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Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival Paperback – March 1, 2001
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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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
We sell LED lighting and associated hardware with a life philosophy to allow for melatonin suppression and release in accordance to maintain a healthy human circadian rhythm.
We sell violet based (not blue based) white LEDs, compatible fixtures, blue blocking shields and glass wear, and melatonin home test kits.
To see an example of how a disrupted sleep cycle can weaken the body, view specifically how a disrupted sleep cycle is used to sensitize retinal cells to light toxicity and death, google "Improved Design and Fabrication of Light Toxicity Chamber used for Light Induced Retinal Degeneration in Mice". Go right to the pictures of the microscopic slides showing a gutted retina after moderate light exposure.
However, this book has proved to be quite enlightening. I just found it interesting that most illness and cancers were started when the lightbulb was invented - and how now everyone has accepted using lights at night without thinking how it would affect their overall health. The idea of sleeping 8 full hours with everything turned off (without any light visible) - to be in a complete darkness - became a vital importance for our immune system. The main point of this book is that we suffered from light poisoning at night, due to a number of artificial light and lack of understanding of our bodies' seasonal sleep pattern. All of this leads to disorders and disease like obesity, cancer, bipolar, etc. And, it encourages us to sleep in a total darkness to improve our immune systems.
Since I read this book, I have put into practice of the suggestion of sleeping in a total darkness. I first found myself of having extremely vivid and highly emotional dreams, such as being eaten alive by piranhas.
Now, I cannot get a proper sleep with any single light being visible. It has now become crucial for me to sleep in a total darkness and to feel refreshed the next day - never before did I felt better. This book is a life-saving for me, but if one chooses to, it can be a guide and I'd recommend the suggestions presented in this book.
Back to basics, eat the right food at the right time in the right amounts and be healthy, wealthy and wise. Or eat like a pig and die like one. And try not to forget that exercise is not something to watch on TV. Just do it. Get enough sleep. Lots of it. Your wonderful career is just not worth dying for.