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Is Thomas Edison to blame for your insomnia?

We just finished reading an article from Times Online about an insomnia sufferer who learnt to live with her affliction. It's an interesting read and we particularly like the section where she talks about the more positive aspects of insomnia. We're so used to hearing about (and dealing with) the negative effects of insomnia, it's refreshing to hear people talk about it in a more positive way.

What really caught our eye was her argument that perhaps it was the invention of the electric light bulb that changed society's sleep habits forever. In the old days, people would go to bed earlier due to the lack of light. As soon as we had artificial light, people worked longer and stayed awake for longer. Sleep became 'regularised'.

Now, we're not sure we agree that the invention of the light bulb has resulted in an epidemic of insomnia, but we definitely acknowledge a link between insomnia and society's demands for more work, more effort and for putting sleep on a schedule.

Maybe the light bulb started this fundamental shift in attitudes, after all. What do you think?

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Last updated: April 30, 2010

This Article Was Written By

Martin Reed

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