The speed of sleep

by prof. Carlo Pellacani

At the end of a long day, after brushing our teeth, we enter our bedroom and – finally! – get under the sheets, we turn off the light and close our eyes, waiting for sleep to come. It’s close to midnight, we feel tired, we have travelled or worked all day long… now we relish the quiet and relaxed atmosphere of our home, of our bedroom. And we fall asleep.
But the planet Earth is spinning around its axis – or a new day would never rise – and if we live in temperate latitudes, we actually move, together with our bed and bedroom, at about 1.600 km/h of speed.
The Earth is also orbiting the Sun though; this movement takes more or less one year – or different seasons would never exist– therefore we should add 108.000 km/h.
All the more, we must take into consideration the Sun orbit around the centre of the Milk way, our Galaxy. This means that not only is our bed following the Earth rotation around its axis and around the Sun, but it is also orbiting the galactic centre with the Sun. Let’s then add about 900.000 km/h. And there is more to come. Our galaxy is approaching Andromeda’s at more or less 1.080.000 km/h of speed.
While peacefully sleeping in our bedroom, it turns out that we are actually travelling across the universe at millions of kilometres per hour.
Did you know this?
And that’s not the end of it! Even if we had to live one hundred years, we would never come across the same exact spot of the universe where we lied down last night.