Friday, November 25, 2011

Kids, don't try this sitting down

Can you sleep while sitting? Now why someone, presumably a sentient human adult, could not solve this simple equation and felt compelled to query Slate's Explainer columnist Forrest Wickman about it is beyond me. But I digress. Wickman's answer is worthy of one of those teasers for your local TV news. Yes, numbskull, you can sleep while sitting upright -- but it might kill you. News at Eleven. Mr. Explainer explains that "you'll sleep as well sitting up as you would lying down. However ... sitting motionless with bent limbs for more than a couple of hours can lead to the development of deep vein thrombosis, a type of blood clotting in large veins which can be fatal if it travels to the lungs." So, lemme get this straight. During the countless hours I have logged sleeping upright on airplanes while jetting to Europe and other points around the globe, I coulda died horribly? Really? Now I'm sure Wickman has his facts right. But he skipped the part about the probability of sudden death by blood clot. I'm no doctor but I suspect it's rare in the extreme. And I'm still here. Anyway, check out his column. It's a hoot. Among other nocturnal trivia, you'll learn about the sleeping habits of nomadic cultures, horses and dolphins, too.

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