UNITED STATES—As technology evolves, so does our understanding of the world around us and there is NO DOUBT that health and the human body have been more studied than anything else.
In 2014, 45 percent of Americans said that poor sleep was affecting their daily activities.
Huffington Post writer Carolyn Gregoire has been actively writing about the importance of sleep and tells us that the Circadian rhythm has been implicated in affecting physical, behavioral, and psychological ups and downs throughout the day.
In Why Noise Could Be the Secret to Better Sleep, Gregoire describes how using a noise machine could be good for people forced to sleep with “disruptive sounds that might wake us up, like snoring, traffic outside our window or a neighbor playing music.”
Lack of sleep can leave a person with the same mental impairments as someone who is drunk! Not only that, but the same National Public Radio segment says that the sleep we miss is cumulative: every hour lost must be made up!
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke have put out a VERY comprehensive writing that covers why exactly our bodies NEED SLEEP and frighteningly, the CDC is reporting a plethora of ailments that are caused or aggravated by bad sleeping habits, including: “hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity, as well as from cancer, increased mortality, and reduced quality of life and productivity.”
But what did our foremothers and fathers think about sleep?
Bigthink’s Natalie Shoemaker tells us that it wasn’t until the invention of artificial light in the 19th century, that people started sleeping for one long period rather than two main sleep periods and modern sleep studies do confirm that sleep is very affected by exposure to daylight.
David Roach tells us that the bible does have an opinion: too much sleep is a sign of LAZINESS and if a person is having trouble sleeping it could be a sign that there is “a lack of trust in the lord.”
In closing, I would like to say that as someone with chronic PTSD and subsequent depression, I cannot tell you how important sleep is to those of us with mental health issues. It seems to me that if the body is not “full” and running at a tired pace, it is easier for the negativity to creep in.
One of the first things I tell young mothers when I recognize the familiarity of mental illness, depression, and being overwhelmed, is that they MUST get sleep.
If food is fuel for the body then sleep is the electricity for the brain.
I will leave you with the words of 16th-century Don Quixote, author, Miguel de Cervantes, who may have described the miraculous powers of sleep best:
“Blessings on him who first invented sleep. It covers a man all over, thoughts and all, like a cloak. It is meat for the hungry, drink for the thirsty, heat for the cold, and cold for the hot. It makes the shepherd equal to the monarch and, and a fool to the wise.“