Week 1

Here are some highlights for leading into Week 1 🙂 Happy New Year!

  • Felt Time by Marc Wittmann and Erik Butler

    Study participants are asked, for example, whether they would like to receive $1 immediately or, alternatively, to wait a week for $50. Needless to say, $50 is substantially more than $1; most people, in a wholly rational manner, will choose the greater sum, even though it is tied to a waiting period. However, when subjects are asked whether they would prefer to get $45 now or to be sent $50 in a week, they will, as a rule, opt for the lesser sum, which they can have right away. The difference between the two alternatives is too slight, and so the waiting period becomes unappealing. … In other words, the waiting period makes the value of $50 sink to $20: depreciation occurs because of time—a phenomenon known as temporal discounting.

  • Felt Time by Marc Wittmann and Erik Butler

    Children often have difficulty concentrating on a task without interruption. However, after the age of eight, their capacity for judging time approaches that of adults, as does their ability to maintain attention.

  • Felt Time by Marc Wittmann and Erik Butler

    Therefore, whether one lives out the moment or pursues gain over the long term is a matter of emotionally intelligent conduct and weighing decisions. Someone who is free and full of life does not always choose to delay gratification; rather, she or he is smart about when to seek enjoyment and when to wait.

  • Felt Time by Marc Wittmann and Erik Butler

    Emotions and the experience of time change correspondingly; they are closely interlocked.

  • Felt Time by Marc Wittmann and Erik Butler

    The more precise a person’s temporal perception is, the smaller the interval between the stimuli can be—and the lower the temporal order threshold. … People with higher scores on intelligence tests tend to have lower order thresholds.

  • Felt Time by Marc Wittmann and Erik Butler

    Mindfulness means concentrating on the present moment—that is, focusing and maintaining attention on experience as it is given, accepting and curious observation of one’s thoughts and feelings without trying to evaluate them. As easy as it may seem at first glance, concentration on the moment is not easy to maintain. Concentrating on the moment, now, means feeling one’s body as well as hearing, seeing, and smelling what is happening in the surrounding world. In the process, thoughts present themselves over and over; we are confronted by memories or, alternately, think about what we want to do next. The mind begins to wander. Impressions from the past as well as plans for the immediate future distract us from the present.

  • Felt Time by Marc Wittmann and Erik Butler

    To date, the only kind of internal clock that has been found is the circadian rhythm: bodily and mental processes fluctuate systematically over the course of the day.

  • Felt Time by Marc Wittmann and Erik Butler

    It turned out that the fastest cultures are found in large cities in industrialized, northern countries, where a great deal of attention is paid to time and punctuality and people live at a quicker pace, often feel rushed, and have difficulty dealing with delays. The other extreme involves cultures in rural parts of countries in the equatorial region, where people are in less of a hurry and work proceeds at a slower pace; here, one finds few public clocks—and even fewer that function—and people are more likely to pursue sociable forms of leisure, say, talking and drinking coffee or tea.

  • Felt Time by Marc Wittmann and Erik Butler

    Levine’s analysis yields two fundamental cultures of time: the first works according to event-time, the second according to the abstract time of the clock. In the first case, people are oriented toward the duration of an event. A meeting can only take place when some prior activity (e.g., a conversation or a meal) has been completed. In contrast, people who are oriented toward the abstract time of the clock will interrupt what they are doing in order to keep an appointment. … Societies that are more oriented toward abstract clock-time prove more successful economically.

  • Felt Time by Marc Wittmann and Erik Butler

    All human beings, irrespective of chronotype, need eight hours of sleep (give or take an hour). Because society is calibrated to the chronotype of the early riser—school and work start between eight and nine o’clock, at the latest, and sometimes even earlier (e.g., hospitals and bakeries)—even a moderately late riser must live at odds with his or her inner clock. … Research shows that late risers drink more caffeinated beverages over the course of the day (to stay awake) and more alcohol in the evening (to have an easier time falling asleep).

  • Felt Time by Marc Wittmann and Erik Butler

    The older we get, the faster time passes. More routine in life makes experiences less intensive; consequently, the mind retains them with less clarity. Since our subjective experience of life and its span depends on memory, subjective time accelerates as routine increases.

