Sleep by Brian Adams

Exact Blueprint on How to Sleep Better and Feel Amazing

Brain Health, Memory Improvement and Increase Energy

Everyone likes to act busy. Often, we can’t get into the relaxed state of sleeping. Many things can be still on our minds. There is also a lot of artificial lighting around us which can make sleep more difficult. Noise is another issue to grapple with. This book is a blueprint which is supposed to help you to sleep more easily.

A Common Problem. Sleep problems are very common indeed. Many health problems are associated with the lack of sleep. The amount of sleep modern society gets is diminishing. Stress can be good, but excessive stress will prevent you from falling asleep at night. Money and work are common stressors. It is important to talk to someone close to you. Take time for self-care and to walk around. Learn to say ‘no’ and be kind to yourself. In a busy life, it requires effort to take a step back and to slow things down a little. You need to set personal boundaries on work/personal time. Time management is an important discipline to set. Do the laundry quickly, preferably, at the start of a weekend morning. Reduce the amount of time you spend on television. Reduce the amount of time spent on social media. If you work from home, it is still important to get up at the same time every day and keep a routine. Write down a list of goals the night before. It is important to remember not to procrastinate. Learn to regain control of your life and stay centred.

Those of us who work at home are especially vulnerable to work invading other sectors of our lives. Where does work end and the rest of your life begin? For those who work at home, it’s a tough call. – Brian Adams

Using the Time You’ve Taken. Take control of your time. Exercise can help you improve the quality of your sleep. Those who engage in vigorous activity can sleep better. Late afternoon is the best time for exercise. Yoga might work as well. Swimming is also proven to increase sleep quality. One can swim in a public pool etc. Geo-caching is an engaging hobby and you can go with your friends. It is like an ‘outdoor’ treasure hunt of sorts. Cycling is useful as a form of exercise too. Deep breathing can help as well. It can help ease anxiety and tension. Keeping a diary will help you identify what is causing you stress. It is important to set time aside to document things in a diary. Choose a lavish journal. Focus on the events which stand out and are memorable in nature. Any event has an impact on you. Process such events and understand how they affect you.

But the US National Sleep Foundation’s study found that the timing of exercise can have an impact on how you sleep. For example, exercising at night can actually lead to decreased sleep quality. Exercise raises your body temperature and your body can take up to six hours to cool down. – Brian Adams

A Sacred Space. Make your bedroom a sanctuary for sleep. Do not watch television while lying in bed. Television can cause over-stimulation. Do not play with mobile devices too close to bedtime. Light inhibits the production of melatonin, a hormone which aids sleep. Also, do not read in bed. If your pets are in the bedroom, sleep quality may be affected as well. The solution is not to let them in. ‘Blue light’ is good as it will keep you alert and focused. However, it is not good for sleeping. Those who hoard and mess up their desks will have trouble sleeping as well. Items which are not used should be kept aside. Sex can increase the level of oxytocin in your body. Relaxing aromas may help as well. Circulation of air and temperature is important as well. Reward yourself with comfortable bed-sheets etc.

Sleep Hygiene. It is important to go to bed at the same time every night. Avoid coffee and caffeine late into the night. Try not to eat after 8pm. Practise certain rituals before you go to bed. Slow down and take a breather late at night. Dress for sleep success. Always brush your teeth and wash your face before you sleep. The Big ‘S’. This is a common problem. To resolve it, avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.

Helpful Sleep Tips. Avoid stimulants and depressants. The bedroom should only be used for sleeping. It is important to create an ideal sleeping environment for yourself. A pre-sleep routine will help you. One such activity could be meditation. Avoid looking at your hand-phone excessively before bedtime. Naps are wonderful and are unlikely to affect your sleep cycle. Sleep at the same time every day. Naps should not last more than 30 minutes each time. Remember to keep hydrated during the day. A lack of water will prevent your body from forming serotonin. The best time to exercise is in the mornings. Eat only light dinners. Eating too close to bedtime will cause your stomach to rumble and it might cause stomach pain too. Expose yourself to as much natural light as possible in the day. Try massage. Write down what is worrying you.

Consuming alcohol makes you sleepy, but you don’t get as much REM sleep if your body is filled with alcohol. As a result, you are not going to have restful sleep and are going to be tired the next day. – Brian Adams

The stress of wondering what the time is could keep you up. Your brain will remain active, trying to process the stress you are feeling, constantly thinking about how long you have left to sleep. Hence, it would be helpful to just avoid looking at the clock altogether. – Brian Adams

The Benefits of Getting a Full Night’s Sleep. Sleep can boost happiness. The main reason why people are unhappy is because they lack sleep. Sleep helps your body to repair and function well. It makes sex more fun too. To build muscle, remember to get sufficient sleep. Your mind loses its cognitive function if it lacks sleep. Your mental performance will certainly improve with more sleep. Sufficient sleep reduces risk of contracting diabetes. Stress will keep you awake. Adequate sleep can help you save on medical bills. A lack of sleep affects your reward system in the brain. As a result, people crave for stimulants like alcohol etc. Better sleep can help cure headaches. Lastly, adequate sleep can boost your immune system. With the benefits listed above, there is no doubt that sleep is important and should not be sacrificed.

