Tag Archives: sleep

Podcast 17: Put Things Away in an Exact Place, Beware “My Preciousss,” and the Challenge of Staying in Touch

It’s Wednesday — which means it’s time for the next installment of  “Happier with Gretchen Rubin.

Coming up: To celebrate our 20th episode, we’re going to do an episode that features our listeners. So leave us a voicemail answer at 774-277-9336, by June 24, 2015, to one of these questions:

— if you could change one aspect of a relationship, what would you change? Huge, trivial, any relationship.

— what happiness demerit would you give yourself? what gold star would you bestow?

Thanks so much to the folks who have already sent in comments. Fascinating.

This week:

Try This at HomeHave an exact place for everything. Agree, disagree?

Happiness Stumbling Block: Beware of anything we call “our preciousssssss.” Whenever Gollum refers to the ring, he calls it “my precious.” “Losst it is, my precious, lost, lost! Curse us and crush us, my precious is lost!“ Want to see a ten-second clip of Gollum talking about his precious, from The Lord of the Rings movie The Two Towers? It’s here. Also, I mention being an “Abstainer.” You can hear a discussion of that term in episode 2.

Listener Question: “What’s some deeper advice for Owls living in a Lark world? And did you realize that the tone of the show was ‘yay, Larks’ and ‘boo, Owls?'” Wow, I certainly didn’t mean to sound dismissive. I’m a big believer in the fact of chronotypes (morning people and night people), and that we should try help shape the world to accommodate a person’s Owl nature.

Elizabeth’s Demerit: Elizabeth feels that she’s not doing a good job of staying in touch with her old friends who live on the East Coast. Elizabeth mentions the “update” habit that we discuss in episode 2.

Gretchen’s Gold Star: I give a gold star to my mother-in-law, who helped me re-frame the experience of plane rides, to make them more enjoyable.

As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors. Check out Smith and Noble, a solution for beautiful window treatments. Go to smithandnoble.com/happier for 20% off window treatments and a free in-home consultation. Limited time.

And Framebridge.com — a terrific way to get your art and photos framed, in a super easy and affordable way. Use the code HAPPIER at checkout to get 20% off your first Framebridge order.

We’d love to hear from you: does it help you to put things away in an exact place? And what’s your precioussssss? Call: 774 -277-9336 for your questions and comments — especially for the Very Special Episode.

Comment below. Email: podcast@gretchenrubin.com. Twitter: @gretchenrubin and @elizabethcraft. Call: 774 -277-9336.  Facebook Page.

To listen to this episode, just zip to the bottom of this post and hit the red “play” button.

Or if you’re reading this post by email, click here to view online, to listen to the podcast from this post.

Want to know what to expect from other episodes of the podcast, when you listen toHappier with Gretchen Rubin?” We talk about how to build happier habits into everyday life, as we draw from cutting-edge science, ancient wisdom, lessons from pop culture—and our own experiences (and mistakes).  We’re sisters, so we don’t let each other get away with much!

HOW TO SUBSCRIBE: If you’re like me (until recently) you’re intrigued by podcasts, but you don’t know how to listen or subscribe. It’s very easy, really. Really. Instructions here.

Or for an amusing short how-to video made by Ira Glass of This American Life, click here.

If you want to listen to more than one episode, and to have it all in a handier way, on your phone or tablet, it’s better to subscribe. Really, it’s easy.

Again, be sure to subscribe and listen and subscribe on iTunes so you never miss an episode. And if you enjoyed it, please tell your friends and give us a rating or review. Listeners really respect the views of other listeners, so your response helps people find good material. (Not sure how to review? Instructions here; scroll to the bottom.)

HAPPIER listening!

Podcast 15: Be a Tourist at Home, a Talk with Tom Rath, Office Supplies, and the Habit of Repeating Questions.

It’s Wednesday– time for the next installment of  “Happier with Gretchen Rubin.

We’re very happy (of course) this week, because we hit several milestones.

First, we hit one million downloads, after just a few months! Incredible. We’re thrilled. Thank you listeners.

