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The Shogun

The Black Ribbon Thread (The Sleeping Quarters)

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Tried a new yoga routine before bed:

I followed that vith 10 minutes of Zhan Zhuang standing meditation and then some light stretching. (Mental note: pole standing first, yoga second). Mixed results: 7 hours and 1 minute total but I was restless so only 6 hours 27 minutes of actual sleep.

I picked up zee "Sleepytime" tea. I grabbed zee honey flavor und zee peach flavor. Ve shall see how this helps until Sahaja gives me my new anti-vakefulness yoga routine vich he so generously offered to create for me.

Sent from the dragon's lair

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12 hours ago, Mistr said:

Test D (Wednesday night)

    Test conditions: Hot chocolate made with hot milk and orange chocolate ganache. This took a bit because I decided to pick out the ganache strips without bits of hard chocolate from the pile of trimmings. Elf helped with the pieces of ganache with the crunchy bits. On the other hand, it melted easily and there was not that mess of partially dissolved cocoa in the bottom of the mug. The orange flavor was more intense in the hot chocolate than in the ganache.

    Results: The hot chocolate was heavenly and I fell asleep right away.

Oh, you haf added a step!  The bits of hard chocolate can be chopped up and will melt, unless of course, Elf is one of those that likes his chocolate without the orange.  Wiz the orange, you could add a dash of amaretto...

 

Decaf is the devil.... Was there much sugar in the lemon bar?  I react strongly to some sugars, especially if there isn't fat to balance it (so, cocoa is good, caramel filled chocolate, not so much, at least to me). 

 

I'll have to look at the yoga - I'm not sure about doing it before bed (again, light exercise tends to wake me up), but mid-evening might be a good time.  Hmmm...

 

I had the screen on a little late last night, but was in bed on time.  Unfortunately the cat decided to meow at midnight.  I'm also wondering if I've been sleeping well, even with getting to bed on time, because I'm awfully tired this week.  Then again, I might just be really focusing on it so admitting how tired I am? 

 

 

 

 

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I'll have to look at the yoga - I'm not sure about doing it before bed (again, light exercise tends to wake me up), but mid-evening might be a good time.  Hmmm...

 

I had the screen on a little late last night, but was in bed on time.  Unfortunately the cat decided to meow at midnight.  I'm also wondering if I've been sleeping well, even with getting to bed on time, because I'm awfully tired this week.  Then again, I might just be really focusing on it so admitting how tired I am? 

 

 

 

 

The yoga seems to be helping me. It's just settling on the right routine and style.

If you've been getting to bed on time but waking up fatigued then you may be more restless at at night than you realize.

Sent from the dragon's lair

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On 10/21/2016 at 7:14 PM, Draegon (Liam P Boyle) said:

The yoga seems to be helping me. It's just settling on the right routine and style.

If you've been getting to bed on time but waking up fatigued then you may be more restless at at night than you realize.

Sent from the dragon's lair

 

I think it's a combination of restless and needing an even earlier bed-time.  Somewhere in the last couple of years I turned into a much lighter sleeper than I used to be (the lady friend mentioned reading about a couple of nutritional deficiencies that can aggravate that, so I may have some reading to do).  Plus, 5 am Fuzzball is inconsistent enough in his habits right now that I don't get a solid block of sleep as often as I'd like - he waxes between chill, curl up and purr himself asleep against the leg to 'poke....poke....poke....' on my arm until I pet him (usually it's a ruse to attack my hand), and then wandering around meowing until I get up. Since he's up at 5 for a good hour, it's throwing my wake time now, too.

 

I have a couple of things to ponder as well.  With regards to yoga, I know from doing some chigung practice as well as some other light exercises, that if I do those too near to bed time, I'm hosed for getting to sleep.  It's been like that for the better part of 20 years. 

 

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With regards to yoga, I know from doing some chigung practice as well as some other light exercises, that if I do those too near to bed time, I'm hosed for getting to sleep.  It's been like that for the better part of 20 years.

For some reason zazen style meditation has that same effect for me.

