Monday, August 18, 2008

Efficient Sleep

This weekend I read through an interesting 54 page ebook about sleep (40 Sleep Hacks: A Geek’s Guide to Optimizing Sleep). While I have trained myself to wake up at mostly the same time everyday (Bit of Advice #1) I live with someone who still likes to “sleep in” on the weekends (even though he is the one who introduced me to Sleep Hacks, he continues to ignore this bit of advice). Discussing the effects of circadian rhythm, diet, psychology, lucid dreaming and concentrating on different techniques and gadgets of sleep, the guide offers some pretty good food for thought (or sleep as the case may be). I think the phases of sleep and their effects on the waking state warrants more of my attention. Personally, Section III on napping appealed to me most and I recommend it highly (napping, not necessarily Section III).

What was very unsatisfying about the guide is that it absolutely cannot apply to mothers of young children – you know who you are: the woman who still needs to keep her ears tuned-in despite her exhaustion, the one who hears a Cindy Lou sized “hic” and wonders whether or not something horrid has happened to her child. Mothers of infants are obviously excluded. Hell, if you’ve ever been asleep and heard a sound emanating from one of your teenagers that could possibly indicate they are sick or in pain, you know there is no age limit at which your rest is guaranteed! My sleep hack addition: it’s best just to get the offspring out of the house as soon as possible.

Many of the real suggestions can’t be used if you have a regular work-a-day life. Finally, the book suggests using meditation, white noise, and new age music to help you fall asleep. Not only do I not need these things to fall asleep, but I also find them icky. Heck, it’s free.

Here is a scientific article about molecular level clocks which I thought was fascinating (from GeekPress). I don’t think I have Familial Advanced Sleep Phase Syndrome as I can mostly stay awake in the evenings, but at some point all this sleep research is going to help make my sleeping hours more efficient. In the meantime, I think a clock that runs away from my husband while he attempts to hit the snooze button for the 9th time might just be a perfect addition to my family.


Self testing fun: 100 Common Words (from NoodleFood)

More fun with the periodic table.


Christina said...

I've never, ever been able to meditate, though I have read a book about the process (of course), and new age music brings back memories of me in my twenties, wearing Birks and working in a natural food store. Yes, I was a Fippy (a fake hippy). Don't like that music or most of the memories anymore. Though I do confess to using a white noise machine (on the white noise setting--the ocean and rainforest settings drive me crazy). As one of those mothers with small ones you mentioned, I should be asleep now. Zzzzzzzzzz.

Lynne said...

"Fippy", that's funny.

I actually like the environmental noise machine thingies (otherwise, how would I know what it sounds like outside)especially if you can add a real waterfall! I think they're fun, but I wouldn't want to develop a dependency on falling asleep to one.