Presenting on Sleep at the 2013 Ancestral Health Symposium
Recently, I had a presentation submission accepted by the 2013 Ancestral Healthy Symposium to be held in Atlanta this August. This will be the third annual meeting for this society. The first conference was held at UCLA and the second was hosted in collaboration with the Harvard Food Law Society at the Harvard Law School. The first few conferences were excellent, with a focus on diet and exercise, but sleep was conspicuously absent from the program. My 40 minute presentation for this August will be entitled “Modern Pressures, Poor Sleep: How Sleep Loss Changes How We Live.” Sleep is absolutely critical to good health and I’m glad that it was valued by the committee this year.
I’ll be talking about how the modern world encourages sleep insufficiency, ramifications of sleep loss and mistimed sleep, and I’ll propose several potential solutions to help anyone to get sufficient sleep consistently. But sleep is just one side of the coin, the other side is vigilant wake performance during the day and evening: the period of time when people experience the benefits of good sleep. One of the most fascinating findings from research on sleep loss show that it’s difficult for humans to fully perceive the impairments from insufficient sleep. Sure, it’s normal to feel a sleepy when we don’t get enough sleep but we can also accommodate to the feeling so that this new condition becomes normal. Meanwhile, with insufficient sleep, performance impairments can accumulate and lead to qualitatively and quantitatively different mental and physical performance outputs from an individual. In other words, it’s easy for us to overestimate our ability to performance complicated tasks and to underestimate the objective impairment from sleep loss. However, there are ways to understand if you’re getting enough sleep on a regular basis and I’ll be cover those in the talk. Again, this conference is excellent and I encourage you to consider attending since there are a many practical learnings you can attain and apply to your own life.
Have a great weekend,