Circadian Screwups

asleep yellow pressYup, this modern life is messing you up. And bad. Turns out that fooling with your circadian rhythms is a lot more damaging than you thought. Everything from diabetes to depression, cancer, hammer-toe, Morgellon’s disease and sciatica may have the contributory factor of an out of whack wake-sleep cycle. The ancient human organism was tuned in completely to the times the sun came up and went down, the seasonal changes of winter and summer, even the subtle variations of the lunar cycle. All in all our complex biological machinery is finely adapted to the music of the spheres, the circadian rhythmic determined more than just when we were awake and active, or asleep and poking each other under the hides with our cold feet, it also regulated our diet and digestive systems, our brainwave activity, body temperature ¬†and many more things we shall not discuss here.

But everything changed with the electric light. The fire, candle and lantern were inconsequential in retrospect, they did little to change the nature of night, which still lay somber and mysterious outside the small circle of warmth and glow these early innovations brought. But the electric light, and its rapid expansion into all aspects and areas of the world caused a sea change for us that we are only beginning to grasp the import of. Farmers plow their field in the harsh halogen glare of tractor lights that would have blinded old man Klieg. Corporations are able to keep us at toil in shifts we call swing and graveyard. The roads are no longer healthy places for highwaymen to ply their trade. And it gets worse, far worse than just a light bulb.

All the screens we use, from the tiny to the huge theater versions hanging on our wall are bombarding us with photons at a rate unprecedented in the era of man. Scoff if you will at the notion that this inundation is deleterious but bear in mind that everything adds up. Listen to loud music, go deaf at an early age. Huff to much dust on the job, have your heirs line up at the lawyer for an asbestosis or mesothelioma settlement and your friendly attorney. Omit the sunscreen and you get burned. Consider a camping trip, a mild hike to a pleasant lake, a small fire that dwindles as the stars brighten and a crescent moon sets and a night of pleasant slumber in the cool night air as the cricket sing, the mosquitoes whine and the rocky ground is hard on the hips. Still all in all its more restive than a night at a disco, trying to read the texts on your cell phone as the maniacally whirling disco ball reflects bright the sharp flash of strobe lights into your eyes that yet linger and distracts you when memory of the red and blue strobes from the constabulary  shocks you in the uneasy sleep that the drunk tank allows.

Messing with what nature set up for you is never a good thing.

DavidW - Publisher

Raised in obscurity and completely entranced with the notion that we should live our lives with the same valuable ethic that a conscientious hiker would, leaving no trace.

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