Evocative, viral poems written by a teenager, walking the walk to being a happier person and “For crying out loud people! Start paying more attention to your sleep!”…all in this episode of the Reading List.
You’ll like this one. Clever. Captivating. Thought provoking.
As Sammy writes…
What really gets us about these poems is that they signify how important perspective really is — not only from a reading standpoint, but in life. Bad days can make us feel like life is hopeless, but flip a situation on its head, and you can see the light.
Melissa reminds us to “fake it till you feel it” and she couldn’t be more right.
Add this one to the growing list of studies on embodiment, the idea that you can change your mood simply by changing your posture. Harvard social psychologist Amy Cuddy found that if you stand like a powerful person would, with your chest puffed out and your hands on your hips, you’ll feel more powerful; she calls this “power posing” and has hinted at preliminary research that suggests this even works in your sleep.
Likewise, a famous study in the 1980s showed that if you hold a pen between your lips, it activates the muscles you use to smile, which seems to actually put you in a better mood, as if you were smiling spontaneously. My high school swim coach used to tell us to fake it till you feel it; science as of late seems to be suggesting that she had a point.
And yes, I am sitting here with a pen between my lips.
My wife makes fun of me for quantifying my sleep every night. In a dark room, right after lights out, you’ll see a soft glow emitting from my wrist as I tell my Apple Watch I’m going to sleep.
Laugh all you want, but I can look back and see that my All Time Average for total sleep is 8 hours and 3 minutes. This week I’m below my average at 7 hours and 48 minutes, but I’m still doing okay.
I could also let you know the mean, mode, minimum and maximum of my heartbeat while I am sleeping, but that would be a little much. Even for me.
The important part is, if life is getting the best of you, get more sleep. Track it. Study it. Improve it. Sleep does way more for you than you can imagine.
We know that not getting enough sleep can lead to terrible side effects, and yet the average American sleeps less than the minimum recommended seven hours a night. We assume that our own personal “normal” lack of sleep couldn’t be having that much of an effect.
Unfortunately, this assumption is flat-out wrong, according to multiple sleep scientists Konnikova spoke with.
As she writes:
If you sleep six hours a night for twelve days, [Harvard neurologist and sleep medicine physician Josna] Adusumilli says — and that’s about how much many Americans sleep all year round — your cognitive and physical performance becomes virtually indistinguishable from that of someone who has been awake for twenty-four hours straight. (The same effect is produced by six days of four-hour nights.) And the performance of someone who has been awake for twenty-four hours straight is similar to that of someone with a blood alcohol level of 0.1 per cent. In other words, “normal” amounts of sleep deprivation have us acting like we’re drunk.
Just over 30% of Americans sleep less than six hours a night, enough to mean that one-third of the population is suffering from serous sleep deprivation.
Let’s get some sleep people so we can all be a little less grumpy.
Why a Reading List? I do a lot of RSS reading and I am constantly finding articles which are informative, entertaining and applicable to my private practice. Instead of hoarding this information to myself, I’ve decided to begin sharing the articles and pull quotes on a regular basis.
If you’d like to see more of what I read simply follow my curated Mind Soak Magazine: