Before artificial light was bent to our will, most people would retire shortly after dusk, sleep for four or five hours, awaken for an hour or two, then drift back to sleep again until sunrise.
Doesn't that sound nice?
"Our sleep patterns have only shifted to the current 8-hour consolidated pattern in the decades since electric light became readily available," notes Ross Pomeroy in today's lesson. In other words, technology is the sleep disrupter. Or rather, technology is the sleep enabler, since our natural state was full of sleep disruptions.
Early humans didn't sleep the same way we do. Pre-industrial couples would wake up in the middle of the night and have sex. But not only that. As Pomeroy reports, they also "did chores, took care of infants, wrote, read, ate, and quietly contemplated life."
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Research by neuroscientists at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory helps explain how the brain regulates arousal.
The big day has come: You are taking your road test to get your driver's license. As you start your mom's car with a stern-faced evaluator in the passenger seat, you know you'll need to be alert but not so excited that you make mistakes. Even if you are simultaneously sleep-deprived and full of nervous energy, you need your brain to moderate your level of arousal so that you do your best.
A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.
- Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
- The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
- According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
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