Archive for the ‘business’ Category
Daylight Savings Time is nearly here again. Almost all of North America (with the notably sane exceptions of Arizona and Hawaii) will synchronistically change the time on their clocks in the wee hours of next Sunday morning.
Spring Forward! It has such a perky, positive, up-beat sound to it, doesn’t it? Let’s just leap together into the future, bright eyed and bushy tailed! But wait… in order to “spring forward” we must lose an hour of sleep. How can that be? How will that work? Who thought THAT one up???
Sleep is one-third of our lives. When it doesn’t work well the other 2/3rds are likely to suffer. Poor sleep has been tied to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, cancer, depression, car crashes and industrial accidents. Healthy sleep is dependent on a healthy circadian rhythm system and suddenly, arbitrarily changing the clock overnight is definitely a shock to that system.
As a seasoned Sleep Specialist I cringe at the idea of an artificially induced jet lag syndrome being forced upon an entire national population. The symptoms of jet lag include headache, digestive upset, fatigue, fuzzy thinking, muscle aches and insomnia. If the majority of the citizens of a country came down with these symptoms all at once, a major epidemic would be declared and most everything would grind to a halt in the crisis. But we are expected to get up and go to work on Monday as if nothing has happened.
Statistics show there are 8% more car accidents on the Monday following the time change than on the Mondays immediately before or after. Suicides and heart attacks are more frequent in the few days after the Spring change as well. And while the original purpose of Daylight Savings Time was to increase productivity in the workplace, business reports indicate there is less getting done on the Monday after the change, pointing to the increase in personal web surfing and “cyber-loafing” on that day.
So what can we as individuals do (aside from moving to Arizona or Hawaii) to survive the Spring Forward with a minimal amount flack and fatigue? Here are some tips I’ve shared with my sleep coaching clients:
1.) Beat the Rush
Start adjusting your own internal body clock bit by bit in the few days before the time change. Eat your dinner and go to bed 15 minutes earlier than usual on Wednesday night. Then 15 minutes earlier than that on Thursday night, and so on. By Sunday your body has started to shift its rhythms enough that when the time actually changes (and you go back to eating and sleeping at the same “clock time” as you used to) you’ll hardly skip a beat.
2.) See the Light
Light, especially sunlight, exerts the biggest influence on our circadian rhythms. So spend a lot of time outdoors on Sunday after the time change to help reinforce the rhythms of day and night on your body. Likewise, when the sun goes down, let that dimness be reflected in your indoor environment too. Keep the lights low, the electronic screens off and think about spending some time actually in the dark! Your sleep patterns will thank you.
3.) Drink the Water
Keep hydrated. Good advice at any time, but dehydration will only enhance any time warp symptoms you may experience and make you ever more miserable. Avoid excess caffeine and alcohol, though as these can further confuse your body clock and exacerbate any sleep disturbances.
4.) Take the Day Off
So, if there are more sleepy, sick and suicidal people on the freeway and there’s not much getting done at the office anyway, why risk the commute? Might as well take the “Monday After” off from work and get some more outdoor exercise with proper hydration topped off with a quiet evening of star-gazing on the dark back porch! By Tuesday you should be well on your way to newly minted circadian rhythms and able cope with the change.
I hope these tips serve you well.
I’d love to hear your ideas, too! Please post them in the comment section and share this article with your friends to hear about their ways of coping.
Best Wishes for Peaceful Sleep!
I am very excited to announce that I have just been licensed as a Brain Music Therapy Provider — there are only 20 others in the U.S.! This amazing technology lets me offer a drug free insomnia solution as well as a way to tame and harness runaway minds that lead us to feelings of anxiety, depression and foggy thinking.
The concept behind Brain Music Therapy is that the frequency, amplitude and dynamic patterns of the electrical activity of our brains is very much like the frequency, amplitude and harmonics that are the underlying science of music. Some very (very!) smart brain scientists in Russia figured out a way to translate brainwaves into music. It sounds like classical piano music, and because everyone has unique brain wave patterns, just like fingerprints, each person has his or her own unique brain music!
Here’s how it works. I have been trained to record the brain waves of my clients in such a way that they can be sent out for musical translation. Two musical tracks are created; one is quick and lively and the other is more sedate and soothing. These two files, the activating and relaxing files, are recorded onto a CD and returned to the client.
By listening to the relaxing music just before bed you remind your brain of the slow, calm, quiet activity that is compatible with sleep. Because it is your own brain wave pattern being played back, your brain can readily “recognize” the music and easily syncs up with it. This can also be useful for times during the day when you need to calm down, say after a confrontation or before a big performance.
The activating music can be used to bring the brain quickly into a more focused, alert and ready state. A good idea when first waking in the morning or before tackling a big project or competition.
