof island where even the slowest of Internet was a luxury. During that period, I missed everything from Panama Papers to a rather popular cricket tournament and I slept like a baby!!
I can also explain this by saying that this sleeplessness was never always the case. This has only been the story in the last 4–5 years of my life. So, I went back in time to check what could possibly trigger such a alarming resistance to avoid sleep. Here is the answer, the internet got faster and cheaper and information was flowing faster than the amazonian river current!! Thanks to this, I always wanted to know more and just could not let myself rest and sleep just felt like a waste of time!!
The funny thing is that eventually, the body will win and the mind will shut off. But it would give you a nasty morning instead. It would continue into a day that lacks freshness and continue the cycle again into the night. The problem compounds if you work in technology like I do as there is just no way to escape the internet. There is so much new tech to learn that the need to catch up holds you back.
I am no expert on psychology and everything I wrote above stems from my own behaviour and observation of people around me. The internet at first took over our spare time but now, has taken over our sleep. We need to address this!! This restlessness over information overload is just not justified considering that you really do not need all of it.
Just like damage takes place over a period of time, the remedy is equally slow and requires persistence. So I would like to end this write up with a few things that have helped me get a little better.
First, take a vacation and just get out of the routine rut. Preferably go to a place where the internet does not follow you too easily!! Second, just flex your body. There is no good reason to abuse your body just to stay on top of everything else. Lastly and most importantly, try to take your mind back to that phase in life where the restlessness was not killing you and find your calm space. The past in many ways has the answers to your future.
Just remember, a calmer mind is a sharper mind. So my fellow induced insomniacs, please try to find your happy place even if it means giving up a little ambition. The end result would be worth it :)