Sleep – it’s comforting, it promotes wellness and most people don’t get enough of it. In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control called insufficient sleep a public epidemic. Nearly half of all adults get less – sometimes a lot less - than the minimum recommendation of seven hours of sleep per night. Sleep shouldn’t be considered a luxury because new research links chronic lack of sleep to reduced cognitive function, memory loss and even Alzheimer’s disease.
With so many people operating on inadequate sleep, fatigue is so common that it’s easy to overlook the serious nature of the issue. Some of the world’s worst disasters - the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion and both the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl nuclear accidents – were caused by insufficient sleep.
Serious sleep thieves
It turns out that it’s not just our busy lives that are to blame for not getting enough sleep. Several new research studies are starting to point the finger at the increasing amount of technology in our homes, classrooms and workplaces. Electronic appliances and devices often shine as bright as the sun, disrupting circadian rhythms (our bodies’ natural sleep-when-the-sun-goes-down rhythm). The same appliances and devices emit loads of positive ions that negatively affect overall wellness, making us more sensitive to sounds and light that might not otherwise disrupt sleep.
Adolescents at risk
Teenagers’ sleep patterns are especially affected by TMT (too much technology). The New York Times’ Motherlode blogger and parent educator Jessica Lahey recommends encouraging teens to exercise; keep devices, televisions and computers out of the bedroom; and dim down laptops, smartphones and tablets at least an hour before teens hit the sack.
Push back on new bedtime routines by teens and college students is unavoidable, but this is one area where tough love could have a major impact. A Time article detailed how lack of sleep can contribute to adolescent depression and increase the risk of suicide.
Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington wrote The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time and promoted it by visiting college campuses to reach this high risk group. Huffington herself suffered injury after an 18-day stint of limited sleep and she says, “…even though we’re going through a cultural shift at the moment, sleep at many workplaces is devalued and even scorned and sleep deprivation is still being worn like a badge of honor. So we first need a cultural shift to make it much easier for people to make the changes that are necessary for people to get good sleep that dramatically improves health, decision-making, our relationships, and our own happiness.”
LIFE to the rescue!
LIFE's Himalayan salt lamps can help you increase and improve sleep by emitting negative ions that balance all the positive ions electronic devices push out. Just a few hours with their lamps is like spending the afternoon in a forest. With their Zencube, and its energy-efficient RGB LED bulb, it is also the world’s first smart salt lamp. Just use the app to change the bulb to any color. A soothing blue or relaxing green, perhaps? Click here to find out more!