Sleep

This includes meditation practices as well as music, song, dance, poetry and laughter as medicine.

Sleep

Postby Lorraine1981 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:35 am

ALSO SEE SLEEEEP UNDER THE NATUROPATHY SECTION....‘We’re told that getting eight unbroken hours of sleep will protect us from cancer and dementia, and make us happier. But are we being sold an impossible dream?’ Psychoanalyst Darian Leader gives us a steer which helps us NOT to feel so guilty if we don't conform to what the 'experts' are now saying...

impossible dream.jpg
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https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/ ... ible-dream

Here is something our Site Founder wrote explaining this a bit more...Do we need to Wake Up? - short communication

Sleep that kits up the ravelled sleeve of care (as Will Shakespeare said)[/b

]We’re told that getting eight unbroken hours of sleep will protect us from cancer and dementia, and make us happier. [b]But are we being sold an impossible dream?
Psychoanalyst Darian Leader in his new book 'Why Can't We Sleep' published by Penguin gives us a steer which helps us NOT to feel so guilty if we don't conform to what the 'experts' are now saying... should we in fact wake up to what's now being sold to us as the latest thing to be anxious about? Sleep is the current 'magic bullet' to heal all our ills, so the 'experts' say...and it's true that 'sleeping like a baby' (which is something that may happen to most of us quite rarely)...is a wonderful gift. You wake up feeling so refreshed and ready for the day... Babies too, however, can be wakeful...'Sleep disorders' now rank high on the growing list of disorders...as if there wasn't enough to be anxious about in our growing list of anxieties in a world beset by population explosions, climate change, diminishing resources...just to mention the tip of a veritable iceberg of anxieties which rise higher and higher as we grow up in the 21st century world. There's now a new person on the block: the sleep hygienist...so if you can't sleep there's something wrong, not very hygienic, about you... Why we sleep remains a mystery: that we need to sleep remains a given, but how and why we do it remains open to interpretation. On cansurviving.com, the site which helps anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer to get back in the driving seat as opposed to lying back and gasping 'help me' , we have many posts about sleep, but it's important not to translate any ideas into 'oughts'- if we do too much 'efforting' we lose the very thing we try to find. The site also deals with the anxieties which beset us all, the depression that may result from not fulfilling these impossible dreams, the feelings of failure which may ensue, and suggests that laughing and having a good time generally are also preventive measures as well as restoring a sense of 'normality' after the shock of being handed out a cancer diagnosis which could be considered to contribute to stress and if left untreated to PTSD.
Like so many other aspects of human life, says Leader, sleep has now become a commodity. Can we buy it on the Internet? We want it, how do we know when we've got it? Is it the right kind? The idea of a single block of unbroken sleep may actually be a recent notion. The historian Roger Ekirch has argued that the basic form of human sleep prior to the mid-19th century was bi-phasic. Humans would have a first and then a second sleep. Retiring around 9pm or 10pm, they would sleep till midnight or 1am, then rise for an hour or two – a period known as “watching” – then return to their “second sleep” till morning. Although the times for starting the first and second sleeps would shift historically and geographically, the bi-phasic pattern was more or less constant.So like Thomas Mann's 'first and second breakfasts' in The Magic Mountain, cultural expectations can change, and we then take them to be 'the norm'. Interrupted sleep was clearly far less of a problem in the past than it is now, with medical and other texts focusing more on difficulties in falling asleep than on night-time waking until relatively recently. When we wake at night, should we take comfort in the fact that bi-phasic sleep has for centuries been the rule and not the exception, waiting out our “watching” hour until we are lulled back into sleep? Maybe we don't need medication, we just need to tune out from the anxiety memes and realise that the only people who might benefit from the extolling of the eight hour block are the drug companies.

The descriptions given of the sleep-deprived individual in fact apply to most people today in urban society. In his book 'Man's Search for Meaning' Frankl talks about how even crowded together in the work huts of the concentration camp at Auschwitz, people slept. Yes, really. Rather than recognising the effects of current socio-economic burdens and internal pain, human difficulties are now being seen through the new lens of unbroken sleep. Something wrong with YOU. Take a pill, why don't you. Drug companies take out scary advertisements to tell people that they may have a sleep disorder and require medication if they aren’t getting their sleep hours, if they don't have the energy to do the things they need to do, such as spending time with their family or doing their jobs, or if they experience mental tiredness, body fatigue, low motivation and difficulty concentrating. Yet, as anthropologist Matthew Wolf-Meyer points out, aren’t these symptoms the very conditions of modern life, and indeed, of life as it has been lived for centuries? Let's get off this hobby horse if we can, step back, look at this in a less panicky way...breathe and allow this too to pass. Take a chill pill.

Dr Judith Edwards
Lorraine1981
 
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