Huffington Post – TELL US: How Has Addiction Affected You And Yours?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/30/war-on-addiction_n_5232934.html?utm_hp_ref=healthy-living&ir=Healthy%20Living

Posted: 04/30/2014 10:15 am EDT Updated: 04/30/2014 10:59 am EDT

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Tanya Little via Getty Images

For the week of May 5-9, HuffPost Live is airing a special week-long series about the social impacts of drug addiction. From the stigma of addiction to the high cost of rehabilitation, the human toll of mandatory sentences and controversial treatment methods, “The War On Addiction” series will discuss the social ramifications of addiction and expose some of the misconceptions of being an addict. The series will bring together lawmakers, rehabilitation specialists, advocates, celebrities, and real people who struggle with addiction.

Since the 1970s, America has been aggressively fighting a War on Drugs and as a result launched an unspoken war on addicts. We’ve treated addicts as criminals and treated addiction with prison sentences. But with prison populations at an all-time high, drug sentencing reform a rare bipartisan issue, and public opinion now in favor of treatment, is this obscure war coming to an end?

Addiction is a debilitating disease that affects 23.5 million Americans. Have you suffered from addiction? Have you witnessed a friend or family member struggle with recovery? We want to hear from you. Share YOUR story here.

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Hobbies Are Rich in Psychic Rewards

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/02/jobs/02career.html?_r=0

By EILENE ZIMMERMAN

Published: December 2, 2007
Q. Between work and family, you have little time or energy left for hobbies, like crafts, painting or music. Without them, though, life feels mundane. What can you do about it?

Chris Reed

A. Squeeze them in, even it’s for just a few minutes at a time, because those moments can change your mood and your mind-set.

When people do things that make them feel good, like a hobby, it activates an area of the brain called the nucleus accumbens that controls how we feel about life, said Dr. S. Ausim Azizi, chairman of the department of neurology at Temple University’s School of Medicine in Philadelphia who studies brain activity and cell signaling. Activities you enjoy also stimulate the brain’s septal zone — its “feel good” area — and that makes you feel happy, said Dr. Azizi.

Q. Are hobbies good for you?

A. Yes, and in many ways. Hobbies can enhance your creativity, help you think more clearly and sharpen your focus, said Carol Kauffman, an assistant clinical professor at Harvard Medical School. “When you’re really engaged in a hobby you love, you lose your sense of time and enter what’s called a flow state, and that restores your mind and energy,” she said. In a flow state, you are completely submerged in an experience, requiring a high level of concentration. Research shows strong correlations between flow states and peak performance, said Ms. Kauffman.

Being in that heightened state of concentration raises the levels of neurotransmitters in your brain — chemicals like endorphins, norepinephrine and dopamine — that keep you focused and interested in what you’re doing and that energize you, said Dr. Gabriela Corá, a psychiatrist who is managing partner of the Florida Neuroscience Center and president of Executive Health and Wealth Institute, an executive coaching firm in Miami.

“Making time for enjoyable activities stimulates parts of the brain associated with creative and positive thinking. You become emotionally and intellectually more motivated,” she said.

Hobbies also enhance self-esteem and self-confidence. Feeling that you are solely defined by your job — even if it is going well — can raise your chances of experiencing anxiety, depression and burnout, because you don’t have a perception of yourself outside of work, said Michelle P. Maidenberg, a psychotherapist and business coach in New York, and clinical director of Westchester Group Works, a center for group therapy.

“When people rely only on their role at work to foster self-esteem, that alone cannot typically fulfill their needs,” she said. If you are unhappy with your work performance, you are more inclined to define yourself as inadequate, but if your identity is varied — businesswoman, mother, wife, painter, cook — you can reflect on your success in those other things, she said.

QCan a hobby make you better at your job?

A. Yes, because doing something you enjoy can help you think more creatively and give you confidence. Ms. Kauffman said a hobby could even help prepare you for a difficult meeting, making you more sure of yourself and energetic. “Let’s say you are passionate about opera. Google your favorite opera piece and listen for five or six minutes,” she said. “That positive emotion builds your cognitive and social skills. If you follow your bliss for a little while, it really gives you a surge of energy.”

Challenging and stimulating hobbies may inspire ideas that will help you at work — leading, for example, to a new approach to making presentations, solving problems or meeting a client’s needs. “Any time you take a break from routine, you develop new ways of thinking,” said Gail McMeekin, a psychotherapist and owner of Creative Success, a career coaching company in Boston and author of “The Power of Positive Choices.”

