Sleep It Off

Shower Thoughts@TheWeirdWorld

Sleep is kind of like just lying there pretending to be dead until your body is all like: “Fine, but just a little bit”

10:30 AM · Feb 12, 2020·Twitter Web App 635

The link between lack of sleep and cancer is now so strong that the World Health Organization has classified any form of nighttime shift work as a probable carcinogen.” -Mark Walker

HEAT DOME

Hello from the Pacific Northwest one of the hottest places in America…well for three days anyways. Bellingham, where I work, is wayyyy up north, close to the Canadian border. Normally, we experience all four seasons, and temperatures over 85 melt us. Over the next three days the Pacific Northwest will bake under a once-in-a-millennium HEAT DOME. Have you ever heard of a heat dome before? I haven’t. No one has for 1,000 years! Our high temperature today is suppose to be 99, lower than Seattle, Washington’s 104 and our poor southern sister state Portland, Oregon is 107! It’s not the worst that can happen but it is disruptive and dangerous. Nothing to lose sleep over…possibly.

The heat wave baking the U.S. Pacific Northwest and British Columbia, Canada, is of an intensity never recorded by modern humans. By one measure it is more rare than a once in a 1,000 year event — which means that if you could live in this particular spot for 1,000 years, you’d likely only experience a heat dome like this once, if ever.

The core of the heat dome, as measured by the thickness of the air column over British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest, is – statistically speaking – equivalent to a 1-in-1,000-year event or even a 1-in-10,000-year event. photo credit CBS news June 29, 2021


June started off HOT! The Bellingham Herald reports June is a record breaking month, “Bellingham’s 66-year-old record high for the month of June (93 degrees set June 9, 1955) fell Saturday, June 6, at Bellingham International Airport topping out at 94 degrees at 2:53 p.m., with a heat index of 99… That may best the nearly 12-year-old record for the highest temperature ever recorded in Bellingham.” Another “poor problem” for our area. I’ll guess that of the 91,000 residence in this city, probably 30-40% have some form of AC. However, I have to ask if every home and apartment had air cooling on, could our power grid take it? Maybe… It’s difficult for folks without air conditioning to get sleep on these hot summer days. People like me.

I’m thinking about sleep today. I’m daydreaming about getting a good nights sleep this month. Mr. Walker points out in the video above that sleep is a “reset” for the brain & body. He goes on to report that sleep deprivation can affect genes associated with both DNA repair and DNA damage.
I love sleeping and napping. These are my favorite forms of meditation. Since 2019 I’ve put on some extra pounds and my sleeping has been interrupted by um…being fat. The mid-section fat, often accumulated during mid-life, and/or for women during perimenopause, has become my personal nemesis. That and I would like to publicly protest the high cost of a good mattress. A good mattress is a principal tool for a good night’s sleep. However, the starting price is plus $600 for a mattress of “good” quality. This is a high amount to pay for minimum-wage earners; in some states it is half their monthly salary. We already know there is a connection between income and longevity of life, but dang! The dots connect themselves.
Don’t give me that “survival of the fittest” crap.
Having the right conditions for sleep can lead to a longer life. Mr. Walker says there is proof lack of sleep is the gateway to EVERY DISEASE—that’s all, just every frickin’ disease.

“Every disease that is killing us in developed nations has causal and significant links to a lack of sleep,” he says. “So that classic maxim that you may [have] heard that you can sleep when you’re dead, it’s actually mortally unwise advice from a very serious standpoint.”

My goal today is to go in to work early, get office stuff finished by 2:00, run home and melt into a puddle of human slush, or something as close to this as possible. I’ll probably be in bed about 10:00pm after the earth cools.
The heat wave ends this evening, this weather system will slowly dissipate. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

NEW TO ME

Last night I attended a monthly poetry open mic on zoom. I discovered a new-to-me poet, Miranda Krogstad who is from Canada. Below is her beautiful poem about love — love in our blood. The DNA saga I documented 2014-2019 captured for me the idea that PEACE is in our DNA and blood. An amazing combination of cultures, history, nations came together to form a living breathing human. The manifestation of LOVE. Miranda expresses it beautifully, as a poet often can. In this video free style dancers interpret her words.

