Sleep More, Save the Planet?
Author: Liana Demasi
The rising number of climate-related crises is also causing a rise in eco-grief and anxiety, a phenomena impacting around 68% of U.S. adults. Many people grew up counting sheep to get to sleep. Now, we count climate disasters. In practice, oversleeping or moving slower in the morning might mean taking the car to work rather than the train or bus. A long work day might mean ordering in rather than cooking, and our forgetfulness might have us leaving the lights on, taking longer showers, and otherwise overusing resources. It’s an all-too-familiar state that activist Kalpana Arias is hoping to tackle through her community-building network, Nowadays on Earth. Arias, who leads and facilitates eco-somatic therapy sessions as part of the network, says the main goal is to reset the parasympathetic nervous system. Chronic, cross-generational burnout is causing imbalances in the way our nervous systems function, she explains, impeding our ability to properly rest. Because of the impacts of climate change, “rest becomes revolutionary,” Arias says. “We’re in a constant state of survival because we’re afraid of dying. But then, are we even really alive?”