Not only that, we hit #4 on iTunes yesterday. Our highest ever. Yowza.

Another milestone, the podcast was featured in a BuzzFeed list 10 Life-Changing Thing to Try in June. That’s right, folks, we’re life-changing.

Yet another milestone:  we did our very first interview. We’ve planned to do interviews all along, and finally, we’re underway.

This week:

Update: I report on whether I managed to keep my “hostess neurosis” under control during my daughter’s birthday party. (In episode 14, I promised to try to avoid that fate.)

Try This at Home: Be a tourist in your own city.

tomrathInterview:  bestselling author Tom Rath.  His new book just hit the shelves: Are You Fully Charged? The Three Keys to Energizing Your Work and Life. (Spoiler alert: the three keys are meaning, interactions, and energy.) If you want more, Tom and I interviewed each other here. Tom mentions the work of professor Teresa Amabile.

Listener Question: “How can I break my habit of snoozing the day away, and show up for myself as readily as I show up for others?” Go here if you want to read more about being an “Obliger.”

Elizabeth’s Demerit: Elizabeth asks her husband Adam the same question repeatedly, in hopes of getting the answer she wants.

plasticsleeveGretchen’s Gold Star: I confess my passion for clear plastic envelopes. It’s the little things!

Coming up: To celebrate our 20th episode, we’re going to do an episode that features our listeners. So call, email, post your response by June 24, 2015, to one of these questions:

— if you could change one aspect of a relationship, what would you change? Huge, trivial, any relationship.

— what happiness demerit would you give yourself? what gold star would you bestow?

Email: podcast@gretchenrubin.com. Twitter: @gretchenrubin and @elizabethcraft. Call: (774 HAPPY 336).  Facebook Page. Or comment right here.

As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors. Check out Smith and Noble, a solution for beautiful window treatments. Go to smithandnoble.com/happier for 20% off window treatments and a free in-home consultation. Limited time.

And Framebridge.com — a terrific way to get your art and photos framed, in a super easy and affordable way. Use the code HAPPIER at checkout to get 20% off your first Framebridge order.

And we would love to hear from you — whether you tried being a tourist in your own home. Comment here, or even better, post a photo of it on Facebook! Also let us know your questions and any other comments, especially for the Very Special Episode coming up.

To listen to this episode, just zip to the bottom of this post and hit the red “play” button.

Or if you’re reading this post by email, click here to view online, to listen to the podcast from this post.

Want to know what to expect from other episodes of the podcast, when you listen toHappier with Gretchen Rubin?” We talk about how to build happier habits into everyday life, as we draw from cutting-edge science, ancient wisdom, lessons from pop culture—and our own experiences (and mistakes).  We’re sisters, so we don’t let each other get away with much!

HOW TO SUBSCRIBE: If you’re like me (until recently) you’re intrigued by podcasts, but you don’t know how to listen or subscribe. It’s very easy, really. Really. Instructions here.

Or for an amusing short how-to video made by Ira Glass of This American Life, click here.

If you want to listen to more than one episode, and to have it all in a handier way, on your phone or tablet, it’s better to subscribe. Really, it’s easy.

Again, be sure to subscribe and listen and subscribe on iTunes so you never miss an episode. And if you enjoyed it, please tell your friends and give us a rating or review. Listeners really respect the views of other listeners, so your response helps people find good material. (Not sure how to review? Instructions here; scroll to the bottom.)

HAPPIER listening!

Daylight Saving Time: A Potential Way To Get an Extra Hour in Your Day.

For Better Than Before, when I talk to people about the habits they want to change, they often mention that they lack the time for a new habit.

To clear time to schedule a new morning habit, many people try waking up a bit earlier, but this can be tough for people who struggle to get out of bed.

One trick? Use the autumn end to Daylight Saving Time as a painless way to add an extra hour to the morning. (Obviously this only works if you live in a place that follows DST.) Getting up earlier is a great way to make time for something important to you.

