Zoltan Istvan stated that Transhumanism is an intellectual and international movement influenced by actual science and technology innovation much of it created by the under 40s who consist of: – life extensionists, tecno-optimists, Singularitarians, biohackers, roboticists, artificial intelligence proponents and futurists. (Istvan, Z. 2011. The Transhumanist Wager.)

The Transhumanism Movement evaluates futuristic opportunities for enhancing humans and pushing for the next stage in evolution by using science and technology and other rational means to go beyond human. One of the important aims is to address the issue of mortality and to realise an eradication of disease, elimination of suffering and augmentation of human intellectual, physical and emotional capacities. The next step in the Transhumanism Movement would see an incorporation of a posthuman model decreasing the need for bodily functions (sleep).

Sleep influences all molecular, cellular, physiological and neurobehavioural human processes and it has a direct and indirect economic burden with the estimates to be in the many millions of dollars for sleep deficiency. Research has found there is a link between sleep deficiency and adverse health and safety consequences. (Zee, P. C., Badr, M. S., Kushida, C., Mullington, J. M., Pack, A. I., Parthasarathy, S., Watson, N. F. (2014).)

Sleep is free in 2017 but in 2050 will a class war develop between the humans, trans and post humans and the wealthy and poor people due to technology that assists in sleep reduction and those who can pay? The ethics widen around equality and one set of biological experiences for the wealthy and another for the poor. With a tightening job market in 2050 with jobs lost to robots the people needing less sleep will be the winners.

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Futurist Thomas Frey discussing the future of sleep in a recent podcast!

Thomas Frey, Senior Futurist at the DaVinci Institute sees the future of sleep linked to big data that will employ Artificial Intelligence to provide insights on sleep. Personalized optimization means an individuals specific biology and brain functioning will be used for more than just sleep.

“Our dream states can be transformative,” says Frey. “A well-programmed sleep can help solve major problems, cure diseases, resolve relationship issues, and grant us intellectual capacities that we don’t even know we have.”

Pushing the limits of optimization is one thing, but Transhumanists see sleep as a disease to be cured.

Dingwall (2008) discusses the posthuman world as a possible one of benign slavery rather than enhanced freedom or human dignity due to the fact that there will be enhanced and unenhanced humans. How will it be regulated and the ethics involved? What role does eugenics play and who decides?

Jack Uldrich’s, Global Futurist, prediction for 2040 to 2049 is that drugs and medical devices will permeate the blood brain barrier enabling an amplification of education through sleep.

He believes that in the future we may evolve naturally into humans who like the slower, natural evolutionary process of sleep and others who will embrace an enhanced evolutionary process.

Via Sleep Lab Apia