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“Now, blessings light on him that first invented sleep!

13 Dec

It covers a man all over, thoughts and all, like a cloak; it is meat for the hungry, drink for the thirsty, heat for the cold, and cold for the hot. It is the current coin that purchases all the pleasures of the world cheap, and the balance that sets the king and the shepherd, the fool and the wise man, even.”

Miguel de Cervantes, “Don Quixote“, quoted in “The Sleep Revolution” by Ariana Huffington.

World Health Day

7 Apr

Sleep makes an important contribution to your general health. Here are some tips to ensure you sleep well:

– Tips for your bedroom – not too warm, no light sources, no clocks, no TV and no computer
– Only use your bed to sleep in and don’t go to bed until you really feel tired. If you wake up for a longer period of time, get out of bed.
– Find out how much sleep you need and ensure you sleep accordingly.
– Keep to a sleep routine, even at weekends
– Write down thoughts that bother you and then leave them outside your bedroom
– Keep active during the day and don’t forget to exercise
– Learn to relax with autogenic training, yoga etc.
– Avoid strenuous physical or mental activity in the evening and don’t use your computer just before you go to bed
– No need to be afraid of sleepless nights; it’s perfectly normal to have some nights where you sleep very little
– Avoid heavy meals and excessive alcohol consumption late at night

Friday 13th March: World sleep day

13 Mar

Giraffes only need 2 hours of sleep daily, whereas a tiger spends 16 hours dozing. But however animals prefer to sleep, for humans, the rule is: a good day begins at night!

Healthy sleep improves your quality of life. When you sleep well, you get up refreshed and ready to face the challenges of a new day. So let’s celebrate this day and stay in bed an hour longer!

Good night and sleep long and deep under a wonderfully warm and cosy down duvet!

Down time is our most precious commodity!

3 Oct

Descartes, Hume and Locke were amongst the first to discredit the reputation of sleep, dismissing it as irrelevant for understanding or cognition. Today we live with a global infrastructure of round- the-clock shopping, work and communication. It’s never-ending, 24/7. Stay-awake tablets are the new lifestyle product so that you are always sharp and ready to go.

For a long time, sleep managed to avoid the financial exploitation suffered early on by other basic needs such as hunger, thirst and sex and remained the unique and inaccessible retreat from the dictates of capitalism.

As little as a century ago, people regularly spent ten hours sleeping. Omnipresent sleep deprivation is another symptom of our fast-moving lifestyle where personal thoughts and feelings are relegated to the side- lines.

Jonathan Crary invites us to get off to bed and close our eyes so that we can still feel some sense of freedom within the realms of respite and supposed emptiness.

24/7 – Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep (VERSO Books)
A book by Jonathan Crary, art critic, essayist and Meyer-Schapiro Professor of Modern Art and Theory at Columbia University in New York.

Productive and creative thanks to a good night’s sleep

1 Oct

Sleep is essential for us, not a dispensable luxury. It is important for our entire organism but especially for the brain. Laying our conscious selves aside for a while is a basic human need, and even though the thought of sinking into an unconscious state sometimes seems frightening, we have all had experiences of how productive this state can be.

An example of this is when you go to bed at night mulling over an unsolved problem, and then wake up with an »aha!» moment the next morning. The reason for this is that the brain uses sleep to separate the wheat from the chaff, store important data, delete insignificant details and go over all the new memories, processing them on the way. We can make use of this. Albert Einstein provides a perfect example – his theory of relativity was an inspiration that came to him in his sleep.