Ms. McMeekin said that by tapping into our creativity through hobbies, we make connections that lead to a flurry of insights and new ideas.

Q. Life is so busy. How do you make time for a hobby?

A. If you start thinking of your hobby as something that helps you professionally as well as personally, you won’t feel so guilty about making time for it.

Schedule an activity on your calendar at home and at work, said Andrea Kay, a career consultant in Cincinnati and author of “Life’s a Bitch and Then You Change Careers.” Ms. Kay’s hobby is making whimsical papier-mâché creatures. She usually dedicates time on the weekend for her art, but also suggested using time early in the morning or in the evening, after children are in bed. “A lot of people just spend their nights in front of the TV; do your hobby instead,” she said. Another option: take a class, like painting or pottery, that forces you to make time for it.

Q. How can you tell if your hobby is something you should pursue professionally?

A. The tipping point is reached when you are far more interested in your hobby than your job and when work feels like a waste of time, Ms. McMeekin said. But take a long look before you leap.

“You have to do some market research first and make sure you could earn a living doing your hobby. You also take the risk that making your hobby your career will take all the fun out of it,” she said.

13 Things Mindful People Do Differently Every Day

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/30/habits-mindful-people_n_5186510.html

by Carolyn Gregoire 

Posted: 04/30/2014 8:23 am EDT Updated: 04/30/2014 8:59 am EDT

It may have started as a trend among Silicon Valley tech companies, but mindfulness seems to be here to stay for all of us.

2014 has been called the “year of mindful living,” and in the past several months, mindfulness has made headlines in seemingly every major print publication and news site. No longer an activity reserved for the new age set, the public is looking to mindfulness as an antidote to stress and burnout, technology addiction and digital distractions, and a sense of time famine and constant busyness.

More and more research is legitimizing the practice, demonstrating that it may be an extremely effective intervention for a wide range of physical and mental health problems.

But beyond the buzz, what does it really mean to be a mindful person — and what do they do differently every day to live more mindfully? Mindfulness, the practice of cultivating a focused awareness on the present moment, is both a daily habit and a lifelong process. It’s most commonly practiced and cultivated through meditation, although being mindful does not necessarily require a meditation practice.

“It’s the awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally,” explained Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) technique, in a video interview. “That sounds pretty simple… but actually when we start paying attention to how much we pay attention, half of the time our minds are all over the place and we have a very hard time sustaining attention.”

Here are 13 things mindful people actually do every day to stay calm, centered and attentive to the present moment.

They take walks.

woman walking in park

“In our culture of overwork, burnout, and exhaustion, in which we’re connected and distracted 24/7 from most things that are truly important in our lives, how do we tap into our creativity, our wisdom, our capacity for wonder, our well-being and our ability to connect with what we really value?” Arianna Huffington asked in a 2013 HuffPost blog post.

Her answer: Solvitur ambulando, which is Greek for “it is solved by walking.” Mindful people know that simply going for a walk can be excellent way to calm the mind, gain new perspective and facilitate greater awareness.

Walking through green spaces may actually put the brain into a meditative state,according to a 2013 UK study. The act of walking in a peaceful outdoor landscape was found to trigger “involuntary attention,” meaning that it holds attention while also allowing for reflection.

They turn daily tasks into mindful moments.

Mindfulness isn’t just something you practice during a 10-minute morning meditation session. It can be incorporated throughout your everyday life by simply paying a little more attention to your daily activities as you’re performing them.

As the meditation app Headspace puts it:

“Mindfulness starts to get really interesting when we can start to integrate it into everyday life. Remember, mindfulness means to be present, in the moment. And if you can do it sitting on a chair, then why not while out shopping, drinking a cup of tea, eating your food, holding the baby, working at the computer or having a chat with a friend? All of these are opportunities to apply mindfulness, to be aware.”

 
 

They create.

artist painting

Mindfulness and creativity go hand-in-hand: Mindfulness practice boosts creative thinking, while engaging, challenging creative work can get you into a flow state of heightened awareness and consciousness.

Many great artists, thinkers, writers and other creative workers — from David Lynch to Mario Batali to Sandra Oh — have said that meditation helps them to access their most creative state of mind. In Catching The Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness and Creativity, Lynch compares ideas to fish: “If you want to catch a little fish, you can stay in the shallow water. But if you want to catch the big fish, you’ve got to go deeper.”

If you want to become more mindful but are struggling with a silent meditation practice, try engaging in your favorite creative practice, whether it’s baking, doodling, or singing in the shower, and see how your thoughts quiet down as you get into a state of flow.

They pay attention to their breathing.

Our breath is a barometer for our overall physical and mental state — and it’s also the foundation of mindfulness. As mindful people know, calming the breath is the key to calming the mind.

Meditation master Thich Nhat Hahn describes the most foundational and most effective mindfulness practice, mindful breathing, in Shambhala Sun:

“So the object of your mindfulness is your breath, and you just focus your attention on it. Breathing in, this is my in-breath. Breathing out, this is my out-breath. When you do that, the mental discourse will stop. You don’t think anymore. You don’t have to make an effort to stop your thinking; you bring your attention to your in-breath and the mental discourse just stops. That is the miracle of the practice. You don’t think of the past anymore. You don’t think of the future. You don’t think of your projects, because you are focusing your attention, your mindfulness, on your breath.”

 
 

They unitask.

women at work

Multitasking is the enemy of focus — many of us spend our days in a state of divided attention and near-constant multitasking, and it keeps us from truly living in the present. Studies have found that when people are interrupted and dividing their attention, it takes them 50 percent longer to accomplish a task and they’re 50 percent more likely to make errors.

“Rather than divide our attention, it is far more effective to take frequent breaks between intervals of sustained, one-pointed attention,” Real Happiness at Work author Sharon Salzberg writes in a Huffington Post blog. “Debunking the myth of multitasking, we become much better at what we do and increase the chance of being able to remember the details of work we have done in the past.”

The mindful way, Salzberg suggests, is to focus on one task completely for a given period of time, and then take a break before continuing or moving on to another task.

They know when NOT to check their phones.

Mindful people have a healthy relationship with their mobile devices — they set (and keep) specific parameters for usage. This might mean making a point never to start or end the day checking email (and maybe even keeping their smartphones in a separate room while they’re sleeping), or choosing to unplug on Saturdays or every time they go on vacation.

But most importantly, they stow their phones away while spending time with their loved ones. One unfortunate byproduct of tech addition and too much screen time is that it keeps us from truly connecting with others — as HopeLab CEO Pat Christen described her own aha moment, “I realized several years ago that I had stopped looking in my children’s eyes. And it was shocking to me.”

Those who mindfully interact with others look up from their screens and into the eyes of whomever they’re interacting with, and in doing so, develop and maintain stronger connections in all their relationships.

They seek out new experiences.

Openness to experience is a byproduct of living mindfully, as those who prioritize presence and peace of mind tend to enjoy taking in and savoring moments of wonder and simple joy. New experiences, in turn, can help us to become more mindful.

“[Adventure] can naturally teach us to be here now. Really, really here,” adventurer Renee Sharp writes in Mindful Magazine. “To awaken to our senses. To embrace both our pleasant and our difficult emotions. To step into the unknown. To find the balance between holding on and letting go. And learn how to smile even when the currents of fear are churning within.”

They get outside.

national park yosemite

Spending time in nature is one of the most powerful ways of giving yourself a mental reboot and reinstating a sense of ease and wonder. Research has found that being outdoors can relieve stress, while also improving energy levelsmemory and attention.

“We need the tonic of wildness,” Thoreau wrote in Walden. “At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”

They feel what they’re feeling.

Mindfulness isn’t about being happy all the time. It’s about acceptance of the momentwe’re in and feeling whatever we feel without trying to resist or control it.

Excessive preoccupation with happiness can actually be counterproductive, leading to an unhealthy attitude towards negative emotions and experiences. Mindful people don’t try to avoid negative emotions or always look on the bright side — rather, accepting both positive and negative emotions and letting different feelings coexist is a key component of remaining even-keeled and coping with life’s challenges in a mindful way.

Meditation, the quintessential mindfulness practice, has been shown to be a highly effective intervention for managing emotional challenges including anxiety, depression and stress. A 2013 study also found that people with mindful personalities enjoy greater emotional stability and improved sleep quality.

As Mother Teresa put it, “Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.”

