United Press International has just discovered that the modern lifestyle has most of us sleep-deprived. I’m shocked.

The piece claims that, before the invention of electric lights, people averaged ten hours of sleep a day. The average is now less than seven hours, with over a third getting six or less. Apparently, the problem is that we’re all fat, sedentary, consume too much caffeine and alcohol, and watch too much television. Well, yeah.

FILED UNDER: Health, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Steven says:

    Yet, we live longer and better.

    What’s a pessimist and critic to do?

  2. John Lemon says:

    No mention about the effects of blogging.

  3. bryan says:

    Yes, and before the invention of electric light, people had to work like the dickens to make a living wage, died earlier from whatever disease-of-the-month was ravaging the countryside, and listened to 7-hour lincoln-douglas debates for giggles. No thanks, I’ll take the blog and the playstation.

  4. Meezer says:

    UPI must be a bunch of “slickers” (as in city). They probably don’t spend more than 10 minutes per day “outside”. Otherwise they would know that 6 months a year get 12+ hours of light per day. The longest day in my neck of the woods is June 21st with 7.5 hours of darkness. Before electricity you worked (and farmers and other outdoor types still do) as long as it was light. So from March through September you weren’t getting 10 hours of sleep or even close to it.