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What's the Worst Thing You Can Do if You Can't Fall Asleep?

What's the Worst Thing You Can Do if You Can't Fall Asleep?

Story at-a-glance -

  • A large volume of historical evidence indicates humans used to sleep in two four-hour intervals, with about an hour or two of wakefulness between the first and second sleep
  • Those waking night time hours were oftentimes used for quiet contemplation and introspection, in addition to more active pastimes like making love. Today, many don’t take the time to contemplate their life and dreams anymore, which can increase anxiety, stress and depression
  • Sleep is the outcome of an interaction between two classes of variables: sleepiness and "noise.” The most common forms of “noise” making sleep elusive are “cognitive popcorn,” light, and the wrong temperature
  • An estimated six to 10 percent of US adults used some sort of hypnotic sleeping pill in 2010. But, as evidenced by a new study, using prescription sleeping pills can increase your risk of certain cancers—such as esophagus, lymphoma, lung, colon and prostate cancers—as well as increase your risk of premature death nearly four-fold

By Dr. Mercola

A growing body of evidence, garnered from both science and history, suggests the eight-hour sleep cycle may not be the most natural arrangement for humans after all.

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