Even zombies need to sleep (7/22/11)
The Eternal Need to Rest
Rob Zombie doesn’t want to sleep again. Ever.
The creator of “The Haunted World of El Superbeasto,” front man of the noise rock band “White Zombie,” and director of “House of a 1000 Corpses”, its sequels “the Devil’s Rejects”, no less than two Halloween movie sequels and the classic Grindhouse movie trailer “Werewolf Women of the S.S.” recently told the Winnipeg Free Press that he was “not big on sleep.” He would like to give it up altogether (http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/arts-and-life/entertainment/music/metal-multi-tasker-wishes-he-could-do-away-with-sleep-125938653.html).
We suggest he reconsider.
Why Zombies Need to Sleep
It’s bad enough that vampires don’t get to sleep, as occurs with the romantically crossed denizens of the remarkably popular “Twilight” series. Living 4000 years, or even merely several hundred years without restful slumber can make anyone irritable. But trying to control your strongest impulses while sleep deprived is exceedingly difficult.
The US military knows that well. Tom Balkin and his group at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research have shown that all judgments – including moral judgment – go out the wire when you’re sleep deprived.
It’s bad enough being a vampire trying desperately not to murder or just have sex with humans, but chronic sleep deprivation can provoke both loss of moral suasion and appeal to inner mayhem.
And zombies should experience yet worse. For zombies are truly meant to sleep.
Here are a few reasons:
1. Looks. How can you appear properly putrefied, liquified and decayed when you’re not allowed to sleep? It can take centuries to get the right sort of look, smell, and ambience to qualify as a zombie. Spending all that time awake would also prove stultifyingly boring – even with endless access to cable reruns of your favorite zombie films (Netflix, please take note of an undiscovered market.)
2. Fat. Sleep loss clearly leads to weight gain. Zombies are meant to look sepulchral and cadaverous – what director will pay willingly to cast a fat zombie? And where will they go if shunned by the film industry?
3. Diabetes. Sleep loss makes most humans – presumably including post-humans – insulin resistant. So imagine multiplying that effect over centuries. Sleep deprived zombies would invariably turn diabetic.
And in a dead corpse, good luck trying to find a usable vein. Not only will glucose monitoring be difficult, but insulin injection will be forever compromised.
As for health insurance, what studio will have the opportunity to negotiate with major insurers an enlargement of its tottering group health plan if it suddenly has to support hundreds of diabetic zombies?
4. Socializing. Zombies generally tend to be loners, and very much reconciled to solitude. True, they do move in packs, but social togetherness and radiating warmth are not arenas in which they excel.
Sleep deprived zombies would be forced to spend much time with other zombies. This would require social skills they simply do not have.
Though there are benefits to human socialization in preventing heart disease, stroke, some tumors, decreasing depression and the like, it would be difficult to see zombies benefitting from such advantages. Being dead may eliminate taxes, but it can negate many health prevention strategies.
5. Memory loss. No sleep, no memories. Sleep is required for memory consolidation.
Zombies are often accused as having no memory of their past life or lives (opinions here depend on the author), but it’s obvious that they do remember at least part of one past life. Zombies must remember. They know what they wanted and could not have. And they want it, now.
Stop their sleep and such necessary and powerfully cinematic memories simply won’t be exist.
Rob Zombie may be multi-talented and multi-tasking, but his desire to avoid sleep altogether is inherently perilous. Few rock band leaders or film directors should take such a path, as the results, as with Lady Gaga, may prove unexpected (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-power-rest/201006/please-lady-gaga-get-some-rest“.)
And Rob will have much to dream about while he sleeps. His TV commercial for Woolite demonstrated not only that zombies need clean clothes, but may possess a sense of humor.
How can one enjoy jokes if you never get to sleep?
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