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Veek Zero Meeting of the Ankh-Monkpork League of Temperance

 

tumblr_ndeqykpx4L1rdfgw4o1_500.gif

Ve shall sleep vell und rise refreshed.  This is our vay.

 

Velcome, ladies und gentlemen.  Ve gather here vith our black ribbons on to start another challenge.

 

I haff a few notes to begin zer meeting:

But ze main point of zer meeting vill be this: zer natural origins of segmented sleep.  Zer myth of zer eight-hour night needs a bit of refinement, und those who haff trouble sleeping through zer night must not feel zer guilt.  Ve are meant to haff an hour vith our cocoa in zer middle of zer night.

 

Now, ve vill all come up vith our black ribbon pledges for this challenge.  Mine is the same: not vun drop of vakefulness after midnight.

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Greetings on this zero week.  In the common version, I am Kristoph Maledict Tantony Tauntaun Mephistopheles Nobbs (no provable relation), Baron von Kugelhopf. 

 

There are those who call me...Chris.

 

@sarakingdom was faster with the posting than me. 

 

I shall continue to pledge not one drop. 

 

For myself, according to MeisterHeim, it is often good to review your successes and failures, and see if you can find ways to play to your strenks.  (please pardon my lispt...I have been away from Uberwald for so long, I often forget zer proper pronunciations).

 

As noted a success was to turn off the evil glowing devices earlier in the evening.  It was much easier to close a book, and I felt more tired at an earlier time.  This did help with the struggle against the v-word, as I was able to get to bed earlier. 

 

I still struggle with being restless and boredom sometimes clouding my habits, and how to deal with zat.  I believe zat more intense workouts throughout the week may play an important key. 

 

A new challenge is ze light sleeping and v...v...vak..vakefullness This is a right bugger, as even if I am in bed earlier, I am not getting as much good sleep as I need, which feeds into the bad habits.  There will need to be a review of sleep arrangements (lighter blanket, perhaps, and better shutting out of the light - zer Mask of Darkness just does not stay on the way zey used to).  As noted previously, I may need to review foods as well. 

 

I shall have to review the feline mind control! 

 

Happy zero week, and may zer force render you sleepy. 

Edited by ChrisWithaStick
Confusion about starting to assist on the meetings.
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Kristoph!  You must forgive me for stealing your veek zero fanfare!  It vas unbearably rude of me.  I vas just slipping in vun last vun before becoming a regular citizen again.  I am so very sorry.

 

Yes, zer Baron - our Kristoph - vill be leading zer Black Ribboners this challenge, vhile I... attend to my estates in Ubervald.  (Vhy ve must alvays take care of zer mob vith the pitchforks und torches, I do not know.  Are ve not modern people in modern times?  Can ve not discuss these things in a civilized manner?)  Also, listen to zer embarrassing folk music of ze ribald country people.

 

8 minutes ago, ChrisWithaStick said:

According to MeisterHeim, it is often good to review your successes and failures, and see if you can find ways to play to your strenks.

 

I, too, haff had ze successes.  I almost alvays vin against the v-vord, und vhen I do not, it is usually by minutes only, vhich is good.  I had perhaps vun truly bad evenink during the challenge, vhich is doing very vell indeed.  (I did not alvays sleep vell on the nights I got to bed early, but vun thing at a time.)

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Greetings, Draegon here. I haff many issues with zee vakefulness. Vhile I haff many obligations that limit the hours in vich I can seek repose, my goal is to maximize zee effectiveness off zee sleep I do get.

I shall continue zee use off zee sleep recorder und post zee results daily. I shall continue with zee sleepytime tea, and zee sleepytime yoga routine so kindly devised for me by Sahaja

Sent from the dragon's lair

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Greetings comrades.

 

I haf had some success in ze prior challenge. De time ov lights out iz better. De actual sleep, ah, dere iz de problem.

 

I vill continue FOR SCIENCE!

 

Furst, ze replicate testing.