  • Felt Time by Marc Wittmann and Erik Butler

    Sigmund Freud stressed that two aspects of life are essential for mental health: the ability to work and the ability to love. Where the second is concerned, the issue of variety proves rather delicate. It is worth considering that the emotional depth achieved in an intensive and lasting relationship might be preferable—even in terms of accumulating life events and the subjective expansion of a lifetime that this entails—to the alternative: soon enough, a series of affairs and short-term relationships will follow the same scheme.

  • Felt Time by Marc Wittmann and Erik Butler

    The Roman statesman and philosopher Seneca got to the heart of the matter in his work On the Shortness of Life: It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested. … The Stoic makes fun of people who run around pursuing matters they think are important yet always remain dissatisfied. “Salvation” is expected of the time after retirement; then attention will really turn to living: You will hear many people saying: “When I am fifty I shall retire into leisure; when I am sixty I shall give up public duties.” And what guarantee do you have of a longer life? Who will allow your course to proceed as you arrange it? […] How late it is to begin really to live just when life must end! How stupid to forget our mortality, and put off sensible plans to our fiftieth and sixtieth years, aiming to begin life from a point at which few have arrived! … Moreover, in Seneca’s opinion, life only seems short to us—that is, to pass faster and faster—because we waste time on so many useless activities. “Useless” does not necessarily mean lazy Sunday afternoons on the couch. Seneca endorses anything but an unconditional work ethic. On the contrary, he wants to demonstrate that many of our pursuits in life—and especially the work we choose, which eats up all our time—keep us from things that would really prove fulfilling and offer an emotionally rich existence.

  • Felt Time by Marc Wittmann and Erik Butler

    In the language of memory psychology: Live in such a way that your life is varied and emotionally rich; then you will live for a long time.

  • The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington

    Even so, the delusion persists that we can do our jobs just as well on four or five or six hours of sleep as we can on seven or eight. It’s a delusion that affects not only our personal health but our productivity and decision making. In other words, we may not have as many good ideas as we would have otherwise had, we may not be as able to come up with creative solutions to problems we’re trying to address, or we may be short-tempered or waste a day (or day after day, or year after year) going through the motions. And in some occupations—in our hospitals, on our highways, or in the air—lack of sleep can be a life-or-death matter.

  • The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington

    Everywhere you turn, sleep deprivation is glamorized and celebrated: “You snooze, you lose.” …
    The combination of a deeply misguided definition of what it means to be successful in today’s world—that it can come only through burnout and stress—along with the distractions and temptations of a 24/7 wired world, has imperiled our sleep as never before.

  • The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington

    As in the case of health care, access to sleep is not evenly—or fairly—distributed. Sleep is another casualty of inequality.

  • The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington

    As women have entered the workplace—a workplace created in large measure by men, which uses our willingness to work long hours until we ultimately burn out as a proxy for commitment and dedication—they are still stuck with the heavy lifting when it comes to housework.

  • The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington

    Dr. Carol Ash, the director of sleep medicine at Meridian Health, points out that even losing an hour of sleep per week—which many of us do without a moment’s thought—can lead to a higher risk of heart attack. Even the switch to daylight saving time can temporarily disturb our sleep patterns. … A Russian study found that nearly 63 percent of men who suffered a heart attack also had a sleep disorder. Men who had a sleep disorder had a risk of heart attack that was 2 to 2.6 times higher and a risk of stroke that was 1.5 to 4 times higher. A Norwegian study determined that people who had trouble falling asleep were involved in 34 percent of fatal car accidents. And those with symptoms of insomnia are nearly three times more likely to die from a fatal injury. A lack of melatonin, the hormone that controls our sleep and wake cycles, is linked to higher rates of breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers.

  • The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington

    “When you find depression, even when you find anxiety, when you scratch the surface 80 to 90 percent of the time you find a sleep problem as well,” says University of Delaware psychologist Brad Wolgast. In the Great British Sleep Survey, researchers found that sleep-deprived people were seven times more likely to experience feelings of helplessness and five times more likely to feel lonely.

