Monday, November 5, 2012

Rethinking Sleep? Yeah. Good for you.

You want to know what I want to know? I want to know why some people's opinions are published in the New York Times. I mean, really. Who are these opinion people and why should I care? We all have opinions, and Urban Mommy has more than most.

For example, today I start reading this opinion piece called Rethinking Sleep:

SOMETIME in the dark stretch of the night it happens. Perhaps it’s the chime of an incoming text message. Or your iPhone screen lights up to alert you to a new e-mail. Or you find yourself staring at the ceiling, replaying the day in your head. 

OR YOUR KIDS WAKE YOUR ASS UP! Clearly, this guy does not have children, or his partner took care of all the night wakings, or he took care of so  many night wakings, he forgot major chunks of his life. It happens, I'm here to tell you. But, whatever, I read on. Evidently, I'm not alone when it comes to sleep deprivation. One third of adults get six or fewer hours of sleep a night and that shouldn't be a problem because fictional characters in the "Canterbury Tales" had a 'firste' and a second sleep. Okay, I admit. I simplified the argument--but, really, I'm WAY too tired to write it all out. I love fictional characters. If I don't, I just shut the book.

Anyway. Basically, what this opinion piece says is that the eight-hour sleep is way overrated, in fact:

a number of recent studies suggest that any deep sleep — whether in an eight-hour block or a 30-minute nap — primes our brains to function at a higher level, letting us come up with better ideas, find solutions to puzzles more quickly, identify patterns faster and recall information more accurately. 

Evidently, employees at places like Google are "offered the chance to nap at work" and there is, in general an "increased workplace tolerance for napping." Who knew? I keep looking through the cited studies for one on new moms and dads, but I guess we're all thinking so clearly no one bothered to take a closer look at the alternative sleep pattern IN ACTION. 

Now, what was I talking about?

I did make it to the end and discovered David K. Randall has a book called  “Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep.” I just might have to get this one. Looks fascinating, and that pillow on the cover? Oh la la.

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