Should A Good Night’s Sleep Cost $79 Billion? … Narcolepsy Undermined and Technology Overrated

For those few who understand what it’s like to have one of the rarest sleep disorders, at its maximum level, a good night’s sleep is no more realistic than a dream. But, the entire world is starting to have multitudes of problems with sleep. When people don’t sleep, they gain weght, build stress, and suffer in a variety of other ways. The Sleep Technology & Expo hosted by the National Sleep Foundation has taken it upon themselves to introduce what will soon be a $79 billion dollar industry to help you sleep better. That is, unless you read between the lines …

‘Cause there’s nothing in there about helping you sleep better. Really.

No, this isn’t new. A certain unnamed sleep clinic in Central Oregon is pleasantly situated next to Norco Medical Supplies and their “sleep technicians” come equipped with name badges that simultaneously identify them as “sales representatives”. As sleep disorders have increased, medicine has turned to profit. Yet, this economic boone at the cost of the well being and health of others has had another, major consequence (as if profitting from your health wasn’t bad enough): funding cuts.

Sleep disorders, like narcolepsy, insomnia, hypersomnia, and others, provide invaluable insight into the world of sleep. Research on these disorders unlocks new doors and opportunities to learn more about the human condition and how to help when problems arise. The catch … there’s no money in helping people with sleep disorders. Currently, only dangerously harmful medications offer any reprieve for those suffering from mild to even the most severe levels. While clinics (like the previously referenced clinic) ship people out the door with c-pap machines like an assembly line- they can’t profit from real sleep disorders (without making peoples’ lives hell… but I’ll digress on that topic for now).

In steps the technology summit. New gizmos, gadgets, thingamabobs, and other knick-nacks are soon to reach the market. And, like many of the salesmen/sleep professionals (and you’ll recognize these low-class, unqualified folks if you ever have the misfortune to meet them), it takes very little to no ‘certifications’, or evidence that these things work. So, what will this new technology do?

1. It will cost you and/or your health insurance (which rakes everyone over the coals) lots of money.

2. It will make you believe you are doing better … and, hey, sometimes placebos work just fine.

3. It will keep you pushing yourself, day and night, to go, go, go!

The sad truth is that money and medicine make for strange bedfellows. And, unfortunately, greed will always trump the human spirit to help one another.

Ironically, the funniest part about this very somber predicament the world is facing with more technology: technology is one of the main, underlying causes for poor sleep patterns. From workplace economics to gadgets – if you’re not sleeping well, you can put a lot of that onto technology. Why?

1. Flashing lights, bleeps, streaming media, buzzing devices, ringing phones (that mysteriously follow us!!!), and other input that our senses are not used to perceiving now leave our brains spinning and limit ones ability to rest.

2. Stuff. Yes, stuff! The more the world wants stuff while the wealthy stuff their pockets, the cheaper you have to work to produce goods and services. Cheap labor means stress, worry, and anxiety over rent, mortgage, food, insurance, and other basic needs. Less security in the workplace means that you’re not going to sleep well, tonight!

3. Building a better mousetrap … but with cheaper parts. It’s an oxymoron to be sure, since better technology should be made, better. But, it’s not. Medicine, food, and the pollutants in the air all have a combined, negative effect on our health. Science doesn’t care about making it better – just making it cheaper. So your medicines include some pretty harsh chemicals that were not meant to be ingested, your deodorants and perfumes contain elements destructive to your body, and on and on, until eventually … you will see your health, and your sleep, decline.

But …. there’s hope!

And, it begins with you. You can peruse my other articles on eating well and reducing stress if you want – but the internet’s full of that. Ultimately, no gizmo or gadget will help you feel better. What you can do now is to become educated and to educate your friends, family, and loved ones. Because, the drama is coming …

See, without ‘you’, there will be no $79 billion dollar sleep industry to emerge. So, they will have to push you. It’s going to be in every form of media you see; the threat that you need their stuff. Oh, yes, it will be a threat. Doctors will push it, industries will manipulate driving and working regulations, and soon you will all be nothing more to them than assembly line consumers to buy their stuff because you’ll suddenly have some new ‘sleep interference syndrome’ or othe stupidly named condition that requires their help.

However, if you can recognize it now, and see what’s coming ’round the bend, you can make informed decisions. As ‘the’ King of Dreams, I know the real problems associated with messed up sleep better than almost anyone else in the world. Whether you believe that or not is up to you and I have no opinions otherwise, but the point is that I’m sure something they come up with will help some people … some … not all, but the rest, is all hype.

Don’t get sucked in. If you do, it will mean more stress financially … and that’s NOT going to help you sleep, I guarantee it. Don’t get drawn into drama by their fear tactics … you deserve better than that.

Now, relax, stress down, stay in tonite, spend the last hour of your evening away from technology … and sleep well!

I do not envy you the headache you will have when you awake. But for now, rest well and dream of large women.


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