It may seem odd, but by sleeping right you are actually going to make it a lot easier to get muscular. This has to do with what your body does while your brain is asleep. While you are asleep, one of the most important processes that is going on within your body is the repairing of your muscles. – Brian Adams

In fact, a lack of sleep is one of the most common causes of obesity. No matter how much you work out, it will all be useless if you are not giving your body and mind adequate time to shut down and regulate the various functions they are responsible for. If you can’t seem to lose weight, chance are it’s because you’re not getting enough sleep. – Brian Adams

Common Sleep Misconceptions. Sleep is not just a passive activity. Older people need just as much sleep as younger people. It is not wise to repay sleep debt on the weekends. Even if you try to do that, you might feel fresh at first. However, in the long run, it will take a toll on your body. Snoring indicates that one of your passageways are blocked. As a result, it is more difficult to achieve REM sleep. Sleeping pills are not good if you become too reliant on them. In the short term, it might help to cure insomnia. Teenagers generally need 1 to 2 more hours of sleep per night than adults. There are adverse health effects associated with oversleeping as well. The amount of sleep an individual needs might vary from person to person. Some people are more productive in the day and prefer to wake up early in the mornings. That is perfectly fine. However, it is important to understand what the best time you should sleep is. Energy drinks do not help much as your body will crash once the sugar effect has dissipated. When sleepy, try to avoid driving. Yawning actually cools down the face and helps us to relax. It makes it easier for us to sleep. It is not because sleepiness causes us to yawn. Do not worry if you yawn a little too much. Eating carbohydrates near to bedtime will also enable you to sleep more easily. A glass of warm milk might do the trick too. Counting sheep is not a good idea. Try to avoid coffee 4 hours before you head to bed. If you are unable to fall asleep, pick up a light read etc and that will stimulate drowsiness in you. Dreams are important in helping us deal with trauma and grief.

Sleeping less than 7 hours a day slowly increases sleep debt. If your daily sleep time is as low as 4 hours, you will find yourself horribly sleep deprived within a week, with a negative impact on your health hitting you hard. Make the time to sleep at least 7 hours a night, it’s worth it in the long run. – Brian Adams

Caffeine gets processed and metabolized fairly quickly. The caffeine gives you a quick buzz that can last for about 2 hours, after which you will either go back to normal or will experience a minor crash. By that time, your body has removed all the caffeine from within via your urine. – Brian Adams

Little Known Facts About Sleep. If it takes you less than 10 minutes to fall asleep, you are probably suffering from sleep deprivation. It is normal when you find it difficult to wake up early in on Monday mornings. Animals do not delay sleeping as they know it is beneficial for them. Insomnia can be caused when the employee works on shift duties. Insomnia refers to the quality of sleep and not the length of sleep. You can sleep 6 to 8 hours per night and still experience insomnia. Sleep deprivation is similar to alcohol intoxication. Sleep helps with the regulation of hormones. Lack of sleep can cause weight gain. In the past, people were paid to get people out of bed. A regular exercise routine will certainly help you a lot. The biggest cause of insomnia is actually the Internet. The fact is that we spend one-third of our life sleeping. Cats spend about 70% of their lives sleeping. Giraffes only sleep about 30 minutes a day sleeping. The longest anyone has gone without sleeping is 11 days. People do not sneeze when they are asleep. Most people die after being sleep deprived for 10 days. You burn more calories while sleeping as compared to watching television. It is possible to control your dream. This is also known as lucid dreaming.

People have always found it difficult to wake up when they face a day of work and toil ahead of them. This is a natural psychological response. While sleeping we are at our most comfortable. Our serotonin levels skyrocket and we experience a feeling of contentment. Work, on the other hand, represents just that: work. When that comes at the expense of sleep, it makes it extremely difficult for you to get out of bed. – Brian Adams

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Warren Buffett quotes 1 to 25

  1. ‘No matter how great the talent or efforts, some things just take time. You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.’
  2. ‘I have in life all I want right here. I love every day. I mean, I tap dance in here and work with nothing but people I like. There is no job in the world that is more fun than running Berkshire and I count myself lucky to be where I am.’
  3. ‘Stocks are simple. All you do is buy shares in a great business for less than the business is intrinsically worth, with management of the highest integrity and ability. Then you own those shares forever.’
  4. ‘What we do is not beyond anybody else’s competence. It is just not necessary to do extraordinary things to get extraordinary results.’
  5. ‘Can you really explain to a fish what it’s like to walk on land? One day on land is worth a thousand years talking about it and one day running a business has exactly the same value.’
  6. ‘It has been helpful to me to have ten of thousands (students) turned out of business schools taught that it didn’t do any good to think.’
  7. ‘It’s bad to go to bed at night thinking about the price of a stock. We think about the value and company results; The stock market is there to serve you, not instruct you.’
  8. ‘Charlie Munger and I have not learned how to solve difficult business problems. What we have learned is to avoid them. To the extent that we have been successful, it is because we concentrated on identifying one-foot hurdles that we could step over rather than because we acquired any ability to clear seven-footers.’
  9. ‘The market, like the Lord, helps those who can help themselves. But unlike the Lord, the market does not forgive those who know not what they do.’
  10. ‘In evaluating people, you look for 3 qualities: integrity, intelligence and energy. If you don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.’
  11. ‘You think about that. How could they get a result like that? I’ll tell you how…mindless imitation of their peers.’ Warren Buffett, on how 37 investment banking firms fell even though the NYSE volume had multiplied fifteen-fold
  12. ‘Selling is just meeting people, figuring out what they need, and supplying their needs. But those needs are ever changing. So if you’re doing business the same way you did it five years ago, or even two years ago – you’re doing it wrong.’
  13. ‘I am a better investor because I am a businessman and a better businessman because I am an investor.’
  14. ‘When investing, Charlie and I view ourselves as business analysts – not as market analysts, not as macroeconomic analysts, and not even as security analysts.’
  15. ‘The snowball just happens if you’re in the right kind of snow, and that’s what happened with me. I don’t just mean compounding money either. It’s in terms of understanding the world and what kind of friends you accumulate. You get to select over time, and you’ve got to be the kind of person that the snow wants to attach itself to. You’ve got to be your own wet snow, in effect. You’d better be picking up snow as you go along, because you’re not going to be getting back up to the top of the hill again. That’s the way life works.’
  16. ‘It’s pleasant to go bed every night knowing there are 2.5 billion males in the world who will have to shave in the morning.’ Warren Buffett, on owning a stake in Gillette
  17. ‘Through no fault of their own, they were in a position of being a horse when the tractor arrived. The free market did them in. If you’re 55 and you speak Portuguese, and you’ve been working on a loom for 30 years and your hearing is shot, you’ve had it.’
  18. ‘..He just didn’t care what other people thought. My dad taught me how life should be lived. I’ve never seen anybody quite like him.’ Warren Buffett, on his dad (Howard Buffett)
  19. ‘We don’t bluff. It’s not my style anyway. Over a lifetime, you’ll get a reputation for either bluffing or not bluffing. And therefore, I want it to be understood that I don’t do it.’
  20. ‘Basically, when you get to my age, you’ll really measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you. I know people who have a lot of money, and they get testimonial dinners and get hospital wings named after them. But the truth is that nobody in the world loves them. If you get to my age in life and nobody thinks well of you, I don’t care how big your bank account is, your life is a disaster.’
  21. ‘That’s the ultimate test of how you have lived your life. The trouble with love is that you can’t buy it. You can buy sex. You can buy testimonial dinners. You can buy pamphlets that say how wonderful you are. But the only way to get love is to lovable. It’s irritating if you have a lot of money. You’d like to think you could write a check: I’ll buy a million dollars’ worth of love. But it doesn’t work that way. The more you give love away, the more you get.’
  22. ‘Wealth is just a bunch of claim checks on the activities of others in the future. You can use that wealth in any way you want to. You can cash it in or give it away. But the idea of passing wealth from generation to generation so that hundreds of your descendants can command the resources of other people simply because they came from the right womb flies in the face of a meritocratic society.’
  23. ‘It’s what you do right now, today, that determines how your mind and body will operate ten, twenty and thirty years from now.’
  24. ‘…You only get one mind and one body. And it’s got to last a lifetime… But if you don’t take care of that mind and that body, they’ll be a wreck forty years later.’
  25. ‘People ask me where they should go to work, and I always tell them to go to work for whom they admire the most. It’s crazy to take little in-between jobs just because they look good on your resume. That’s like saving sex for old age. Do what you love and work for whom you admire the most, and you’ve given yourself the best chance in life you can.’

