Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Thomas Edison and the Cult of Sleep Deprivation

The man who gave us the incandescent light bulb thought we should never turn out the lights at all.  

 

Thomas Edison listening to a wax cylinder phonograph at the Edison laboratory in Orange, New Jersey.   

The March/April issue of Bethesda Magazine, a regional publication that covers a wealthy area of Washington, D.C., drew some unusually heavy attention on the web for a profile of Melissa “Missy” Lesmes, “a veritable supermom.”

“A fit, petite, vivacious blonde, Missy is at age 46 a wife, a mother of four kids ranging in age from 11 to 18 and all in separate schools, a partner at a prestigious Washington, D.C. law firm ... a party maven always up for a gathering at her Chevy Chase home, a longtime friend to women who profess she’s always there when they need her, and a woman who still manages to give back to the community.”

She's super, Q.E.D.
 “We don’t even know if we have to sleep at all!”

“Missy rises at 5:30 a.m. to run on the Capital Crescent Trail or head downtown to work out with a personal trainer. She’s back home by 7 to make sure the kids are awake and getting ready for school.

... “Arrives at her spacious office by 8:30 or so”

... “gets home between 7:30 and 8”

Then: dinner, which the couple eats standing up, homework help, and climbing into bed at “10 or 10:30”—to finish a brief. Lights out at midnight.

As the definition of modern success inflates, one way Lesmes and other high-achievers accomplish the impossible is by cutting back on sleep.

For the rest of the story: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/05/thomas-edison-and-the-cult-of-sleep-deprivation/370824/

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