 

On 10/21/2016 at 8:07 AM, Mistr said:

Test E (Thursday night)

   Test conditions: Negative control. Decaf coffee with cream, along with a lemon bar.

    Results: Negative. Much trouble with the v-word. Tossing and turning and not falling asleep. My knees were not too cranky, which is a miracle because they hurt just walking all day.

 

Tonight I vill resume the replicate testing of ze hot chocolate. Ze preliminary results show a clear trend, but ve must not leap to conclusions.

 

Test D, replicate #2 (Friday night)

    Test conditions: Hot chocolate made with ganache

    Results: Excellent flavor, good sleep. 

 

Test E, replicate #3 (Saturday night)

    Test conditions: Decaf coffee with Irish cream. Also fresh chocolate chip cookies, apples and caramel dip and party snacks.

    Results: Brain wandering like a lost soul, knees howling.

 

Next, ze radical departure von ze traditional practices. Ve are modern, vorward thinking humans!

 

Test F

   Test conditions: Apple cider. Also toffee cheesecake bar, cheese and crackers and a few slices of apple with caramel dip.

    Results: Fell asleep easily in spite ov ze guys coming home late. Knees only slightly grumpy.

 

I vill try diz again. My friends did not drink much of ze lovely fresh apple cider. It iz taking up far too much room in ze fridge.

 

13 hours ago, ChrisWithaStick said:

Greetings on this zero week.  In the common version, I am Kristoph Maledict Tantony Tauntaun Mephistopheles Nobbs (no provable relation), Baron von Kugelhopf. 

 

There are those who call me...Chris.

 

A new challenge is ze light sleeping and v...v...vak..vakefullness This is a right bugger, as even if I am in bed earlier, I am not getting as much good sleep as I need, which feeds into the bad habits.  There will need to be a review of sleep arrangements (lighter blanket, perhaps, and better shutting out of the light - zer Mask of Darkness just does not stay on the way zey used to).  As noted previously, I may need to review foods as well. 

 

Velcome Herr Chris, our new fearless leader!

 

I strongly recommend implements of darkness in ze sleeping chamber. Blackout curtains, covers over ze little red lights on ze electronics, block light at all entrances.

 

I haff a black curtain in front of my bedroom door. Dis allowed me to leave the door open for my (much missed) cat, while still keeping out most of ze light from ze hall. Now dat I no longer need to leave ze door ajar, I put a stuffed snake along the bottom to keep out ze light. It makes a surprising difference.

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There's another technique, that I should have mentioned in your practice Draegon, it's good for relaxing and getting ready for bed, or for just calming down (if you can do it and not look like a crazy-person). If you're working out late in the day or before bed it's useful to add at the very end of the routine.  It's really simple, easy, and quick, it's just called tension release:

 

Lay on your back,
make your legs really straight, and squeeze the muscles tight,
pull your toes up towards your face,
ball your hands up and activate your arms, squeeze!
Activate your buns and belly,
squeeze your chest, back and shoulders,
open your mouth as wide as you can,
stick your tongue way out,
squeeze your eyes closed tight!
Take a huge inhale and squeeze everything tight from the soles of your feet to your scalp!
Squeeze out a noise like Arnold doin a massive lift, "AAAAARRrrrgh"...

 

Then let it all go

 

Turn the sound into a sigh... "aaaaaahhhhhhh...".  Feel all of the tension you've been holding, all the baggage from your day, all of the effort from the workout, just melt into the floor and disappear.  Then take a moment and see what your breath is doing, do you feel it lift your belly or your chest?  do you feel it in your throat or your nose?  Don't change it, just observe a few breaths.


In my yoga classes I use this technique as the first step of the savasna relaxation.  Just letting go and relaxing in the warmth from the practice and enjoying a visualization for a few minutes is a great way to reinforce the practice, whether it's goal was to get up and ready for the day, or to slow down and get ready for bed.

 

*A note of caution... doing this repeatedly in a short time will rev you up more than slow you down, the activation starts to overpower the release.  Once should almost always be good, a second time might be ok if you REALLY need to, but more than that and you're working against yourself.

