Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Monday, November 10, 2014


The above article is why I love Vox.

There is increasing research on sleep habits, and I'm pretty sure our society is set up to functionally deprive people of their health by demanding certain time parameters to work.

In my salad days, I probably got 9-10 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period.  That was marginally too much, but I do think all that sleep helped me overcome the numerous small concussions I doubtless got playing rugby for 12 years.  To the degree that I have cognitive abilities, I do think they are tied to my sleeping a fair amount in my youth.

As a parent and a professional, the idea of a 9 hour sleep is laughable.  I can't do it if I wanted to. I can max out at about 8 hours.  More typically, I get 6-7 hours and a nap during the day.  Sometimes two naps - except during wrestling season, which sucks.

A few years ago, we moved the start of our class day to 8:15 from 7:50.  A small change, but it had a profound effect.  Ideally, we'd move it back to 8:30 or later, but that eats into all sorts of other activities, including sports.  And we can't have that now, can we Precious?

Asked teenagers to get up at 7:00 and go to school and then perform is folly.  We know this.  The science isn't ambiguous.  But we still insist on it, because "that's the way we always do it."  We have the same issue with medical interns, keeping them up for hours on end because "that's the way we always do it."

The military uses sleep deprivation in training to simulate combat stress.

We do it in civilian life because we are bound to traditions that make us sick.

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