Sophie Haigney at The Baffler:
We really are sleeping less. As Crary writes, in the early twentieth century, adults slept an unthinkable ten hours every night on average. A generation ago, people were tucking in for eight hours. Today, the average North American adult sleeps a paltry six-and-a-half hours every night. This is often blamed on our devices, which do play a major role. But Crary argues that, interrelatedly, the forces of twenty-first-century capitalism have shown an obsessive enthusiasm for destroying sleep.
Sleep, he argues, is a last frontier, something that unlike every other strand of modern life has not yet been commodified. This is because sleep is perfectly pointless and therefore useless. “The stunning, inconceivable reality is that nothing of value can be extracted from it,” Crary writes.