Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Sleep randomness

To me, sleep in a fascinating topic. Over the past few years, I've collected some random factoids about it.

On his most recent appearance on the The Daily Show, Bill Clinton talked about sleep among federal legislators. He believes that legislators now get significantly less sleep than legislators did when Clinton first entered politics. He blames this on certain technological advances and cultural shifts. Clinton believes a significant part of the animosity on Capital Hill is (to paraphrase Stewart's paraphrase of Clinton) due to them being cranky because they missed their nap.

Marine mammals (whales, dolphins, etc.) are not born able to breathe in their sleep. (Breathing being more complicated when you are an air breather who lives underwater.) For the first few weeks after birth, neither mother nor baby sleeps a wink, then they gradually work their way up to normal amounts of sleep. The fascinating thing: the mothers do not show any signs of sleep deprivation during this time.

Over the past several years, the science magazine I read has published stronger and stronger evidence linking childhood obesity to lack of sleep.

Normally I would seek links to support these claims of mine. This would allow any interested readers to easily find more information on each topic. And I have more than once gone looking for a supportive link only to find my information was dead wrong. But this post will have to stay as bald assertions, because it's my bed time.

1 comment:

banana516 said...

You are right on! There are many ways in which lack of sleep affects the delicate balance of hormones in our bodies Sleep&Obesity, which no doubt leads to all sorts of problems. I am continually amazed at how little sleep many of my peers are getting. At times I am almost made to feel bad for sleeping 8-9 hrs/night. People look at you like you are lazy. This is totally nuts! Our culture really needs to reevaluate its priorities. . .