They meditate.

meditation

You can be mindful without meditating, but all the research and experts tell us that meditation is the most sure-fire way to become more mindful. A regular practice can help to reduce stress, improve cognitive function, and boost well-being. Research has found that mindfulness meditation can even alter gene expression, lowering the body’s inflammatory response.

Aside from the wealth of research on the physical and mental health benefits of meditation, the testimonies of countless meditators attests to the fact that a consistent practice can help you stay awake and present to your own life.

“It’s almost like a reboot for your brain and your soul,” Padmasree Warrior, CTO of Cisco, told the New York Times in 2012 of making the time to meditate and unplug. “It makes me so much calmer when I’m responding to e-mails later.”

They’re conscious of what they put in their bodies — and their minds.

So often, we shovel food into our mouths without paying any attention to what we’re eating and whether we feel full. Mindful people make a practice of listening to their bodies — and they consciously nourish themselves with healthy foods, prepared and eaten with care. But mindful eating is all about taking your time, paying attention to the tastes and sensations, focus fully on the act of eating and eating-related decisions.

Mindful people also pay attention to their media diets, are equally careful not to feed their minds with “junk food” like excess television, social media, mindless gaming and other psychological empty calories. (Too much time on the Internet has been linked with fewer hours of sleep per night and an increased risk of depression.

They remember not to take themselves so seriously.

laughter

As Arianna Huffington writes in Thrive, “Angels fly because they take themselves lightly.” A critical factor in cultivating a mindful personality is refusing to get wrapped up and carried away by the constant tug of the emotions. If you can remember to laugh and keep an even keep through the ups and downs, then you’ve come a long way already in mastering the art of mindfulness.

Much of our distraction is internal — we ruminate, worry and dwell on our problems. But those who are able to maintain a sense of humor about their own troubles are able to better cope with them. Research from the University of California Berkeley and University of Zurich found that the ability to laugh at oneself is associated with elevated mood, cheerful personality, and a sense of humor.

Laughing also brings us into the present moment in a mindful way. Joyful laughter and meditation even look similar in the brain, according to a new study from Loma Linda University.

They let their minds wander.

daydreaming

While mindfulness is all about focusing on the present moment, mind-wandering also serves an important psychological function, and conscientious people are able to find the happy medium between these two ways of thinking. It’s smart to question whether we should always be living in the moment. The latest research on imagination and creativity shows that if we’re always in the moment, we’re going to miss out on important connections between our own inner mind-wandering thoughts and the outside world.

Engaging in imaginative thinking and fantasizing may even make us more mindful. Research has found that those whose daydreams are most positive and most specific also score high in mindfulness.

What The Average Face Of A Person Who Abuses Drugs Or Alcohol Looks Like

Business Insider: DINA SPECTOR – MAR. 20, 2014, 3:12 PM

To show how alcohol and drugs affect a user’s appearance, a website called Recovery.org used mugshots to average the faces of male and female abusers of marijuana, alcohol, and meth.

For each face in the graphic below, 100 mugshots were merged together using software.

To rule out the influence of race and age, only the mugshots of white drug and alcohol offenders between the ages of 18 and 35 were selected, according to the website. You can read more about the methodology here.

In an emailed statement, Recovery.org says that marijuana users tend to have round features and a full face, meth abusers have sagging skin, sunken eyes, and a grey-ish appearance, and alcohol abusers look fairly normal.

The study doesn’t offer an explanation for why pot smokers have fuller features, which seems to contradict a recent study suggesting that people who regularly smoke marijuana are skinnier.

mugs-2

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/faces-of-a-person-who-abuses-drugs-2014-3#ixzz2zkEHnu29

11 Scientifically Proven Reasons You Should Go Outside

http://www.businessinsider.com/11-reasons-you-should-go-outside-2014-4

Business Insider: LAUREN F FRIEDMAN AND KEVIN LORIA APR. 9, 2014, 5:58 PM

forest-trees-happy

With spring finally here after a long and brutal winter, we highly recommend spending some time outside.

Nature offers one of the most reliable boosts to your mental and physical well-being. Here are just a few potential benefits:

1. Improved short-term memory
In one study, University of Michigan students were given a brief memory test, then divided into two groups.

One group took a walk around an arboretum, and the other half took a walk down a city street. When the participants returned and did the test again, those who had walked among trees did almost 20% percent better than the first time. The ones who had taken in city sights instead did not consistently improve.

