e have a health
it’s not the latest
virus, but rather something specific
to the bedroom: sleep deprivation.
With ever-increasing work hours
and the ability (and obligation) to
be connected at all times, Americans
and, it’s assumed, citizens of many
other countries are on average
getting 42 percent less than the
recommended amount of sleep.
“We live in an ‘I can sleep when
I’m dead’ and ‘the early bird gets
the worm’ society, which encourages
us to be sleep-deprived and contributes to insomnia,” says Dr. Raj
Dasgupta, a fellow of the American
Academy of Sleep Medicine. In fact,
from 1990 to 2000, American work-ers added the equivalent of a full
workweek to their year.
The Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention recognizes sleep
deprivation as a pressing public-
health issue, citing “round-the-
clock access to technology” as one
of the causes of the crisis. And
Dasgupta concurs: “You may think
scrolling through social media
helps you relax after a long day,
but it actually does the opposite.”
Why? Blue light (which has a shorter wavelength
than natural light) that emanates from devices like
mobile phones, TVs and iPads suppresses the release
of melatonin, the hormone that makes you sleepy.
With the above developments only getting worse,
sleep (or the lack thereof) has become a major topic
of conversation. Media mogul Arianna Huffington
wrote a book, The Sleep Revolution: Transforming
Your Life, One Night at a Time, about how lack of
shut-eye was destroying her life.
Lengthening workdays, a host of
disruptions and the clamor of
the internet are robbing us of that
most precious commodity: sleep.
BY JORDI LIPPE-MCGRAW