This fascinating, thought-provoking study discusses the central role of sleep in our lives. After probing the scientific literature, Wiley and Formby, researchers at the Sansum Medical Research Institute, conclude that "the disastrous slide in the health of the American people corresponds to the increase in light-generating night activities and the carbohydrate consumption that follows." Our internal clocks are governed by seasonal variations in light and dark; extending daylight artificially leads to a craving for sugar, especially concentrated, refined carbohydrates that, in turn, cause obesity. More seriously, lack of sleep inhibits the production of prolactin and melatonin--deranging our immune systems and causing depression, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. The authors prescribe sleeping at least nine and a half hours in total darkness in the fall and winter and switching to a diet low in carbohydrates and high in protein, vegetables, and healthy fats. They support their arguments with 100 pages of notes and by tracing the progression of disease from hunter-gatherers to our high-tech society. Despite its somewhat strident, all-knowing tone, this illuminating work is highly recommended for academic and public libraries.
---Ilse Heidmann, San Marcos, TX
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
The lightbulb put us out of sync with nature. Way back when, people spent the summer sleeping less and eating heavily in preparation for winter because light triggers the hunger for carbohydrates. Now, with light available 24 hours a day, we gulp down food all year long. So, Wiley and Formby assert, it is light, not what we eat or whether we exercise, that causes obesity--and diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Indeed, eating bacon, ham, butter, and eggs for breakfast doesn't impair health, and exercise can make you fat. If we considered our waking periods as equivalent to the long days of summer and the short ones of winter, we would avoid those health problems. Wiley and Formby offer three steps for improvement, but they aren't optimistic, because the light-driven speed and intensity of contemporary life may be too much to overcome. Still, try, first, plugging the leaks in your psyche; then, because you will have lost weight, resisting carbohydrates; and, finally, swallowing a few pills and helpful foods. William Beatty --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.See all Editorial Reviews
The premise of this book is that modern conveniences like electric lights are causing large amounts of insomnia in our culture and that insomnia is causing a lot of serious... Read morePublished 12 days ago by Bonecrkr
i have many pages of notes and dog eared pages with the great insights in this book. a must read!Published 2 months ago by Brad Kearns
Very interesting theories. Some I have never heard or read about before.Published 3 months ago by Hatmaker45
Wiley again gives us a lot of great and relevant information. However, like her book Sex, Lies and Menopause she continuously repeats herself to the point of monotony. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Samaya
I bought this book? I must have lost it when I moved. Great read!Published 5 months ago by Katrina L. Heycock
This book is mind blowing. Its title does not do it justice. It is extremely interesting. I found myself having a lot of 'a-ha' moments throughout the book. Read morePublished 6 months ago by lauren