"It was a great time for storytellers," says Matthew Biggs, the central character in Kenneth Calhoun's haunting debut novel, Black Moon. The irony of his comment comes with a horrific aftertaste: The world is suffering from a sudden, unexplainable pandemic that's made everyone a perpetual insomniac. Biggs is one of the few who can still sleep. Humanity's state of chronic wakefulness has caused mass insanity — in the noonday sun, dreams overflow and chaos reigns.
About one-third of American adults say they have problems falling asleep. And prescriptions for sleeping medications are on the rise, with about 4 percent of people using the drugs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But sleep specialists say people should exercise caution before deciding to take medication to help them sleep.
This hour on The Conversation we explore the strange and confusing behavior of humans. Why do we act the way we do? And can we change? Psychologists and science writers take us inside the brain to explain our peculiar actions.
Birds do it, Bees do it, comic characters use ZZZZs to do it – it's sleep. Some of us get more sleep than others. Some of us are new parents, and we wonder if we will ever catch up on the sleep we missed. Students are some of the most sleep deprived as well. Will we ever get enough sleep? David Hyde gets the answers from Dr. Sarah Stolz, director of the Swedish Sleep Medicine Program.
According to the National Institute of Health, approximately 40 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders including sleep apnea, insomnia, narcolepsy and restless legs syndrome. Ross Reynolds interviewed Dr. Sarah Stolz, the medical director of the Sleep Medicine Program at Swedish Medical Center.
Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 8:57 am
Is that 6 a.m. workout getting in the way of good sleep? Don't think your fat cells won't notice.
A new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds that inadequate shut-eye has a harmful response on fat cells, reducing their ability to respond to insulin by about 30 percent. Over the long-term, this decreased response could set the stage for Type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease and weight gain.
David K. Randall never gave much thought to his sleep – until he began sleep walking. That first midnight crash into a hallway wall went him on an investigation into the strange science of sleep. Ross Reynolds speaks with the author about his new book, “Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep.”