Spo-fans will find it amusing if not downright ironic I wrote this on my laptop at 930PM. 

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Lord love us I just read another study linking – again – a good night’s sleep to just about everything good and a bad night’s rest causing or worsening all our woes. The brain is the ultimate luddite; it is fixated in a time prior to the invention of the electric light. It wants a long night’s rest above all else and (like a peevish spouse) when it doesn’t get its way it will make your life miserable until it does.

The study comes down to advising our patients with all sincerity they should turn off the TV and all technical objects at 8PM and don’t dare touch them until morning – or face a series of demons of shortcomings and sorrow. This oh so sensible advice will get the same ‘St. Anthony preaching to the fishes’ nods I get from my patients whenever I tell them to lay off junk food and avoid coffee for their nerves.  Fat chance of that.

Foolish people. We don’t want to turn off our texts, not even to drive safe. We like fries to salad and Netflix marathons to working in the yard.  Female patients freak out most over the notion of breast cancer, yet it is cardiovascular disease that is more likely to hit and knock you into your grave.

Can I nag my patients into prudent living? Alas, that breed of doctor authority died out long before I arrived on the scene, more’s the pity. History shows vice laws and prohibitions do not enhance virtue and maybe more likely to undermine it.

Even to Urs Truly a ‘healthy lifestyle’ sounds a bit dull: rise every day at 5AM even on the weekends; no bacon but eat oatmeal and yogurt for breakfast. Avoid meat. Watch no more than 30 minutes of TV. Keep moving. Drive with the cellphone turned off. Abjure processed foods and strong drink.  No techie toys after 7PM but read a paper book. Bed at 9PM and repeat.  This may extend life by a decade but is it worth it?  It all sounds like Midwest Protestant Work ethic, which was/is code for suspicion for things pleasurable.

Oh well, there is no better way to lead others than by example. I shall do better at getting sufficient sleep, at least.  As summarized in the study mentioned at the beginning, it is the ultimate cornerstone upon which to build one’s health. Try to tell as many people as you can in town why don’t you.

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