Recently a team of sleep researchers made a major announcement: they can't sleep either--and they don't know why. All they know is that sleeping pills don't work--and psychotherapy works best. It's a surprising finding, but that's what the radio said they said.
It's always nice when people can admit they don't know why something is so, but when a sleep research team shrugs that easily it makes you wonder if they're getting enough. We know there's a link between sound judgement and sound sleep. And there's not much difference between a sleepwalker and an unsleepingwalker. They both amble through smeared landscapes where the obvious stuff blends in with the background. It's what causes drivers to miss stop signs, doctors to amputate the wrong legs, researchers to draw inconclusive conclusions--and publish them.
What matters in a study like this is not what's in the study but how the headline reads. In the case, the headline is: Psychotherapy works, sleeping pills don't.
My own recent experience indicates this is bullshit. I just awoke from 20 hours of sleep after taking a Vicodin the size of a Volkswagon that a co-worker gave me after I complained of a backache and an inability to sleep. "Here," she said, "Take this. " That was the extent of her psychotherapy. One a day would take years off me.
So I return to the study regarding the efficacy of this undescribed "psychotherapy" with renewed interest, and I wonder who paid for it, because all studies are paid for by someone, and all someones have a vested interest of some type. Scientific studies often begin as marketing studies. Marketing experts, who are by nature liars, have no credibility, so they buy it from scientists, nerds, unswervingly devoted to factual accuracy and naive to the motives of the marketers, who lie and lie again, right up until they're trapped in a corner, at which point they lie and lie again.
Let's say, for example, that an association of recreational facilities, gyms, spas and so forth, learns from a marketing study that sales will continue to plummet unless the industry reinvents itself. Aerobics seem so 20th century; they need a new angle. They want to go after the "whole person," 24/7. They want them when they sleep. Somebody says yeah. Insomnia's on the rise, they surmise in advance, a no-brainer and a head-nodder throughout every age of man. Ask anyone on the street if they sometimes have trouble falling asleep and their answer will be yes. Snap your fingers, you've got an epidemic on your hands. If you can get your scientists to compare certain sleeping pills to certain sleep therapies, you can make a broad statement in any hue desired. Soon everybody knows therapy works better than pills--but nobody knows which therapy. Yet. This is an excellent time to create a new industry.
Hmm. I envision a Bally after hours... ...deep mood lighting, good use of large shadows... atmosphere of peace and people paying good money for it in presleep classes, massages and mediations, concoctions and confections from overpriced concessions... hitech sleeping tubes, doubles available.... free pheronomes, smell of sex implicit... late-night bio feedback... a rendevous in a pit like an egg filled with nesting material...
I see credit cards with plenty of room left at the desk for add-ons, discreetly codified on the bill. I see money where there was no money before, wealth for the few, poverty for the many, who come to believe that sleep--real sleep--can't be had by just anybody. It takes money and expertise.
If you thought I was going to tell you how to fall asleep--for free--you're not living in this century yet.