Fantastic resource on need for sleep
I am in the process of reading a book called "Lights Out" by T.S Wiley and it is very enlightening. We really need sleep more than we know. I can't believe this book was written 10 years ago. Very well documented and is scary to think what we are doing to our bodies due to lack of sleep and artificial light. I highly recommend this book. It was primal before its time.
I second this. This book is a real eye-opener. I have given it to many friends who are all blown away by its contents. +1
Sleep, and the human world at night, is a surprisingly interesting subject. There's this on the history of night-time, too:
According to this historian, old documents show that many people used to have two periods of sleep. They'd have what they often referred to as their "first sleep" (the same phrase occurred in many European languages), then wake about midnight and have a period of wakefulness, and then go back to sleep. This may not have been true of everyone, but it's certainly a recurrent pattern. He says it's interesting that some of the people most known for burning the midnight oil (such as Samuel Pepys) never mention periods of wakefulness once they've actually gone to bed - a sign perhaps that they'd sat up too late and weren't getting enough sleep.
That is very interesting Lewis. I often wake at 1 or 2AM. I thought I was just weird that way. Hmmm I also wake at approx 4:30 which is when I take my thyroid medication. I get up at about 5 so that gives me just enough time before my morning coffee to get the medication into my system before any other pollution gets in there. I will have to look at this book you mention.
Being a nightshifter for the last 16 years (who basically doesn't sleep) makes me afraid to read this book. I know I've damaged myself plenty.
GoJenGo - I urge you to read this book, speaking as a former night shift nurse. It is not just a loss of sleep that causes health problems, but exposure to artificial light all night long. I no longer work night shift, but after reading this I am now even more cognizant of how even just looking at a lighted computer screen after the sun has set is deleterious to me. This book really makes all the connections between how our hormones and metabolic pathways are all orchestrated by the balance between light and dark. In one study, rats were fed a "bad" diet full of sugar and bad fats, yet were given normal night/day cycles. Those rats got diabetes and cardiovascular disease and died prematurely, as we would expect. But, when rats were fed the same bad diet AND had one small light one all night with no complete darkness, they now got cancers in addition to the diabetes/heart disease. If they had normal periods of darkness, no cancer, artificial light at night - lots of cancer.
Regarding the two periods of sleep - this book discusses that there was a third phase of sleep which was akin to "conscious resting" - which is a phase we have apparently phased out of our lives with tlhe advent of artificial light. In the long winter nights, people went to bed when it got dark and spent part of that time just in a type of restfulness that included some conscious awareness. I was excited to read about this, because when I worked night shifts I had a 30 minute break when I would go lie down and just drift into a deeply restful state but did NOT fall asleep. I had perfected the 30 minute thing because I always set my little alarm to go off, but was able to open my eyes and turn it off a minute or two before it went off. I konw I didn't fall completely asleep, because once I did and I did NOT hear my alarm, did NOT wake up, my coworkers had to come wake me, it was most embarrassing. So I mastered the art of this other phase of "sleep".......
When you sleep is also when you produce the most fat-burning testosterone.
I'm a bit of a night owl because I enjoy Salsa dancing. I try to make up for it by going to bed early on days when there isn't much happening (like mondays).
I'm sorry, but the irony of this statement made me laugh out loud!
Originally Posted by paleo_rob
Recently I've noted the correlation between the nights I lack sleep and the resulting inflammation I have the next day. It's probably not just correlation either but causation.
My CRP had been quite low, then this year when I tested it, I'd had weeks of little sleep (adapting to pb). the night before the test I slept only 90 min. My CRP went up 9-fold.
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Haha I thought my attempt at humor was so lame nobody wanted to acknowledge it.
Originally Posted by Clint