First developed by Iakov Levine, MD at the Moscow Medical Academy, this technology has been used in Eastern Europe, Germany, Italy and France for nearly 20 years. It has only been available in the U.S. and Canada since it was introduced here in 2004 by Galina Mindlin, MD, PhD of Columbia University. Dr. Mindlin continues to build on the scientific studies that show how effective Brain Music Therapy can be for insomnia, anxiety and, it seems many other dysfunctions. Her latest work has shown that the activating music can help keep federal law enforcement alert on their surveillance duties. The applications may be far wider than we can now imagine.
For now, I am concentrating on introducing my clients to the wonders of natural relaxation and improved sleep quality. Here is a video of Dr. Mindlin as she records the Brain Wave Music of Matt Lauer on the Today Show.
When you come to see me in the California Wine Country, we can do the same for you — just no studio cameras! I look forward to seeing your comments below, meeting you at my office in Santa Rosa soon and hearing the melodies of YOUR Brain Music!
Best Wishes for Peaceful Sleep!
“Sleep is a waste of time.” “Sleep is for the weak.” “I’ll sleep when I’m dead!”
These are the rallying cries of driven start up executives and creative entrepreneurs. Burning the midnight oil to create product, craft marketing campaigns and stitch together strategic alliances, they cast aside their need for sleep in favor of being first, being best, being most innovative.
While sleep may often be sacrificed in the name of success, this may actually be a false economy. I wrote a short chapter on this subject for a book that is being put together online. If you read it, like it and vote for it I may make the final version! Please let me know what you think.
Click here for book chapter.
Best Wishes for Peaceful Sleep,
Business entrepreneurs often feel they have to make a choice between getting the sleep they need and creating the success they desire. An article from US News and World Report turns this notion around and offers “6 Ways Lack of Sleep is Costing You a Fortune”. Below are some of my favorite excerpts. A link to the full article can be found at the end. I would also love to hear about your experiences in trying to balance sleep and work. What worked, what didn’t and what would you do differently if you could? Please leave your comments below.
Here are six ways lack of sleep can cost you money.
1. More Accident-Prone
Driving sleep deprived can be as dangerous as driving drunk. Anywhere from 16 percent to 60 percent of car accidents involve a sleep-deprived driver, and 30 to 40 percent of all heavy truck accidents are caused by fatigue.
2. Increased Medical Expenses
People who don’t get enough sleep are 15 percent more likely to have a stroke and 48 percent more likely to develop or pass away from heart disease.
3. Bad Financial Decision Making
Sleep deprivation causes people to restrict their choices to decisions that promise bigger gains, which aren’t always the best ways to accomplish positive results.
4. Sucking Out Success
When you haven’t gotten enough sleep, your brain doesn’t function as efficiently and isn’t able to remember things as well… The overall GPA of a sleep-deprived student versus a student who gets enough sleep is 2.84 as compared to 3.18.
5. Paying for Convenience
When you are tired, you are less likely to take care of tasks on your own. Be it washing your car, making dinner, or cleaning your house, if you are tired you are more apt to look to other people to take care of those tasks for you.
6. Caffeine Costs
If you buy espresso every day to help you stay awake due to sleep deprivation, you can end up spending upwards of $5,000 per year, or if you buy drip coffee everyday, you can end up spending close to $1,900 per year.
Be sure to leave your comments below!
Best Wishes for Peaceful Sleep,
You’ve probably seen it on YouTube, Anderson Cooper 360, Colbert, Conan or Leno. Vice President Biden was caught snoozing through President Obama’s economic speech. To be fair, if you look at the others in the video they all seem to be catching a few winks. It’s not just the President’s melodious voice or the notoriously soporific subject of economics at play here. I’m betting we’re witnessing the manifestations of a common sleep disorder called Behaviorally Induced Insufficient Sleep Syndrome. A complicated name for a simple lack of sleep. It comes from not getting enough sleep at night to stay awake and alert during the day.
With everything they’ve got going on, all the various worldwide crises and political constituencies to attend to, it must be darn near impossible to get enough sleep in Washington DC these days. And not just in DC — it’s apparently a problem in Reno Nevada too, where an air traffic controller was caught napping when he should have been bringing in a plane with a medical patient aboard. (I wonder if he had been listening to the president’s speech on the radio?)
At any rate, we have been alerted to the statistics over and over; American’s are not getting enough sleep. A recent CDC report revealed that nearly 39% of survey respondents had fallen asleep inadvertently during the day in the previous 30 days. Thirty Nine Percent! That means that over 1/3rd of us can’t keep our eyes open even when our reputation, our job, our political future or our lives are at stake.
