Critique of “Let There Be Light”
18 November 2013
Finding the Medium between Happy and Healthy
The authors Douglas J. Lisle PH.D. and Alan Goldhamer D.C. wrote the book, The Pleasure Trap: Mastering the Hidden force that undermines Health and Happiness, to reveal to people how to live healthy yet happy lives. The authors did an adequate job of revealing to their audience how sleep is an important aspect to our happiness. They are able to do this by connecting Thomas Edison’s invention of the light bulb to the lack of sleep that people are getting. The authors prove that that the creation of artificial light has changed the way people live out their daily lives. Light now determines what time we go to bed, the amount of sleep we get determines how tired we are, and how tired we are determines what stimulates we take to stay awake and alert. Using light has become accustomed in our everyday lives. As stubborn humans our sleep habits will not change now. The author did a very good job of describing the ways electricity affects us positively and negatively. The thought of electricity has been around since the day that Ben Franklin flew a kite with a key on it during a thunderstorm. Yet the thought of capturing it into a bulb was not even thought of back in those days, it was only just a dream. Thomas Edison was always told not only by his peers but his teachers that he would never succeed in life. “His teacher, Reverend G.B. Engle, considered him to be a dull boy and a poor student” (143). Yet Edison was the first person to make this dream, of capturing electricity, a reality. Using light has become accustomed in our everyday lives. The author did a very good job of describing the ways electricity affects humans.
Although we have light during the darkness, does not mean that we should use it. “In ancient times, our ancestors relied on a variety of internal mechanisms to help them to determine what to do to a certain degree” (150). Our ancestors used the sun as one of these “internal mechanisms”. There must be a ritual for everything that we do, so that we are able to create habits. Before the invention of the light bulb, people went to bed when it was dark outside. When I was still living at home there were certain times that my family and I would do things such as sleep and eat. When I came off to college, my schedule was all thrown off. Which made me very exhausted. As the stubborn society that we are now, we eat when we are hungry, we work when we want to work, and we sleep whenever we want to sleep. The creation of artificial light has made this possible for us to do. The authors are telling us that not using our “internal mechanisms” will only hurt us in the long run.
Not having the required amount of sleep, is like not having enough food to eat. The authors describe it as “…a law of satisfaction. The attempt to circumvent this law will lead to impaired mental and physical performance” (147). Being dissatisfied with the amount of sleep you get every night can lead to many problems with your health. Recently physicians have figured out that one of the main causes of fatigue is sleep deprivation (149). “Sleep experts now believe that it is if fact sleep debt, and not alcohol use that is the leading cause of lethal auto accidents in the United States” (150). Knowing this fact should change people’s thoughts about how much sleep they get, yet being naturally stubborn human beings, we are going to go to sleep when there is nothing else to do. When the author presented these facts about how not sleeping enough cannot only affect yourself but the lives of other people when you drive while you are tired.
When people do not sleep enough, they tend to use stimulates to keep them awake longer than their body would naturally allow them to. Although these alternatives may help you when you need them the most, they can increase your risk of cancer, high blood pressure, and bone deterioration (149-150)....
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