Yearly Archives: 2017
Post by Jessica Schoenenberger
It is finally the time of year when summer ends, and we all breathe a sigh of relief. Not because of weather, but the return of television. The time when the fluffy, summer filler shows are replaced with the exciting fall content. And, at the helm of it this year, is Game of Thrones.
We prepared for the return of this fantasy with a cult following with a special dinner, and sat down to watch it exactly at 9PM that Sunday night. Many of my coworkers make it a point to watch Game of Thrones live, and on Monday mornings the office is a buzz of discussion. Watching Sunday night is mandatory.
This got me thinking. Game of Thrones is a notoriously intense and violent show. And, 9 PM is fairly late to get yourself revved up by complicated banter, battles, and the more than occasional gruesome death. And Game of Thrones is not alone. With every new show either filled with action or attempting to shock and horrify you in new ways to keep you entertained (I’m looking at you Black Mirror) , we have to ask: what do these beloved prime time dramas and bingeable online shows do to our sleep?
According to Men’s Health, two-thirds of people in every single country watch TV in the hour before bed. And indeed, according to Men’s Health, a new study suggests that people who watch violent TV right before bed may suffer more nightmares than those who don’t, which could certainly disturb your sleep. The idea is that when you watch TV, it triggers memories and feelings in your brain subconsciously that are brought back up while you are asleep. It’s been proven waking thoughts extend into dreams, and this is the same idea.
In this day in age, it’s not just the intensity of shows that keep us up however. It’s the availability of shows to binge watch as well. In the UK, around 10 million Brits admit that they have stayed up too late and were tired the next day due to binge watching TV. (BBC.com) No longer slaves to the broadcast schedule, many give into temptation and put on “just one more” before slumbering off. In addition, more and more people stay up to finish live television. This all amounts to a sleep debt: people flat out getting less sleep because they are still awake.
So what can you do? Watch less TV, or curb your viewing before bed. Try to stick to lighter fare in the later hours of the night. Set more of a routine (regular routines are good for sleep anyway) and have a specific bedtime that you won’t let TV seep into. We try to be in bed by 10:30 every night, so we won’t start another episode of anything past 9:45. Switch to reading before bed. Or, just deal with the consequences. We all know that sleep one of the most imperative things for your health. But, if you are willing to accept the following day grogginess every once in awhile to see the next big twist, more power to you. Everything in moderation, right?
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Post by Jessica Schoenenberger
Spend any time looking at bedrooms on Pinterest, and you’ll encounter the ever popular hanging nightstand. Predominantly featuring reclaimed wood hung from the ceiling with sisal rope, it’s an exotic look that is catching everyone’s eye.
The allure of the hanging night stand lies in its utility for a small space. Considering you can see more of the floor, and the rope above is ordinarily unassuming, your space feels bigger. Plus, combining the unfinished look of the wood with the simplicity of the cord evokes a minimalistic yet cozy quality. There’s something incredibly peaceful about a piece of furniture that lazily floats in the air.
They can be done in a single slab natural wood, or planks for a more finished, less rugged look. Crystal over at the Weathered Fox blog has an impressive DIY for one made from painted planks. The natural wood versions offer up a rugged, outdoor or even vaguely southwest look. The planks, on the other hand look quite beachy, depending on how you choose to handle the rope.
There are countless DIY’s out there for this. The only drawback is that, well, it’s hanging. While some say its slight sway is nice, I’ll admit it would make me nervous. It is especially something to consider if you have pets or children that might bump into it. If you’re not someone that tends to keep a glass of water or other fragile items on your nightstand, it might work. But if you are, I would think about how the weight of the system affects how much it moves.
Have any readers tried this trend? I would love to hear how it went!
Post by Jessica Schoenenberger
I might be late in the game, but Rogue One was just made available on Netflix.
For those who don’t know, Rogue One is the latest spinoff in the modern reboot of Star Wars. It takes place right before A New Hope out of the classic trilogy. Remember at the beginning of A New Hope, when the iconic text rolls across the screen revealing that rebel spies managed to capture the plans to the Death Star? Rogue One is the story of how many good men died to get those plans that would later be used to destroy the legendary enemy weapon.
