By Curt Devlin
It is easy to forget just how essential sleep is to health and happiness; until of course, you yourself have been deprived of it for a night or two. Firsthand experience of sleep deprivation, even for a few days, is a powerful reminder of how mentally and physically debilitating it is. Even the ongoing disruption or restriction of sleep for a relatively short period of time can have devastating health consequences. Medical research has clearly shown that sleep is essential to human health and wellbeing. Prolonged sleep deprivation has been linked to memory loss, hallucination, weakened resistance to pain, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, impaired immune response, extreme anxiety, stress, clinical depression, and suicide. In the most extreme cases, animal experimentation suggests that lack of sleep can kill you.
Sleep deprivation has long been recognized as torture by the Geneva Conventions of 1949, the United Nations Convention against Torture (CAT), and the United States War Crimes Act. Depriving someone of proper sleep is torture, regardless of whether it is perpetrated by the CIA against suspected terrorists, OR by reckless planning authorities who permit the wind industry to site industrial-scale wind turbines in residential neighborhoods, or by noise pollution regulatory authorities and health authorities who ignore consistent reports of sleep deprivation from neighboring residents. When authorities deem developments “compliant” with regulations, or wind developers effect specious mitigations; they are inflicting torture. They are violating fundamental human rights.
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