Playing Life on Easy Mode

What skills to learn, what tools to get
LiquidSapphire
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Re: Playing Life on Easy Mode

Post by LiquidSapphire » Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:10 pm

Here is the link to the MIT course!
https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/athletics-p ... /index.htm

I think the documents I refer to and others are here:
https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/athletics-p ... materials/

Campitor
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Re: Playing Life on Easy Mode

Post by Campitor » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:57 pm

Stahlmann wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:40 am
Try this living somewhere with 4 different seasons...
I think the point is to determine you’re natural sleep cycle during the peak daylight season and then reproducing that cycle via timers and dimmers during the winter months. Otherwise your biology is a slave to artificial light and getting primed for suboptimal sleep.

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FBeyer
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Re: Playing Life on Easy Mode

Post by FBeyer » Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:57 pm

Campitor wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:57 pm
I think the point is to determine your natural sleep cycle during the peak daylight season...
You mean at the point in summer where the sun is up for more than 17 hours? Or the two turning points in between where the sun is up for 12 hours? It turns out that it's actually rather hard to find a natural sleeping pattern during high summer in some places in the world (hint: it's not the warm and cushy places that have this problem). :D
LiquidSapphire wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:10 pm
Here is the link to the MIT course!
https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/athletics-p ... /index.htm

I think the documents I refer to and others are here:
https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/athletics-p ... materials/
Thanks! That's the one I found. I am 100% guilty of judging-after-skimming and the lecture notes looked... suboptimal. But I guess the exercises are the real meat of the course. I'll take a look at it ASAP. I sure need it, so thank you very much for that.

chenda
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Re: Playing Life on Easy Mode

Post by chenda » Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:17 pm

A few things which have been helpful for me or I have learnt the hard way:

1. Do a career which you're good at i.e. which plays on your natural strengths. Follow your dharma/avoid being the square peg in a round hole, if you will.

2. Keep things simple, try to keep everything simple. Although I find you can only appreciate simplicity after journeying to and from complexity, so you can sort the wheat from the chaff. I found this to be a sort of life secret. Minimalism has been extremely beneficial for both mental clarity as well as physical clarity.

3. Try to develop a spiritual/religious/philosophical practice; remember your death is coming and to everyone else so you need to prepare for it, and maybe see beyond it if you're so inclined. Take what is useful from the various paths and disregard what isn't.

4. Never hesitate to tell anyone to get fucked if the need arises. I've never regretted doing this, only regretted not doing it.

Campitor
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Re: Playing Life on Easy Mode

Post by Campitor » Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:03 pm

@FBeyer

I think the goal is to find the sleep sweet spot and imitate that pattern no matter the length of day or night. I’ve seen doctors wearing welding goggles during the day when they worked 3rd shifts. I blocked my windows with blackout shades and taped all seems to stop any light leaks when I worked 3rd shifts. I also took some melatonin to help me adjust and I would wear polarized sun goggles myself.

I don’t live in Alaska but I do live in the Northeast and get 15 hours of sunlight during peak daylight season and 9 hours of sunlight during peak dark season. Keeping a regular sleep schedule and compensating for seasonal light changes is not that difficult nor does it prevent you from discovering your optimal sleep cycle.

jennypenny
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Re: Playing Life on Easy Mode

Post by jennypenny » Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:42 pm

Aren't sleep cycles supposed to change with the seasons? I thought we were designed to sleep more in the winter and less in the summer. I figured that's why people suffer from SAD ... from having to keep up the pace of a modern lifestyle during winter when we should really be pseudo-hibernating.

@chenda--I like #2. I was trying to say something similar but you said it better.

Campitor
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Re: Playing Life on Easy Mode

Post by Campitor » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:38 pm

jennypenny wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:42 pm
Aren't sleep cycles supposed to change with the seasons? I thought we were designed to sleep more in the winter and less in the summer. I figured that's why people suffer from SAD
Cycles do change with the season in response to changes in daylight and temperature. Something that can be accommodated if you're already retired but if you have a work schedule the next best thing is to find what's your ideal sleep duration and adjust you're external triggers accordingly.

