Losing our brains with disruptive technologies (XIII): Our minds out of wack because of sleep deprivation?.
Today´s article is about generating consciousness to all of us in relation to one of the most essential activities every single person on earth performs regardless of his or her country or economic condition, despite the age, no matter the culture or religion, and irrespective of its degree of education or cognitive status evolution. This human action is named sleeping.
Humans demand at least 9 hours of sleep per day. Each of us since babies, even unconsciously have understood that sleeping daily is required. Sleeping is like our quotidian vacation from the state of mindfulness level of our day to day operations. According to the US National Sleep Foundation, by the year 2000, people on average got around 7 hours of sleep a night; which was 1.5 hours less than we did a century ago. Twenty years ago, before Internet expansion, people conduced work more hours a day than our great-grandparents by the beginning of the 20th century. Just that fact sat up our brains for disaster for our metabolism.
Twenty years ago, specialists were evangelizing us that we needed to sleep more, otherwise, our bodies were going to be damaged, particularly our hormonal system and our brain capacities. I wish to state that hormonal imbalance is a term that is not only applied to women in their pre-menopause or menopause stage (related to the ovaries endocrine gland only). Women and men (we all) have a hormonal system that is harmed if we don´t sleep well (all our hormones are connected to the following endocrine glands: Hypothalamus, anterior and posterior pituitary, adrenal medulla, adrenal cortex, pancreas, kidneys and finally the reproduction gonads-testes and ovaries).
The endocrine glands are out of wack when we don´t sleep enough. The endocrine glands, particularly those located at our head (in our brain) are out of wack when we lack of sleep. Our brain goes through a sleep cycle of 4 predictable and distinct stages: the alpha waves stage, a delta waves stage, the REM beta sleep stage and finally another delta stage. During the night we move through these entire sleep cycles between four to five times. The REM (Rapid Eye Movement) beta sleep stage is essential for stabilizing our emotions, cataloging and storing memories, and for our dreams. Dreams are like regular exercise for the brains´neurons that help us to solve problems in tough situations that in reality, we can´t explain. There is some scientific evidence that our psyche and our dreams are connected.
Our Biological Clock. The biological daily clock is the clock that regulates our sleep-wake cycle, or our circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is a coordinated set of physiological activities that coordinate our metabolism, body temperature, heart rate, hormones and level of arousal. Each individual has one that fits perfectly with his or her natural biorhythm. Some of us are early birds. Some of us are night owls. But all in all, spending at least one-third of our day sleeping is highly recommended to keep our biological clock on point. Particularly little kids and teenagers, need to sleep to do housekeeping to their brains.
Lack of sleep hurts. All our societies, particularly those with high internet penetration, are suffering from lack of sleep. Even before the Internet age, many countries on earth as the USA had problems with lack of sleep or insomnia. Lack of sleep costs billions of dollars in lost productivity each year. Disasters as the Exxon Oil Spill, Chernobyl nuclear power, car accidents in highways, airplane disasters occur during late evening hours when the personnel is likely to be less alert due to insufficient sleep.
Insomnia is also a big issue. Insomnia happens when you wish to sleep, but you can´t do it. Even if you are ardently wishing to conciliate sleeping, you simply can´t, and as a result of it, next day you are likely tired, irritable and distracted. Psychologists and Physiologists say that before the Internet, insomnia was caused by variety o factors including:
- Anxiety or depression
- Noisy neighbors
- Use of stimulants as caffeine or sugary foods prior to bedtime
- Changes in work shifts
- Physical Illness
After the year 2000, we must add a new cause for lack of sleep or insomnia: the NAIQI disruption technologies.
I am sure many of my readers would like to see evidence-numbers, graphs produced by data scientists or processed by quantum processors. But I won´t show them today. The big issue with numbers, as I have taught to you in the past, is that when the numbers are wrongly collected or wrongly processed; any strategic analysis is simply useless. When it comes to our sleeping-resting activities, we don´t need to find numbers, but to explore ourselves with careful attention.
Lack of sleep prevents us from functioning normally. The usage of NAIQI (Nanotechnology, Artificial Intelligence, Quantum, and the Internet) altogether has changed our societies. The issue is that all these technologies together came as an atomic bomb to all of us in just 20 years, and all together with an excessive usage for mortal simple consumers, are destroying our brain endocrine balance.
The abuse of the NAIQI technologies in our daily routines has put sleeping or resting as a below priority. Kids without internet parenting control tend to be awake longer hours, and are also triggering an hormonal disbalance in their routine lives. Adults are more distracted and irritable during the days because they don´t get enough sleep, but their attention is caught in checking emails or tweets or youtube videos at hours which are not recommended. An example of this, is to measure the amount of car accidents you can visualize every time you go out. These accidents happen for two main reasons: related to excessive use of technology, because of the level of tiredness triggered by lack of sleep or by the inadequate use of mobiles meanwhile we are driving. Younger adults are expressing more and more, unreasonable rage and violent comments on Twitter every second, because of extreme irritability and perceptual distortions of reality after accumulated lack of sleep. Particularly I have seen this disruptive effect with the Millennial generation and Generation Z. I have witnessed their inner suffering of technology codependence and a weird condition characterized by extreme fury towards everything that is unconventional to their uprising-style, shortage of short term memory and concentration, and an irresistible urge to sleep during daytime activities, particularly at academic or office hours, or meanwhile driving, talking to others, reading and so forth.
The endocrine glands of our brain are crushed by a lack of sleep. Excessive use of technology (through social media, and longer exposure by using internet platforms after 6 PM) is killing us little by little.
Excessive exposure to screens are the new drug of our century. Please, do not judge me for writing the following. With screen gadgets, we don´t need to search for stimulants or hallucinogens or opioids. Just watch a child’s behavior with the Smartphone: When a child is crying, and mothers simply give them a smartphone, they temporarily relieve anxiety or stress. Now apply the same concept to an adult. Social media and excessive screen-time act like a trancelike mood gadget for adults. Our brains are doomed to feel the same sense of feeling soothing or relaxation; or a sense of euphoria and its respective distortions that may happen when you are a drug-addict. Nowadays, terms such as chronic fatigue, insomnia, perceptual distortions are due to excessive use of screen devices time. Let me ask us: What happens when decision-makers at higher places lack of sleep?
I will stop here, on my next publication, to happen during this week, we will verify what I am telling you with some numbers. In the meantime, let´s do an exercise. Let me ask you about your degree of Smartphone internet addiction. Just try to turn off your mobile at 6 pm every day and ask your significant other or a relative to hide it until the next day, then write in a piece of paper, what do you feel and what do you do?. If you are an NAIQI technology addict, you will teach your kids to be one too. That is why you must change first, in order to teach your kids to be balanced towards tech.
Thank you, see you again soon. Please don´t forget to read the links below. Very interesting complementary material for all of us.
Sources of reference utilized to write this article:
Disclaimer: Illustrations in Watercolor are painted by Eleonora Escalante. Other types of illustrations or videos (which are not mine) are used for educational purposes ONLY. Nevertheless, the majority of the pictures, images or videos shown on this blog are not mine. I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.
Thank you for reading to me.
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