2017-05-16 20:05:49

The Slumbering Masses- Sleep, Medicine, and the Modern American Life

GUEST: Matthew J. Wolf-Meyer, Associate Professor of anthropology at Binghamton University, author of The Slumbering Masses: Sleep, Medicine, and the Modern American Life.

BACKGROUND: Sleep, we are told, is as important for our health as diet and exercise. If we don't get our recommended 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night, we are told that we will incur greater risks of heart disease and diabetes, we will gain weight, weaken our immune systems, and increase our blood pressure.

If we suffer from insomnia, pharmaceutical and even natural health companies are there at the ready with myriad sleep aids, artificial and natural, to help us achieve the requisite uninterrupted 8 hours of sleep.

But how have sleeping patterns and expectations of sleep changed over the years? And, what does capitalism and productivity have to do with it?

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