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jerryking : circadian_rhythms   8

Waking Up at 4 A.M. Every Day Is the Key to Success. Or to Getting a Cold.
June 5, 2019 | The New York Times | By Adam Popescu.

Is the key to success emulating high-profile achievers who are hacking their bodies to increase productivity? Even if capitalism favors early wake-up times, at least as a badge of honor, there is no data that shows that successful people get less sleep...... this early-rising trend propagated by entertainers and entrepreneurs is deeply troubling. And while some people seem to need less sleep than others, we can’t game our body clocks.......In 1999, researchers at the University of Chicago monitored a group who slept only four hours a night — a common amount for those who wake up very early — for six days in a row. That group quickly developed higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, higher blood pressure and produced half the usual amount of antibodies to a flu vaccine........When we delay or speed up our internal body clock, it can have the same consequences as not getting enough sleep, a phenomenon known as advanced sleep-wake phase disorder.......Missing even two hours here, an hour there, then having a wildly different sleep pattern over the weekend, is the gateway drug to chronic sleep deprivation. Fatigue, irritability and overall mental confusion are the dangers and symptoms of such deprivation....In 2008, professors at the University of Chicago, including Eve Van Cauter, the director of the Sleep, Metabolism and Health Center, found a link between sleep loss and an increased risk for obesity and diabetes. A decade later, the university advanced those studies to find that chronic sleep loss can increase the amount of free fatty acids in the blood.

That means a metabolism disruption that reduces the body’s ability to use insulin to regulate blood sugar.
antibodies  blood_pressure  circadian_rhythms  diabetes  early_risers  high-achieving  immune_system  metabolism  overachievers  self-care  sleep 
june 2019 by jerryking
Productivity Isn’t About Time Management. It’s About Attention Management.
March 28, 2019| The New York Times | By Adam Grant.

The better option is attention management: Prioritize the people and projects that matter, and it won’t matter how long anything takes.

Attention management is the art of focusing on getting things done for the right reasons, in the right places and at the right moments........E.B. White once wrote: “I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve (or save) the world and a desire to enjoy (or savor) the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” But in my research, I’ve found that productive people don’t agonize about which desire to pursue. They go after both simultaneously, gravitating toward projects that are personally interesting and socially meaningful........instead of focusing on how quickly I wanted to finish this article, I asked why I agreed to write it in the first place: I might learn something new when synthesizing the research; I’d finally have somewhere to point people when they ask about productivity; and it might help some of those people......productivity struggles are caused not by a lack of efficiency, but a lack of motivation. Productivity isn’t a virtue. It’s a means to an end. It’s only virtuous if the end is worthy. If productivity is your goal, you have to rely on willpower to push yourself to get a task done. If you pay attention to why you’re excited about the project and who will benefit from it, you’ll be naturally pulled into it by intrinsic motivation.

But how do I stay on task if I’m not worried about time?
Attention management also involves noticing where you get things done.....a series of studies led by Julia Lee (now at Michigan) show that bad weather is good for productivity because we’re less likely to be distracted by the thought of going outside....My favorite part of attention management is the when. Most of our productivity challenges are with tasks that we don’t want to do but that we need to do. ....there's something called attention residue: Your mind keeps wandering back to the interesting task, disrupting your focus on the boring task. ...if you’re trying to power through a boring task, do it after a moderately interesting one, and save your most exciting task as a reward for afterward. It’s not about time; it’s about timing.

Of makers and managers
If the goal is not just to be more productive — but also to be creative, then the stumbling block is that productivity and creativity demand opposite attention management strategies. Productivity is fueled by raising attentional filters to keep unrelated or distracting thoughts out. But creativity is fueled by lowering attentional filters to let those thoughts in.

How do you get the best of both worlds? In his book “When,” Dan Pink cites your circadian rhythm as help to schedule the right time to do your productive and creative work. If you’re a morning person, do your analytical work early when you’re at peak alertness; your routine tasks around lunchtime in your trough; and your creative work in the late afternoon or evening when you’re more likely to do nonlinear thinking. If you’re more of a night owl, you might be better off flipping creative projects to your fuzzy mornings and analytical tasks to your clearest-eyed late afternoon and evening moments. It’s not time management, because you might spend the same amount of time on the tasks even after you rearrange your schedule. It’s attention management: You’re noticing the order of tasks that works for you and adjusting accordingly
Adam_Grant  attention  attention_spans  circadian_rhythms  creativity  Dan_Pink  filtering  intrinsically_motivated  motivations  priorities  productivity  sequencing  time-management  timing  willpower 
march 2019 by jerryking
Nabokov, Ozil and the uses of insomnia
FEBRUARY 9, 2018 | FT | Janan Ganesh.

