Electronic insomnia Part II – the future (6/27/11)
The Future of Electronic Insomnia
Electronic insomnia is indeed the wave that will extend far into the future. Kids and adults will do what humans have done throughout the millennia – go to extremes until they can’t go any further.
Sleep will be cut back as far as people think they can manage it. Texts and talk, games and entertainments will continue from the day through the night, interrupting sleep dozens of times and preventing many from reaching those deeper stages necessary for memory and learning. As sleep gets crimped expect to see:
A heavier population (obesity rates really increase when people sleep less than six hours a night.)
A tired, cranky population.
A heavily caffeinated population. Energy beverages work, however, only to a point, at which time they just make things worse – as caffeine lightens sleep which thereby means more caffeine during the day which further lightens sleep… already leading to many millions of simultaneously jazzed up, exhausted, and sleepy adolescents and adults.
A more depressed population (sleep loss is bad for lots of things, and mood is a big issue)
A less thoughtful, more impulsive population (Studies done in the Army’s research wing by Thomas Balkin and others have already pointed out the moral lapses sleep loss can bring)
A worse looking population – believe it, folks – lots of skin growth takes place while you snooze.
A more sleeping pill friendly population – as there’s less time for sleep every second “has to count” – even if sleeping pill induced is not the same as normal sleep.
So besides the boon to utilities, gaming companies, international porn corporations, drug companies, packagers of night snacks, energy beverages, and “relaxation” drinks, weight loss and bariatric surgery centers, where’s the upside?
A Return to Human Nature
Rest is regeneration. Skimp it and you feel bad and get sick. Use it well and you look good and feel better.
We may soon see a backlack provoking a return to rest.
There are faint stirrings about. School start times are getting later. Some people believe American air traffic controllers should nap on night shift like the rest of the world (despite Transportation Secretary Roy LaHood.) Lots of people are napping on the job – and not getting fired.
Yet the main reason rest may make a comeback is pleasure. When people rest right they feel right. They get more done. They’re happier. They look better.
Increased pleasure is one good reason to rest.
There are others of course – like not fighting the whole course of biological evolution. Even fruit flies have something rather akin to human sleep – utilizing the same genes to boot. And there are issues regarding economic productivity, with people getting sufficient rest also getting far more done and costing the health care system a heckuva lot less.
So ask yourself two questions before you go to bed at night: 1. What did my human body evolve for? 2. What can I do to regenerate my body every hour of the day so I can feel and look good?
Then close your eyes.
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