According to the National Sleep Foundation, 63% of Americans report they don’t get enough sleep at night.
Scientists are trying to put the blame on technology, saying the use of television and computers prior to sleep throws off natural melatonin and circadian rhythms with artificial light. Before computers, we sat in the dark? I don’t mean to make light of their studies (Ha, ha), but going to sleep isn’t the problem for most of us. It’s staying asleep. (and if I watch TV before bed, it isn’t light keeping me up, it’s my brain on zombie overload or mentally fixing bad story lines) I’m not arguing that light doesn’t influence sleep. I’m sure it does. People used to go to bed not long after dusk because candles were expensive and criminals inhabited the dark. But even then, they didn’t necessarily sleep eight or nine hours straight. Research shows our ancestors actually woke up in the middle of the night and carried on business for a short while before returning to bed. Probably good for the population explosion.
But with all our modern lighting capability, 21st century man has no reason to go back to bed. He simply gets up when he wakes, accomplishing the six-hour sleep but not catching up the extra few hours later. And the National Sleep Foundation thinks naps are a bad idea? Yeah, they’re mostly impossible with our lifestyle unless you happen to live in parts of Europe or South America, but naps seem like an eminently suitable answer to our short sleep schedules. Maybe we should start a campaign!
How well do you sleep? Do you sleep for six hours and simply get up? Try to go back to sleep? Sleep all night long—and if you do sleep blissfully, do you exercise heavily during the day? I’m testing those sleep polls!