Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Sleep Arrogance

Sleep, a tenet of the paleo model - a something covered several times over the years at Natural Messiah, now goes increasingly mainstream. The artcile notes that cancer, heart disease, type-2 diabetes, infections and obesity have all been linked to reduced sleep - which kind of ties in to a paleo viewpoint that many of our modern ailments are different manifestations of the same underlying problem; we're trying to force genes selected for a lifestyle some 40,000 years ago to adapt to a modern lifestyle that is devoid of the necessary cues that allow our genes to express themselves in a healthful way.

These cues include periodicity of:
  • Light/dark,
  • Hunger/feeding,
  • Activity/rest,
  • Temperature
From the article,
  • "...scientists have warned that modern life and 24-hour society mean many people are now "living against" their body clocks with damaging consequences for health and wellbeing.

    ...

    We are the supremely arrogant species; we feel we can abandon four billion years of evolution and ignore the fact that we have evolved under a light-dark cycle. "
Why limit that interpretation to our body-clock?

When it comes to our survival, our body works over longer periods than 24 hours - it has to prepare for periods of days weeks and months.  It has to make sense of the world from energy flows, hormonal flows, and, other signals that pulse, ebb and flow in response to external forces.  These signals hold information.

If the signal isn't clear then our body will be confused by noise - the noise of persistent grazing, persistent indolence, persistent temperature exposure, and yes, persistent light of an eternal summer - trapped in a state where it prepares for a lean times that never come. 

Lean times signal repair, renewal and regeneration.

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