Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Sleep

Last night I tried to stay on top of my "sleep hygiene," namely turning off screens and going to bed on time with an appropriate amount of winding down time. While I didn't execute it perfectly, I did get seven and a half hours of some of the most blissful sleep I've gotten in a while. That makes for a good day all around. I have already banged out a workout and I'll do another one at lunch. Plus, my mood is so much better automatically. When I think of how chronically under rested we Americans are (and maybe all of us modern people - my sleep app shows that a lot of countries get even crappier sleep), it's pretty amazing we can get anything done.

Now, I will say that I think we want to avoid a slavish devotion to doing the same thing all the time. While generally getting a good nights sleep is good -and when you're in your late 40's, it's a freaking blessing every time it happens- I also think that we need to break patterns every now and again to give our body new and slight stress to compensate for. So, every now and again, I try to experiment with staying up late and getting up on time, staying out all night doing something moderately exciting like doing that ride along with APD or something else that messes with that pattern. Then watching as the body compensates. 

I still avoid doing anything too tricky on days with minimal sleep as my reaction times and my frustration thresholds are pretty lousy on those days. Rather on those days, I try to do moderate exercise, like long walks with exposure to lots of sun to help the brain and body compensate. Your mileage may vary, but just like eating and exercise, occasionally mixing it up is probably good for you as long as you take precautions against injury or stupid errors. I remember once being so tired that I dozed off while being stuck in traffic on Mopac (the busy Austin highway), which absolutely scared the bejeezus out of me. Don't do that.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Listening

In keeping with my alarmist postings about people being "checked out," I am thinking about the lack of good listening that goes on in my world. Probably yours too. How many times do you feel like someone is just keeping quiet while you are talking, waiting for the chance to insert what they were going to say, regardless of your point? How many times have you done this, if you're being honest with yourself? I'm a major offender myself. Oftentimes, I've thought up something witty and likely very relevant...to what was said five minutes earlier.

This week, along with practicing good sleep hygiene (damn you, Words with Friends!), I'm going to practice listening more and talking less. The challenge I have right now is that we're all competing for airtime and people are so used to being interrupted that they talk and talk and talk if no one busts in. My experiment will be to see how long it takes for someone to finish what they have to say and then hold my tongue for a few seconds more.