I was yawning the other day as I walked into the office. It is not like I had not slept well. I had, in fact, put logs to shame with the night’s repose. Optimism was brimming as I went to bed early after setting an alarm for the break of dawn the next day. The alarm, helpfully titled, ‘Fresh Air Beckons!’ , was to nudge me towards getting in a wisp of fresh air before the rigorous day got under-way. But I had snoozed the alarm and had slept on till my usual time. So far so good.
I opened my browser and I kid you not, the first article to attract my attention was this one:
http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-31928434 (The article told me, quite morbidly, that folks who sleep longer die sooner.) Well, it doesn’t quite say it like that, but you know – sleepy heads, still muddling about before coffee and all that. In my befuddled state, this was like an alarm. It certainly worked better than my ‘Fresh Air Beckons’ alarm and I bustled about after a cup of coffee, desperate to make amends.
I mean, with the internet, there are studies on studies and studies on no-studies, studies on sleep and studies on no-sleep, studies on exercise and studies on no-exercise. It can all be a bit much. As long as you feel energetic and feel like you are living a healthy lifestyle, equip yourself with knowledge but don’t dwell on them is my philosophy towards it all. I am not sure it is a great philosophy, but the fact of the matter is that what we know today ‘for sure’ can change tomorrow with another research article that argues the exact opposite with statistics. So, how am I to find out what is best?
Of course, there are advantages too, for you can backup anything with research. Shirking at home without exercising? Just find a study like this to assuage your guilt: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-31095384: Too much jogging the same as no jogging at all. Having done your part, you may now kick back and relax nibbling snacks of your choice. You just stamp pretty hard on that nagging squeak at the back of your brain telling you that you mis-interpreted the study.
You can do it with anything. Watch:
1) Prefer to turn your eye when cleaning beckons? Do you see socks lying everywhere, shoes waiting to be stacked, books waiting to be cleared away? No problem. Science shows people with messy desks are creative.
2) Feel like sleeping in late, and battling against what people have been telling you for ages about the benefits of being a early-riser? Find another research article.
3) Got up early one day and feeling complacent and righteous? Casually toss out another study.
I wonder if there is a study on seeing why we need to feel validated by studies. Can somebody research the topic and let me know?