My deep thought today—(inner)Peace and love are powerful weapons to defend ourselves from disease. When we extend peace, patience and love to others they are gifts of LIFE! Please be safe and COOL today.


Live in Compassion & Kindness

“The highest form of knowledge is empathy.” – Bill Bullard

“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.”
– Princess Diana

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” – Plato

“Sometimes it takes only one act of kindness and caring to change a person’s life.” 
–Jackie Chan

“Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t appreciate kindness and compassion.” – Dalai Lama


Sources
https://www.news-medical.net/health/DNA-Damage-Linked-to-Sleep-Deprivation.aspx

https://psychology.berkeley.edu/news/sleep-scientist-warns-against-walking-through-life-underslept-state

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/10/16/558058812/sleep-scientist-warns-against-walking-through-life-in-an-underslept-state

https://www.mirandakrogstad.com/

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/mattress-information/how-much-does-a-mattress-cost

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/heat-wave-dome-2021-seattle-portland-weather/

 

Dreamin’ is Free

Today was one of those days while driving down the I-5 freeway, my tired brain thought I left my car keys at the last appointment. For two long seconds, I had a panic patting my pockets–“Where are my keys?!” moment. Effin’ ridiculous. I wonder if I’m getting enough sleep. I’m not sure about sleep, but I’m getting waaaaay too much rest.

The other day I read that many people are continuing to have strange dreams, “Pandemic Dreams”. Dreams about being unable to get the simplest thing completed; walking through a maze-like existence, experiencing some sort of repetitive behavior that increases anxiety. In October of 2020, the magazine Scientific American explains we are having more dreams because we are resting more which equals more REM sleep.

Relaxed schedules may also have caused dreaming to occur later than usual in the morning, when REM sleep is more prevalent and intense and, thus, dreams are more bizarre. Dream-tweets reflect these qualities: “I was taking care of a newborn girl that had COVID … it was so vivid and real.” Increased dreaming during late-morning REM intervals results from the convergence of several processes. Sleep itself cycles through deep and light stages about every 90 minutes, but pressure for REM sleep gradually increases as the need for deep, recuperative sleep is progressively satisfied. Meanwhile, a circadian process that is tightly linked to our 24-hour core body temperature rhythm gives an abrupt boost to REM sleep propensity late in the sleep period and stays elevated through the morning.

As a single woman, working two essential jobs, living in a small apartment…my dreams are a bit different. I’m not dreaming about bugs attacking me or social distancing faux pas in the soup aisle. I’m dreaming about celebrities sliding into my bed and hugging me, saying witty things. Last week Jimmi Simpson (left) kept me laughing and calm with some stories in bed. This week Mr. Jason Sudeikis (right) joined me for a coffee & conversation while sitting on my bed. He was so laid back and kind. Nice, warm conversation–with another person–in the same room; this is something I’m lacking during the pandemic. As I have mentioned before, according to my dream dictionary dreaming of celebrities can mean that you seek more excitement in your life. That may be true. I think dreaming of people coming to my house for food and conversation during a time of social distancing is a different type of excitement.

I look forward to the gym reopening and, like, being able to hug people again, and standing next to people. Touching surfaces like exercise bikes, armrests in the movie theater, shake a hand “hello”, hug a friend goodbye, but–I will never go bowling again.


CREDITS
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-covid-19-pandemic-is-changing-our-dreams/

cover photo from Unsplash, São Paulo, Brazil

Day 24

The Twitter account “Shower Thoughts” has a good thought that is working for me.  It reads: “Go to bed, you’ll feel better in the morning” is the human version of “Did you turn it off and turn it back on again?”

Sleep is a marvelous reset, isn’t it?  I am thankful for my little bed.  In this day and age, having your own place is a luxury, no matter how small the slice of pie.  While checking out my groceries at Fred Meyer today I asked the check out person why they haven’t had large shopping carts for over two weeks now.  She said these words exactly, “the homeless took them!”  That’s about 30-40 carts!  I wonder if there are fewer beds for the Bellingham homeless during the lockdown. When the shutdown began the Lighthouse shelter closed and was moved to the High School.  The city refit the school into a homeless shelter.

