Are Children's Sleep Problems Caused by Today's Culture?

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Joined: 21 Oct 2013
Age: 31
Gender: Female
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Location: Surrounded by water

03 Apr 2015, 7:03 am

Ettina wrote:

Reminds me of something my parents told me - apparently, when I was little, I'd wake them up at 4 am in summertime saying "sun's up, it's time to wake-up-a-morning".

Apparently I was extremely cute.

I love this. :mrgreen:

"There once was a little molecule who dreamed of being part of the crest of a high wave..."
(From the story 'The Little Molecule' - Amazon Kindle, 2013)


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Joined: 7 Mar 2005
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Location: United States

21 May 2015, 11:46 am

I realize this is a necro-post, but I found an article that's an exact match of what I was talking about. ... t-bedtime/

Putting a child to sleep alone in a dark, cavernous room is equivalent in terms of evolution to leaving him alone in a forest full of predators wandering around: wolves in temperate regions, and big cats in tropical regions. When danger like that looms in the dark, leaving a child to sleep by himself would be certain death. The monsters in the closet and under the bed are the 2015 equivalents of those predatory animals. So when children protest bedtime, they're literally fighting for their lives. A stuffed animal as protector? It's an inanimate object! I'd like to see how good a job it would do 20,000 years ago, and the child knows that.

Don't forget that humans didn't become apex predators---and by extension, safe from animal attacks---until firearms were invented. Which means that almost every non-herbivore animal was a source of danger. Darkness itself was dangerous, because it hid those same predators, effectively preventing humans from seeing them quickly and escaping in time. The predators, by contrast, had perfect night vision and could see humans (their food source) very quickly and easily. For an empathy-inducing insight, read the description of the Eloi and the Morlocks in "Time Machine" by H. G. Wells. (The movie is no good; read the book.)

Adults can override their evolutionary instincts with knowledge and life experience. (But not in terms of sexual selection, which I'll leave to the Love and Dating forum to discuss. :P ) Children have none of that, causing them to fall back on the 20,000-year-old evolutionary instincts. Unfortunately, most Western cultures ignore this fact.

Even then, there is no mutually beneficial solution. After all, with humans having sex for pleasure and not just for reproduction, parents need their privacy at night, especially from children. But without countless other adults to keep watch while the parents do their *cough* *cough* *nudge* *nudge*, there is no real solution except leaving a child exposed to proverbial wolves and big cats.