Are you sleeping too much?

By Anna Tremonti
CBC Radio's The Current

Wolf-Meyer_slumbering coverDo you have trouble sleeping? Everyone has a sleepless night from time to time, but for sufferers of chronic insomnia, bedtime can turn into a nightmare. But what if you didn't need so much sleep? Research is looking into ways to make sleep more effective -- so that you can spend more time awake.

The Current's Anna Maria Tremonti interviewed the authors of two new books about sleep. Matthew Wolf-Meyer, the author of The Slumbering Masses: Sleep, Medicine, and Modern American Life, is not convinced that less can be more when it comes to sleep. He cites the obvious negative effects that come from not getting enough sleep, but he also approaches the question from a more philosophical angle. "The other side of the question is why we would want less sleep," said Wolf-Meyer. "If we're accepting less sleep so we can do more work, that might not be a great trade-off. But, if we're working towards less sleep because we want more time with our families or more recreational time, then that might be something that's actually worth pursuing."

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