People with SAD are especially sensitive to changes in season. They experience negative symptoms in response to shortened days, cold, and lack of UVB exposure. Light therapy can be used to treat seasonal affective disorder; or moving closer to the equator. Life is about trade offs and choices. We can choose to live in the north and choose to live a life with suboptimal sleep. Or we can take control of our lives and do what is needed to live better. Living with SAD and sleeping poorly are not incurable states of existence. :D

classical_Liberal
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Re: Playing Life on Easy Mode

Post by classical_Liberal » Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:24 am

jennypenny wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:30 pm
Limit your choices.
I'd love an elaboration on this, maybe it deserves a thread of it's own?

Jean
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Re: Playing Life on Easy Mode

Post by Jean » Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:35 pm

Sad is a punishment for mélanine rich invaders and people who choose confort instead of our mighty outdoor.

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BRUTE
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Re: Playing Life on Easy Mode

Post by BRUTE » Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:16 pm

Campitor wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:52 am
But it’s adenosine that provides the pressure to fall asleep and melatonin determines the depth of sleep you get.
brute can knock himself out within ~60 minutes of taking half a milligram (or what the unit is) of melatonin, at least 6-8 hours before his natural sleep time.

completely agreed on the light exposure thing - and it's not just light, it's also all other cues. no alarms, no humans making noise nearby, no social obligations.

under these conditions, brute's rhythm is 10am-2am.

reproducing such an environment artificially is pretty fruitless in brute's experience, so he recommends just going with the seasons.

Campitor
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Re: Playing Life on Easy Mode

Post by Campitor » Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:10 am

@Brute

Melatonin can stimulate the release of adenosine. So Campitor isn't surprised that fellow human Brute gets sleepy when taking melatonin. Humans with healthy sleep patterns have concurrent peaks in adenosine and melatonin. Humans with discordant peaks of adenosine and melatonin do not sleep well. Caffeine latches onto the same receptors as adenosine which is why humans who drink coffee near bedtime, who metabolize caffeine normally, will not get sleepy despite having peak melatonin levels. Some humans metabolize coffee so quickly that it doesn't interfere with adenosine.

Sleep unicorns exists. There are humans that exhibit patterns of adenosine/melatonin disruption and less than 4 hours of sleep but experience zero symptoms of sleep deprivation or poor sleep. These humans are sleep unicorns and are so rare that when rounding the percentage of humans that fall into this category, it rounds to zero.

Campitor acknowledges that Brute may be a sleep unicorn. But Campitor, in the spirit of this thread, continues to assert that sleeping like a champ is one of the greatest means of playing life on easy mode. Sleep is extremely important to health and brain function but humans don't realize it because they have been sleeping suboptimally for so long; it feels normal to them. But give them 1 month of normal sleep and they realize how handicapped their existence has been.

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FBeyer
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Re: Playing Life on Easy Mode

Post by FBeyer » Sat Dec 08, 2018 1:06 pm

Campitor wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:10 am
... Sleep is extremely important to health and brain function but humans don't realize it because they have been sleeping suboptimally for so long; it feels normal to them. But give them 1 month of normal sleep and they realize how handicapped their existence has been.
As you might be able to tell, I've become a stickler for single-point-introductions to things lately :roll:
What is the single best reference to gauging and correcting sub-optimal sleeping patterns that you know of?

Campitor
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Re: Playing Life on Easy Mode

Post by Campitor » Sat Dec 08, 2018 3:27 pm

@FBeyer

You can gauge how well you're sleeping by how alert you are the next day. If you need caffeine in the morning or feel irritable, you're not sleeping enough.

Go to sleep at the same time every day including weekends. If you need an alarm clock to wake up, you're not sleeping enough. Go to bed earlier each day until you're waking up consistently, at the desired time, without an alarm clock.

Don't have any caffeine products 4 to 8 hours before sleep time. Don't expose yourself to any bright lights or computer screens within several hours of sleep time.

The above should work if you have no underlying medical issues that could impact sleep.

Info chart by John Hopkins regarding the effects of sleep deprivation: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health ... privation. Note the increase in dementia, heart disease, immune suppression, diabetes, etc. Being sleep deprived is the equivalent of being buzzed on alcohol everyday while being a smoker.

