Sleep

“It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.”   ~John Steinbeck

“The brain uses a quarter of the body’s entire energy supply, yet only accounts for about two percent of the body’s mass. So how does this unique organ receive and, perhaps more importantly, rid itself of vital nutrients? New research suggests it has to do with sleep.”   ~Jeff Iliff

After watching the TED talk, “One more reason to get a good night’s sleep“, and literally fighting to stay awake due to jet lag, my mind accomplished some amazing things. I woke early, (still), but my thoughts had attached to solutions which I could not see the day before.

I have this experience often, some of my best ideas are coming to me in a morning shower. But, to know why it is happening, and to really elevate the role of sleep to the higher purpose it must serve, is a comforting thought.

I have always believed a night of slumber was a cure-all, but something is always disrupting that. With best intentions, my bedtime slips out and my wake up time remains fixed. Every time I come home from Europe, I can easily go to bed early and rise early. I have these precious moments to myself, when my mind is really fresh. Yet, as the days pass, my jet lag fades along with my resolution to keep a new schedule.

Maybe this time will be different. I just love the quiet hum of the house. The first cup of coffee as I start my mind working on my priorities.

100%

It is the score I always strive for. I see perfection as the same. Riding off in the sunset with Prince Charming.

Yeah, right. I’m also a realist. I like facts, not just ideas. I love statistics.

But when 100% is bestowed on me for some minor accomplishment, I get such a thrill. There is probably a clinical theory for how my ego is taking over my true personality and filling me with an unhealthy dose of bad brain chemicals. Who cares, I like the feeling just the same.

There was a time that I did strive for 100% on exams. Those were the days when schools still gave out those kind of scores in the lower grade levels. Then came the notion of the bell curve. I was shocked to discover that one had to be near perfect to receive 100%. I’m no dummy, who wants to care that much about the biology of a frog, calculate the slope of a curve or know that much about Shakespeare?

It turns out, most workplaces use this bell curve to score their employees. Flashback city. Who knew, the bell curve was something useful to learn because it would continue to haunt me well beyond high school.

Being the literal, fact-based kind of person I am has made it difficult to separate a score on a bell curve which conveys a judgement on performance from my sense of self-worth.

I read a report recently which stated that happy people make more money. We know that money does not make people happy, so how did these people become happy? The are in the same workplaces as the rest of us. The report didn’t yield any facts. So one has to conclude that each person carries with them, a unique ability to score themselves.

Oh, don’t keep reading for a list of secret points to guide you. I’m trying to figure it out for myself. Every post of this blog lists some of the good ideas I come across. That is my way to move through this maze of life, since I am no princess. Therefore no Charming scooped me up.

But I did get a score of 100% last night. It was something I did in my bed. An iPhone app rendered the result. Whatever you are thinking, it was not that.

Sleep cycle – 100%! I won’t deny it. Made me very happy.

Sleep cycle

Sunrise

It is an interesting thing about long haul, International travel, where you get to see things you wouldn’t normally. There are the obvious sights one would expect to experience. The sounds of a foreign language, the smells of exotic food.

But it is with an open heart, where one must embrace the lonely hours in the middle of the night. For of all the exciting and interesting new experiences, most of us would not choose to be wide awake at 3am.

That is where I find myself right now. I performed the usual toss and turn, wearing myself down from the activity of it. That sometimes lets sleep come once again. Instead of trying to read, I decided to try writing. Putting words down in a logical order is taxing work on a sleepy brain, but not enough to make me put down this iPad and fall back into slumber.

In an attempt to be more healthy, I didn’t take my usual sleeping pill last night. Truth be told, I don’t like the way I feel in the morning. There is a chemical after taste that lasts a good 6 hours and my mood is very suppressed. However, it will be an interesting experiment to see what kind of amazing energy I have with only 3 hours of sleep today.

On the bright side, the sun rises early here. So the view from my hotel room is not one I usually get to see. That is truly looking at the bright side of this situation!

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