Alison Garwood Jones

You snooze, you lose

May 26, 2010

Since when did sleep become the enemy?

MarthaStewartLivingMay2008.widecWas it when Martha Stewart gloated that she only needed three or four hours of it every night? Is that when the rest of us (this writer excluded) began pasting determined smiles over our exhausted bodies, when Martha taught us that less sleep = more corporate success?

And that’s a good thing?

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Or, maybe it was when Madonna told Elle Magazine that she sleeps with her BlackBerry, putting it on vibrate and tucking it under her pillow. “I have to,” she insisted, “I often wake up in the middle of the night and remember that I’ve forgotten something, so I jump up and make notes.”

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Madonna may be influential, but this is one trend she’s following, not starting. From the looks of it, we’re all hooked.

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We’re up when we should be down.

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And down when we should be up.

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Talk about the land of the living dead.

But where there’s a problem, there’s always a solution … and piles of money to be made.

Here are just a few of the recent gadgets the “three hour a night” club have cooked up to attack our sleep deficit.

Drum roll, please ….

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Ladies and Germs, introducing Metronap’s EnergyPod

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This is a sleeker alternative to napping at your desk, in an empty conference room or a bathroom stall. The EnergyPod is an ergonomic wet dream, complete with a built-in music player and headphone jack, a shiny lid for privacy and a timer to wake you up for your next presentation.

These are just a few of the restful shots from the advertising campaign…

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And ….

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Here’s my take: Napping is good. I believe a nap at work should become an accepted part of corporate culture. What bothers me is the misguided way sleep is being framed by our go-go-go culture. Here are a few at-home gadgets for the overtired. You decide.

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Hold  on … it’s not a dildo, but a bedtime drink! If this device doesn’t turn you on, you really are tired. Neuro Sleep, from Neuro Drinks, is a fizzy beverage packed with sleep-inducing ingredients, including melatonin, magnesium and 5-HTP. Part of the vitamin water trend, Neuro Sleep claims to normalize your circadian rhythms, sending you off into a peaceful slumber. Hmm, except they forgot one thing: Glugging all 430 mL before bed is likely to result in at least three trips to the bathroom during the night.

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Here’s what Audrey would do. Better, we think. But techno geeks crave this …

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Sleep Cycle, an app from Apple that “analyzes your sleep patterns” and “wakes you up when you reach your lightest sleep phase.” OK,  but what if your entire night is a light phase? Are you constantly prodded to get up? It makes me wonder if being this self-analytical really helps us to sleep any better? Isn’t this app just feeding into our insatiable appetite for endless facts and data and making us more tense?

Last week I spoke with one of Oprah’s favourite expertsRubin Naiman, a clinical psychologist in Arizona and co-author of Healthy Sleep with Dr. Andrew Weil, and asked him, What’s wrong with this entire picture?

Stay tuned for my Q&A with Rubin. It’s up later this week. In the meantime, I’ve gotta go. I’ve got paid work piling up and a nap to fit in this afternoon.

Sweet dreams, dear readers.

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One response to “You snooze, you lose”

  1. Emily says:

    I'm a big fan of sleeping in (and I must say that it is the one really big perk of being unemployed!), but try as I might I have never been able to have a satisfying nap. Those individuals who are able to feel rejuvenated from a 20 minute nap are fortunate, in my opinion.

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