Dr. Luse recommended I watch an interview on mercola.com with a sleep specialist. Very informative. I downloaded the transcript so I could digest it more. It has a lot of food for thought beyond my sleep problems.
The guy talks about how sleep medications -- particularly over-the-counter ones, but even prescriptions to some degree -- give you kind of a junk food equivalent of sleep. You're not awake, but you're not getting the physiological benefit of genuine, natural sleep.
He also talked about light and our physiological need for it. That natural sunlight, which is "full-spectrum" light, provides things our bodies need, plus it regulates our bodies' cyclical systems (including the sleep/wake cycle). With the advent of electricity, we have changed our cycles; our bodies are getting more light than we're supposed to, and it messes us all up.
Not only that, but the light we get is artificial light, not the full-spectrum light that the sun provides. It's the junk food equivalent of light. We're over-lit, but under-nourished by the light we get.
Just like the food we eat. Americans are eating more and more all the time -- the obesity rate is skyrocketing. But the food we eat has less and less of the nutrients we need. Over-fed, under-nourished.
This was all meshing with thoughts I've had lately about other areas of my life. Like, all the information we are bombarded with everyday. Emails, blogs, Facebook statuses and links, talk shows, talk radio, 24-hour news channels . . . we are absolutely saturated with knowledge all the time, but most of it just fills us rather than feeds us. Over-informed, under-nourished.
Consider our relationships. I know people who have literally hundreds -- maybe thousands -- of "friends" on Facebook. But the extent of that friendship is reading a witty (or not-so-witty) status update and the occasional click of the "like" button. There is food for the soul in a real face-to-face relationship with another person -- looking in the eye, touching the shoulder, feeling the warmth of their physical presence, seeing the depth of their feeling in their expression. We're over-connected, under-nourished.
Our technologically progressing society has given us fake light, processed food, empty knowledge, and superficial relationships. My, how we mega-evolved, arrogant human beings mess up life! Seems like God had the better way to do things all along.