Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night's sleep.

SLEEP - Those little slices of death, how I loathe them.
--Edgar Allen Poe

Problems always look smaller after a warm meal and a good night's sleep.

Sleep; there is a general consensus among medical doctors, mental health professionals, blue and white collar managers and all of us working stiffs, that we don't get enough of it. According to the SleepbetterCouncil, 65% of Americans are losing sleep due to stress.

In days gone past most people were asleep early and up early because you could not do much after dark without electricity; combined with a long day at work, people were exhausted. Dark and exhausted. A good recipe for sleep. Sure, even then some people didn't get enough sleep but for different reasons than now.

Why don't we get enough sleep anymore? Why is insomnia so prevalent? Why are so many people left in a position that even without insomnia they only get 4-5-6 hours of sleep per night.

The pharmaceutical and "natural" sleep aid market is going to spend $150 million dollars in advertising this year (According to ABC News) in a market worth billions.

Lunesta, Ambien, Trazadone, Lavender incense, Valium, Xanex, Alcohol...the list of what we use to sleep more and better goes on and on. Zombies, is that what we are to become? Either Zombified from lack of sleep or Zombified from the things we use to make us sleep.

Strange tales abound these days. The latest is the study that shows that some users of Ambien have a scary side effect to deal with.

This is from today's New York Times Article: "The sleeping pill Ambien seems to unlock a primitive desire to eat in some patients, according to emerging medical case studies that describe how the drug's users sometimes sleepwalk into their kitchens, claw through their refrigerators like animals and consume calories ranging into the thousands.

The next morning, the night eaters remember nothing about their foraging. But they wake up to find telltale clues: mouthfuls of peanut butter, Tostitos in their beds, kitchen counters overflowing with flour, missing food, and even lighted ovens and stoves. Some are so embarrassed, they delay telling anyone, even as they gain weight.

Scary stuff. (Yawn) I'm a little tired now. I think I will take a nap.