Posts tagged “sleep”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Brains, Behavior & Design: A toolkit by graduate students at IIT Institute of Design – In the real world, people are often irrational. Over the past few decades, researchers have codified many of the patterns that describe why people behave irrationally. As researchers, how can we be on the lookout for these patterns of behavior when we go into the field? As designers, how can we use our understanding of patterned irrational behavior to help people make better choices? We are developing tools that apply findings from the fields of cognitive psychology and behavioral economics to the design process. These tools provide a head start on framing research as well as developing new strategies for solving user problems.
  • Reading on iPad before bed can affect sleep habits [Los Angeles Times] – Staring at the screen before bed could leave you lying awake. That's because direct exposure to such abnormal light sources inhibits the body's secretion of melatonin. Light-emitting devices, including cellphones and the iPad, tell the brain to stay alert. Because users hold those devices so close to their face, staring directly into the light, the effect is amplified compared with a TV across the room or a bedside lamp, said Frisca Yan-Go, director of the UCLA Sleep Disorders Center in Santa Monica. Some say e-ink is easier on the eyes than the screen on a computer (tablet or otherwise). However, the Wall Street Journal published a report this month to the contrary. Yan-Go was eager to point out the advantages of books over e-readers. Paper books are often lighter; they can be dropped when you doze off holding them; and if they get wet, it's not the end of the world. And they won't mess with your sleep cycle…However, "Kindle is better for your sleep," Avidan wrote in another e-mail.
  • A New Character in Archie’s Town [] – A new man is moving into Riverdale, the home of comics’ perennial teenager Archie Andrews and his gang. His name is Kevin Keller, and he’s blond-haired, blue-eyed and gay. Kevin will be introduced in Veronica No. 202, in a story titled, “Isn’t it Bromantic?” The inclusion of the character meets twin goals, one real world and one in-story. “Riverdale has to reflect the diversity of the world today,” said Jon Goldwater, co-chief executive of Archie Comic Publications. “We want to be all inclusive.” Mr. Goldwater also said he’s not afraid of any repercussions. “We think everyone is going to enjoy the story,” he said. “It’s completely in the tradition of your typical Archie comic.” Dan Parent will be writing and illustrating the story of Kevin’s introduction. “Veronica is always chasing guys and getting what she wants. Who could we introduce that she could not get?” Mr. Parent said Kevin would be more than a one-off character with future stories already mapped out.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • The Nike Experiment: How the Shoe Giant Unleashed the Power of Personal Metrics – Using a flood of new tools and technologies, each of us now has the ability to collect granular information about our lives—what we eat, how much we sleep, when our mood changes.
    Not only can we collect that data, we can analyze it, looking for patterns, information that might help us change both the quality and the length of our lives. We can live longer and better by applying, on a personal scale, the same quantitative mindset that powers Google and medical research. Call it Living by Numbers—the ability to gather and analyze data about yourself, setting up a feedback loop that we can use to upgrade our lives, from better health to better habits to better performance.
    Nike has discovered that there's a magic number for a Nike+ user: 5. If someone uploads only a couple of runs to the site, they might just be trying it out. But once they hit 5 runs, they're massively more likely to keep running and uploading data. At 5 runs, they've gotten hooked on what their data tells them.
  • To Sleep, Perchance to Analyze Data: David Pogue on the Zeo sleep monitoring system – Just watching the Zeo track your sleep cycles doesn’t do anything to help you sleep better. Plotting your statistics on the Web doesn’t help, either.

    But the funny thing is, you do wind up getting better sleep — because of what I call the Personal Trainer Phenomenon. People who hire a personal trainer at the gym wind up attending more workouts than people who are just members. Why? Because after spending that much money and effort, you take the whole thing much more seriously.

    In the same way, the Zeo winds up focusing you so much on sleep that you wind up making some of the lifestyle changes that you could have made on your own, but didn’t. (“Otherwise,” a little voice in your head keeps arguing, “you’ve thrown away $400.”)

    That’s the punch line: that in the end, the Zeo does make you a better sleeper. Not through sleep science — but through psychology.

  • Baechtold's Best photo series – While they are framed as travel guides, they are really more visual anthropology. A range of topics and places captured and presented in a compelling and simple fashion, illustrating similarities and differences between people, artifacts, and the like.
  • It's girls-only at Fresno State engineering camp – This is the first year for the girls-only engineering camp. Its goal is to increase the number of female engineering majors at Fresno State, which lags behind the national average in graduating female engineers. Nationwide, about 20% of engineering graduates are women. 20 years ago the national average was 25%. At Fresno State, only 13% of engineering graduates are women.

    Jenkins said he hopes the camp will convince girls "who might not have thought about it" that engineering is fun, and entice them to major in engineering.
    (via @KathySierra)

  • Selling Tampax With Male Menstruation – This campaign, by Tampax, is in the form of a story featuring blog entries and short videos. The story is about a 16-year-old boy named Zack who suddenly wakes up with “girl parts.” He goes on to narrate what it’s like including, of course, his experience of menstruation and what a big help Tampax tampons were.

Seven Habits of Highly Effective Nappers

Seven Habits of Highly Effective Nappers

1. Announce your nap to yourself and if possible to your family, friends or colleagues.

For many people this has been the key step to guilt free, productive napping. In order to feel comfortable psychologically when napping, you have to know that by napping you are doing yourself and your significant others a favor. By ‘announcing’ your nap to yourself you are reinforcing and reminding yourself of the productivity and health benefits of napping.

2. Gather your napnomic devices

This much we know is true–nappers have certain devices that make their nap more pleasurable. We call these napnomic devices, i. e., things that assist you to nap. When you were a toddler, perhaps you had a teddy bear, a favorite blanket, a pacifier. Now that you are an adult napper you have put away your childish things, and have other napnomic devices. These might be certain pillows, your favorite bed, soft music, cool bed sheets, workout clothes, etc.

3. Insure a method for on-time awakening

Many expert nappers do not worry about awakening from their nap. They just do. They can tell themselves how long they wish to nap and they awaken at that time. Concern about on time awakening can ruin a good nap. Nappers who are apprehensive about waking up on time use wristwatches, clock or radio alarms to awaken successfully. When napping at a hotel the wakeup service can be used.

4. Insure control of your nap environment, including a plan to avoid nappus interruptus

Nappers need to feel secure in their nap, knowing not only that they have a method to wake up, but also that they will not be awakened prematurely, i. e., experience nappus interruptus. Common strategies are to shut off the phone, hold calls, and/or find an out-of-the way or secretive napping spot. Hotel nappers can use the doorknob sign asking for privacy.

5. Revel in the nap

Enjoy! No relevant suggestions here if you master the other six habits.

6. Deal with sleep inertia, if necessary

Sleep inertia is that groggy and slightly disorienting feeling that some nappers experience when awakening from a nap. Some people believe that if you nap about 40-60 minutes you will be waking up from a deep sleep and are more apt to experience sleep inertia. To combat sleep inertia they recommend naps of shorter duration (20-30 minutes). Overcoming sleep inertia is not rocket science. For the most part all the things you need are readily available: water, coffee, a bathroom, and a good nattitude (i. e., napping attitude).

7. Begin to plan your next nap as you awaken from this nap

Even accomplished nappers often miss this step. But it is important to make napping opportunities a traditional part of your daily planning, even if you don’t always use the opportunity.


About Steve