Another similar study on depressed individuals also found that walks in nature boosted working memory much more than walks in urban environments.

Source: Psychological Science, 2008; Journal of Affective Disorders, 2013

2. Restored mental energy
You know that feeling where your brain seems to be sputtering to a halt? Researchers call that “mental fatigue.”

One thing that can help get your mind back into gear is exposing it to restorative environments, which, research has found, generally means the great outdoors. One study found that people’s mental energy bounced back even when they just looked at pictures of nature. (Pictures of city scenes had no such effect.)

Studies have also found that natural beauty can elicit feelings of awe, which is one of the surest ways to experience a mental boost.

Source: Journal of Environmental Psychology, 1995; Journal of Environmental Psychology, 2005; Psychological Science, 2012

3. Stress relief
Tensed and stressed? Head for the trees. One study found that students sent into the forest for two nights had lower levels of cortisol — a hormone often used as a marker for stress — than those who spent that time in the city.

In another study, researchers found a decrease in both heart rate and levels of cortisol in subjects in the forest when compared to those in the city. “Stressful states can be relieved by forest therapy,” they concluded.

Among office workers, even the view of nature out a window is associated with lower stress and higher job satisfaction.

Source: Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research, 2007; Environmental Health and Preventative Medicine, 2010; Japanese Journal of Hygiene, 2011; Biomedical and Environmental Sciences, 2012

4. Reduced inflammation
Inflammation is a natural process the body uses to respond to threats like damage (e.g., a stubbed toe) and pathogens (e.g., exposure to the flu). But when inflammation goes into overdrive, it’s associated in varying degrees with a wide range of ills including autoimmune disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, depression, and cancer. Spending time in nature may be one way to help keep it in check.

In one study, students who spent time in the forest had lower levels of inflammation than those who spent time in the city. In another, elderly patients who had been sent on a weeklong trip into the forest showed reduced signs of inflammation as well as some indications that the woodsy jaunt had a positive effect on their hypertension.

Source: Biomedical and Environmental Sciences, 2012; Journal of Cardiology, 2012

5. Better vision
At least in children, a fairly large body of research has found that outdoor activity may have a protective effect on the eyes, reducing the risk of developing nearsightedness (myopia).

“Increasing time spent outdoors may be a simple strategy by which to reduce the risk of developing myopia and its progression in children and adolescents,” a 2012 review concluded.

An Australian study that followed almost 2,000 schoolchildren for two years found that more time spent outdoors was associated with a lower prevalence of myopia among 12-year-olds. The same association was not found for those who spent a lot of time playing sports indoors, suggesting the connection was about more than physical activity.

In Taiwan, researchers studied two nearby schools where myopia was equally common. They told one school to encourage outdoor activity during recess and monitored the other as a control. After one year, the rate of myopia in the control school was 17.65%; in the “play outside” school, it was just 8.41%.

Source: Ophthalmology, 2008; Ophthalmology, 2012; Ophthalmology, 2013

6. Improved concentration
We know the natural environment is “restorative,” and one thing that a walk outside can restore is your waning attention. In one early study, researchers worked to deplete participants’ ability to focus. Then some took a walk in nature, some took a walk through the city, and the rest just relaxed. When they returned, the nature group scored the best on a proofreading task. Other studies have found similar results — even seeing a natural scene through a window can help.

The attentional effect of nature is so strong it might help kids with ADHD, who have been found to concentrate better after just 20 minutes in a park. “‘Doses of nature’ might serve as a safe, inexpensive, widely accessible new tool … for managing ADHD symptoms,” researchers wrote.

Source: Environment & Behavior, 1991; Journal of Environmental Psychology, 1995 (2); Journal of Attention Disorders, 2008

7. Sharper thinking and creativity
“Imagine a therapy that had no known side effects, was readily available, and could improve your cognitive functioning at zero cost.” That’s the dramatic opening to a 2008 paper describing the promise of so-called “nature therapy” — or, as a non-academic might call it, “time outside.”

When college students were asked to repeat sequences of numbers back to the researchers, they were much more accurate after a walk in nature. This finding built on previous research that showed how nature can restore attention and memory.

Another study found that people immersed in nature for four days — significantly more time than a lunchtime walk in the park — boosted their performance on a creative problem-solving test by 50%. While the research suggests the possibility of a positive relationship between creative thinking and the outdoors, it wasn’t enough to determine whether the effects were due to “increased exposure to nature, decreased exposure to technology, or other factors.”

