It's amazing how much difference broken sleep can make to a life. I don't even know exactly what sleep does but, whatever it is, it's important.
I've often thought that sleep provides a shutdown so you won't notice the switch.
You know, the switch.
Truth is, our bodies are only designed to last around 16 hours. Anything after that and we start to deteriorate rapidly, go out of warranty and could find ourselves clapping out at any moment. So our bodies need constant replacement.
We go to sleep. Shut down.
Someone creeps in to our room during the night and removes our body. They replace it with a replica. The next day's model. As our memories are transferred, so it can be done quickly, they go in all at once and it's pretty jumbled. Sometimes we remember little snippets of that process. We call those memories dreams.
Of course, this process is pretty cool during childhood because they add tweaks and improvements to each new model. But, eventually, the growth must stop.
And that's where the problems start.
You see, at that point, their job becomes simply to supply the same model. They make a copy. But it's like tracing a picture. There are very subtle differences. Barely noticable. But if you trace the newly traced drawing, then trace that and so on, the drawing moves further and further away from the original.
We know that as ageing.
But with broken sleep, the copy is either rushed to get in place before you wake up, or the switch is abandoned altogether and you end up spending another day in a body that just wasn't designed to last that long.
And that's what happens when you sleep.