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BRUTE
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Re: Playing Life on Easy Mode

Post by BRUTE » Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:01 pm

Campitor wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:10 am
...
brute is confused. Campitor says a lot of things that brute agrees with. brute requires 8 hours of sleep, as he mentioned in this thread - how does Campitor get the impression brute is advocating for lack of sleep? brute would also rank sleep as roughly the #1 best trick to live life on easy mode.

regarding Melatonin: if Melatonin -> Adenosine -> Sleepiness, then Melatonin -> Sleepiness. claiming "Melatonin doesn't cause sleepiness" is like saying "speeding doesn't kill, abruptly stopping at a wall does".

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BRUTE
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Re: Playing Life on Easy Mode

Post by BRUTE » Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:49 pm

FBeyer wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 1:06 pm
What is the single best reference to gauging and correcting sub-optimal sleeping patterns that you know of?
brute thinks the best way is to determine FBeyer's personal "best sleep pattern" by setting up a sort of temporary sleep clinic. this means staying, for about 1 month, in an environment with:
1.no social obligations whatsoever - no sleeping with a spouse in the room, no kids waking up early, no work, no early appointments
2.not using an alarm clock at all
3.obviously no melatonin or sleeping pills

not using a screen or drinking strong coffee after midnight might help, but honestly, brute found the timing to be 90%, and all the rest combined a nice bonus.

with this completely interrupt-free, free-running sleep cycle, what times does FBeyer naturally settle on? this is likely to be his optimal sleep pattern. any deviation is bad. 1h deviation is pretty bad for brute, 2h deviation is catastrophic and not sustainable.

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Riggerjack
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Re: Playing Life on Easy Mode

Post by Riggerjack » Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:28 am

@ fbeyer, and anyone else who needs some quality sleep.

http://slatestarcodex.com/2018/07/10/me ... d-to-know/

Scott Alexander posted more than you wanted to know about melatonin, dosages, and methods for improving sleep. He covers the range of studies, points out the overlap and gaps in their conclusions, and gets into what we know about sleep habits and how to change them. Honestly, I was surprised at how large the gap between what we have studied and established with repeatability, and the guesswork that usually accompanies this subject. He has at least one equally in depth follow up post on the subject, and as always at SCC, the comments are worth reading one their own.

In particular I would recommend it to anyone who thinks their sleeping is OK, despite their circumstances. There is more there about variability of patterns and intentionally changing sleep patterns than I have found compiled anywhere else.

It's only a few pages. He is summarizing studies, not publishing studies. It shouldn't be too much for anyone.

He has also done some informal studies in the form of polling volunteers on the effects of other changes to sleep environment. Including CO2 buildup in sleeping areas, and preventing it.

Campitor
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Re: Playing Life on Easy Mode

Post by Campitor » Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:35 am

@Brute

Campitor doesn't think Brute is advocating for sleep deprivation. Campitor wrote that for clarity in case other humans read the exchange. Brute is a normal in his sleep biology. Brute takes melatonin and gets sleepy because Brute's biology is responding to the melatonin surge by releasing more adenosine. Other humans don't have the same response because they take melatonin but ingest caffeine or other stimulants that block adenosine receptors. This is why Campitor keeps pointing this out. Some humans metabolize caffeine so fast that it's gone within an hour or they have higher than normal adenosine receptors so taking melatonin, after ingesting caffeine, works for them. Other humans don't produce enough adenosine so taking melatonin doesn't help. And Campitor can give Brute adenosine and he will feel sleepy. But if Brute has no melatonin during the adenosine surge, Brute will wake up repeatedly or sleep so shallow that Brute will act like a brute all day long.

Campitor will use an airplane analogy. An airplane will never get off the ground without properly engineered wings. The wings (adenosine) provide the lift and the gas (melatonin) provides the speed required for lift. A plane needs both to attain flight (proper sleep) but it's the wings that provide the lift (sleep pressure). Brute can add all the gas he wants but without wings, Brute will remain on the ground.

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BRUTE
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Re: Playing Life on Easy Mode

Post by BRUTE » Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:36 pm

brute certainly didn't have restful sleep when taking melatonin, even though he reduced his dosage to a more natural level by cutting the 3mg tablets into 6 pieces. he would be knocked out within the hour, but wake up a few hours later, in the middle of the night, and be unable to go back to sleep. extremely unrestful overall.

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