What do dolphins have to do with shift work?
Well, not a whole lot, but their sleeping patterns are intriguing.
As shift workers if we were like dolphins, life would be easy street.
You see dolphins have a special advantage over other mammals. When they sleep,
only half of their brain is asleep, the other half is allowing it to swim
and be on the lookout for, ............yikes.........sharks!! After a period,
the two sides switch to allow for the other side of the brain to sleep.
Just think, if we had dolphin brains, half our brains would be awake at
all times (actually it seems to me at 3 am only half my brain is working
anyway), we would never need to go to bed . We would also be able to imitate
"Flipper's" voice exactly. Wouldn't that be great !!!
Well, not really, you see dolphins never dream and if we were like that,
all those dream interpretation people and books would be out as business.
You could also not use the saying "Sweet Dreams." Dolphins lack the stage
of sleep most mammals have, called REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. It is
this stage that brings on the dreams and the lack of it for dolphin, allows
for them to swim while half the brain is asleep. You see during REM sleep
the body is temporally paralyzed to stop us from acting out our dreams, this
would be disastrous for the dolphin.
What was discussed is just about how a dolphin sleeps, if you want to
learn more about this interesting animal click on the "LINKS" below.
about Dolphins - Dolphin Research Institute
Dolphins & Man....Equals?
Dolphins of a Different Type - Miami Dolphins Official NFL Site