The Wall Street Journal recently reported that; “as an always-on economy, we’re tired like never before”. Since a 2010 Air India flight, sleepy pilots have been at the center of several accidents. Not only are sleepy pilots a cause for accidents but 20% of automobile accidents are shown to be a result of drowsy drivers. Also, U.S. Military researchers have concluded that sleeplessness is one of the leading causes of friendly fire.
The number of sleep deprived individuals is up 25% since 1990. A recent study published in the Journal of Sleep found that insomnia costs $2,280 per worker in lost productivity.
In the 15th century, scholars believed that people had two cycles of sleep. The first cycle of sleep ends shortly after midnight. During the first cycle a person sleeps lying on their right side and then they would go back to sleep for a couple of hours on their left side, second sleep. The time between these two sleeps was considered the best time for studying. This time was typically spent praying, reading, thinking about dreams or having sex.
By the 1920’s the idea of first and second sleep had completely disappeared. Businesses were open night and day. Studies have shown that this type of sleep would reappear if given the chance.
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