We all love to “fall back” and to get that extra hour of sleep on Sunday morning. It’s a great boon to get a little extra sleep. In fact, car accidents and heart attacks are more common in the week after Daylight Saving Time starts, because losing that hour puts stress on people’s bodies.

But while you may love that extra hour of sleep, consider not sleeping in, but instead get up after your customary amount of sleep. Your body is getting up as usual, but the clock will say that you’re up an hour early.  And there’s a lot you can do with that hour–especially if the people around you are still sound asleep.

Remember, when it comes to habits, it’s easier to change your surroundings than to change yourself or other people. It’s easier to get in the habit of waking up earlier by getting up at the same time, when the clock changes, than to train yourself to get up earlier.

A reader commented: “A couple years ago I decided not to reset my clock at the end of daylight savings. I had thought of myself as a night owl, but suddenly had writing/exercise time.”

You could use that time to do something like exercise or work on a project–or maybe you want to use it for pure pleasure. I have a friend who wakes up early to read for fun.

The morning is a great time to form a regular habit, because self- control is high, there are fewer distractions, and it’s highly predictable.

Now, this system wouldn’t work for true “owls” who stay up late and sleep late. But for many people, it’s possible to make a very satisfying use of that hour.

NOTE: If you try this strategy, you must also go to sleep earlier! It’s so, so, so important to get enough sleep, and if you lose an hour in the morning, you need to gain that time in sleep. (Here are some tips for getting yourself to go to bed on time.)

The question is: where would you rather have the hour? At the end of the day, or at the start of the day?

Most people would use those slots in very different ways.  The hour of 6:00-7:00 am looks very different from the hour of 11:00-mindnight. Which hour would contribute the most to your happiness?

If you suddenly had an extra hour in your day, how would you use it? Have you ever used this method–or any other–to shift your waking time?

“A Rush of Superiority Which Afflicts All Those Who Are Astir Earlier Than Other People.”

“He looked up at the grey house; all the blinds were down, and he instantly despised his guests for being still asleep, in a rush of that superiority which afflicts all those who are astir earlier than other people.”

— Vita Sackville-West, The Edwardians

I’m an early riser, and I love getting up early — and I also definitely feel a bit smug about it. But I’ve also noticed that people who stay up later also feel a rush of superiority.

Perhaps this helps to explain why people are so reluctant to turn off the light earlier. I talk to people who are chronically exhausted, but who reject indignantly the notion that they might go to sleep earlier.

Partly this is because for many people, the last few hours before bed are their free time, and they hate to give up their free time.

I hadn’t realized it until I read this passage, but I do think there’s also a feeling of superiority, or of getting away with something, of getting more life out of the day, or having a secret world that most people don’t see.

How about you? Do you feel a “rush of superiority” if you’re awake while others are asleep?

Suffer from Insomnia? Try This Counter-Intuitive Trick.

I’ve been on a bender of reading Josephine Tey recently. I don’t like mysteries, usually, but I just discovered her, and for some reason I’ve really been in the mood for her books.

In The Singing Sands, I came across a counter-intuitive trick for falling asleep. I’ve tried it now, myself, a few times, and it really works.

He put the light out, and resorted to his own cure for insomnia: pretending to himself that he had to stay awake. He had evolved this long ago from the simple premise that human nature wants to do the thing it is forbidden to do…He had only to begin pretending that he was not allowed to go to sleep for his eyelids to droop. The pretence eliminated in one move the greatest barrier to sleep: the fear that one is not going to, and so left the beach clear for the invading tide.

Some people don’t get enough sleep because they don’t turn off the light, but some people do turn off the light, but then lie awake — which is horribly frustrating.  If that’s your issue, look here for more, but fairly conventional, tips for falling asleep.

I’m a crazy sleep zealot. Sleep is so important. It’s a key to happiness and energy, and is also one of the crucial Foundation Four for maintaining good habits generally. (The other three? Eat and drink right; move; unclutter.)

Have you figured out any other unconventional tricks for helping yourself drift off?

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