Have we become a nation of ‘can’t get to sleep’ and can’t wake up’ sufferers? I think if we did a national poll, there would be more than 70% sufferers, compared with those who fall asleep easily and roll out of bed awake and refreshed every day.
Our world and how we sleep has changed so much since the industrial revolution. Employment doesn’t revolve around manufacturing and mining since the rise of that new fad – ‘importing cheaper goods.’ Employment has managed to diversify considerably, though and along with that, so have working hours. A nine to five job is rarely the norm these days. Our way of life has become ‘always on’ and the world has ‘cities that never sleep’. I suspect some villages never sleep, either.
So what has this got to do with not being able to get to sleep? Frankly, I think our modern lifestyle has left our poor brains confused and unable to know when to sleep and when to wake! In days gone by, the brain, governed by its circadian rhythm, knew to sleep in line with the cycles of light and dark. Nowadays, it need never be dark in our little bubbles, so we, as individuals, can take full control over when we want to sleep and when we need to wake. Can we really, or are we just kidding ourselves?
Maybe it’s a psychological thing or maybe we just don’t want to let go and allow the day to end? For many people I know, though, there simply isn’t enough hours in the day to do everything they need to, so they steal time from sleep. For many, I suspect gadgets, games and social media are responsible for stealing time from sleep also.
So why are our brains getting confused?
Perhaps we don’t let our brains know when sleep time is, by going to bed at different times every night. But once in bed, watching TV, and catching up with social media on our blue-light emitting gadgets definitely confuses our brains. The brain is thinking, hey, I’m in bed, so I am meant to relax and sleep now; but you are trying to keep me alert by playing with your gadgets! So which is it to be when you get into bed – stay awake or go to sleep and let the brain get on with the essential tasks it needs to do during sleep?
There is a lot of speculation about what we eat and drink and when we do it; about blue light emitted from TVs and gadgets, and what time we exercise are all killing our ability to get to sleep, or cause insomnia. There are plenty of websites and blogs telling us to change this and that, do this and that, eat this and that. Lose weight, detox, quit smoking and start sniffing lavender. Most of all – kill the blue light at night! Many of us try some or all of the in vain, and I dare say some lucky people are successful at fixing the problem!
It’s Wrecking our Mental and Physical Health
I think we are slowly killing ourselves by continuing to be a nation of ‘can’t get to sleep’ and can’t wake up’ sufferers. Chronic sleep deprivation can cause anxiety and depression.It can also lead to a host of health conditions and cognitive impairment.
Are you a ‘can’t get to sleep’ and can’t wake up’ sufferer? I would love to hear about your experience in the comments, or on the Twitter/Facebook comments sections.