Mr. Biden, you are certainly not alone in your sleep deprivation. You are forgiven for your momentary lapse and we are thankful you weren’t at the wheel of a car as so many other drowsy folks are every day. This may be an excellent opportunity, however for you to recognize a new national epidemic of avoidable sleepiness that can lead to increased health costs, reduced quality of life, industrial catastrophe and lapses of leadership judgement. Making healthy sleep a national priority is an intelligent and noble cause. Take up the banner, Mr. Biden. Help us to shout “Wake up America!!!
Best Wishes for Peaceful Sleep,
I was interested to read this review of a new study in a blog post by Bernie Wong.
Sleep Deprivation Leaves You Emotionally Isolated
“Emotional Expressiveness in Sleep-Deprived Healthy Adults.”
Minkel, J., Htaik, O., Banks, S., & Dinges, D. Behavioral Sleep Medicine, Vol. 9 (1), January 2011, 5-14.
Sleep deprivation really can make us look like zombies: This study suggests that getting less sleep hinders our ability to convey emotions through our facial expressions. Study participants got either a full night of sleep (9-10 hours) or no sleep at all. Within the next few days, they were shown amusing and sad film clips. Though sleep-deprived participants reported feeling emotional responses to the clips just as strongly as well-rested participants, they were only half as likely to reflect those emotions through their facial expressions. Sleep, the researchers argue, is key to our social interactions, helping us communicate our emotions to others. —Bernie Wong
This is another in an increasingly convincing body of research suggesting our Emotional Intelligence is greatly influenced by the quality and quantity of sleep we get on a nightly basis. Researchers have also discovered that going without sleep for a day or longer also affects the ability to make good moral judgements.
A study by WD Killgore, et al published in Sleep Medicine* in 2008 showed how insufficient sleep decreased emotional intelligence parameters across the board. According to the study “sleep deprivation was associated with lower scores on Total EQ (decreased global emotional intelligence), Intrapersonal functioning (reduced self-regard, assertiveness, sense of independence, and self-actualization), Interpersonal functioning (reduced empathy toward others and quality of interpersonal relationships), Stress Management skills (reduced impulse control and difficulty with delay of gratification), and Behavioral Coping (reduced positive thinking and action orientation). Esoteric Thinking (greater reliance on formal superstitions and magical thinking processes) was increased.”
It should be becoming more obvious that sleep is not “a waste of time” but a vital factor in maintaining our excellence and fulfilling our human potential.
*Sleep Med. 2008 Jul;9(5):517-26. Epub 2007 Aug 30.
Best Wishes for Peaceful sleep,
– How Sleep Can Save the World
We are living in a world of increasing chaos and complexity; with rapidly changing rules and paradigms. World leaders are stretched between military strikes and humanitarian outreach. Business leaders scramble to renew, retain or acquire credibility and trust in a tainted economic pool. Workers, artists, teachers and parents wade through daily developments and decisions in an environment that appears familiar on the surface but feels very foreign, slippery and frightening from the inside. Students study hard for a future they can’t easily envision.
We are all enveloped in a maelstrom of data, information, images and opinions that bombard us from every direction, often changing direction so rapidly our heads spin and dizziness ensues. This is the current reality of human society and it is not likely to return to Norman Rockwellian bliss anytime soon.
To survive – and dare we say “thrive” – in this environment we need leaders who are nimble, creative, flexible, compassionate, restrained and considerate. These attributes are advanced human qualities that require a fully functioning body and brain for their application. We need leaders who are healthy, well balanced and well RESTED!
This model of the well rested leader is the central theme of an outstanding new book by Yatin J. Patel, MD, MBA: Sleep Well, Lead Well. In this book Dr. Patel offers a clear model and step by step plan by which heads of state and global CEOs alike may advance their ability to lead with clarity and strength through difficult times. The new key ingredient, when added to emotional and intellectual intelligence, is the Alertness Intelligence. The exercise required to build this AI is sleep. Sufficient quantity, excellent quality sleep is what has been missing from the executive arsenal. Dr. Patel, a board certified pulmonologist and sleep medicine physician understands the physiology of sleep and has seen first hand the physical fallout that sleep deprivation can cause. As a magna cum laude graduate of the Executive MBA Program of Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame, he has a firm grasp on the complexities of modern business management and executive decision making processes. Combining his knowledge of the two, he has offered his conclusions in this insightful and easy to read book.
How can we find our way through this changing world environment without light, without imagination, without dreams? “Dreams” Patel tells us, “spark innovation through out-of-the-world thinking. In the process they help you create a world on your own terms.” Sleep, dreams and a well rested spirit are the armor and the arrows of the new corporate warrior.
Sleep Well, Lead Well should be standard reading in every business classroom, board room and situation room on the planet. Find more information about the book, Dr. Yatin Patel and his AEI Center for Supreme Leadership at his website www.sleepwellleadwell.com
Best Wishes for Peaceful Sleep,