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12 hours ago, Mistr said:

I vill continue FOR SCIENCE!

Ah!  A true researcher!   Cocoa for science - that is vat ve shall name zer harmonium when we can afford it.   Does sugar aggravate your knees somehow?  I notice that on the two nights with more food there was zer caramel.  This can be much more sugar than ze cocoa, as can the cider.  If there's too much cider, perhaps with time you can have scumble?  It is made of apples.  Well, mainly apples...

 

I have thought quite often of the light blocking curtains.  For the summer it wasn't so bad since there is a lilac in front of the window blocking most of the street light.  This is no longer the case (leafless sticks aren't quite as efficient, and Seattle has been installing those gods awful white LED type street lights). Light from the living room isn't an issue, as I can leave the door cracked just enough for the kitty to wander through, and that room is fairly dark.  We shall start with curtains, though...

 

On 10/24/2016 at 7:12 PM, sarakingdom said:

Yes, zer Baron - our Kristoph - vill be leading zer Black Ribboners this challenge, vhile I... attend to my estates in Ubervald.  (Vhy ve must alvays take care of zer mob vith the pitchforks und torches, I do not know.  Are ve not modern people in modern times?  Can ve not discuss these things in a civilized manner?)  Also, listen to zer embarrassing folk music of ze ribald country people.

Pitchforks and torches can perhaps improve your bargaining position... presuming you are the one holding them. 

 

On 10/24/2016 at 7:12 PM, sarakingdom said:

I, too, haff had ze successes.  I almost alvays vin against the v-vord, und vhen I do not, it is usually by minutes only, vhich is good.  I had perhaps vun truly bad evenink during the challenge, vhich is doing very vell indeed.  (I did not alvays sleep vell on the nights I got to bed early, but vun thing at a time.)

This seems to be a recurring theme with some of the league members.  We can get to bed, but our sleep is not yet good.  We do not sleep the sleep of the, well, undead. 

 

16 hours ago, Draegon (Liam P Boyle) said:

I shall continue zee use off zee sleep recorder und post zee results daily. I shall continue with zee sleepytime tea, and zee sleepytime yoga routine so kindly devised for me by Sahaja

How as the tea been working?  Also, which sleep recorder are you using?  I did use an MS band for a while, but it was 1st gen and well...it's going a little wonky in it's recording (apparently I'm actually dead for 4-5 hours a night). 

 

I did have a few drops last night, but it was a conscious choice to have a date with a wonderful lady in ze fetching brown boots and floral print dress, and very pretty smile....   Ve shall be stronk against the bad habits!  But ve shall also be aware of making ze choices. 

 

 

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There's another technique, that I should have mentioned in your practice Draegon, it's good for relaxing and getting ready for bed, or for just calming down (if you can do it and not look like a crazy-person). If you're working out late in the day or before bed it's useful to add at the very end of the routine.  It's really simple, easy, and quick, it's just called tension release:

 

Lay on your back,

make your legs really straight, and squeeze the muscles tight,

pull your toes up towards your face,

ball your hands up and activate your arms, squeeze!

Activate your buns and belly,

squeeze your chest, back and shoulders,

open your mouth as wide as you can,

stick your tongue way out,

squeeze your eyes closed tight!

Take a huge inhale and squeeze everything tight from the soles of your feet to your scalp!

Squeeze out a noise like Arnold doin a massive lift, "AAAAARRrrrgh"...

 

Then let it all go

 

Turn the sound into a sigh... "aaaaaahhhhhhh...".  Feel all of the tension you've been holding, all the baggage from your day, all of the effort from the workout, just melt into the floor and disappear.  Then take a moment and see what your breath is doing, do you feel it lift your belly or your chest?  do you feel it in your throat or your nose?  Don't change it, just observe a few breaths.

In my yoga classes I use this technique as the first step of the savasna relaxation.  Just letting go and relaxing in the warmth from the practice and enjoying a visualization for a few minutes is a great way to reinforce the practice, whether it's goal was to get up and ready for the day, or to slow down and get ready for bed.

