CATCHING YOUR ZZZ'S - 12.01.2021
December 1, 2021
Good Wednesday afternoon. I'm author Richard V. Rupp, writing from Burbank, California. Welcome to RUPP'S NOTES/FBI SPECIAL AGENT HARTMAN SERIES posts.
It's December, and we are getting close to the end of the year, and I suspect that's a good thing for most of us. It's been a depressing year. Unfortunately, I'm starting this post on a depressing note and not a good sign for the times ahead.
Recent polls (Spring and Fall 2021) of America's 18-to-29-year-olds conducted by the INSTITUTE OF POLITICS AT HARVARD KENNEDY SCHOOL indicate that most (52%) of them believe that the U.S. democracy is failing or in trouble. Only 7% thought the U.S. democracy was healthy.
It was also determined that "more than half of young Americans are going through an extended period of feeling "down, depressed or hopeless." 28% have had thoughts that they would be better off dead, or of hurting themself in some way."
As an old-timer, this result was hard to believe. "Young Americans place the chances that they will see a second civil war in their lifetime at 35%; chances that at least one state secedes at 25%."
This Harvard Poll validates the plot of SKYWARD, the novel I'm working on, where a Clique of young Americans decide that they need to establish a colony on the Moon because of what was happening to them on Earth.
As I develop the Bowman Moon Colony for my novel, the problem presented by long periods of light and then long periods of darkness present concerns regarding the human biological clock that enables humans to alternate between activity and rest with a 24-hour period. As the colonists are mostly confined to living inside structures because of the Moons' lack of atmosphere, my solution is controlling the lighting inside the structures to match the daylight and nighttime hours on Earth.
The CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL and PREVENTION (CDC) recommend at least seven hours for adults and 12 hours for kids and teens. Getting enough sleep, however, isn't enough. Your sleep needs to be high quality in addition to the appropriate duration for it to deliver the necessary health benefits. A proper sleep routine and schedule can help.
The CDC refers to the circadian rhythm, which is your body's internal sleep and wakefulness clock. Driven by neurotransmitters, it helps regulate hormonal activity, body temperature fluctuations, and digestion, all of which determine when you should sleep or be awake. The circadian clock and how it regulates your functions are in response to exposure or lack of exposure to light. It's most sensitive to light exposure about two hours before your typical bedtime until about one hour after your usual wake-up time. So, by managing your light exposure, you can help your body regulate its functions to optimize your sleep quality.
The relationship between sleep and mood is complex because disrupted sleep can lead to emotional changes, clinical depression, or anxiety (as well as other psychiatric conditions). Still, these conditions can also compound or further disrupt sleep. In fact, altered sleep patterns are a hallmark of many mental health issues.
We, humans, spend a third of our lives sleeping. If you live about 78 years (which is the current life expectancy at birth in the U.S.), that means you'll spend roughly 26 years of your life catching Zzz's.
For us old-timers, it turns out, scientific sleep data shows the ability to have a restful night of sleep starts to go downhill as you age.
By 20 years of age, the amount of deep sleep you achieve starts to diminish? By the 40s, age strips you of 60-70% of the deep sleep you enjoyed as a teenager. By the time you reach 70 years old, you have lost 70-80% of your ability for deep sleep. This is important to understand as older people are more likely to fall prey to memory problems, Alzheimer's, diabetes, heart disease, and cancers. Researchers are now studying the link between lack of sleep in older adults and the onset of these diseases.
Hopefully, I have not put you to sleep with this article.
As a writer, you end up researching the darndest things.
Have some good Zzzz's tonight.
Richard V. Rupp, Author
Website – www.richardvrupp.com
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright©2021 by Richard V. Rupp