Story by Emmjay
So, FM said over breakfast “I bet you’re exhausted”. I said I was – but how did she know ? Was it THAT obvious ?
You snored all night.
Well, the wash up of that was a wee bit of nose surgery, which was not as disgusting or painful as I imagined it might be. Possibly tempered by coming out of anaesthesia and awakening to a lovely blond angel. I wondered whether I had in fact died and gone to heaven, she was so beautiful. If that was the case, I thought things were looking promising.
But the surgery proved to be of marginal benefit at best and some time later I agreed with my GP and enrolled in a sleep study.
The wired of Oz
The results were truly amazing. Apart from the challenge of sleeping in a hospital bed all wired up all night – plugged into a machine that monitors everything – brain waves, oxygen saturation, wakefulness – was the ignominy of having to ask the sleep technician to unplug me a couple of times to answer the call of nature.
Cutting to the chase, I was almost waking up – that is just short of actually opening the eyes, up to 60 times an hour. This is caused by my floppy airways collapsing, my oxygen level falling and the good old brain saving my life time and time again by (almost) waking me up. While it’s quite nice to be kept alive, what’s not so nice is to be constantly exhausted because my quality of sleep was so appallingly bad. This had serious impacts on my effectiveness at work and I was struggling to stay awake by 2:00 in the afternoon. So I loaded up with caffeine – which would later make things even worse.
It’s considered normal to have periods of deep sleep, light sleep, rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and dreaming and to wake up a few times, but the obvious treatment for me was to get a Continuous Positive Airways Pressure (CPAP) machine. My wake-ups fell from an average of 58 to 8 per hour. Then 5, and sometimes 3. Five light sleep periods – almost wake-ups is regarded as normal. And although having a face mask and scuba-like tubing does nothing to increase my attractiveness for FM, I am now sleeping solidly not for a long time – maybe 5-6 hours a night, but the quality of my sleep has rocketed up.
I have started to dream again – and remember some, in colour and often. These are markers of achieving some deep sleep and there are lovely consequences – like being far less forgetful and a lot more energetic the next day.
Which brings me to Professor Matt Walker.
A couple of days ago I chanced to encounter a TeD talk (the first of several) by the good professor and he shed an incredible amount of light on the subject. Like what’s happening in the brain during sleep and the rather serious effects of sleep deprivation – including the terror of Alzheimers disease. The biology is fascinating to say the least.
He discusses the surprising effects of caffeine (a stimulant, obviously) and alcohol (a sedative). His discussions are compelling reasons to have a think about how much – and when in the day one might imbibe. Matt isn’t a hard line wowser, but research findings like – caffeine has a half life of 12 hours – which means even a coffee at breakfast will still result in half that caffeine being in the body at bedtime. So we sleep less well, get up with a quarter of yesterday’s caffeine still floating around, feel a bit slow and depend on an other cup of coffee to get going. Do you see where this is heading ?
Did you know that while alcohol in the evening makes us relax and sometimes fall asleep, later in the night the party is still going on in the brain and the housekeeping (like committing today’s thoughts to long term memory) and cleaning up (servicing the brain engine – flushing out the biochemical waste) don’t get done. Which I reckon sounds bad.
Anyway – Prof Matthew Walker is the real deal and I can see why his book “Why we Sleep – the New Science of Sleep and Dreams” has become a massive best seller.
Take the time to have a look at a few short videos – and you will see not just that which he says, is an interesting and powerful message, but that his presentation and organisation of thought are really excellent.
Here you go…..
This talk has had 11 million views. ELEVEN MILLION !
But there are others – he tends to present every year or so on TED and there are lots of useful tips on how to improve your sleep – without going to CPAP – but he does say that if you have sleep apnoea, you need to get that looked at as a first priority.
See you. I’m off for a snooze
“Frank !” “How the fuck are you ?”
“Good as the gold in my ring, George”. “Listen, I won’t dilly-dally. I thought O’Way was going to London. What’s the dope ?”
“You mean apart from O’Way” ? said George.
“Frank, it’s a paedo assignment.” said George.
“I see”, said Frank.
“But to kill the risk as well as not to draw attention to anyone past or present, Id’ like you to consider someone with , how shall we say, less profile and definitely less insight than O’Way.”
“Foodge ?” said George.
“Right man for the job”, said Frank.
“Abyssinia” said Frank
“Abyssinia” said George.
I dunno either said Emm to Big.
He seems to be wandering aimlessly through his life.
Rudderless, said Big.
I think we have to find him some … ah…. outlet, said Big.
Maybe we should ask him, said Emm.
