Let’s breathe fire and magic together!
That’s the rallying cry from Heather Havrilesky/Ask Polly in response to a woman who keeps dating guys who won’t commit to her. I have a lot of amazing friends and patients who complain about the same predicament, and I never know what to say. I know I’ve posted about Ask Polly before, but I can’t help that she’s a genius who inspires me to live my best life. This one goes out to all of us who wish to stop selling ourselves out in large and small ways.
Here’s an excerpt (it’s full of curse words so Grandma, don’t read this post, go here!):
I’ve had a realization lately that sometimes I’m drawn to people who seem a little MEH about me, and I’m really questioning THAT right now. I’m really noticing how much I enjoy getting stuck in the quicksand of other people’s indifference. And because lately I’ve been singing in the kitchen and dancing and noticing the bright, shiny impulses of my big fucking brain more than usual, I’m struck by how weird it is that I’ve chosen to chase people who are lukewarm about me, and I’ve also — often — chosen not to take big risks or break out of my comfort zone. I’ve chosen to live in a cave for much of my life.
I lived in a cave because at some point I decided it was wrong to be BIG and loud and arrogant and alive. I lived in a cave because I took my cues from the people who were ambivalent about me instead of taking my cues from the people who loved me like crazy. I lived in a cave because I handed out scoring sheets and asked everyone to score me and then I paid special attention to the NOT VERY SATISFIED CUSTOMERS and ignored the people who said, “We love the fuck out of you, five stars, keep up the good work!”
This is what I see in you, Too Many Questions. You have chosen the life of the cave dweller. Stop reading the tea leaves of indifferent male faces and get the fuck on with your life. I know you want love. Love will find you eventually, some time after you stop asking questions and start answering them. Stop asking indifferent st
Alcohol, Insomnia, and Banana Tea. Sounds like a dare. Well, the Banana Tea was a dare. From my mom. She heard about it on Dr. Oz and, for Mother’s Day, requested that I be the family Guinea Pig and try it out. But first, an explanation.
I like to drink. I mean, most people do, especially here in New Orleans. I’m no stranger to a nightcap or two before bed. But when I turned 30, I began to notice that the final drink of the night was always the one that would wreck my sleep and erase my ability to wake up at 5 AM for my daily meditation. Turns out, there’s a great explanation for this effect – just ask WebMD!
A new review of 27 studies shows that alcohol does not improve sleep quality. According to the findings, alcohol does allow healthy people to fall asleep quicker and sleep more deeply for a while, but it reduces rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.
And the more you drink before bed, the more pronounced these effects. REM sleep happens about 90 minutes after we fall asleep. It’s the stage of sleep when people dream, and it’s thought to be restorative. Disruptions in REM sleep may cause daytime drowsiness, poor concentration, and rob you of needed ZZZs.
“Alcohol may seem to be helping you to sleep, as it helps induce sleep, but overall it is more disruptive to sleep, particularly in the second half of the night,” says researcher Irshaad Ebrahim. He is the medical director at The London Sleep Centre in the U.K. “Alcohol also suppresses breathing and can precipitate sleep apnea,” or pauses in breathing that happen throughout the night.
The more a person drinks before bed, the stronger the disruption. One to two standard drinks seem to have minimal effects on sleep, Ebrahim says.
“The immediate and short-term impact of alcohol is to reduce the time it takes to fall asleep, and this effect on the first half of sleep may be partly the reason some people with insomnia use alcohol as a sleep aid,” Ebrahim says. “However, this is offset by having more disrupted sleep in the second half of the night.”
Alcohol tricks people into thinking they are getting better sleep, says Scott Krakower, DO. He is an addiction specialist at North Shore-LIJ in Mineola, N.Y. “People who drink alcohol often think their sleep is improved, but it is not.”
REM is the more mentally restorative type of sleep, says Michael Breus, PhD, a sleep specialist in Scottsdale, Ariz. “Alcohol is not an appropriate sleep aid. If you rely on alcohol to fall asleep, recognize that you have a greater likelihood to sleepwalk, sleep talk, and have problems with your memory.”
Some tips to improve sleep habits include:
Bananas are rich in potassium and magnesium, but what most people do not know is that the banana peel has, even more, potassium and magnesium than the banana itself…Potassium and magnesium are beneficial for the nervous system and are great for relaxing the muscles. In fact, magnesium is the most important mineral for muscle relaxation and can reduce muscle cramps along with other aches and pains.
When you are stressed, guess which mineral is depleted from the body first? You guessed it! Magnesium. You need magnesium to cope with stress, allowing you to relax and fall asleep.
Cinnamon is great because it is one of the best ways to balance blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels are balanced, your hormones can function in a way that allows for better sleep. If your blood sugar levels are off, then you may have energy at night, or be tired during the day.
David Wolfe taught me how to make it. Basically, cut the ends off a clean organic banana, boil it whole in a small pot of purified or spring water for at least 10 minutes, add cinnamon (or boil with a cinnamon stick) and stevia, then enjoy. I’ve only tried it twice, but I think it helps.
Here’s the fearless Gadget Trish with a video about it…
Here’s one of my favorite songs. It’s by Brian Eno, a man I have loved for many years. If you’ve been to see me for a treatment, there’s a good chance you mellowed out on my table to some of his ambient work. He’s had a pretty flawless career (well, except for that Coldplay album – but a check is a check). He’s a genius. In 1975 he developed a deck of cards called Oblique Strategies, meant to help blocked artists have creative breakthroughs. If you are feeling blocked, you draw a card out of the deck and it says something like, “Use an Old Idea,” or “What Would Your Closest Friend Do?” or “Try Faking It!” or “Add More Cowbell.” I may have made up the last one, but you get the point. It’s geared towards musicians, but it’s great for entrepreneurs as well. If I’m having a problem working through something, it’s at least good for a laugh, which relaxes me and helps me move through a problem with more ease.