Why We Sleep, by Matthew Walker, a professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley.

The plain title belies a harrowing study of sleeplessness, which Walker persuasively links to cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, mental health problems and immune deficiencies....Doctors have agreed for some time on the physical penalties of inadequate sleep, a threshold they set at seven hours or less per night.....Apparently, whether you are a “morning lark” or a “night owl” is to a large extent a genetic given. Camomile tea and eye masks can only do so much against hard-wired circadian rhythms. It gives you a sense of the book’s bleakness that this counts as one of its consolations.....In dystopic fiction, the future is all resource wars and extreme climates. A more bland but equally plausible dread is what Walker calls an “epidemic” of sleeplessness, with humans paradoxically locked into a trance of exhaustion even as technology makes their physical burdens easier and ever easier.
aging  books  circadian_rhythms  exhaustion  Janan_Ganesh  mens'_health  sleep  sleeplessness 
february 2018 by jerryking
The Older You Are, the Worse You Sleep
Oct. 13, 2017 | WSJ | By Dr. Matthew Walker, director of the Center for Human Sleep Science at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of a new book, “Why We Sleep” (Scribner)

As we age, bodily changes degrade the quantity and quality of our sleep—which affects our health more than we realize....Sleep gets more difficult the older you get. Older adults are less able, on average, to obtain as much sleep, or as restorative a sleep, as young adults. The problem gets so bad that by our 80s, the lack of sleep can have major health ramifications, though we don’t always notice.

Older adults face a number of challenges. The first is a reduction in the quantity and quality of deep sleep—the stage that beneficially overhauls your cardiovascular, immune and metabolic systems and refreshes learning and memory abilities. As you enter your 30s and 40s, your deep-sleep brain waves become smaller, less powerful and fewer in number. Reductions in deep-sleep quality increase your risk of heart attacks, obesity and stroke, as well as the buildup of a toxic brain protein—called beta amyloid—that is linked​to Alzheimer’s disease.

Passing into your mid- to late-40s, age will have stripped you of 60% to 70% of the deep sleep you were enjoying as a teen. By the time you reach age 70, you will have lost 80% to 90% of your youthful, restorative deep sleep....The second hallmark of altered sleep as we age is fragmentation. The older we get, the more frequently we wake up throughout the night. Causes include body pain and a weakened bladder. Reducing fluid intake in the evening can help the latter, but it isn’t a cure-all.

Because of sleep fragmentation, older people will suffer a reduction in sleep efficiency, defined as the percent of time you were asleep while in bed.The third sleep change with advanced age is that of circadian timing—the body’s internal clock that times our sleep-wake rhythms. Seniors commonly experience a regression in circadian timing, leading to earlier bedtimes. The cause is an early release and peak of melatonin in older adults in the evening, instructing an earlier start time for sleep, in part because of an early drop in core body temperature.
aging  Alzheimer’s_disease  books  cardiovascular  circadian_rhythms  health_risks  heart_attacks  immune_system  melatonin  mens'_health  metabolic_rate  sleep 
october 2017 by jerryking
The Worst Kind of Insomnia - WSJ
By ANDREA PETERSEN
Dec. 11, 2016

There are three kinds of symptoms of insomnia: difficulty falling asleep at bedtime, waking up in the middle of the night and rising too early in the morning. Most people with chronic insomnia have more than one symptom.....Rising too early can be a symptom of depression. It can also be caused by an out-of-whack circadian rhythm, the internal clock that dictates the body’s sleep/wake cycle. As people get older, their circadian rhythm tends to shift earlier and can cause a mismatch with normal sleep times....If the early morning awakening is being caused by a shift in circadian rhythm and a too-early bedtime, the key is to reset the body clock later. This can be done by exposing patients to bright light in the evening via a light therapy box or goggles that beam light to the eyes. If a patient is aiming for a 10 p.m. bedtime and a 6 a.m. wake time, for example, 30 minutes of bright light exposure at around 7 p.m. might be recommended...What do you do if you wake up too early and can’t fall back asleep? First, don’t look at the clock, Dr., Martin says, since calculating how much time before the alarm goes off will just stress you out and ensure that you won’t fall back to sleep. If you start getting frustrated, get up and do something else. If you get sleepy again, then go back to bed.
early_risers  sleep  habits  circadian_rhythms  insomnia  sleeplessness 
december 2016 by jerryking

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