Here is a poem by Wallace Stevens, published in 1923, the last two stanzas

Tea at the Palaz of Hoon

Out of my mind the golden ointment rained,
And my ears made the blowing hymn they heard.
I was myself the compass of that sea:

I was the world in which I walked, and what I saw
Or heard or felt came not but from myself;
And there I found myself more truly and more strange.

1) an observed joy- I saw these flowers today. SO perfect! I thought they were plastic.

2) a real concern- There are so many on a national scale.

3) a personal challenge- the challenges are the same, walk every day, keep to a regular work schedule, eat well.  It’s getting boring

4) one personal success (no matter how small)- I’m finding myself more truly, more strange.

5) a random thought (no matter how silly)- When I walk around my neighborhood I think it is funny how we give each other plenty of distance, crossing the street, moving to the middle of the road.

Here is my current mood illustrated in a meme.  Be well. -Shannon

 


As of this post, the USA leads the globe with 34,522 COVID-19 deaths.
Next is Italy 22,170, then Spain with 19,315.
https://ncov2019.live/data

I dreamed I was married to…Denis Leary

Tall, light and handsome Denis Leary

 

I dreamed I was married to…
Denis Leary

 

What is this?

The first in a series of dreams where I am married to a famous person was with Denis Leary. Dreams are a surreal forum. These are real dreams dreamt by me, a real person.

My dream book tells me that when a famous person, such as an actor, appears in your dream it is your subconscious relieving itself from boredom.  It is a sign that your life is too boring, not stimulating, and it finds stimulation by sprinkling a bit of fantasy hook ups into the REM.  I will write about them and try to examine their meaning.

Am I Bored?

My radio is in-between seasons, I’m in-between boyfriends, my poetry book is printed and launched and my work at the mill is repetitive.  I suppose I am a bit bored.  Bills are slowly, very slowly, getting paid after a six-month layoff in December.  Order, the everyday humdrum order of living is entering back into my life.

 

Dream #1

So my first dream in this series, I am “partnered” with Denis Leary.  I’m unsure if we are very close friends, or romantic.  The intimacy in the dream is rated PG, which is endearing.

It is a bright weekday morning, about 9 or 10 a.m. in a quiet city loft.  The walls are brick, wood and plaster, Denis Leary and I are in bed together, fully dressed in loose sleep wear.  It’s a bed big enough to hold our work, laid out over the down bedspread, with laptops, pens, paper, books.  Our legs stay warm under the comforter.  We are relaxed, yet focused on the projects in front of us, we’re drinking coffee, low morning-funk is playing in the living room, the only light is one lamp and sunshine coming through our corner unit windows.

“Wow. Look at this.” I lean over to Denis

“Where?”

“Right here.” I point to a spot on a page. He takes it and reads the short paragraph.

“Well that is a surprise,” he comments

“Right…” I add. Stretching my legs, “Luv, would you like some more coffee, I’m getting up”

“Is there juice? Also, what about those danish things we got yesterday?  Any of those left?”

“Not worried about crumbs?”

“Cheese if it’s still there”

“Itchy crumbs.  Remember that cookie from last week”

“Babe…just a nibble.  On a plate. How about a plate?”

 

We talk, read and work quietly together and in our own headspace. The dream was more of a sense of place and spirit than actual conversation. A glowing dream about a moment, like minded people, sitting close together in bed and talked about nothing and everything.

 

Possible Meaning

Judging by the mood and clues in the dream I’m guessing I miss having a connection with someone I view as equal, an intimate equal.  The sense of place and comfort level, of a rich intellectual life full of music, good food, peace is a lifestyle I hope to obtain.

Meditating on the dream, I remembered Sunday mornings at my childhood home.  My brother and I were kids, like elementary school aged, someone would grab the Seattle Sunday Times from the porch (the newspapers were physically thick back then) mom made coffee for her and dad.  All four of us would sit on my parent’s king sized bed in our jammies and robes (dad still under the covers, legs crossed) and read the sections, passing around the funnies.  We would share interesting headlines and talk about the news. A very casual warm family moment.  I don’t have that right now.  Perhaps one day it will return.

 

Thank you Denis