Too Hard Tonight? Try again in the morning.



How many times do I need to relearn this fact of life? Last night I tried to correct a troublesome Excel spreadsheet until I gave-up in frustration. This morning, I fixed it in five minutes.


Sleep that knits up the ravell’d sleave of care,
The death of each day’s life, sore labour’s bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,
Chief nourisher in life’s feast.

–Macbeth (2.2.46-51)



Sleep Away Excess Fat

Dr. PenevDo not trade sleep for exercise. You need both to be healthy.

“In a 2004 study, men limited to only four hours of sleep a night reported increased appetite and showed hormonal changes consistent with increased hunger…sleep loss can wreak havoc with a person’s endocrine system, the hormones that control appetite and metabolism.”

Cutting back on sleep, a behavior that is ubiquitous in modern society, appears to compromise efforts to lose fat through dieting.

In our study it reduced fat loss by 55 percent.

Dr. Plamen Penev, MD
University of Chicago
School of Medicine

In a new study of two groups following the same diet and exercise routines weight loss was the same but the group with adequate sleep lost fat while the sleep deprived participants lost muscle or bone.

Burn Off More Fat with More…Sleep?
« Science Life Blog «
University of Chicago Medical Center

Happiness is simple–and subtle



Novelist Amy Bloom surveys the literature on happiness for the New York Times and distills these five essentials. I have recently rediscovered the importance of number 2.

The Fundamentally Sound, Sure-Fire

Top Five Components of


  1. Be in possession of the basics — food, shelter, good health, safety.
  2. Get enough sleep.
  3. Have relationships that matter to you.
  4. Take compassionate care of others and of yourself.
  5. Have work or an interest that engages you.

I don’t see how even the most high-minded, cynical or curmudgeonly person could argue with that.

–Amy Bloom

The Rap on Happiness



See also, Have Some Happy, on this blog.



Where did the time go? Your mind lost it.



John P. RobinsonAmericans today have plenty of time for leisure, says Professor John Robinson. Robinson is Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland and Director of the Americans’ Use of Time Project.

What [Robinson] does not dispute is that people think they have no time. “It’s very popular, the feeling that there are too many things going on, that people can’t get in control of their lives,” he says. “But when we look at people’s diaries, there just doesn’t seem to be the evidence to back it up. It’s a paradox. When you tell people they have (more…)

Night & Day, Tragedy & Giddiness

Mark Twain picture from Appleton's Journal Jul...

Image via Wikipedia

Image via Wikipedia

In the night, in the dark, the tragedy part was always to the front, and always warning, always threatening; and so I moaned and tossed, and sleep was hard to find. But in the cheerful daylight the tragedy element faded out and diappeared, and I walked on air, and was happy to giddiness, to intoxication, you may say.

–Mark Twain
The £1,000,000 Bank-Note

Sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care,


The death of each day’s life, sore labor’s bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,


Chief nourisher in life’s feast.

— The rueful murderer in
Shakespeare’s Macbeth
Act II Scene 2

You probably need more sleep, too

Stars and Stripes

“Soldiers require 7-8 hours of good quality sleep each night to sustain operational readiness,” according to … the U.S. Army Medical Command. … “sheer determination or willpower cannot offset the mounting effects of inadequate sleep”…

Scans of sleep-deprived brains, when compared to scans of alert subjects’ brains, show less activity in the prefrontal cortex — the part of the brain associated with high order functions like problem-solving, judgment and moral decision-making, he said. …the people who should sleep the most are unit leaders who make mission-critical decisions. …

[If you can’t change your work schedule, at least adjust your weekend routine.] Sleep can be “banked,” Balkin said. Soldiers forced to sleep for 10 hours, who were then sleep deprived for a week, performed better than soldiers who had only a normal night’s rest on the first night.

–Stars and Stripes