  • The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington

    Men are 11 percent more likely than women to climb behind the wheel knowing they’re drowsy. Worse, they are nearly twice as likely to fall asleep at the wheel. That’s not surprising, given the macho status we give to the willingness to forgo sleep. … More than 60 percent of the drowsy drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2013 were driving trucks, and nearly half of all truckers said in a government survey that they’d fallen asleep behind the wheel in the previous year. In 2014 alone, 725 truckers died behind the wheel.

  • The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington

    In fact, a 2014 report by the American Psychological Association found that millennials were the most stressed generation, almost a third saying they can’t sleep because they are “thinking of all the things they need to do or did not get done” and because “they have too many things to do and do not have enough time.” For an alarming number of students, college has been turned into one long training ground for burnout. And the deeply ingrained association of college with sleep deprivation is one the sleep industry is only too happy to exploit. As one ad for Red Bull put it, “Nobody ever wishes they’d slept more during college.” … “I began hearing the same axiom uttered over and over again from all corners: ‘Sleep, grades, social life: pick two.’ Consensus on which two should be prioritized was clear: we could sleep when we were dead (or graduated).” … What makes getting sleep in college much harder is the fear of missing out, which leads to smartphone addiction, obsessively checking for texts, messages, updates, notifications, and alerts, at all hours. Researchers at California State University, Dominguez Hills, looked at more than seven hundred college students and found that those who felt anxious when separated from their phones were more likely to stare at their electronic screens right until the moment they went to sleep. They also woke up more frequently throughout the night to check their phones.

  • The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington

    According to Joan Williams, burnout is so associated with success, it’s become a cultural symbol. “Overwork has also become a way to signal class status: ‘I am slammed’ is a way of saying ‘I am important,’ ” she told me. “This represents a sharp shift from a prior era when having leisure was a ‘class act.’…We have this weird reversal in the US where the elite work very long hours, while the poor typically can’t get even forty hours a week of work.”

  • The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington
  • The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington

    There are many studies that show what happens to us if we don’t sleep, but here is one extreme real-life story: In 1959, New York disc jockey Peter Tripp stayed awake for 201 hours (just over eight days) to benefit the March of Dimes, continuing his daily radio broadcasts from a glass booth in Times Square throughout the “wakeathon,” as the stunt was billed. After three days, Tripp became mean and abusive, and two days later he began to suffer intense hallucinations, leading to paranoia. His body temperature dropped, and, although he appeared to be awake, brain scans showed him to be asleep. And on the final day of the wakeathon, he thought his doctor was an undertaker planning to cart off his corpse.

  • The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington

    Once we do finally make it through the sleep gate, there are four stages of sleep. Each is characterized by different types of brain waves, which reflect the level of the brain’s electrical activity. Stage one is light sleep, a transitional stage between wakefulness and sleep. In this state we can wake up easily and our eyes and muscles are still moving. Stage two is slightly deeper and characterized by the slowing and stopping of eye movement and a decrease in core body temperature. In stage three, slow-wave deep sleep (also known as delta sleep) begins. In this stage the brain creates slow, high-amplitude delta waves—a departure from the higher-frequency beta waves of our waking hours. This is our deepest phase of sleep, during which eye and muscle movements have nearly ceased and it’s very difficult to wake us up. If we are woken up, we’ll likely be disoriented and groggy. The depths of this third stage contain some of sleep’s most fascinating mysteries and oddities, like sleepwalking and sleep talking. … The fourth and final phase of sleep is REM sleep, characterized by rapid eye movement. In REM sleep, which starts about an hour and a half after we fall asleep, our breathing becomes shallower and quicker, our blood pressure and heart rate—which have been slowing in the earlier stages—go back up, and our brain waves become faster in frequency, resembling those of our awake brain. Our muscles are essentially in a state of paralysis. It’s in REM sleep that we do most of our dreaming, and if we wake up during this phase, we are more likely to remember our dreams.

