Tag Archives: Habit

Consequences Of Going Sleepless Even If You’re Not In Seattle*

Sleep. Ah, blessed, wonderful, energizing sleep. How I love you so.

And, yet, sleep is something I tend to try and avoid as much as possible. I’ll stay up as late as possible before heading to bed. Once there, I will sleep as little as I can possibly get away with before forcing myself awake and starting another sleep-deprived day.

Back in my day, when I worked at my first newspaper, my normal shift didn’t start until 10 am. Which meant I could stay up until 1 am, sleep eight hours and still be in on time to start work.

That was, and I use this word with complete certainty that it is the right word for the job, beautiful.

Of course, things changed and, for the most part, I started changing with them. I still remember the horror with which I faced the night before the first day of Sarcasmo’s high school. He had to catch a bus at 6:30 am, which meant we had to be up before 6 and getting ready to head out.

I hit the hay before 11 pm for the first time in a long, long time. And I never really did acclimate to the whole early-to-bed-early-to-rise thing. Benjamin Franklin was a great dude for the most part, but he had some serious issues when it came to sleep.

So, I tend to be on the lookout for information about sleep. I like to make sure that, when I sleep too little, I am at least sleeping deeply and getting the most restorative efforts for my time. So when I ran across this great infographic from my apparently new go-to magazine for post kickstarters, Popular Science, I knew I had to talk about it.

Should you stay up late bingewatching House of Cards, or finishing off that really big book? Probably not. And here's why.

 

I can’t be the only dude who sees things like chronic depression on there and starts getting nervous about his sleep habits, yeah?

Which means that, dudes, if you’re reading this at night, it might be time to sign off the old IntarTubules, brush your teeth, change into the comfy jammies and hit the sack. See if you can get a good night’s sleep for a change.

You never know. You might actually enjoy it.

Footnotes & Errata

* Wow, did that reference date me or what? Erm, I saw it on Netflix? Not in theaters? Yeah, that sounds good.

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Resolving To Take A Stand Against Resolutions. . . Wait

Don’t do it, dudes.

Seriously, don’t waste your time reviewing your life, targeting the clichéd elements like your weight, and making resolutions that — more than likely — you won’t actually keep.

Now, it’s not like we’re suggesting that you should just continue blindly on along the path for your life you set for yourself when you were 14. We agree that the unexamined life isn’t worth living.

You definitely should look at your life periodically, see if you are the sort of man you want to be. If you’re not there yet, then, by all means, make changes to get yourself there. There is always a difference between who we want to be and who we actually are. It’s the mark of a good dude, a good man or woman, that you actually chart a path to your goal and actually work to get there.

Wishing to be seen as a better person is no good unless you actually do your best to become that better person.

So, yes, definitely, take the occasional moral and behavioral inventory. Find those things that aren’t working and flush ’em. Find the parts that are working and build on their strengths.

Just don’t do it today, on New Year’s Day.

Resolutions have a nasty habit of being time-locked and reactionary. That is, what went wrong in the last little while before New Year’s Day? Then we tend to make resolutions that slightly address those issues and not the underlying causes that give rise to the events that are causing us to make resolutions.

For most people, looking back over the course of a year and remembering the things we did wrong or the things we did right, and why we did each of them, is an exercise in futility. Human memory is more fallible than we like to admit. We tend to remember the things with the most emotional weight attached to them, rather than those that are emotionally neutral. And even those things become embroidered over time.

We don’t remember what actually happened, but, rather, what we think happened. And there can be a vast gulf of difference between the two. Which means you might be making resolutions that are more worthless than normal.

Today is — most likely — a day off work. It’s a day for football and fun. Rather than spending too long in contemplation of sins past and entering the new year in a bad mood, or rushing through and slapping a few resolutions for change together, knowing full well you’re not going to keep them, just relax a bit today.

Instead, set aside a little time every three or four months to look back over your behavior during that time and make changes to your life that way. I’ve even got this stuck in my calendar. It pops up every three months, an alert reminding myself to look in a mirror for a while.

Resolve to be a better man or a better woman, but work for those changes over a shorter period of time. That way, you can keep up your enthusiasm for change and still be excited when you reach your goal, ready to start another.

Resolved: No resolutions today. Other than that one, of course.

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Diabetes Still A Pretty Hot Topic*

Diabetes is a rising scourge in our country. The incidence of diabetes has risen strikingly in the last few decades, becoming described as an epidemic.

With that in mind, I decided to step aside for yesterday and today to allow John Doe (yeah, really) who works with the Diabetes Care Community website, which is based out of our neighbor to the north, Canada, to talk a bit about the disease and look into why the incidence of it is rising so precipitously.

As we talked about yesterday, the main reason for this rise could have a lot to do with the culture of inactivity also creeping over our population here in the United States.

Take it away, John.

Much of the increased incidence of diabetes is due to type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease. It is often related to obesity and to low levels of physical activity.

 The rise in type 2 diabetes in North America is particularly high. Studies show that over the past three decades, blood glucose levels in the U.S. have risen at more than twice the rate of those in Western Europe.

 These figures may in part be due to the rising numbers of immigrants from high-risk populations. These include people of Asian, South Asian, Hispanic and African descent. Increased life expectancy may also play a part, since older people are more at risk of developing diabetes.

 However, numerous studies also point to the Western culture’s dietary habits and sedentary lifestyle as being a major contributor to the rise in type 2 diabetes. For example, reliance on heavily processed and fast foods, together with high consumption of sugary drinks, may contribute to the elevated blood glucose levels found in uncontrolled diabetics.

 The rise of type 2 diabetes in Native Indian communities is often said to support this theory. Although there is likely a genetic element behind this population’s high risk for the condition, some Native Indian groups have seen such a rapid rise in incidence since the 1940s that other factors are also believed to be at work. These include the move from the traditional diet to the much more heavily processed foods of the typical U.S. or Canadian diets.

 Diabetes is an expensive disease, in more ways than one. A recent research report put the current annual global sales of diabetes medications at around $35 billion. This amount can only rise.

 The cost of these medications, supplies and ongoing healthcare is placing a significant economic burden on individuals and governments alike. Until a cure is found, diabetes will inevitably remain a hot topic for us all.

Thanks, John and the Diabetes Care Community folks up in Canada.

If you dudes are interested in learning more about diabetes, it shouldn’t be all that hard. Try hitting up places like WebMD, or even the U.S. government.

Even if you don’t want to find out more, you can help little dudes and dudettes in your family fight off incipient type 2 diabetes. Get the little dudes outside more often, run them around. Basically get them up off the couch and out from in front of the television. And cut down on the fast foods.

See? Easy peasy.

 

*Just so you know, right here and right now? This is the only way I’m going to acknowledge what anniversary falls on this date. Focusing on the horror only feeds the cause of the idiots who did it. We’ve mourned the dead, now it’s time to live up to our ideals. BTW, this little bit here was only me and does not come from John Doe or the Diabetes Care Community.


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