One of the first few things you do when you wake up is to open your eyes to the beauty of nature.
But for blind people, it’s entirely different.
They can’t perceive the brightness of the day or the darkness of the night like other people do. But like everyone else, blind people also sleep, wake up after sleep, and perform their day-to-day activities.
The first step to understanding how a blind person knows when they are awake is to understand the definition of sleep and wakefulness.
Let’s see how a blind person experiences reality like everyone else and note where they differ in perception.
Table of Contents
- Understanding Sleep
- Understanding Wakefulness
- Blind People Aren’t All the Same
- How a Blind Person Knows They’re Awake
- Sleeping is a Physical and Mental Relaxation
Sleep is a condition of the body and mind in which a person’s nervous system is relatively inactive. The eyes are shut, the postural muscles are relaxed, and consciousness is practically suspended.
Both the body and mind are practically detached from the physical realm when asleep.
Although sleep has various degrees or stages, each stage has certain important differences. The real sleep that benefits the body and restores strength happens after the individual’s body and mind are disconnected from the physical realm.
Wakefulness is a state of not being asleep. It’s a state of the body and mind where a person’s nervous system is active, the eyes are functioning, and the postural muscles are active.
By that, sleep is not only a state of physical conditioning; rather, it includes both physical and mental activity. To be awake, one has to have both the body and mind in the physical world.
For the body to be awake, its organs must respond to physical activities or stimuli.
So, if there’s a defect in any body organ, the other organ will still be able to keep the human body awake and in touch with reality.
In the case of a blind person, other organs can still help them connect with reality and enjoy consciousness.
It’s important to note that not all blind people live in absolute darkness, and this takes us to where I will explain the different categories of blind people.
Blind People Aren’t All the Same
Blind people vary in the intensity of their blindness. Some have a partial visual or reduced vision while others are completely visually impaired.
For individuals with partial impairment, their sight can detect some elements of reality such as partial light, blurred images, and so on. Thus, the sight alongside other organs can help them differentiate a dream from reality.
However, for individuals struggling with total blindness, their sight practically has no connection with reality. So, it’s all total darkness whether they’re awake or asleep.
By now, you might be wondering how a blind person actually knows they’re awake. To satisfy your curiosity, below is exactly how they know.
How a Blind Person Knows They’re Awake
1. They Hear the World
Although the sense of sight is the most important of all five senses, it’s not the sole point of contact with reality.
When we’re awake, our ears can hear sounds clearly and precisely. We can process these sounds, interpret them with the brain, and make valuable information.
While some people may argue that we can as well hear and possibly process sounds while asleep, the truth is, the nature of the two sounds differs. A blind person can hear sounds when awake, just like someone with a healthy sight.
You wouldn’t confuse the sounds you hear from the conscious world with that which you hear while asleep. The same goes for a blind person.
Plus, it’s not in all the stages of sleep that a person can hear what’s going on around them. In stages 1 and 2 of sleep, the individual enjoys light sleep and is aware of some movements, sounds, and environmental changes.
But, beyond those two stages, most people transition to deep sleep and don’t pick any sounds from the environment.
Thus, being able to hear sounds once again after sleep is a huge indicator that the person is awake. The same applies to a blind person. Once they wake up, they become aware of the sounds they hear and can consciously process and interpret them.
2. They Feel Awake
Although blind person might have lost their connection with the world on a visual level, they’re still connected in various other ways. These are through their feelings and their sense of touch.
Whether you’re sitting, standing, or reclining on a sofa, some parts of your body will constantly be in touch with the physical realm.
You know that you’re standing on something, sitting on something, or lying down on something.
With a blind person, it’s no different.
An awake blind person knows they are in touch with the world by their feelings of the natural world. They can touch an object and feel it. They can turn their head and feel it, and many more examples.
They are fully conscious, alert, and aware of their immediate environment via their sense of feeling. If you were to touch them while awake, they’d feel it, unlike touching them when asleep.
3. Their Minds Become Active
Perhaps the simple most important point about how a blind person knows he’s awake is through his “mind.”
Because even if one of the other senses is impaired or dysfunctional, an individual will still be able to recognize that they are awake through the activities of the mind and other senses.
Suppose the blind person is also deaf, they can still recognize reality from a dream by feeling the immediate world through their skin and mind.
The mind can think, speculate, make decisions, and perform several other actions when awake without confusing the activities with what happens when asleep.
Sleeping is a Physical and Mental Relaxation
How do you feel when you wake up from sleep?
Typically, you’ll feel refreshed, relaxed, and rejuvenated. A blind person feels the same way. Unless they were interrupted in the middle of their deep sleep, which may cause them to feel cranky and tired, they would feel just like everyone else feels after a good rest.
Sleep is a form of physical and mental relaxation that offers great health benefits to the body.
When blind person wakes up from a good sleep, they enjoy full physical and mental restoration. This is also an indication that they’ve bid farewell to the dreamland and are now awake in the real world.