In guest blog for the Wellcome Trust's Hubbub project, one of the founders of Sleep Cultures asks why sleep is unthinkable in the contemporary action movie.
The Guardian's take on one of the most widely-reported sleep-related stories of the festive period. New research from Harvard Medical School has provided evidence of the disruptive effect of light-emitting electronic devices, such as e-readers and mobile phones, on both sleep quality and on alertness the following morning.
From n+1 magazine, a fascinating piece on the "relentless acceleration" of modern life. Drawing on Hartmut Rosa's concept of "social acceleration", it ponders the paradox that the widespread availability of labour-saving devices in the modern world has coincided with the perception that we have less time to ourselves than ever before. "The feeling comes about", it is explained, "because the variety of social experiences available is ceaselessly proliferating: the number of things you might be able to do becomes impossibly large, and expands every day with implacable speed". Technology thus seems to save time with one hand even as it steals it with the other. But where is sleep in all of this? No mention is made of slumber in the n+1 article, but if we follow its logic then we might speculate that we enjoy less sleep nowadays not because we have less free time, but because the notion that there are other things to do than sleep -- better things to do than sleep -- has never been broadcast more enticingly or insistently through our waking lives.
Study results published in the December issue of Sleep show that "paid work time is the primary waking activity exchanged for sleep."
A piece from The New Yorker on the psychobiology of exhaustion.
A report on a mysterious outbreak of uncontrollable sleepiness in the village of Kalachi in Kazakhstan.
An article on the latest wireless sleep-montoring gadget, the "Sense", which not only tracks sleep also enables users to correlate their sleeping patterns with changes in ambient noise, light, temperature and humidity.
On Thursday 11 December, Dr Michael Greaney will be delivering the Gladstone's Centre annual lecture at Gladstone's Library, Hawarden, Wales.
Sleeping with Dickens
"Sleep was a source of constant fascination for Charles Dickens. A lifelong insomniac who dabbled in mesmerism, he takes a remarkably keen interest in the sleeping habits of his heroes and heroines, and enjoys plunging them into sleep at inopportune moments, in unexpected places, with often comical and sometimes disconcerting results. This lecture will ponder the comedy, vulnerability and pathos of the sleeping body in Dickens’ fiction, and will consider what his obsession with human slumber tells us about the shifting relations between consciousness and oblivion in the Victorian imagination."
Click here for more information.
A new film on the National Geographic Channel that one reviewer describes as "a meticulously researched horror documentary." The trailer for Sleepless in America can be accessed here.
While sleep has never been a stranger to college libraries, Wake Forest University's Z. Smith Reynolds Library is unusual in creating a designated nap zone "called the 'ZieSta Room.' The room—which originated as a proposal from a group of students—encourages students to turn off their electronics, put away their books, and take a quick study break, even if that means falling asleep. The space's guidelines stress that the area is not a study space, and that the only reading taking place there should be done for pleasure. The guidelines also remind students that the room is not a place for 'monkey business.'"