We all know that sleep is important, but few are aware of just how critical it is to our health.
Growing up in a small town devoid of incessant noise pollution from car engines, motorcycle exhausts, sirens, horns, helicopters, airplanes, and loud music that most large city dwellers experience daily and have become used to, ubiquitous harmful manmade radiation (“electronic smog”) from WiFi routers, cellphones and cellphone towers, and a constant glow of melatonin-disrupting city lights, I always enjoyed restful, peaceful sleep as a youth. As soon as the lights in the room were turned off in the evening, complete darkness and silence set in; it seemed as though the world had disappeared.
A sane school schedule certainly contributed to making adequate, quality sleep easy to attain, too. My classes began between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., and were over in the early afternoon. It wasn’t until I relocated to a large city that sleep became elusive.
I had to be at school at 7 a.m., which is preposterous when I think about it, as it plainly contradicts the biology of the human body, especially one that is in a important developmental stage. “Catching up” on sleep on the weekends wasn’t really an option either, as my father wasn’t fond of sleeping in. Attending a boarding school as a child made him very disciplined and regimented—qualities he eventually imparted to me. Admittedly, this exactingness helped to beget my…