In part two of a two-part series, MinnPost continues its conversation with Dr Michael Howell.
Dr. Michael Howell: It would be nice if we’d recognize that sleepiness — being sleepy and falling asleep during the day — doesn’t mean you’re lazy. If somebody at work needs to just go put their head down and take a nap, they should be able to do that. Believe me, it’s well worth it to everybody else — all your co-workers — if you’re allowed to take a 20-minute nap, if that’s what you need.
I think about the kids I went to school with who were falling asleep in class, and everybody made fun of them, even the teachers. Let’s put it this way: What would happen to a teacher who made fun of somebody’s eating disorder or somebody’s depression? They’d be fired, as they should be. The difference is that sleep is thought of as a volitional process, and if you fall asleep in class, you’re lazy. That couldn’t be further from the truth.