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Alcohol: Things you must know if you are consuming alcohol

Can Alcohol help building muscle and losing weight? There are views that moderate consumption might be helpful. Research has shown that 1 or 2 alcoholic drinks per day can decrease risk of getting diabetes by 36%. With an increased heart rate, your body will burn fat faster. However, do not drink more than 2 at once. It will not be very helpful if you only drink on weekends. However, research only reveals that alcohol induces bad judgement and causes you to feel hungry and to binge eat. It is important to consume it slowly and moderately.

Women are more alcohol-tolerant. The fact is that women are more tolerant of alcohol. Too much alcohol can poison your nerve cells in your brain. Cognitive abilities might be affected if you are not careful. Learn to draw the line and do not drink excessively.

Seven warning signs that you have drunk enough. 1) You really repent your drunkenness. This is very serious. For instance, you regret your actions the next morning and have to send an apology message to others. It is possible to drink 1 glass in the evening but for the whole day, you are thinking about drinking that 1 drink. This might be a sign of alcoholism too. 2) Bad things happen to you and it’s never your fault. Chances are the bad things happened because you drank too much. 3) You had your first drink at the age of 12. If you start drinking too young, it might become part of your genetic component. 4) You drink alone. This might be a sign of alcoholism. 5) You have black holes in your memory. This means you have no recollection over what happened the night before. If you experience any of the above, learn to seek help immediately.

Alcohol causes memory loss. If you drink 2 or 3 on a daily basis, chances are that you will suffer from memory issues in the future. If you are middle-aged, it is important to pay even more attention to your drinking habits. People tend to find people of the opposite sex more attractive when they are drunk as compared to when they are sober. Alcohol allows you to do a lot of things which you won’t normally do. It makes you bolder. However, to attract a girl, it is necessary to use your charm as well.

Alcohol + sex = Bad Combination. Alcohol can make you feel more confident of yourself and that doesn’t lead to much good. However, drinking too much might cause erectile dysfunction. The bloodstream towards your penis decreases and that decreases its arousal. It is not favourable for your nervous system in general.

Alcohol and working out? Alcohol affects digestion and your ability to absorb certain substances decreases. Many alcoholic drinks contain sugar. Hence, do not mix it with energy drinks or consume alcohol when you are on a diet. Drinking excessively can affect your strenuous exercising routine.

Alcohol is a mood killer. When you sober up, you will be ready to go again. Exaggerated drinking might leave you feeling helpless and it can be embarrassing indeed.

Alcohol and casual sex. Alcohol is often seen as a sex stimulator. Caffeine and energy drinks play a whole role. Caffeine helps to mask the effects of intoxication. Remember to use a condom if necessary. Stay safe.

What does alcohol do to your organism? Excessive drinking can cause release of intestinal bacteria and harmful toxins. Alcohol content in the blood takes longer to dissipate for women as compared to men. Sometimes, one might experience pain in your arms if you drink excessively. Long term drinking can cause inflammation in your liver.

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Hack Sleep by Danny Flood

How to fall asleep faster, improve health and memory, and always feel refreshed

There is a beauty to the hum and bustle of the city. Everything has a natural rhythm. Insomnia sucks because you will pay the price the next day. I didn’t know to tame this beast called insomnia. I couldn’t turn anywhere for help or respite. Naturally, you will feel helpless. The lack of structure in your life will make sleep even harder. I was suffering and needed to do something about it for good. It is not easy to train something like sleep. Anxiety might cause you to lose sleep. Some form of insomnia is actually very common among people. Essentially, one-third of our life is spent sleeping. It is truly a sad and pathetic existence. Often, it has bad consequences for our lives. Sleep deprivation can affect many aspects of our lives. To solve my problem, I studied about sleep for 9 months straight. Naturally, everyone wants to achieve a better sleep routine. Sleep is basically moving from short frequency brain waves to slow brain waves, to REM and then to repeat the cycle. There are basically 5 factors that must be in place for sleep to occur: 1) social; 2) neurological; 3) psychological; 4) cellular; 5) molecular. This book will contain many practical tips which you can apply to improve the quality of sleep. Nothing in this book should be considered as medical advice. Focus only on the aspects of sleep which you can control. Approach the book with an analytical mind-set.

