Today, the CDC announced that “Americans over 60 should 'stock up' on supplies, avoid crowds”.
Considering a big chunk of my clientele at Sleep Is A Skill is over 60...
A recurring theme throughout many of my client calls this past week has been a swirl of this general line of thinking:
Coronavirus → Fears → Anxiety → Distraction → Sleep (Or Lack Thereof!)
And beyond the 60+ demographic, there is a general sense of unease.
Here are some sleep-centric resources to help during these times of uncertainty.
✍️Resource: Low Information Diet, Impossible, Revisiting The Low Information Diet (Revised for 2018) | IMPOSSIBLE Unless you’re a politician, trading, or taking some sort of clear and impactful action to make a difference in what is occurring in the news... Try not to become a spectator of noise. Instead, set things up so that you’re responsibly debriefed & informed, but not morphing into a distracted & anxious news junkie. Instead, put together a trusted debrief of either ONE core email a day (daily news email options) or ONE central news podcast (daily news podcast options). And if you’re like me, have the Pocket app read you your daily debrief while you’re getting ready.
✍️Resource: Video & Fear-setting Activity, TED Talk Why you should define your fears instead of your goals, Tim Ferriss gave this TED Talk (*Sidenote: reading Tim's first book back in 2007 stands as one of the core reasons that I knew that I wanted to become a digital nomad!). “So I encourage you to ask yourselves: Where in your lives right now might defining your fears be more important than defining your goals? Keeping in mind all the while, the words of Seneca: "We suffer more often in imagination than in reality." Coronavirus or no coronavirus, you can use this fear-setting paradigm to face your fears head-on.
*Shoutout to my friend Stefanie, the plant-based wizard of GreenSage for sending this!
💻Resource: Focus Item #1: Focusmate, “Distraction-free productivity; Focusmate virtual coworking helps you get things done.” I’m literally writing this newsletter with a virtual coworker from Focusmate as we speak. Trust me, give it a try!
💻Resource: Focus Item #2: Ultraworking, “Improving the Nature of Work for Enterprise and High-Performance Professionals” I think of this as Focusmate (see above) on crack. Not only do you get a wild google sheet to track your progress during your work session, but you are also working in a giant virtual coworking group that requires you to log your progress right down to your energy and morale. This allows you to spot trends and course-correct. For example I found that my productivity tanks when I have too much coffee...and soars just shy of a cup. Relatedly, I’ve discovered that the best way to hit my moral and energy is to have too many work sessions in a row where I don’t fulfill my task goals. Conversely, nothing makes me happier than nailing a stretch of accomplishments in a row. So satisfying!
📘Resource: Article, Matt Mullenweg (creator of WordPress, used by over 31% of the web!), Coronavirus and the Remote Work Experiment No One Asked For “We’ll never probably be the same. People who were reticent to work remotely will find that they really thrive that way. Managers who didn’t think they could manage teams that were remote will have a different perspective. I do think we won’t go back.”-Jennifer Christie, Twitter’s head of human resources, in BuzzFeed News
📘Resource: Article, PsychologyToday, How You Can Use Sleep to Fight Back Against Coronavirus “In a nutshell: Making sure we consistently get a good night’s sleep is one of the best ways we can improve our immunity and defend against viruses and disease. Sleep is a natural immune booster.”
📘Resource: Article, Take precautions but 'don't lose sleep' over coronavirus, says U of A health professor “Fear of the unexpected and a sense of helplessness are driving panic over the coronavirus, but people shouldn’t be losing sleep over it, says an emergency room doctor and University of Alberta professor.”
📘Resource: Study, ScienceDirect, Negative and positive affect as predictors of inflammation: Timing matters “Aggregated momentary negative affect and inflammation were significantly associated.” Translation...a persistent negative mindset hits at your levels of inflammation...regularly the root of virtually every disease. Certainly not a repeated action that you’d want to take to foster a robust immune system!
📘Resource: Study, ScienceDirect, Sleep and immune function “Sleep and the circadian system are strong regulators of immunological processes...Many immune functions display prominent rhythms in synchrony with the regular 24-h sleep–wake cycle, reflecting the synergistic actions of sleep and the circadian system on these parameters...Nocturnal sleep, and especially SWS (Slow Wave Sleep) prevalent during the early night, promotes the release of GH (Growth Hormone) and prolactin, while anti-inflammatory actions of cortisol and catecholamines are at the lowest levels.”
📘Resource: Article, The New Yorker, Light Is My New Drug’ The actually convincing science of light therapy. This article JUST came out a couple of days ago, and I genuinely believe that it’s going to be the next big thing for sleep. “Here is a partial list of what one company promises sitting under a small panel of red lights will improve: athletic performance and recovery (owing to faster muscle recovery and joint repair), sleep (thanks to increased melatonin production and a “healthy circadian rhythm”), and skin quality (because of reduced inflammation and increased collagen production).”
📘Resource: App, Breathework, 13 Best breathing apps for Android & iOS Try this before bed to calm the nervous system!
📘Resource: Book, Oxygen Advantage, I just bought this one after FIVE different people mentioned it in the last two weeks!