Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sleep is a Wonderful Thing

Image courtesy of
Witthaya Phonsawat
Whenever I read about some super-charger who prides themselves on sleeping only 3 hours a night, I assume they are bat-shit crazy and that I wouldn’t like them – or like to be them, no matter how much money they make.

Still, it can be difficult to get enough.

One problem is all the interesting stuff around to keep you up. I have never been as well-rested as I was in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, when we were without power for two weeks. Even my kids, who told me about a billion times that they might die if they didn’t get internet access soon, now look back on the period with fondness.

Another problem is common with many afflictions: the affliction itself keeps you from solving it. The last thing an addict wants to do is quit taking the drug. An anxious person gets caught up in worry at the thought of making an appointment with a therapist. And sleep-deprived people (at least this person, when sleep-deprived) can’t get it together to go to bed on time – because they are tired. It’s the very definition of a vicious cycle.

A couple of things that work:

Power Nap. Didn’t sleep enough last night? Feel overwhelmed? Irritable? Is all your effort going into making yourself concentrate and nothing is getting done? Don’t press your nose to the grindstone even harder. Make yourself comfortable, set a timer for 15-30 minutes and nap.

Set An Alarm. I read this bit of genius here. Set this alarm, not to wake up, but to go to sleep. Set it in the evening for 20-30 minutes before your ideal bedtime. When the alarm goes off, get to bed.

It is astonishing what a difference some shut-eye can make.

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