Rhythm of the Day and Night. Nathaniel Kleitman studied about sleep in 1962. Our body clock follows a circadian rhythm. It varies between 24.2 and 25.5 hours a day for humans. If you can understand your natural cycle well, you should be able to sleep better. You will know when is the best thing for you to engage in activities like exercise, for instance. REM sleep usually occurs in the hours before wakeup time. There is also a deep non-REM sleep phase. You have to succumb to your natural rhythm and there is no way to overcome it. There are also 90 minutes of energy cycles that occur during our waking hours as well. For every 90 minutes, you will need a 20 minute break. Body temperature has an effect on your energy levels too. Circadian rhythm is more reliable than the ultradian curve. You can eat foods that contains amino acids to facilitate increase in dopamine levels. REM is a period where there are rapid brain waves, which indicates high activity in the brain. During the REM phase, you tend to move a lot and fidget about. REM sleep is close to wakefulness. Also, there are other phases known as light non-REM sleep and deep non-REM sleep. It is very difficult to wake up if you are in REM sleep. REM sleep is longest during the period from 4 to 6am. If you think about a project just before you go to sleep, your brain might think of creative solutions for this project during the REM phase. Some research has revealed that REM sleep is not that useful. It is more important to have longer stages of deep non-REM sleep. It helps to promote our growth hormone and stimulate muscle growth. It also helps to prevent illnesses from forming. Even if you sleep for 10 hours, the amount of deep non-REM sleep isn’t much more than someone who slept 6 hours. Hence, to a certain extent, sleeping more will not help you very much. Deep non-REM sleep is the best for our bodies. It is much better to wake up during light non-REM sleep or REM sleep. Try to be active in the day. As one is the most alert in the morning, schedule the difficult tasks for that period of time. Nap when your body temperature is at its lowest. Visualize what a perfect day will be like and then work towards it.

The more active and awake we are during the daytime, the better and more soundly we sleep at night. Accumulating the right substances in the brain such as adenosine (from intense and physical activity) and serotonin (from light exposure) during waking hours also contributes the most to the process of falling asleep. – Danny Flood

The Physiological Process of Sleep. There are hypnogenic substances that can lead us to sleep more easily. Some of them are serotonin, adenosine, melotonin and cortisol. Cortisol production is highest at mid-morning. This is when you are at the most alert during the day. This is also known as the stress hormone. Too much it and you won’t be able to sleep at night. It also inhibits production of insulin. Reduction of stress will result in a reduction of cortisol levels. The consumption of magnesium tablets after exercise can also help. Try to do it naturally so as to avoid dependency to the drug. Sleep aids should only be used as a last resort. Adenosine helps to provide energy for cells. Use ‘sleep restriction therapy’ so that you can fall asleep more easily in subsequent nights. Using more brainpower also increases levels of adenosine. Caffeine can block production of adenosine. The effects of caffeine can last up to 12 hours. It is important that there is no caffeine during your deep sleep hours. Your last cup of coffee should not be after 2pm, as a rule of thumb. To replace caffeine, you can consume a fruit shake or smoothie etc. The presence of light affects your circadian rhythm. Exposure to light inhibits melotonin production, making it more difficult to sleep. Seratonin and melotonin usually have an inverse relationship. Try to take a walk during lunch time. Light exercise or walking will help boost energy levels in the afternoon. Increased light exposure in the day can help you sleep better at night. It can also fight depression. In the night, one must block blue light as much as possible. There is an app which one can use. It is called F.lux. Always sleep in a dark environment. Eat the right fruits in order to increase melatonin production. Seratonin is the activity hormone. It is produced during light exposure in the day. Exercise is a good way to increase body temperature during the day. This will usually mean that you will be able to sleep better at night. Our body temperature is highest when we are awake, and lowest when we are sleeping. Sleep in a cool room as that will help as well. Massage can also aid the sleep process.

In order to facilitate greater production of adenosine, we need to make sure that we are indeed spending enough time awake. The longer we can stay awake, the greater our adenosine, and our ability to fall asleep. That’s why we can sometimes try and use willpower to struggle to stay awake, only to eventually succumb. – Danny Flood

To achieve better quality sleep at night, let as much light pass through the retinas during the day as possible. Direct sunlight is the best – take breaks of 15 minutes or more to go outside for a walk and let the light in. – Danny Flood

Another potential hazard where many of us disrupt our body clock and damage our ability to sleep is the use of electronic screens before bedtime. Electronic screens emit blue light – the strongest and brightest form of light. – Danny Flood

How to Nap Like a Ninja. Do you suffer from chronic fatigue? Take naps at strategic intervals. Modern society requires us to be productive, but at what costs? Sleep patterns shouldn’t be so rigid. Rather, they should be flexible. Napping is also associated with many health benefits. If possible, one should take a daily afternoon nap. Daily naps can help to boost productivity and keep you fresh. Humans are definitely not machines. We can definitely use a nap sometimes. The quality period for a nap should be 20 to 30 minutes maximum. If you sleep too much, it will be difficult for you to get up and function. After lunch, you can embark on a hacking nap. In order to nap, you need to empty your mind. Focus your attention inwards and take deep breaths. Naps can correct sleep deficiency problems. Use anchors like soft music so that you can fall asleep easily. Try not to do things on the bed as the bed should only be used for sleeping. The effect of eating a heavy lunch is that it will lull you into sleep quite easily.

