Brain Food – No. 527 – June 4, 2023
Timeless ideas and insights for life. (Read the archives)
Master the Art of Learning:
“Clear writing gives poor thinking nowhere to hide.”
A reminder from your future self:
Common causes of bad decisions:
1. Assumptions based on small sample sizes
2. Wanting the world to work the way we want rather than the way it does
3. Conforming to expectations/authority/group (social default)
4. Blindness to large trends (blind spots)
5. Not asking, “and then what?”
A new episode of The Knowledge Project Podcast is out on using sleep to enhance performance and mental health. My guest is Dr. Gina Poe, a professor in the Department of Integrative Biology & Physiology at UCLA. The episode is full of accessible science-based insights you can use to get your best sleep tonight.
“There have been studies to show that the more volatile your sleep onset time, the worse the cognitive outcomes for older people. So it hasn’t really been studied as much in younger people. But if you have a regular bedtime, in older people, it’s predictive of better cognitive outcomes. Two things control our sleep. [One is our] homeostatic need, which is the longer you’re awake, the more you need sleep. And the other is the circadian clock timing of it. So one thing that helps you to have a good, solid, even circadian clock is in the morning when you wake up, expose yourself to bright light. Because bright light, especially in the blue frequency, is the strongest resetter of our daily clock. And that starts the clock at the right time of day so that you’re ready to go to sleep at night. The circadian clock is one of the things that… Its drive for wakefulness starts relaxing at night, at the same time that the homeostatic need for sleep builds. And so that allows you to go to sleep at the right time. If you expose yourself to really bright light in the evening, for example, with [an] electronic device with lots of blue in the frequency of light, you are setting your clock to say, “It’s time to wake up.” And so then your homeostatic need for sleep and your circadian rhythm are fighting one another. So there are lots of things that set your circadian clock besides light. Timing of meals, timing of exercise. All of that can help you know what time it is so you know what time … to go to sleep.”
While this article is on baseball, it’s about something we talk about a lot: mastering circumstances rather than being mastered by them.
“I’m really just trying to control the at-bat instead of being controlled,” Marsh said. “I know it’s hard to take control when everything is in the pitcher’s hands, but really just trying to take the at-bat I want to take, depending on the situation at hand. Controlled aggression is probably the best way to put it. … If you’re too aggressive, you try to chase … “
P.S. The physics teacher we all need.
P.P.S. FS Swag.