Sleep has been on my mind. In the Inner Fire program that Dr. Ellen Britt and I recently ran, one topic was how to optimize your sleep. I mentioned I was experimenting with blue light blocking glasses since blue light can have a detrimental effect on your vision and sleep.
Here are 4 things to read and apps I started using:
1. First in this article and interview with Prof. Roger Ekirch, History of sleep: what was normal?, Ekirch talks about how different sleep patterns were in the pre-industrial age. With the advent of artificial light in the late 19th century, our sleeping patterns significantly changed.
2. Do you like tracking data? Seems like most everyone I know wears some kind of tracking device. I used to, too. This article argues that maybe you don’t really need to track everything! The Sad Truth About Sleep-Tracking Devices and Apps
3. For the hikers reading this, well, read this article before you go out on a hot day. A couple of years ago I was hiking with my sister in Northern California. It was a very hot day and we thought we were prepared. We had a lot of water and snacks. But the heat and lack of shade took their toll and we both suffered from heat exhaustion verging on heatstroke. It was scary when my whole body seized up and I couldn’t move. My sister who was also sick had to hike out to the road and flag down some people to help drag me back to the car. Fortunately, I was able to cool down and get some electrolytes in me and I recovered. But there were a few minutes when I thought I might actually not make it.
4. One of my favorite note-taking tools is Google Keep Notes. I have it on my desktop and my phone and use it every day to save links (like for these 5 Things emails), notes and pictures, and make lists. This article shares some good tips and tricks for using Keep.
5. Back to sleep and controlling blue light in the evening…it’s been around for a long time, but I just learned about Flux, an app you install on your computer or smart device. It makes the color of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day. The first day I had it on my computer and the display changed from bright to warm as the sun went down, I could feel a noticeable difference in my eyes. I felt much less strain. And since I often work on my computer in the evening, it’s made a big difference in how I feel at night and I’ve slept better.
Bonus: since 3 out of 5 of these things are about sleep, I’ll note that I’ve also been working on building a habit of meditating at night before I go to sleep. I use an app called Simple Habit (free version) and listen to short guided meditations designed for relaxation and deep sleep. I’ve been waking up more refreshed in the morning and rarely want to take a nap in the afternoon!
What’s something you’ve discovered or an app you recommend? Please let me know in the comments, below. And, feel free to share the post with your friends and colleagues!
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This post was originally published as an email on July 19, 2019.