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Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival
Release Date: March, 2001
Publisher: Atria Books
When it comes to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and depression, everything you believe is a lie. Lights Out With research gleaned from the National Institutes of Health, T.S. Wiley and Bent Formby deliver staggering findings: Americans really are sick from being tired. Diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and depression are rising in our population. We're literally dying for a good night's sleep. Our lifestyle wasn't always this way. It began with the invention of the lightbulb. When we don't get enough sleep in sync with seasonal light exposure, we fundamentally alter a balance of nature that has been programmed into our physiology since Day One. This delicate biological rhythm rules the hormones and neurotransmitters that determine appetite, fertility, and mental and physical health. When we rely on artificial light to extend our day until 11 PM, midnight, and beyond, we fool our bodies into living in a perpetual state of summer. Anticipating the scarce food supply and forced inactivity of winter, our bodies begin storing fat and slowing metabolism to sustain us through the months of hibernation and hunger that never arrive. Our own survival instinct, honed over millennia, is now killing us. Wiley and Formby also reveal: That studies from our own government research prove the role of sleeplessness in diabetes, heart disease, cancer, infertility, mental illness, and premature aging; Why the carbohydrate-rich diets recommended by many health professionals are not only ridiculously ineffective but deadly; Why the lifesaving information that can turn things around is one of the best-kept secrets of our day. Lights Out is one wake-up call none of us can afford to miss.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2/6/2003
We already had a navy blue bedroom and blackout shades, but we now close doors that lead to the hall and bathroom where nightlights glow and cover up the clock and cable box LEDs. It is difficult to recondition ourselves to go to bed so early, but when were able to do it for about two weeks, we did lose weight. It was almost like those ads you see--"Lose Weight while You Sleep!"--but we really were doing just that, but without any drugs.
If you are sleep-deprived, eat too many carbs, and are overweight, you should get this book and try to follow the program. You will definitely feel better and you might just lose some of those extra pounds too!
Posted by Anonymous on 2/24/2000
One of the most provocative medical detective stories I've ever read. Hooray for the authors, who've looked at our health problems with fresh eyes and common sense. The evidence they've compiled that messing with Mother Nature will make you sick makes perfect sense. It's one of those books that really changes the way you look at the world. And it's fun to read in the way that really interesting science/medical books can be. You'll learn a lot. I did. A fun fact: the NIH has proven that mice that sleep in the dark and are up in the light cannot be given cancer, no matter how many carcinogens they are subjected to.
Overwhelming Circumstantial Evidence Wed With Hard Scientific Fact
Posted by Penny Dreadful on 9/8/2005
Suppose--just suppose--it was proven that you and virtually everyone you knew was doing something terribly dangerous to your health. Now imagine that correcting this hazard was not only simple but relaxing and already on-hand. If that was the case, you'd change your ways, right? Well, there is in fact strong evidence--I'd almost call it proof--that modern Americans are gradually killing themselves via long-term sleep deprivation, and we need to be aware of the problems we are causing ourselves, right now!
Fact: the average American adult just 100 years ago spent 9.5 hours of every 24 hours asleep. The average American adult in the year 2000 slept just 6.2 hours per night.
If your answer to those statistics is, "So what?" you definitely need to read this book.
The cold hard fact seems to be this: human beings were (pick your choice here) A) designed by God; B) evolved in nature; C) grew used over hundreds of generations to spending perhaps as much as half their lives asleep. Certainly even by the most conservative of views, we humans need to sleep at least a third of our existence. How many of us get even eight hours a night anymore? Sadly only about one in six. It's only been in the last 5-6 generations, since the advent of electrical lighting, that humans have shifted away from the natural day/night, sleep/wake cycles by which our species was regulated. Is it coincidental that it is also in that time period we have seen this massive onset of catastrophic illnesses (especially mental illness) in record breaking numbers? No. Nor is sleep the only factor in the escalation of catastrophic illness, but it is one large piece in the puzzle. More than likely human beings simply have not had time to adjust in the course of a hundred years or so to massives changes in the sleep cycles their forebears spent perhaps ten-thousand generations acclimating themselves to.
Sleep is the time of healing, of unwinding, of our body producing mood-regulating hormones such as melatonin (which can ONLY be manufactured in total darkness and only during one specific segment of the nightly sleep cycle). A lack of sufficient sleep interrupts the production of insulin, testosterone, estrogen, seratonin, can lead to diabetes, obesity, depression, heart disease, cancer, senility, infertility, and a laundry list of other medically-incontrovertible health crises, including, paradoxically, sleep apnea!
And yet we modern Americans continue to stay up nights, working on computers, watching television, reading, burning the proverbial midnight oil, even while our culture reels under the effects of an epidemic of disease, mental illness and seemingly perpetual malaise. It is even said that one automobile accident in seven is related to "drowsy driver syndrome" a contributing factor in as many as 3,000 highway deaths and 30,000 injuries annually!
Nothing that can be written in the space of a brief review can do justice to the overpowering weight of argument, study, fact, and anecdotal testimony presented by Wiley in her excellent, frightening book. I admit I do not get the quantity of sleep she recommends and that evidence shows is needed (9 ½ hours nightly) but after reading Lights Out I am more aware of the problems that lack of sleep can generate and am working toward mending my Queen of Nightowl ways. If this book's more than 100-pages of notes and references to scientific studies (conducted by a number of governments and some of the most prestigious institutions of learning on planet earth all independently arriving at the same findings) are correct, then human beings have been playing God and inverting the light/dark cycles of planet earth, and we could be in a LOT of long-term trouble as a result!
I Thought it Was a Diet Book
Posted by Ester Klien on 2/24/2000
If anything, Lights Out is done a disservice by it's own publicity. From the cover and the following reviews, I thought it was yet another wanna-be fad diet, only this one was reffered to as "the drool on your pillow diet." Ouch. I'm not one for diet books or self help. I only read it in the first place because I couldn't get my mother to stop reading it out-loud. Actually, to my grate surprise, Lights Out is a thoughtful, and provacative treatment of evolutionary biology. It explains how we work on a molecular level, and explains why we're the way we are from cave men on down. It explains things as as pragmatic as why you should go to bed, and why dieting always makes people fat and crabby. As well as overwhelming things, such as why the so-called diseases of civilization have singled us out, why we're speeding our own end as a species THROUGH medical advances, and basicly why evolution sucks. At first the theories seem no less than brillient, but once read, take on an erie quality of common sense, leaving the reader wondering why no one else knows any of this. That's when the book gets scary- apparently everyone knows (the FDA, the Surgon General, everybody) and the rest of us haven't been told for some seriously sick reasons. It reads like a mystery novel, so I don't wanna give too much away. But the bottom line is my mother can't be everywhere, reading out-loud at everyone, so it's up to you to go check it out for yourselves. It's well worth the trip.