Though it only includes faint cameos of a few of the familiar characters, Rogue One is very much a Star Wars movie. It’s a story about a raggedy orphan that bands together with other raggedy people to carry out a mission that is severely shorthanded. It’s a little more cheeky and comedic than the originals, and you get to see more of the daily life in the galaxy. There is, of course, a delightful droid as always, and some of the best action sequences of any Star Wars movie, due to crazy-cool innovations in cinematography and animation.
Don’t be fooled though, for all the fun it is, it has a dramatic ending that will leave you with your mouth open and tears in your eyes, but also feeling the wondrous excitement and fulfilment of classic Star Wars. Keep an eye out for incredible CGI and live action resurrections of key characters from a New Hope-you won’t miss them. In fact, if I was cynical I would say the whole movie was made just to bring them back. But in reality, Rogue One stands very strong by itself, satisfying any hard core Star Wars fan, even if it’s just a tidbit to tide us over until The Last Jedi. It’s the perfect thing to send you off to sleep feeling like you could conquer anything, even Darth Vader.
Post by Jessica Schoenenberger
During winter evenings, my cat curls up next to my chest, lets me put my arms around him, and snuggles with me all night. In the summer, he chooses the top of the fridge over my amazingly comfortable mattress, but still joins me in the morning (usually when he wants food). For a lot of you, this type of affection might seem normal for your pet. But with my cat, a black Bombay named Lu (Lucifer) that was rescued from the streets of Brooklyn, this is the biggest honor of my life. Lu’s affectionate in his own ways, but not the most cuddly. So the fact that he deigned me the most tolerable human in the house to huddle against during the colder seasons is something I won’t take for granted. Believe me, my boyfriend is more jealous than anyone you’ve ever seen.
So there I am, relishing every moment Lu seems to be depending on me for something other than food for once. And for the first half of the night while I’m sleeping soundly, it’s nothing short of heaven. Then as I get restless I come to the number one cat owner dilemma. If I move and disturb our little Dark Prince’s sleep, I know he will quite literally grumble at me in annoyance and jump down, leaving me cold and lonely. Or worse, he’ll awkwardly sandwich himself somewhere near my legs, leaving me only a few inches of the mattress to spare. Yes, my cat has emotions like that, I swear. And yes this is normal for a cat owner (I hope).
The benefits and drawbacks of letting your pet sleep with you have long been debated. According to Science Daily-about half of all pet owners co-sleep with their pets. Even further, Web MD states that 62% of cat owners sleep with their pet.
If you have severe allergies, of course it is best not to sleep with your pet, especially if you notice it irritating you. Otherwise, the consensus seems to be that it is perfectly fine to sleep with your pet if you can tolerate it. It has never been definitively proven that you are at higher risk of disease. Plus, there seem to be at least a few benefits in it for you. According to studies, sleeping with pets can relax you and provide you with a sense of security. Not to mention warmth, if you aren’t already a hot sleeper. Some insomnia sufferers can only sleep with the comfort of their dog or cat next to them. Like many lessons about sleep, it’s really about what is comfortable to you. If you feel you are sacrificing a good night sleep just to make your furry friend happy, you may want to rethink your situation. Otherwise, snuggle away!
A few tips if you do choose to sleep with your pet- If you have a new pet, you should try to give them a neutral sleeping area before letting them into your bed. And when you do, it should be by invitation only. That way, if you find that you are uncomfortable on certain nights, your pet will have somewhere else to go without being traumatized. Plus, for dog owners specifically, invitation only sleeping will reassert your dominance over certain dogs that might become territorial or aggressive about their perfect spot on the mattress.
Lu tends to be very restless any time I move around. And, at 4:45 in the morning on the dot (God knows why), he starts bothering me for his breakfast, meowing and wreaking havoc in the room. When this happens I am able to lock him out of the bedroom to get some extra shut eye, and he still has a few favorite spots around the house to settle into.
In the end, it really comes down to the balance. If you train your pet correctly, you should feel comfortable kicking them out if you can’t sleep. But it’s a personal choice. I of all people know how hard it can be to part with your pet when all you want to do is cuddle, but sometimes it will be for both of your benefit. You don’t want to end up resenting Fido for tossing and turning all night. I know I’ll probably still hold on to Lu longer than I should to my own detriment, but I’ll enjoy every second of it. Maybe I’m too obsessed with my pet, or maybe I’m just a normal cat owner starved for the aloof animal’s attention. But I do what makes me happy, and you should too. That’s what it’s all about, right?