The ‘big picture’ message is that napping is a necessary and effective tool that can be used by anyone in pursuit of optimum health, happiness and productivity. I want to make you a napper. – Sara C. Mednick

Meditation, Hypnosis, and Breathing Techniques. We have a lot of power over our thoughts. It is important to understand the power of your thoughts. Let your mind go free. It is easy to change your thoughts. Learn to take a step back and feel relaxed. You can use the power of hypnosis to induce yourself to sleep. There is certainly some truth as to the power of hypnosis. It is important to break the pattern of thought associated with wakefulness. There is an app which may help you. It is titled ‘Pzizz’. Deep breathing is useful when you want to fall asleep. The best way is to breathe in for 3 seconds, and out for 3 seconds. Learn to be fully aware of your breathing. If you have a partner, you can practise with your partner as well. Meditation has a whole range of benefits as well. The brain waves become longer and more drawn-out. Meditation helps to tame your ‘monkey’ mind and help you to relax. The aim of it is to clear your mind. Imagine a tranquil lake. Immersing yourself in water has some healing properties as well. There is certainly a lot of power that is associated with self-talk. There is wisdom in time-honoured traditions. Train your ability to think clearly.

How to Enter Lucid Dream States. Sometimes, you might imagine yourself in a virtual reality world. You are extremely aware of your surroundings in the dream. There are a lot of visual assets. This actually requires the use of heavy brain waves. You will also be able to manipulate the dream at will. We have the power for lucid dreams. Regular dreaming is normal among people. Can one teach themselves to lucid dream? Lucid dreaming can be an extremely liberating experience. There is a sense of euphoria that is associated with it. The possibilities are really endless. How can one induce lucid dreaming? It is important to write down your dream when you wake up in the morning. Use affirmations and visualizations to help you.

How I won my struggle with Insomnia. Wake-up time is the top priority for you. Use light to wake you up. Your body will get used to it after a while. Medication usually does more harm than good.

The idea to manage your sleep patterns is to wake up at the same time each day. Consistent with what my sleep therapist said, the time of waking up is more important than the time of going to sleep and/or staying asleep. To accomplish waking up consistently, you need to set a time where you get out of bed and start your day no matter what. – Danny Flood

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Heal your Body by Louise Hay

The mental causes for physical illness and the metaphysical way to overcome them. This book was first published in 1984. This book is essentially about have a positive mental attitude and having a strong spiritual connection. You can reverse diseases. When you get cancer, you can learn to mentally be strong. Do not harbour resentment if you get the disease. Learn to release and forgive. The only power you have is in the present moment. Let your old nonsense go. If you want a joyous life, think joyous thoughts. By changing your thought patterns, you can change your experiences. I know that I should take responsibility for my life. Find new thought patterns. Depending on the type of disease which you have, it is possible to find an appropriate cure. Different thought process and cause ailments in your body.

Healing Affirmations. If you suffer from cramps, tell yourself that you are in a safe environment. If you suffer from aches, tell yourself that you are lovable. If you suffer from addictions, tell yourself that you are wonderful and that you enjoy yourself. If you suffer from ageing, tell yourself that you are every moment of life is perfect, even now. If you suffer from alcoholism, tell yourself that you live in the now. If you suffer from amnesia, tell yourself that you are intelligent and courageous. If you suffer from anus problems, tell yourself that you are comfortable releasing now. If you suffer from anxiety, tell yourself that you love and approve of yourself. If you suffer from asthma, tell yourself that you are free and safe. If you suffer from lower back pain, tell yourself that you trust the process of life. If you suffer from belching, tell yourself that there is time and space for everything. If you suffer from high blood pressure, tell yourself that joyously release the past. If you suffer from bowel problems, tell yourself that letting go is easy. If you suffer from cancer, tell yourself that you will forgive and release the past. If you suffer from high cholesterol, tell yourself that you choose to love life and that the channels are open. If you suffer from colds, tell yourself that you will allow yourself to relax. If you suffer from constipation, tell yourself that you release the past and let the new enter. If you suffer from death, tell yourself that you have moved on to a new level of experience. If you suffer from depression, tell yourself that you go beyond other people’s fears. If you suffer from dizziness, tell yourself that you are deeply centred in life. If you suffer from myopia, tell yourself that you accept Divine guidance and that you are safe. If you suffer from fatigue, tell yourself that you are enthusiastic about life. If you suffer from female problems, tell yourself that you are rejoice in being a woman. If you suffer from a fever, tell yourself that you are cool and calm in your expression of love. If you suffer from food poisoning, tell yourself that you have the power to digest whatever comes your way. If you suffer from greying hair, tell yourself that you are at peace with yourself. If you suffer from headaches, tell yourself that you love and approve of yourself. If you suffer from indigestion, tell yourself that you digest and assimilate experiences. If you suffer from kidney problems, tell yourself that divine right action is taking place in your life. If you suffer from liver problems, tell yourself that love and peace is what you know. If you suffer from menopause problems, tell yourself that you are balanced and peaceful in all aspects of your life. If you suffer from pain, tell yourself that you are lovingly release the past. If you suffer from PMS, tell yourself that you are a powerful and dynamic woman. If you suffer from snoring, tell yourself that you release everything from your mind. If you suffer from thoughts of suicide, tell yourself that you live in the totality of possibilities.

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Singapore Writers Festival 2015 (Part 4)

For part 3, click here.

