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Monthly Archives: February 2014

  • What Studying the Blind Teaches Sleep Scientists

    In our round-the-clock society filled with stress and responsibility, adequate sleep has become an increasingly rare and valuable commodity. The demands of work, family responsibilities, overstimulation from caffeine, alcohol and the ever-present blue light glow of our tablets and cell phones make getting the rest we need even more difficult, and may be damaging our body’s ability to recognize when exactly we are supposed to be awake and when we are supposed to be asleep. This rhythm, known to sleep scientists as the circadian rhythm, is our body’s clock. Back before the industrial revolution, when we largely survived by farming and without electric light, the body clock was largely set by the rising and setting of the sun. But our modern world has wreaked havoc on this evolutionary system, and as a result our ability to get the rest we need has suffered, as has our health. Lack of adequate sleep has been definitively linked to an increased risk of diabetes, obesity, cancer and depression, as well as problems with productivity and safety, so now we need to find a way back to a good night’s sleep. Continue reading

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