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HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

Right to sleep

Dr AS Nagpal   February 26, 2013
First Published: 09:39 IST(26/2/2013) | Last Updated: 09:41 IST(26/2/2013)

When the Supreme Court considered the right to sleep as fundamental guaranteed by the Constitution recently, I was the happiest man.

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People doze off aboard moving vehicles, reclining on a sofa, sitting in front of the television or cinema screen, and during meetings and conferences; whereas, I thank God in the morning, if I get a sound, eight-hour rest. With advancing age, the sleep duration is also getting shorter.

Everyday when I am about to go to bed, noises disturb me. Some day, it's a marriage procession, and the other night, it's either the DJ playing or somebody holding jagrata or kirtan. If a Supreme Court order failed to shut loudspeakers after 10pm, how will another help?

I live near a marriage palace on a state highway, caught between the noises of celebration and traffic. How do I haul up the tiny mosquitoes that buzz around my ears, or stop my neighbour from banging his gate open when he returns from work at night?

In my college days, I had roommates who snored. I tried plugging my ears or wrapping the pillow around my head but it didn't help. Then, I got a life partner who wheezed. I don't know how other couples in a similar situation cope but I am yet to find a lasting solution.
I favour sleep as a fundamental right. It is a requirement for a healthy and productive life.

"Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise," went the saying. The new maxim is "late to bed and late to rise". It might make men wealthy but not healthy for sure.

The media now can't ridicule politicians who take a nap during important meetings, bureaucrats who enjoy the afternoon siesta in office, or policemen who catch a wink or two on guard duty. It is now their fundamental right.

gadssldh@gmail.com

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