Study after study shows we don't sleep well or enough. We go to bed when we want to and wake up when we have to. This should be the other way around. Anxiety, stress and health issues build as we use artificial lights to extend the day, flat screens of all sizes pulsating brightly through the night to entertain us and then we push ourselves to get through the next morning. When many of us do go to bed, we take more than twenty minutes to fall asleep. All these things have been proven time and again, study after study, to prevent us from getting a good night's sleep which becomes detrimental to our health.
After dinner, after cleaning up the kitchen, doing homework, discussing the work day, I remember my family shutting off the kitchen light and retiring to the living room. As children, we would be thankful to watch a half hour television show before bed time. Lost In Space re-runs or the new Batman and Robin series. After the Television was shut off or some evenings never put on, two of the three living room lamps would be turned off and some reading would be done. Some nights my father read the bible to me and my brothers. Other nights we perused through our own books or baseball cards. We told jokes, stories, made up our own games, had some fights, and stretched our arms wide when we yawned. We would dream of tomorrow's events, friends we would see, family we would hug, outdoor games we would play, and what we may accomplish. After we fell asleep, my parents would watch a half hour of television, such as Get Smart. All of us spent quiet time just before falling asleep giving thanks and praying for everyone we knew and the whole wide world. There it is! The triple "W" before it was "www." dot something. We had no bright screens in our eyes showing horrific desensitizing shows or video games, no text messages in our hands and no phones in our ears. We were using less electric energy while getting our bodies ready for recharging our own energy with a good night's sleep. The lower light levels worked, going to bed at the same time worked, not eating anymore food after dinner worked, we were sleeping well and waking up hungry for the most important meal of the day. We did all this long before countless studies told us that this is what we should be doing.
Oh yes, one more thing. If my parents or grandparents watched the news, they did so at 6 o'clock, not at the eleventh hour at night. At least back then, they reported the news, not their own Big Fish story.
Amazing, take away all the things we crave and believe we need and you get a great night's sleep. Then waking up first thing in the morning to the rising sun, birds signing, crisp quiet air, and the urge to cook up breakfast for everyone is... _______. Well, you fill in that blank. Have a great night's sleep everyone! I'll see you in the morning bright and early and roaring to go.
Bill Lauto, GTG
Environmental Scientist at
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