“Without enough sleep, we all become tall two-year-olds.” ~ JoJo Jensen
(The following excerpt from The Mystery Of Sleep by Sarah Klein appeared on huffingtonpost.com on 10/27/13. To view it in its entirety click on the link below.)
We spend so much time asleep, there must be an important reason for it — or so the thinking goes. Sleep lies somewhere between bodily function and behavior — we need it, we can’t function without it, and yet we have some control over the circumstances in which it happens.
The curiosity surrounding sleep has inspired years of neurological study, led by researchers hoping to find the elusive “as-yet unidentified physiological or neural function that can’t be accomplished when animals are awake,” as UCLA sleep researcher Jerome Siegel called it in LiveScience in 2009.
More recently, University of Rochester Medical Center researchers discovered that a particular waste-flushing system in the brain is nearly 10 times more active when we’re asleep than while we’re awake, suggesting our brains need to “take out the trash” overnight.
This cleansing process may actually help explain sleep’s revitalizing powers, according to the researchers. “The restorative nature of sleep appears to be the result of the active clearance of the by-products of neural activity that accumulate during wakefulness,” Maiken Nedergaard, M.D., D.M.Sc., the co-director of the university’s Center for Translational Neuromedicine, said in a statement.
More than ever, society is accepting sleep as the pillar of all-around well-being science shows it to be. We may not totally understand it — yet — but there are some promising theories as to why we really to need sleep. Here are a few of the most predominant.
We may sleep to…
Minimize risk and maximize efficiency
Outsmart would-be predators
Repair and restore
Wake Up With More Energy
Many people feel tired in the morning not because they didn’t sleep enough but because they have low blood sugar. You can minimize this by consuming a tablespoon or two of unsweetened almond butter before you go to sleep. It’s a very simple way to stabilize your blood sugar. (I’ve tested this by having a continuous glucose monitor implanted in my side.) Right away, a lot of people will go from feeling groggy to feeling extremely alert when they wake up.
Double Your Reading Speed in Five Minutes
Write down a sentence, any sentence that has eight to 12 words and fills a single line on a page or screen. If you read it by starting your fixation on the first word of the line and ending on the last word, you’re wasting about 50 percent of your peripheral vision on margins. Instead, simply make your starting point two or three words in from the left side and your ending point two or three words in from the right side; you will double your reading speed. You can try this by underlining that portion of the sentence as a guide. You still see the edges of the text, but you’ve eliminated the margins.
Clear Your Inbox in Half the Time
The only consistent way to get to inbox zero is to respond to fewer emails, because each response breeds more email. For those you need to respond to, here are a few tools I find helpful.
The first is five.sentenc.es, which gives you a footer that says, “Why is this email five sentences or less?” and links to an explanation. There are different versions: four.sentenc.es, three.sentenc.es, etc., depending on how short you can actually make your emails. This excuses brevity; it absolves you of guilt.
Boomerang is an extension for Gmail. It allows you to do two things really well: The first is scheduling emails to be sent later, so you don’t leave stuff in your inbox and mark it as unread because you want to respond to it a week from now. Second, you can set a time for an email to boomerang to the top of your inbox if someone does not respond, so you don’t have to remember to follow up.
The last tool is emailga.me, which forces you to go through your email sequentially without an inbox view, with timers and other gamifications. It helps me get through email in 40 percent to 50 percent less time.
As told to Inc. editor-at-large Tom Foster.
First born…second…last…in between…or only child…your birth order makes a difference in why you are the way you are.
(The following excerpt from Birth Order And Personality by Jocelyn Voo recently appeared on parents.com. To view it in its entirety click on the link below.)
The Birth Order Effect
Meri Wallace, a child and family therapist for over 20 years and author of Birth Order Blues (Owl Books), agrees. “Some of it has to do with the way the parent relates to the child in his spot, and some of it actually happens because of the spot itself. Each spot has unique challenges,” she explains.
- Somewhat rebellious
- Thrives on friendships
- Has large social circle
- Mature for their age
Is Personality Fixed?
Fear not, supposedly manipulative, attention-hungry youngest children! Psychologists agree that personality is not fixed by birth order. “You can consciously make a choice [to change],” says therapist Wallace, who outlines three basic steps to becoming a new you:
Make a connection with your behavior and your position in the family hierarchy.
Identify how you feel because of it.
Deliberately change your behavior.