We’re told that getting 8 unbroken hours of sleep will protect us from cancer and dementia, and make us happier. The Guardian asks: Are we being sold an impossible dream?
Sleep is not only presented as a problem solved, but as the road to one’s own personal salvation. While spas and wellness centres were once the destination where privileged people were supposed to go to find peace, it is now sleep itself that is marketed as one’s own individual retreat. Sleep-help books promise a nurturing rest if we follow their instructions, yet these almost always turn out to be well known or obvious behavioural tips that could be gleaned from the internet in a matter of seconds.