People spend billions of yearly on medicine, remedy, and different treatments making an attempt to get a superb night time’s sleep. Anxieties about not getting sufficient sleep and the influence of sleeplessness on productiveness, well being, and happiness pervade medical opinion, the office, and well-liked tradition. In The Slumbering Plenty, Matthew J. Wolf-Meyer addresses the phenomenon of sleep and sleeplessness in america, tracing the affect of medication and industrial capitalism on the sleeping habits of People from the nineteenth century to the current.
Earlier than the introduction of manufacturing unit shift work, People loved a variety of sleeping practices, mostly two nightly intervals of relaxation supplemented by daytime naps. The brand new sleeping regimen–eight uninterrupted hours of sleep at night–led to the pathologization of different methods of sleeping. Arguing that the present mannequin of sleep is rooted not in biology however in industrial capitalism’s relentless want for productiveness, The Slumbering Plenty examines so-called Z-drugs that promote sleep, the usage of each authorized and illicit stimulants to fight sleepiness, and the modern politics of time. Wolf-Meyer concludes by exploring the extremes of sleep, from circumstances of perpetual sleeplessness and the usage of the sleepwalking protection in legal courts to navy experiments with ultra-short intervals of sleep.
Drawing on untapped archival sources and long-term ethnographic analysis with individuals who each expertise and deal with sleep abnormalities, Wolf-Meyer analyzes and sharply critiques how sleep and its supposed issues are understood and handled. By recognizing the range and limits of sleep, he contends, we are able to set up extra versatile expectations about sleep and, in the end, subvert the harm of sleep pathology and industrial management on our lives.