Insomnia and You: You Have Insomnia

I used to think that I had insomnia because I don’t have a job that requires me to wake up at a certain time. I like to have 4-5 articles up at a certain time (AM GMT), but I can do that before or after I sleep. So there is literally no reason to keep a clear schedule from day to day.

Recently, however, I’ve been asking people with less flexible jobs or school schedules about when they sleep. Basically everyone I’ve talked to, at least every millennial and younger, who has to wake up early in the morning says they basically only sleep four hours a night during the week and then sleep for 12 hours a day on the weekend.

Now I understand why 60% of the ads on TV are about sleep aids. Apparently, this is everybody’s problem.

You have insomnia. Everyone has insomnia. It’s because of the cellphones and the computer screens. It’s also the TV screens. Yes, in the 80s people used to fall asleep watching TV, but TV screens back then were completely different, with a totally different type of backlight.

These new screens on any device have a backlight that simulates daylight. The brain recognizes it as sunlight, and so it tells you it’s not time to go to sleep.

You can research this. The details aren’t especially important, but here’s an infographic:

Here’s a science paper.

Frankly, for me it’s not that big of a deal to just sleep whenever – because I can sleep my whole 8 hours. I’ve long thought that my life would be somewhat better if I woke up and went to sleep at the same time every day, but on balance, it’s just easier not to do that.

However: if you have to get up at the same time every morning for work or school, going to sleep at the same time is required. Sleeping less than 8 hours a night any more than once or twice a week is extremely bad for your health. It makes you fat and stupid by lowering your testosterone levels.

You should turn your phone and computer off a minimum of two hours (four hours is better) before you go to sleep. Read books or get an old fashioned record player. I read (paper or ebook with no backlight) for two hours before sleep, even though I don’t have to get up in the morning.

You also have to be aware of the bulbs in your lamps. You should buy “Edison bulbs.” Florescent lights are a cancer, especially after dark.

You can also try going for a walk at night, if you live in an area where you’re not going to get robbed by diversity.

I know this is hard, but if you’re not getting enough sleep, that is why you are fat and depressed. Your life will be so much better if you get your 8 hours.