Bright Lights, Dark Cities. Most of the panelists write about dark and gory plots. Life is like an arcade. Is life meaningless without a plan? There is indeed a dark side to Tokyo. There are spates of crime and the problem of income inequality. That is what makes cities intriguing. There are commonalties between Tagalog and Malay. However, the Filipino movies appear to have better plots than the Malay ones. Is Singapore really a restrictive place? Things appear to have changed somehow. Troy Chin is a comic artist who likes to ask the question ‘Why we are what we are?’ He is curious about mankind and Singaporeans in particular. He writes in order to bring out the ‘rawness’ in human beings. Some of his books have such a theme. The problems with cities is that it is possible to feel lonely even though there are millions of people in the city. Human companionship is about connection and not the number of people around you. Some of the books have the theme of ‘searching for their own place in the city’. It might not so appealing to live in a city after all. Most foreigners are intrigued by life in Japan. There are two ways to express yourself in Japan. You can either be polite and respectful or brutally honest. Singapore is a large melting pot of cultures and establishing a true identity might take a little more time. Do books need to have a resolution? Or is a book just supposed to describe a stream of consciousness? Some authors feel that characters are an alter-ego. Prostitution and stealing things were humans’ first jobs on Earth. Hence, it is interesting to write about them. Can you escape your fate? Are people in KL all aggressive? Sometimes, ordinary people can be driven to do extraordinary bad things. There was a story of cannibals eating loan sharks. Technology is causing us to lose that human-to-human interaction and this could be a problem in future. Would people become even lonelier?

Tweet for Change. Egyptians used social media during the uprising of their current president. It was certainly powerful and moving. Does social media influence the narrative and what people think? How does social media and traditional media compete for people’s attention? The aim of social media might not to go viral, but it could be just to raise genuine attention for a cause. It is important to be engaged with your audience. There are so many platforms of social media that one can use nowadays. It is important to choose the right one. One of the authors used WordPress to write about mental illnesses. If you are a blogger, it is important to blog consistently and ensure that your posts have a good following. Timing of release of posts are also important. Can social media create real change? The amount of time that should be spent on the ground should not be neglected. Do not forget to do the real work as well. Even if you use social media, nothing beats face-to-face connections and developing genuine offline relationships. For the authors, creating a blog and then writing a book was an organic process. There is this argument that a # is not a movement and that it takes real action to create change. Should social media be measured based on whether it can be translated into action? Sometimes, even if direct action may not be created, it is still important to create awareness among the public. Some people criticize young people for being keyboard ‘activists’. Sustained social media interaction is necessary to create impact. Nowadays, it is possible to raise money via crowd-funding projects. The benefits of blogs is that it can reach out to more people in a swift manner. Also, the posts are more time sensitive and you can elicit feedback via the comments section instantly. There are actually some trolls that are paid to talk nonsense and flame bloggers. Such comments might actually have the effect of forcing the blogger to adjust their writing style etc. Different social media platforms should be used for different purposes. The whole idea of using social media is that it is more horizontal and decentralized in nature. Therefore, it is possible to reach out to more diverse groups of people as compared to traditional media. However, social media can become dangerous when what is popular becomes the new narrative. Also, the problem of cyber bullying and hiding using anonymity might become more prevalent. One should not spend too much time on social media or treat social media as their form of obtaining news. The modern generation of people have a short attention span and usually can’t read beyond 1000 words per article. As an author, you are only as good as your last article. Twitter is not popular at all in Hong Kong. Social media in good in the sense that it can offer alternative viewpoints that traditional media can’t

International Criminal Minds. Often, murderers try to be perfect, but they are not. Is it possible to plan a perfect murder and get away with it? It might be. However, humans are not infallible and people might accidentally reveal their plan to others, thus foiling it. The easiest way to get away with it is when you have no connection at all to the victim and leave no clues at the murder scene. Nowadays, in modern cities, CCTV and smartphones are prevalent. It is difficult to get away with crimes. One of the speakers was Japanese writer, Fuminori Nakamura. Murderers often act against the victims whom they already know. Some suffer from irreparable damage from people that they know or claim to know. There is always this debate about what is good, what is bad etc. At times, the divide can be very fine indeed. It is common for drunk people to act in more violent ways than usual. It is usually quite difficult to catch lone wolves. Crime novelists are usually interested to find out what people’s motivations are and what causes them to commit crimes. Sometimes, the trigger might not even be a very big or significant event. Should novels end off with a sense of hope? Crime fiction is all about trying to solve mysteries and puzzles. In this way, it parallels life as there are always problems to be solved. Often, we find those around us mysterious and want to get down to the root of the problem etc. Essentially, we are trying to solve the puzzles of other people. Crime is becoming a more popular genre in fiction. Crime could be also seen as a mirror to society. Some books try to ‘glorify’ or celebrate violence in order to get readers hooked onto the plot. There are many aspects to crime and murder is just one of them. ‘Gone Girl’ has sold really well and it is a psychological thriller. Not all crimes are of the stereotypical type where a young female victim gets raped. Japanese Manga tends to feature more violence, for instance, the ‘Dragonball’ series. However, the writers do that because they intend to bring the dead back to life. University murders are often a plot used by British crime fiction authors. The problem is that when people disagree, things start to happen. Countryside crimes are very common. For beginning authors, it is important to write what you already know and with what you are familiar with. Learn to emulate the best authors at the start of your writing career. To draw readers, hook them with the impossible. Learn to find the right person if you are trying to conduct research. If you observe others, you will realize that people like to talk about their own experiences and expertise. People like talking about themselves.

