Thursday, March 29, 2007

just sleep this time

I've been reading a book about sleep:



I used to think that sleepiness increased linearly with number of hours awake. If you feel sleepy at 9pm, you must surely be even more sleepy at 1am! Not so, says the book. Our bodies release biological alertness hormones twice a day. If I miss the 10pm sleepiness train, I will not be tired again until 2:30am.

I also learned that exposing your body to light will make you stay awake longer. Even shining a bright light on the back of your knee will confuse your body's clock and make you less sleepy.

This book has answered many of the ignorance-induced frustrations from my sleep-postponement habit. Thank you, book.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

I guess thos all-nighters in college didn't require No-Doz. I just needed a flashlight. College students rejoice!

Sweet Dreams said...

Stanford has a really good sleep clinic, I went to about ten different 2 hour classes.

Each class taught different aspects of the sleep process.

I simply found that I just do not fit the sleep patterns demanded by societal norms in the present day.

Learning so many useful things relieved some anexity about not knowing why things happen.

Food, drink, temperature, light, TV, when to exercise, core temperature... Work / life stress.

I've read books before but keeping a log of your own habits and comparing it with their data and feedback was incredible.

You can also hook a monitor up to you while you rest to see how you do actually sleep. It's not what you may percieve.

My day time awareness and ability to focus went up dramatically. I think about what I learned there daily and the class was years ago.

It was one of the must real life useful classes that I have ever taken. Well worth the time.

Also Dr. / Professor Tracy Kuo is hot.

Anonymous said...

I notice that I gain weight if I don't sleep regularly and less then 8 hours per day.

nina said...

I'm reading this book now too and enjoying it a lot, even if it does make me want to go to sleep all the time. You didn't mention to me that it was written by one of the founders of the Stanford sleep clinic!

collembola said...

Not sure if it would help you, but I find that emptying the contents of my head into a set of (private) lists or journals at night helps me feel that everything has been accounted for, so I can let go and gradually drift off.

minya said...

but i saw you online really late yesterday...

Pquirolific Programmer said...

I've learned that to go to sleep quickly, a glass of wine followed by laying me head down on a pillow helps immensely. For a better sleep, I eat a banana just before going to sleep, before the wine. Let me know if anyone tries this method and how it works out for you.

Me said...

Alcohol while it helps you fall asleep initially will wake you up when your body actualy starts to process it. Lots of chemical activity stimulates you awake senses.

Unless you really drink until you pass out...But that is a different story.

Alcohol is never a good sleeping agent no matter what grandpa told you.

KE Liew said...

I find that usually, a person who's always tense, stress, and constantly working or thinking will have difficulty in sleeping early or have a good sleep.

The only way that worked for me at least, was to take time outs here and there and take it easy. It's not life to not have fun and relax IMHO.

Philipp Lenssen said...

> Not sure if it would help
> you, but I find that emptying
> the contents of my head into a
> set of (private) lists

I sometimes have pen and paper next to bed so I don't have to get up if new ideas come to mind when you are starting to doze off. Mostly only happens during the creation of new websites etc. :)

I consider sleep a vital part of the creative process! Sometimes during daylight you'll find yourself just hypnotically implementing whatever you came up with during your dreams.

What can harm sleep though is office work, because you come home feeling like you ought to start that second part of your day called "sparetime", when actually the day's pretty much over already. And then you're in that half state between wanting to start something and having no energy left to actually do it. Oh well, I quit my job 1 1/2 years ago and I'm now working on my own schedule :)

PS: Sport before sleep can also be good to get sleepy :)

angelo wang said...

我想,每个人的生物钟是不相同的。我如果夜晚十点不睡觉的话也是非常困的,直到凌晨一点后才不困了!

:-) said...

Sports or working out before sleep is not a good way to get ready for bed because it raises your core temperature.

The core temperature must lower to effectively fall asleep quickly.

Anonymous said...

Took you a while to get to this book. :)

Anonymous said...

巧用食物治失眠


小米:性微寒,有“健胃、和脾、安眠”之功效。小米中含有丰富的色氨酸,色氨酸能促进大脑神经细胞分泌出一种五羟色胺,使大脑思维活动受到暂时抑制,使人产生困倦感。

苹果:含有果糖、苹果酸以及浓郁的芳香味,可诱发机体产生一系列反应,生成血清素。晚上吃点苹果有助您进入梦乡。

莲子:莲肉味涩性平,莲心味苦性寒,均有养生安神之功效。莲子含有莲心碱、芸香甙等成分,具有镇静作用。可将莲子用水煎,加盐或加白糖食用。

葵花子:含多种氨基酸和维生素,可调节脑细胞的新陈代谢,改善脑细胞抑制机能。睡前磕一些葵花子,可以促进消化液的分泌,有利于消食化滞、镇静安神、促进睡眠。核桃:味甘性温,是一种很好的滋补营养食物,能治疗神经衰弱、健忘、失眠、多梦。取粳米、核桃仁、黑芝麻,慢火煨成稀粥,用白糖调食。

红枣:性温、味甘、色赤、肉润,具有补五脏、益脾胃、养血安神之功效,对气血虚弱引起的多梦、失眠、精神恍惚有显著疗效。取红枣去核加水煮烂,加冰糖、阿胶文火煨成膏,睡前食1-2调羹。蜂蜜:具有补中益气、安五脏、和百药、解百毒之功效,对失眠患者疗效显著。每晚睡前将蜂蜜用温开水冲调饮用。牛奶:睡前喝1杯,可催人入睡,对老年人尤为适合。

Stephen Jones said...

Hi, this thread was useful. My tip? Well, no coffee after 11am :) Regards, SJ, http://www.accjobs.com

Anonymous said...

I think this is in line with journal wrecking/living out loud...i'm going to do it.

sleeping said...

Thank you for some interesting body clock information. I'll try with back knee light:)