Do you think he might, ah, have a clue ?
I suspect not, said Big.
Something with travel involved ? I think the readers would love to see Foodge take a break from private eye work.
What about travel and private eye ?
You mean … say an upper class paparazzi / royal watcher / gossip uncle ?
How the hell are we going to sell that one to Foodge ? said Big.
Watch this ! said Emm.
The envelope read “Mr F. Oodge, 1/23 Rutland Court, Knightbridge, London SW3”.
Foodge could hardly believe his luck. The phone rang. Foodge here, he said. Good morning Mr Foodge, welcome to London, said a cultivated voice that Foodge pegged as a cross between Eton and Drinkin’. Mr Foodge, I’m Carstairs from Farkim Anisorss, solicitors to the newly fabulously wealthy and influential.
Well, is it car or stairs ? asked Foodge. I’m a man going up in the world. Carstairs laughed obligingly. May I ask you if you’d grace us with your presence in Chambers this afternoon, Mr Foodge ? Go ahead and ask, said Foodge. Carstairs suppressed a small exasperation sound. Will you please come own to Chambers this afternoon Mr Foodge, I will send a car.
At this stage, Big frowned at Foodge because he could see Foodge extending the Carstairs joke one bridge too far. So lets call him Catdog suggests Emm or what about RoadRage.
Certainly, said Foodge. May you ask the purpose of my visit ? It’s because Emmjay has a hankering to write “wood-panelled chamber”. Well, far be it for me to disappoint Uncle Emm, said Foodge[ Editors Note Bhwhahahahawhha, hysterical]. It’s meaningless by the way but true.
Impressive, said Big. Now he’s moved on from a mild mannered faux private dick. Now what ? Well, said Emm, we’ve got the choice between launching a relocated and more textured adventure, and covering the back story.
New adventure, said Big, who drew out his imaginary Olivetti Lapwriter and began tapping away like a man possessed.
Emm, said Big. How did you come up with Foodge’s London address ? Well, there was this show on SBS about a department store in Knightsbridge and I googled flats for sale in Knightsbridge. How much did Foodge’s flat cost ? said Big. Nothing too flash, said M. About 1.7 million pounds. It’s a 2 bedder, but UK real estate advertisements, for some reason are not too particular about bathrooms, said Emm – unable to resist a good stereotype when he could see a gap for one.
Thanks to Algy for most of the pictures
written an spoken by emmjay and hungoneon
Emmjay’s Winter Tipple Mix
Hello Patrons de la Salle de Porc,
While I do the research on this week’s playlist – giving our redoubtable DJ Dr Algy a short break, check out this accidental YouTube find. One man’s obsession with outdoing Wily Coyote … 29 Million views !
Ramble and legs by Emmjay. Working from Home – WFH
Todays’s production brought to you from the Pig’s Arms’ working from office.
Reflecting on how western economies have become dominated by services as opposed to manufacturing, it strikes me that even small scale manufacturing can follow services into decentralised places.
Perhaps not so much the home, but in small hubs. Recall the charm and utility ! of localised specialist places – Saville Row, Akihabara and any number of bookshop enclaves holding out against the Genghis Khan Amazon. A local cafe that gets things exactly as we like them.
3D printing is offering amazing opportunities for specialised manufacturing, but it’s hard to imagine printing oneself a new toaster.
The labour side of working from home should spawn a clutch of PhDs. As far as my work in IT is concerned, our small team has really embraced WFH. Our boss is incredibly supportive, trusts us and is open to suggestions about how we could project the practice into the future.
But I do have some sympathy for people writing about Zoom fatigue and I find fascinating the psychology drawing distinctions between onscreen and real life face to face communications, purporting to explain causes for this fatigue.
Frame of reference is really important in this discussion. I am mindful of middle class privilege and stage of life as major determinants of whether WFH does in fact work. Or having a decent internet connection. WFH is clearly not such a windfall for people living in cramped accommodation especially with children, or folks living a tad off the beaten data track..
Returning to the benefits of city folk not commuting to work, we see echoed important concepts like “ food miles” – the benefits of consuming local production – namely cutting down the cost and ecodownside of transporting stuff all over the planet as well as the evils of cash cropping in third world countries.
The pandemic has starkly demonstrated that unfettered travel carries with it more than people and freight – and we are told that Covid-19 is a glimpse of the future for a planet groaning under the weight of far too many humans.
WFH then, can be viewed as a small, but valuable step in the right direction provided that we don’t turn off Zoom and go and make another baby.
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“It’s a miracle” – Father O’Way rolls back another kidney stone.
Religious Retail Photojournalism by Emmjay.