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. The panelist examined celebrities. What was fame like in the 19th century? Alfred Wallace was a biologist who competed with Charles Darwin. Apparently, they had similar research but only Darwin was renowned with the theory of evolution as he published first. Avi Sirlin wrote about Alfred Wallace in his book and how under-rated he was. During their time, if you revealed ground-breaking research which wasn’t accepted by religion, there would be an uproar. Therefore, scientists need to play their cards carefully. There was always this debate of Science vs Religion. Is life in the Science community about trying to become famous and claim credit/discredit your competitors? Some of the famous starts in the 1950s included Jim Morrison, David Bowie, Elvis Presley etc. They, unlike the scientific community, are good looking people. Looks matter greatly in the entertainment industry. The pop culture emerged because teenagers were empowered and there was this globalization of the entertainment industry. Therefore, popularity in the scientific vs music industry is completely different. Luck matters as well. The advent of the Internet and modern technology has certainly helped entertainers to flourish. However, does it also present too much competition? If anyone can sing and record themselves on YouTube, would there be too low barriers to entry? Do successful musicians still require a producer, director etc? Even politicians like Tony Blair and David Cameron were appealing in terms of their looks. Do looks matter in politics? The new Canadian PM certainly fits that category too. Modern society is becoming more visual and reliant on looks. Given the power of the press, it is essential to be on good terms with the media as any negative coverage might just kill off your career. There is an increasing shift of traditional Western dominance of pop culture to the East. People are becoming more exposed to music in Japan, China etc. China is a dominant market which cannot be overlooked at all. Will we see media personalities entering politics in future, given their good looks and popularity to begin with?

It’s Nature’s Way of Telling You. Rob Cowen wrote a book titled ‘The Common Ground’. It was about his experience living in a house in the hedge land in a countryside in England. Since young, he has been fascinated with nature and its relation with humans. Nature always brings new perspectives. One has to be observant and watch the details. There was a point in his life where he was repulsed by the human world, economic recessions and all. He felt that humans were living in their fake and virtual world which was surrounded by concrete structures. In the hedge land he was in, there was untapped natural beauty, with many bird and animal history. There is certainly a rich tapestry on disused land. Throughout his stay in the house, he took down field-notes, which eventually became material for his book. Being in touch with nature allows you to be in touch with the past and the future. It might even allow you to find answers for why are you placed on this Earth. One can find a profound sense of identity by living with nature. Humans did not have to evolve and grow to like nature. It is sad that some people in modern society have lost touch with nature and are simply too busy to even care. It is important for the human soul to be attached to a place/location which they can always return to. Hunting for your own food can be a therapeutic and out-of-body experience. While technology is useful, do not be over-reliant on it. In Japan, taking a bath in the forest can be a way to heal mental illnesses. One should learn to be mindful of their surroundings. Green spaces like ‘The Green Corridor’ offer much for people to admire. However, Singaporeans need to lobby and campaign for such places to be preserved. Man-made and curated beauty cannot compare with pure natural beauty. Nature is indifferent to humans and it can rear its ugly head too. Humans and nature are inter-wined into one common entity. We are inseparable.

SWF

Singapore Writers Festival 2015 (Part 3)

For part 2, click here.

What is the point of reading literature? Is Singapore at a crisis point in terms of number of students studying literature. The numbers of students studying is declining. Is this concerning at all? Does the rousing turnout at the Singapore Writers Festival mean something? It is important to build a literary eco-system and change the way literature is taught in schools. Literature trains critical thinking and builds a core of critical readers. It also hones critical thinking. There is still this perception that literature is for the elite and for those who have done well in the English language. It is important that more students take literature, believe in it, and convince the future generations to take it as well. The speakers suggested incorporating literature in the study of humanities and the English language in school. In the early days, literature was too associated with the British and the ‘high’ culture. As a result, English literature was separated from the study of the English language. Many in Singapore see language as a form and tool of communication. Reading a book can give you insights which may not be present when you watch a movie made of the same book. It would be good to start students from young, even at the pre-school level. Parental influence and emphasis on reading is also very important for the child. Teachers could be taught how to select rich text for the children. There is currently little data on reading habits in Singapore. One could argue that the arts is not necessary as it does not help to build material wealth. However, the fact is that there are many benefits associated with reading. For instance, it hones your imagination, makes you more human, builds empathy etc. There are segments of society who are very dismissive of the arts as it doesn’t allow one to make a lot of money. Reading must be seen as something that is pleasurable and should be looked forward to even after one leaves school. It also is a great way to hone language ability. In Murakami’s book ‘The Elephant Vanishes’, one of the themes is that of the power of reading and how it can hone philosophical thinking. One way to encourage more to read is to make reading more social (for example: book clubs, SWF etc). Ultimately, literature can be seen as a great equalizer. The poor should read even more as it enables them to dream of a better future and make their life more ‘rich’. The more society reads, the more the chances of writers emerging. Reading is a great way to expand one’s knowledge and imagination. Back in the 1960s, Singapore was more about survival and people had to work hard to make a living. As a result, there was less emphasis on reading and on building an arts culture.

Our Lives, Our Stories. This book is a collection of memoir writing exercises which are all autobiographical in nature. There were a total of 7 authors who each wrote about 3000 words each. The book was published by the National Library Board, Singapore. It all started with a writing workshop at the library. The workshop taught skills like guided autobiography writing. One story was about an author recalling her past as a child helping out in the kitchen in Malacca. Back then, people cooked dishes like salted vegetable and soup. There is still value in traditional cooking in modern society. Recalling the past helps recollect and bring back nostalgic memories. Another story was about the author’s late father. It recalled the moments of how he set foot in Singapore. Her father had a great influence on her life. The third story of how an author recounted the years before her mother’s passing. A major theme of the stories are that of traditional culture, like the Peranakan culture. In the past, families or neighbors traded food with one another so that each family could try different types of food. In general, most grandparents were strict and children grown up to be exact and disciplined. Life is essentially a long journey and it is all about a stream of consciousness. By default, many people live their lives on auto-pilot and do not reflect very much on the past. Writing helps to aid the reflection process and can be therapeutic in nature. After the workshop, many of the authors were pushed and motivated to continue writing. The workshop had the effect of kick starting the habit of writing. Even if your work is not published, writing is a good form of healing and can aid one to overcome grief or grow to accept difficult situations. One can always keep a journal. Knowing your past helps you understand your present situation better. Writers who often write about memoirs usually feel obligated to share with the world something important to them.