 

*A note of caution... doing this repeatedly in a short time will rev you up more than slow you down, the activation starts to overpower the release.  Once should almost always be good, a second time might be ok if you REALLY need to, but more than that and you're working against yourself.

Thank you. I've used similar techniques in Taiji.

Sent from the dragon's lair

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How as the tea been working?  Also, which sleep recorder are you using?  I did use an MS band for a while, but it was 1st gen and well...it's going a little wonky in it's recording (apparently I'm actually dead for 4-5 hours a night).

Results vith zee tea haff proven, vell, inconclusif at zis point.

Zee sleep recorder is a Samsung Galaxy Gear S2, vith Samsung S-health.

Sent from the dragon's lair

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2 hours ago, Draegon (Liam P Boyle) said:

Sleep:  6 hr 54min @ 93% efficiency 6 hr 29 min actual sleep

Sent from the dragon's lair

Vhat is this efficiency number? By vhat means is it calculated, und haf you noticed a correlation vit your perceived sleep quality?

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8 minutes ago, ChrisWithaStick said:

Vhat is this efficiency number? By vhat means is it calculated, und haf you noticed a correlation vit your perceived sleep quality?

Zee efficiency number is how much off zee time I spend sleeping can be translated to restful sleep, according to motion and heart rate.  I haff noticed a direct correlation to how rested I feel when that number is low.  if it is above 93% or so not as much.  But night vhen I haff scored 70% I haff felt it.

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12 hours ago, Draegon (Liam P Boyle) said:

Zee efficiency number is how much off zee time I spend sleeping can be translated to restful sleep, according to motion and heart rate.  I haff noticed a direct correlation to how rested I feel when that number is low.  if it is above 93% or so not as much.  But night vhen I haff scored 70% I haff felt it.

Ah.  Ze Band didn't have a good explanation, and I could have high efficiency numbers with 5 hours of sleep, which didn't correlate well with feeling rested.  Perhaps I was better off than I thought though. 

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I had zer insomnia last night, and I vish to discuss two bits of sleep science vith the League.

 

First, ze tventy-minute naps do a great deal of good vhen you are sleep-deprived.  Every six hours is vhat they tested, but really vhenever you can, I vould think.

 

Second, and I cannot find ze study on this vun, but vhen you cannot sleep, lying qvietly und resting provides many of the same benefits as sleep.  So do not feel zer distress vhen you cannot fall asleep, but lie qvietly und enjoy zer night.  Zer dark und gloomy night, und its beautiful music.  (This is controversial, and clearly it is not ze same as sleep vhen it comes to benefits, but you take vhat you can get, yes?  It is still good to rest the body and not feel added stress about zer insomnia.)

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8 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

I had zer insomnia last night, and I vish to discuss two bits of sleep science vith the League.

 

First, ze tventy-minute naps do a great deal of good vhen you are sleep-deprived.  Every six hours is vhat they tested, but really vhenever you can, I vould think.

 

Second, and I cannot find ze study on this vun, but vhen you cannot sleep, lying qvietly und resting provides many of the same benefits as sleep.  So do not feel zer distress vhen you cannot fall asleep, but lie qvietly und enjoy zer night.  Zer dark und gloomy night, und its beautiful music.  (This is controversial, and clearly it is not ze same as sleep vhen it comes to benefits, but you take vhat you can get, yes?  It is still good to rest the body and not feel added stress about zer insomnia.)

The napping...  Mentioning it reminded me of two different things I read on Mark's Daily Apple:
The guide
How some brilliant people use naps

 

Zer sleep inertia is a problem, as I found in college, and still on some lazy weekends.  This is not such a big deal on weekends, but if using naps for performance or mitigating (temporary!  Ve shall be stronk!) sleep issues, it's something to be aware of.

 

When I'm being good about it, when I can't sleep is when I get the most mantram practice (as describe by Eknath Easwaran in his meditation book).  It's a good way to distract the mind and let the body do its thing until the mind lets go. 

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