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“The Rise of Physical and Mental Exhaustion”

Book Review: Stolen Focus by Johann Hari

This amazing book was first published in 2022 and I can promise you that if you are able to read and absorb the content you will regard the world through renewed eyes.

The book explores how devices are swamping our waking hours with a constant bombardment of stimuli, sensations, in many cases snippets of information that have little or no relevance to our lives, providing hundreds of distractions and interruptions that disturb our real life. The constant barrage invades the work our brain/ mind is trying to do and often diverts our thoughts to tackle multiple issues rather than focusing on the issue at hand.

One particular aspect of the book will resonate with so many of us and that is the content about sleep. Once upon time sleep was considered a passive activity that had little function. Research is now telling a very different story.

The purpose of sleep and the activity in the brain during sleep is critical to our health and the important dream phase doesn’t really occur till we have been sleeping for approximately 7 hours.

Even more interesting is that if devices can distract us to the extent that we have less and less sleep, we are awake a lot longer to be able to take advantage of online purchases. We can be targetted for all those extra non-sleep hours week in, week out, and this is a big plus for the people worldwide who want to sell us something. In fact it is a critical factor for big business internationally.

I encourage you to tackle this book. It is available in written form and as an audiobook.

Victoria Gill

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