Sleep, stress, and salmon. Finding your off-switch in a world of distraction. |
Our sleep habits and moods can be affected by a lot of things. In this article, I’ll summarize what I’ve learned about sleep, and how I’ve minimized distractions and improved my sleep and mood. I’ll also discuss how I’ve learned to not try to medicate my moods, but instead seek to treat them naturally.
Over the last few months, I’ve been figuring out how to work less and relax more. I think many people struggle with getting enough sleep, and I wanted to learn how to sleep better. Luckily, I found my answer in a simple way of life: not working.
Since I’ve been doing this for about a year, I’ve noticed that the way we live has changed pretty drastically. We have more electronic devices than ever before, and in a lot of ways, they’ve made our lives easier. However, I think, we’ve also been robbed of a lot of things in this new world of technology. People get so distracted by new gadgets, that it doesn’t even dawn on them to look at their surroundings.. Read more about do salmon sleep and let us know what you think.
Our bodies work best when we have profound, clear highs and lows. We get more done and feel better while doing it when we fully engage and recuperate.
Olympic athletes and Navy SEALs have shown in studies that peak performance isn’t simply a result of hard effort or mental fortitude.
Recovery is the key to high performance, especially prolonged top performance. Recovery that is genuine. Something that only a handful of us really appreciate.
The majority of us now live in the gray zone as a result of modern living. We’re never focused on a single job, and we’re always doing something refreshing.
While working, we read the news and check our instant messages. During dinner, we check our phones for new emails.
That was my situation in 2009.
It was the first year of my new company’s existence. I’d get up before the sun came up and begin juggling a slew of chores and “fires.” I’d eventually fall asleep while mentally making to-do lists.
We remain in a moderate stress-response when we spend the day “putting out fires.”
Each new fire, distraction, or task we attempt to juggle results in a fresh dose of stress hormone. Sure, we’re occupied. But, in the end, we’re not sure what we accomplished.
Every system in our body suffers as a result of this. It causes a shift in brain activity away from the frontal cortex, which is where high-level thinking takes place. It directs it to the limbic system, the brain’s more basic “fight or flight” region.
Chronic multitaskers (like me) have a hard time filtering information. They have trouble focusing on a single activity or switching between them. Working memory is a problem for them.
I was the one who said that.
My focus was constantly jumbled. Distractions and requests were constantly present as “white noise.”
There was no appropriate peak-and-recovery cycle in place for me. I was never really “on” (since I was juggling so many things in my mind), but I was also never completely “off.”
Alaska altered everything.
In June, I quit my job and traveled to Bristol Bay, Alaska, to join a commercial salmon fishing team.
Alaska compelled me to stick to a regimen.
On the shore, a tiny cottage. There was no mobile phone, and there was no power.
Eat, sleep, and catch fish. Except during large fish runs, when we’d work several shifts in a succession, we worked 12 hours on, 12 hours off.
There were basic tasks to do in between shifts. Take care of the dishes. Repair a net. Replace a boat battery. Hike to the top of the hill and collect alder wood for smoking salmon.
In Alaska, I was unused to the lack of distraction.
I reached into my pocket, expecting to hear the buzz of a text message. I laid in my sleeping bag, unsure of what had arrived in my inbox.
I was concerned about customers back home while I dragged anchors and pulled nets.
Our brains are shaped by what we pay attention to.
The circuits in our brains that fire grow more efficient in the same way that our muscles adapt to deadlifting.
Taxi drivers’ hippocampuses become bigger, which is important for navigation. The portion of the brain that regulates the left hand expands in violinists.
The frontal area of your brain gets more active as you grow happy. You learn to be more focused and relaxed.
Your brain, on the other hand, cements the process of jumping from task to email to firing. Instead, you become more nervous and distracted.
I was able to relax after approximately two weeks in Alaska.
I was pulling an anchor, and I was pulling an anchor, and I was pulling an anchor, and I was pulling an anchor, and I was pulling an anchor My pocket no longer buzzed with fictitious text messages.
I let go.
The annoyance dissipated.
In the night, I could hear the odd whoosh of a breached whale breathing near the boat while I pulled nets and sorted fish.
When the morning light burst through the cold fog, I felt a deep feeling of gratitude.
The term “nature-deficit disorder” was coined by researchers.
It’s a weakened feeling of awareness, a hampered capacity to discover meaning in the world around us.
Robert Sapolsky expressed it this way:
“I would characterize severe depression as a ‘genetic/neurochemical disease needing a significant environmental trigger whose typical expression is an inability to enjoy sunsets’ if I had to explain it in a single sentence.”
Rachel and Stephen Kaplan, psychologists, investigate how nature may help our stressed brains.
They discovered that spending time in nature helped them overcome what they refer to as directed-attention fatigue.
Involuntary attention, according to the Kaplans, is one of the greatest antidotes to mental weariness. This is the kind of open curiosity we experience in particular settings.
The June solstice marks the start of salmon season.
With a two-hour sunset and a two-hour dawn, the sun would set for approximately two hours. The energy levels were affected in an unusual way as a result of this.
I wasn’t fatigued if I was outdoors. Despite the brightness, I was aware that it was midnight, but my body didn’t seem to mind.
We would close the curtains in the cabin to sleep. I’d fall asleep almost instantly once I was in bed.
The man in charge of the fishing team, Corey, is one of the most hardworking individuals I’ve ever met. Because I knew he’d be up early, rummaging about in the cabin getting ready, I never set an alarm.
I could fall asleep knowing that I’d be able to wake up whenever I needed to.
The largest fish run occurred in the first week of July.
As you went out to the boat, fish would brush up against your legs.
To keep up, crews were giving away 900 pound iced bags of fish to passing boats because they couldn’t take the fish out of their nets quickly enough.
We worked for almost 48 hours straight, drawing nets by hand, scooping up each fish and putting it into the bags. Leather gloves lasted approximately five hours until they were worn out. Our fingers bled and cracked.
When it was done, they put a 48-hour moratorium on fishing to determine how many fish had made it up the river to spawn.
On Tuesday, I ate a fillet of king salmon and fell asleep at 5 p.m., free of worry and tired.
It was 6 p.m. on Thursday when I awoke and slipped out of my sleeping bag.
I’d been sleeping for a little more than 24 hours.
The remainder of the group was gathered around a beach campfire, drinking whiskey.
It’s definitely an exaggeration to claim Alaska rescued my sanity.
Though it does seem like that on occasion.
It just served to highlight how chaotic my life (and attention) had become.
I’d been yearning for some fresh air. For the sake of concentration. For long periods of time and space without interruption.
For work, this results in a weary body and a calm mind at the end of the day.
For light emitted by the sun rather than a fluorescent bulb.
For the kind of community that a team committed to a single, basic goal may create.
I’m thinking about how I heal differently these days.
Recovery is now a top priority for me.
I also don’t need to go to Alaska to “get away.”
I’ve learnt to cycle through the highs and lows in my everyday life. That my “on” is turned on and my “off” is turned off.
When I perform a task now, I complete it. There won’t be any more at the same time.
And you won’t be able to locate me while I’m recuperating. I’m going to vanish. Make it dark and silent.
Or to a location where I can reclaim my natural, open attentiveness. I recall the scent of wood smoke and the sensation of fish brushing up against my legs.
I have sleep problems. I have sleep issues. They are not necessarily a medical condition, but they are certainly something I’d like to take a more active role in managing. In other words, I want to get better at sleeping. I want to sleep more deeply, sleep more soundly, and sleep less restlessly.. Read more about precision nutrition stress and let us know what you think.
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