You guys, I know I said I’d go to yoga last night. But I got home from work, and it was pouring down rain, and after I cooked dinner it was dark, and well….
I put on my rain boots, grabbed my umbrella and hoofed it to the gym! Hooray! Did I trick you? I did have the thoughts of skipping it because of the rain, but I knew, even if I did try to do a yoga DVD at home, I’d probably skip out on it early. So I sucked it up and went. I’m glad I did!
This is going to be a super quick post today — work is crazy busy, so I need to hop to it, but I wanted to share this article I read yesterday:
I read this article, The Science of Sleep by Elizabeth Kobert on The New Yorker site yesterday and found it very interesting. The beginning of the article goes over the discovery of REM sleep by Nathaniel Kleitman, and how his discovery has opened the door for intensive sleep research. As Kolbert mentions, a 2011 poll indicates that more than half of all Americans between the ages of 13 and 64 experience sleep problems every night! That’s crazy! She also mentions two other alarming statistics:
- A CDC study revealed that almost 5% of adults acknowledge nodding off behind the wheel at least once during the past month
- The U.S. Department of Transportation report says that DWD (Driving While Drowsy) causes forty-thousand injuries a year (and more than 1,500 deaths!)
…and that’s not even to mention the toll your body takes from repeated lack of sleep! It’s clear that adequate sleep is extremely important.
Here’s where the article got really interesting for me. Matthew J. Wolf-Meyer, author or a recent book “The Slumbering Masses” and an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of California Santa Cruz, suggests that going to bed at 11:00 PM and waking at 7:00 AM (sleeping “in a consolidated fashion”, is what he calls it, or the typical to bed and rise time for most Americans), probably isn’t the best schedule for everyone. In fact, he says, about 150 years ago, Americans slept in a much different fashion — going to bed shortly after the sun went down, then awoke for a while, and then went back to bed.
The most eye-opening part of the article, however, was the discussion about a book by Till Roenneberg, professor of medical psychology at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich entitled “Internal Time: Chronotypes, Social Jet Lag and Why You’re So Tired” — Roenneberg suggests that each person has an internal clock (chronotype) which dictates your inclination to sleep: You either are inclined to go to bed early and wake at dawn (larks) or you like to stay up late and get up later (owls).
This really struck a chord with me! Especially when they talk about the inclination of a lark to wake up early, no matter how late they’ve gone to bed, “… But, even when larks have partied until 3 AM, they can’t sleep in the following day — they’re larks.” That is so me!
Then I got to this part and almost jumped out of my seat because of the simplicity of it all, “According to Roenneberg, age also has a big influence on chronotype. Toddlers tend to be larks, which is why they drive their parents crazy by getting up at sunrise. Teen-agers are owls, which is why high schools are filled with students who look (and act) like zombies” — does this mean I’ll be a great parent to a toddler, since I’m a lark!?
So after searching on the web some more about this, I came across this article on the New York Times blog. Tara Parker-Pope gives owls that hope to be larks a little help: She gives you a plan to “become a morning person”. The other great thing about this article is the quiz to determine if you’re a lark or an owl. I think it’s pretty easy to determine what you are without a quiz, but who doesn’t love a good quiz? To my complete and total lack of surprise, I got “Extreme Lark”:
..and to further prove my point, here is a picture of me sleeping at a party. Lark, indeed:
Question of the Day:
Are you a lark or an owl?