ASL sign for SLEEP

Meaning: To rest with eyes closed in a temporary state of inactivity.

Related signs: DOZE, NAP.

Art through Deaf Lens

Untitled (2007) by Jolanta Lapiak. Mixed media: watercolor and digital painting.

The sleeping old man in the sketch/art is my Deaf father.

Speaking of sleep... Hearing people probably, likely, or typically imagine that Deaf people sleep through the nights peacefully.

True and untrue. The lack of sound is no way an end. Vibration and light take over the "sound" regions of the brain. Deaf people are much more sensitive to light and vibration that can disturb their peaceful sleep (unless they are heavy sleepers).

My Deaf mother used to wake up by the 5am-ish city bus, passing by her house in the European village, bumping on the cobbled road sending vibration and headlight flashing through the window. That was her alarm clock in the mornings long before she received her first actual light-plugged alarm clock.

Anyway, my dear old man's peaceful nap was often disturbed by my normal footsteps to the point that I had to mindfully tiptoe around near him. Whew, what an effort.

Being Deaf is not living in silent world, despite the common association of the term 'silence' with 'deafness'.

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