Health, Society, Work

Longfellow Has Been Unwell

Example of dark circles

Example of dark circles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What happens when you combine frequently disturbed sleep, daily exercise involving cycling – usually against the wind, two weeks of work where you have been unusually busy so that you’ve barely sat down never mind had a proper half-hour lunch break all the while dealing with multiple tasks at once where you can’t quite get one done before the next walks through the door expecting to be dealt with immediately?

What you get is fatigue, and if you’re me a blog that looks abandoned.

Normally I balance things nicely, get enough rest but even then I still often find it difficult to sit down and write a blog post; I know what I want to say but just can’t get into the right frame of mind.  The last two weeks have been an exploration of the effects of fatigue and what I consider was probably mild compared to what some people have to deal with was eye-opening.

Each day I went to work (and these two weeks I volunteered to work Saturdays to cover a holiday) so woke up early, cycled in, stood up all day, went home full of good intentions and…

…collapsed onto the sofa with a microwave dinner and the TV remote.  During this time I felt too tired to do anything and could summon up no enthusiasm for anything either.  Nothing mattered – not even tidying up my apartment; I felt that nothing ever would; I didn’t want to talk to anyone; the slightest things going badly annoyed me; I certainly couldn’t put together an article on the joys and perils of 21st century life.  As such I was irritable frustrated and I didn’t feel like I was even in the real world.

The contrast was striking with the week off I enjoyed at home three weeks ago where I got lost of sleep (though still woke up at the same time) got lots of projects done and even managed to squeeze out a couple of posts for this site.

Today I’ve felt much better following a couple of quiet days at work, and some good nights sleep.  The things that fatigue us are cumulative if you don’t have a chance to properly slow down and recuperate.

It’s often difficult or even impossible to get sufficient breaks at work and sleep at night but I’ve found that it’s really important to aspire to getting both.

Health, Science

Step Away From The Computer

old hairdresser sleeping at work

old hairdresser sleeping at work (Photo credit:

No, not yet, read this first.

The reason I’m telling you this is that it’s good advice if you want a good night’s sleep.

I have read many times on Lifehacker that staring at devices that emit blue light before going to bed can disrupt your sleep patterns but had never tried it.  I have, however, been complaining for years that I often felt tired during the day no matter how much sleep I got.  Of course this can be a symptom of many other physical and psychological problems but having remembered the advice to switch off the computer, tablet, TV and so on and do something else like reading or listening to music I thought I’d give it a go.

The problem is that these bright light emitting devices cause the brain to stay alert and it is worse with computers which are typically close to your face, how close depends on what you’re looking at.

So far for me the results are encouraging and I feel significantly better.  If however you try this but don’t see any benefit and continue to suffer excessive tiredness then consult your doctor.

Night all, sleep well.