Thursday, April 27, 2006

The myth of sleep disorders

According to this article, even though disturbed sleep is one of the most common complaints that doctors receive, and even though the use of sleep medications has increased by 60 percent in the last 5 years alone, those perceived sleep problems are based on a false assumption—that it's normal to get 7 or 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night:

After an average of three to five hours of solid sleep, the subjects [in a landmark sleep study] would awaken and spend an hour or two of peaceful wakefulness before a second three- to five-hour sleep period. Such bimodal sleep has been observed in many other animals and also in humans who live in pre-industrial societies lacking artificial light.

—Mellow Monk


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