  • The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington

    Researchers from Chicago, Missouri, and Stanford universities found that how we think we sleep at night doesn’t always match up with how we actually sleep at night. Participants wore small wrist monitors that recorded their sleep. In the morning, they were asked how much sleep they had gotten. Thirteen percent said they never or rarely felt rested when they woke up. Yet that group logged only four minutes less sleep than the two-thirds who said they felt rested most of the time. Those who said they had woken up during the night had in fact woken up, but they had also gotten nineteen minutes more sleep than those who said they had slept through the night. “That time you’re awake [at night], if you’re full of anxiety, may feel much more important than if you can pass the time calmly,” study coauthor Diane Lauderdale said.

  • The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington

    It makes sense that many people sleep better alone—if only because there’s less chance of being woken up in the night by snoring, a stray leg, a partner with a cold or getting up to go to the bathroom.
    … A study from the University of Vienna found that women woke up more frequently throughout the night when they slept in the same bed as their partner, while men’s sleep did not change. When asked about the quality of their sleep, the men said they had slept better with their partner, while women said they had slept better only on nights they had sex.

  • The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington

    What they found was that 94 percent of the couples who slept with their bodies touching were “happy with their relationship.” Of the couples who didn’t touch when they went to sleep, 68 percent were happy. Indeed, the farther apart a couple slept, the more unhappy they were in their relationship.

  • The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington

    The key, says Troxel, is communication. “Some couples end up sleeping apart out of desperation, because one partner is not sleeping at all,” she says. “But there is no conversation involved. When that happens, the other partner may feel abandoned.”

  • The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington

    We also know that blue light, the sort given off by our ubiquitous electronic devices, is especially good at suppressing melatonin—which makes it especially bad for our sleep. … The problem is that our relationship with our devices is still in that honeymoon phase where we just can’t get enough of each other—we’re not yet at the stage where we’re comfortable being apart for a few hours or taking separate vacations. In fact, a 2015 survey showed that 71 percent of Americans sleep with or next to their smartphones. … Participants who said they had the highest emotional investment in their social-media lives also reported having low sleep quality—as well as increased anxiety and depression and decreased self-esteem.

  • The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington

    What about the timing of exercise? Is exercising close to bedtime a bad idea? As it turns out, exercise is so beneficial to sleep and overall health that we should attempt to fit it in whenever our lives allow. … Is it true that we shouldn’t eat big meals right before bed? Yes—that bit of conventional wisdom is true, especially if you suffer from acid reflux, which afflicts an estimated 40 percent of Americans.

  • The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington

    As Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, put it, “If you are having a lot of trouble sleeping, your body may be trying to tell you something about the way you are conducting your life. As with all other mind-body symptoms, this message is worth listening to.” Far too often the message is that we go through our days on autopilot, reacting to everything that comes our way and forgetting to pause and recharge once in a while—the cumulative stress making it harder to wind down at night.

  • The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington

    Finally, I want to reemphasize the two very tangible suggestions that have had the biggest impact on my sleep: First, banish all tech devices from your bedroom at least thirty minutes before you turn off the lights—smartphones are like anti-sleep talismans. And second, if you’ve been in bed struggling to sleep for twenty minutes, try switching to meditating or reading a book (not on a tablet, which gives off blue light and also often has your emails on it, but a physical book or an e-reader) that has nothing to do with work (a novel, a biography, a book of poetry or spirituality).

  • The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington

    Technology promises us greater control, choice, and convenience in every aspect of our lives—how we shop, whom we date, our friendships, our heart rates, our schedules. But it also sells us the illusion that minutely mapping out and controlling our lives, even if it were possible, is a worthwhile goal—which it’s not. Sleep offers just the opposite. While it makes us better at things our culture celebrates—performing and doing—it also teaches us how to trust and let go. As our days become more and more consumed by doing, by distractions and urgency, sleep, waiting for us every night, offers a surrender. Perhaps that’s one reason so many of us have such difficulty falling asleep—because we can’t lay down our swords. We’re told again and again that we must work harder, must never let our guard down, and we must always fight on. And so we fight sleep, too. Or we stress out about our inability to control it and summon it whenever we want, at the snap of our fingers—the way that we believe we can everything else in our age of On Demand (“your Uber Sleep will arrive in five minutes”).

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