A monster New York Times Sunday Magazine article on America’s sleep-industrial complex yields many worthwhile tidbits. Among them:
*There is a sleep war going on, and it pits the mattress people vs. the pharmaceutical people.
*Civilized humans used to regularly awaken for a brief period in the middle of the night. While some fed their livestock, chatted or had sex, “Benjamin Franklin took ‘cold-air baths,’ reading naked in a chair.”
Allow me to paint a mental image of this “cold-air bath” for you: Benjamin Franklin. Wearing bifocals. Reading. Naked. In a chair.
*Euphemism watch: “In Botswana, for example, someone who wakes up in the middle of the night and cannot sleep ‘may begin to hum, or go out and play the thumb piano‘ (emphasis mine).”