Source: Psychological Science, 2008; PLOS ONE, 2012

8. Possible anti-cancer effects
Research on this connection is still in its earliest phases, but preliminary studies have suggested that spending time in nature — in forests, in particular — may stimulate the production of anti-cancer proteins. The boosted levels of these proteins may last up to seven days after a relaxing trip into the woods.

Studies in Japan have also found that areas with greater forest coverage have lower mortality rates from a wide variety of cancers, even after controlling for smoking habits and socioeconomic status. While there are too many confounding factors to come to a concrete conclusion about what this might mean, it’s a promising area for future research.

Source: International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology, 2007; International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology, 2008; Journal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents, 2008; The Open Public Health Journal, 2008

9. Immune system boost
The cellular activity that is associated with a forest’s possible anti-cancer effects is also indicative of a general boost to the immune system you rely on to fight off less serious ills, like colds, flus, and other infections.

A 2010 review of research related to this effect noted that “all of these findings strongly suggest that forest environments have beneficial effects on human immune function,” but acknowledged that more research on the relationship is needed.

Source: Environmental Health and Preventative Medicine, 2010

10. Improved mental health
Anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues may all be eased by some time in the great outdoors — especially when that’s combined with exercise. This is to be expected, as both greenery and exercise are known to reduce stress.

One study found that walks in the forest were specifically associated with decreased levels of anxiety and bad moods, and another found that outdoor walks could be “useful clinically as a supplement to existing treatments” for major depressive disorder.

“Every green environment improved both self-esteem and mood,” found an analysis of 10 earlier studies about so-called “green exercise,” and “the mentally ill had one of the greatest self-esteem improvements.” The presence of water made the positive effects even stronger.

Source: Environmental Science and Technology, 2010; Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2012; Journal of Affective Disorders, 2013

11. Reduced risk of early death
The health effects of green space are wide-ranging, and studies that can’t prove cause-and-effect still show strong associations between access to nature and longer, healthier lives.

“The percentage of green space in people’s living environment has a positive association with the perceived general health of residents,” concluded a Dutch study of 250,782 people.

Nearby green space was even more important to health in urban environments, the researchers found. In fact, they wrote, “our analyses show that health differences in residents of urban and rural municipalities are to a large extent explained by the amount of green space.”

A follow-up study by the same research team relied on mortality assessed by physicians and found that a wide variety of diseases were less prevalent among people who lived in close proximity to green space. Other studies have made a direct link between time spent in forests and other measures of overall health.

Why the connection? Researchers pointed to “recovery from stress and attention fatigue, encouragement of physical activity, facilitation of social contact and better air quality” as well as nature’s positive effect on mental health, which would boost overall health and longevity as well.

Source: Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 2006; Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 2009; Biomedical and Environmental Sciences, 2012

 

Podcast: Sleep More to Slim Down – the smarter science of slim

http://thesmarterscienceofslim.com/sleep/

 

clip from the transcript

Jonathan: Get more sleep and in fact, don’t feel bad about it. That’s the other challenge though. If you get more exercise, no one – well, some people in your life who may be poisonous might be like, “Oh, you want to exercise, you think you’re better than me?” But generally speaking you’ll have, “Good job. It’s like your New Year’s resolution to exercise more.” If you say, “My New Year’s resolution is to sleep more” people will laugh in your face and that’s wrong.

Carrie: Except me. I’ll be cheering you on. I’ll be going, yay sleep!

Jonathan: I really want to celebrate this. Literally we’re recording this on the 12th of September so it will likely air before the New Year. I would encourage you to make your New Year’s resolution to sleep. If you are not getting at least minimum seven hours’ of sleep at night that means like you get up at 5 a.m. you need to be asleep by 10 p.m. You get up at 6 a.m., sleep by 11. You can all do math.

The reason I say that is if you’re committed and you say, “I’m going to sleep more”, then instead of spending an hour at the gym doing cardio maybe you spend an hour doing research on the internet about how to sleep better. Maybe you start doing yoga, maybe you start doing Tai Chi, maybe you start doing this restorative activities we talked about in previous podcasts because they help to quiet your mind, they help to quiet your soul, they help to calm us down especially us Americans. It’s not like P90X all the time. Calm. Sleep.

Carrie: I’m so on this train.