According to Anoosh Chakelian of the New Statesman, lack of sleep is hitting Britain’s economic productivity:
But what’s keeping us awake?
Our screen addiction often get the blame: by flooding our eyes with bluish light at night, we’re messing with our circadian rhythms.
But there’s another part of the picture that gets ignored – which is that we’re getting too little light during the day. The science is explained by Linda Geddes in an extract on Literary Hub from her book Chasing the Sun:
Researchers found significant impacts:
Unsurprisingly, the effects were particularly pronounced during winter when it’s much easier to miss out on daylight.
Modern architecture was meant to compensate for our troglodytic indoor lives – plateglass buildings supposedly brightening our days. But if you’ve ever been in an open-plan office during a power cut, you realise that natural light doesn’t penetrate very far into our 21st century caves.
One day we might realise that the comforts and efficiencies of modernity come at a price – and not solely a spiritual one. The impact of comprehensively de-naturalising our lives can be measured in terms of physical well-being and even economic productivity.
One doesn’t have to believe that we should ‘go back to nature’ to see that we need more room for it in our lives.