Wanderlust and the Promise of the Other. People love travelling for a myriad of reasons. One of which could be to escape the pain after a divorce, for instance. Travelling to a new world brings about new beginnings for all. The featured authors all write from direct experiences. It is always possible to find something new about yourself while travelling. While on the road, keep walking till you get lost. There is inherent beauty in taking the less-trodden path and taking a detour. Even if you take a detour, good things might happen. While travelling, most will realize that not everything goes according to plan. For instance, one of the authors wrote about his experience when he missed his flight. Sometimes, it is helpful to do things that are common to the natives. For instance, one could take a train in the peak hour traffic. It might be difficult to structure a coherent plot when travel experiences are so scattered. At times, experiences help shape your plot. It can all come together. One can worry about the form of the story later, after the first draft. It is also common to add spice to the character’s lives so as to make the plot seem more interesting. When you feel bored overseas, it can also add flavor to the story you are crafting. Language is essentially only one form of communication. When you don’t speak a common language with a native, you will perform hand gestures or body language in order to get your message across. If you can’t fully comprehend what the person is saying, you can interpret his body language and guess what is he trying to say. There is beauty in silence too. Because you can’t speak a common language, you tend to be aware of non-verbal cues and be naturally more aware of your surroundings. Researching on the place before you travel can only do so much. It certainly won’t expose you to the soul of the country and the heart of the city. Often, the books only feature touristy places. Also, sometimes, your travel plans might be disrupted for various reasons. As a result, you might feel frustrated that your plans are not coming to fruition. However, it is important to appreciate the detour. When travelling, one can just plan the essentials like accommodation and transport. It helps to stay with the locals as that represents a more unique culture of the place. Try to write from your own travel experiences.

Critical Stage: Literary Reviews. Is criticism and book reviews important in the literary world in Singapore? Currently, there is a limited number of book reviewers out there. The Straits Times’ Life section did cover book reviews for a few years before ceasing to continue. Currently, there is only a book column in the ST on the weekends. However, it usually covers only foreign books which the general public finds popular or appealing. With the advent of the Internet, reviewers can review books on blogs, social media or good reads etc. Social media has definitely changed the book reviewing landscape. It is natural for authors to want to find out what readers think. There are opportunities for writers to get feedback. The literary scene in Singapore is booming and writers need to get the word out that they are published. It is common for writers to review each others’ work. There is certainly an art to reviewing books and a reviewers’ role should be taken seriously. The Straits Times still has a big part to play in promoting Singaporean literature. There are many publishers out there. The Quarterly Literary Review Singapore (QLRS) is a book platform to review Singaporean literature and for writers’ to get feedback. There might be issues of conflict of interest if authors’ review fellow author’s work and if they are close friends etc. It is important to stay objective when reviewing books. When reviewing, it is important to try to stay neutral and objective. The truth will allow authors’ to learn and improve on their literary style. There are basically two types of reviews. The first is more about ‘rating’ a book. The second type is more of a critical essay. This form is definitely more value-adding. Critical essays enable the author to understand how their other works may have affected their current works, or even how their writing styles might be similar to other authors. In general, it is important to have critics. Do reviewers have such a large viewership that they can influence what others read? Everyone is entitled to voice their opinion online. Authors shouldn’t argue with reviewers who have given them a bad review. Readers are discerning and intelligent people who know how to differentiate a good review from a bad one. Authors are certainly not entitled to receive reviews. Is writing its own reward? Should you even care about reviewers at all? Writers need to market their books because of the booming publishing scene in Singapore. Therefore, reviewers serve an important function of raising awareness for author’s works. Naturally, there is always an element of subjectivity to book reviews. The fact is that Singaporean books are not being reviewed much overseas. Reviewers need to ‘have mercy’ in their reviews as issuing a nasty review might kill an author’s confidence to publish more works.

The Fluid Identities of South East Asia. SEA has a rich colonial history. SEA in the past has been associated with port cities and trade routes. Is the colonial mindset weighing heavily on our culture? Were we exploited by the colonials? When there was still the Malayan Archipelago, people moved about because of trade routes and wind direction. The Portuguese, Spanish and the Dutch came to SEA. Nation-states only emerged after colonialism. Many SEA nations tried to dissociate themselves from their colonial past. However, Singapore embraced it and even now, many roads still have British names. We sort of incorporated what the colonials had and integrated into our culture. Have we lost our roots with our ancestors in China? Indonesia is separated within districts and each has its own unique culture. Each district has its own strange rituals and dances. Is this politically motivated? In Indonesia at least, their identity is very much tied to politics. Even in HCMC, you will see colonial buildings being restored. However, is this just to attract tourists to Vietnam? Some SEA cities have European quarters and ethnic quarters as well. In Singapore, there are many remnants of the colonial past. In an increasingly globalized world, will there be a homogenization of cultures/ethnicities? In general, the people with mixed heritages generally do well and thrive in society. For instance, the Peranakans are doing well in Indonesia. They have found their place in society. In the past, Islam spread in SEA mainly because of trade. However, is the movement getting too radicalized and fundamental in recent times? How can SEA stay relevant with the rise of China?  China is practicing what is called ‘covert’ colonialism by exerting soft power. The fact, however, is that China has been around in SEA before colonial powers. There is always still debate between ethnic and national identity. Malaysia and Indonesia occasionally debate over where did certain food/culture originate from? Each of them want to lay claim to it. There might be an element of truth when some Indonesians say that they prefer to be colonized by the British as compared to the Dutch. The British, hypothetically, would have been able to introduce the rule of law and bring order. The Dutch, it could be argued, that they did not introduce anything new to Indonesia.

SWF