Tired all the Time?

n1GONSOI have had various tests for TATT, but mostly the conclusion is it’s lifestyle – and about how much am doing things that re-energise/am passionate about. With the help of a coach and a counsellor I am making various changes – might blog on those one day – but wanted to remind myself of this excellent piece I saw in Time Magazine – headlines are:

  1. You skip exercise when you’re tired
  2. You don’t drink enough water
  3. You’re not consuming enough iron
  4. You’re a perfectionist
  5. You make mountains out of molehills
  6. You skip breakfast
  7. You live on junk food
  8. You have trouble saying ‘no’
  9. You have a messy office
  10. You work through vacation
  11. You have a glass of wine (or two) before bed
  12. You check e-mails at bedtime
  13. You rely on caffeine to get through the day
  14. You stay up late on weekends

NEW STORY: Over half of Britons are sleep deprived #mobiledevicestoblame?

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Just reading this story in the Huffington Post:

Over half of Britons are sleep deprived new research has revealed, and computers, tablets and smartphones are partly to blame.

A survey indicates that more than 28 million people in the UK – almost six in ten of the population – are regularly getting no more than seven hours sleep a night.

It also shows that 78% of Britons are exposed to sleep-disruptive blue light from computer devices before going to bed.

Among 18 to 24-year-olds included in the 2,149 adults questioned, this figure rose to an astonishing 91%.

I’ve just spoken to Real Radio, so tomorrow from around 6am, I’ll appear on news bulletins responding to this story – along with Smooth and Capital radio.

#AdventBookClub: Day 12: Light, Faith and ‘Being’

I_am_the_Light_of_the_World

I’ve seen lots of discussion on Twitter recently re the colour of Advent candles, what that means, and whether it really matters if you don’t have the right colours (the general gist I seemed to agree with was is that the light itself is more important than the colour it’s dressed in!). Ron Glusenkamp encourages us to think of those serving as Light to people in very dark places on earth .. however you define those – every sphere of life needs light, right?

Sometimes we (well, definitely me) spends so long trying to do things, I haven’t got the energy to be and to simply absorb the light… which is what Maggi is encouraging as she continues to draw on Elijah’s example. We talk about finding time (days/weekends) for retreat and that God will then speak to us, and about having greater faith to be able to do  more – but listen:

Is God so small that he cannot act, or so mean that he will not, unless I pray in just the right way or have the right amount of faith?

Often we think if we work that little bit harder, do a little bit more, more will happen .. No – sit quietly next to the candle, and:

Eat, drink, sleep. Don’t forget that you are a body as well as a soul. The still, small voice is hard to hear when your body is exhausted and you are sleep-deprived. Increased your chances of hearing that voice by looking after yourself – body and soul!

I’ve been trying to slow down, although ironically that’s going very slowly … but I have decluttered much, and started to create small spaces to enjoy cooking new meals, hanging out with people, and just losing myself in a book (and no, format doesn’t matter – sometimes paper/sometimes Kindle!) – and Pam reminds us that sometimes it’s OK to just run away for some restoration time…!

Having woken up feeling a bit like I’m bouncing along the bottom today … it’s good to have a further reminder from Brian Draper that Jesus didn’t use his time at The Last Supper to debate elegant philosophies, but for friendship and eating together – a time of refreshment before the hard times that he knew were ahead. Brian encourages us to ‘do something physical’ – to be aware of our bodies and our surroundings … just walking into work gives me that each morning … I may ‘swear’ at the hill, but maybe, just maybe it helps set me up for the day!

Sleep Cycle #iPhone app

Why Sleep Cycle?
For years I have complained of being tired, and have had all kinds of tests… but I think the general conclusion is that I just enjoying living life to the full too much, and consequently do too much (and I work best late at night too… why is culture built around morning larks rather than night owls)!! Recently, however, I have been waking up knowing that I have had a lot of disturbing dreams, feeling less refreshed than ever, and falling asleep in the middle of the day. Many years ago I stopped trying to get to sleep if my eyes weren’t closing on their own – either picking up a book, or watching a film I already know (or now, iPlayer, in the knowledge that I can finish watching the next day). Last night I went to bed at 1.15am, watched Casualty, and started watching John Bishop’s Britain… I had already set my phone alarm… and it looks like it woke me just as I’d slipped into the second super-deep sleep of the night…

The App
The app, which was only 59p, was recommended to me by a friend who had tried it for several nights. You need to be able to leave your phone plugged in all night, otherwise I suspect it sucks all that wonderful iPhone battery life… The app uses the iPhone accelerometer (used to sense orientation, acceleration, vibration shock, and falling) to monitor movement during sleep. The more you move, the lighter the sleep phase that you are in. As I already had the phone alarm set, I didn’t really test the claims of the phone that the best use of this phone is to set the alarm, and the app will sense which is the lightest part of your sleep pattern within a half-hour window around the alarm time, and wake you up, allowing you to feel more refreshed/less tired during the day…  maybe one to try tonight…  The phone keeps a record of all your statistics.. maybe one to take to your GP to discuss… Note: Don’t put the phone under your pillow, not good for the phone or the accuracy of the app.

“Scientific” Review

“Actigraphy is the science of recording motion patterns during sleep. It is generally considered a more accurate means of monitoring sleeping patterns than a sleep journal or devices that can only record in short time frames, but not as useful as polysomnography, which encompasses the use of an EEG. For instance, it is very useful in collecting the night-to-night sleep patterns of patients diagnosed with insomnia or disorders with their circadian rhythms.

So in trying this app out, the graph is a little misleading. Since no motion occurs during REM sleep, the part of the graph that says “dreaming” is a misnomer. Perhaps a better term would be “wakefulness”. However, “deep sleep” works okay for the lower portion, but keep in mind that REM is when we are dreaming the most, and true “deep sleep” occurs in the latter two stages of Non-REM. More motion likely means you are not in REM, but for deep sleep you could easily be moving or not. The app builds on ideas that actigraphy utilizes, which is a good test for basic sleep cycle pattern testing, but should be used for novelty purposes only and to get a GENERAL idea of how you tend to sleep. The fact is, you could lay still during Non-REM just as you do in REM, so if you are truly having sleep issues, polysomnograph performed at a sleep clinic is the way to go.” (Review by a physiology instructor)