The Front Blog

Conversations from the Four Rivers Region

Posts Tagged ‘sleep

the morning cram [this is bat country edition]

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A recreational drug may be just what the doctor ordered.

NPR reports the club drug, Ketamine may be able to make depression dissapear almost immediately. Are we sure it’s not the trance beat and strobe lights?

Kentucky~ There’s a flood warning starting tomorrow in Paducah. Think twice about taking a leisurely stroll on the remaions of the Eggner’s Ferry Bridge. Commercial driver’s licensing requirements are changing.

Tennessee~ The state is attempting to halt the growing numbers of prescription drug overdoses.

the morning cram [The do, or do not. There is no try edition]

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The Pentagon finds fighting two wars at once can be tricky…

NPR reports military officials are revisiting the policy which states we could fight multiple wars at the same time and win. Ask any sports fan, split squad games never pack the same punch.

Kentucky~   Murray State’s on a roll! USEC may be leaving Paducah. More budget cuts are on their way.  Beshear really wants some gambling money.  Williams sounds off on Beshear’s State of the Commonwealth.

Tennessee~  Judges may no longer give to political campaigns.

the morning cram [Mawage. Mawage is what brings us together today edition]

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It seems people are less interested in taking part in what Twain called the “the supreme felicity and tragedy of life”.

NPR reports the marriage rate in the country is at an all time low: Buttered Popcorn flavored jelly beans have a higher approval rating and those things are nasty!

Kentucky~ Beshear says it’s time to start working together.

Illinois~ Mississippi River  study underway. Tax breaks are now on the books! EPA says Illinois air quality is getting worse.

Tennessee~ National Guard starts suicide prevention services. Lawmakers don’t want you to know about their closed-door-conversations.

Missouri~  Senator Roy Blunt edges out other GOP big dogs to take the GOP vice chairmanship.




the morning cram [the sometimes you win, sometimes you lose and sometimes it rains edition]

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The Occupy movement is changing.

NPR reports the movement is attempting to discover the next phase of their nationwide movement.

Kentucky~A local High School is headed to the State Championships- Go Cardinals!  The Paducah CVB offers help to the expo center. Hospital officials don’t want us to know the details of their merger.  Sen. Paul looks to save small river ports with his new bill.

Illinois~ Metropolis may be changing healthcare companies.

Tennessee ~ Henry County went door to door checking up on sex offenders.

To Dream, Perchance to Sleep

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by Todd Hatton

Yesterday morning, I began writing a blog post on a particular topic and ended up writing about something totally unrelated.  When I went back to figure out what happened, a massive yawn almost split my head in half.  Instead of my finding the problem, the problem had found me.  I hadn’t slept very well or long enough the night before, and now I was paying for it.

I love sleep.  I’d smile saying the word even if the act of doing so didn’t force me to.  The very thought of curling up for a prolonged snooze under cozy blankets makes me drool.  Yet, I’m not doing it enough.

Makes you sleepy just looking at it, huh?

So what, exactly, is my problem?

First, it’s not just my problem.  The National Sleep Foundation says one in three Americans is overtired because they’re not sleeping enough.  So how much is enough?

A survey of several sleep-related websites shows no one number for everyone, but The Better Sleep Council reports the average amount for adults is around seven to eight hours a night, although some people may need more.  Their rule of thumb for determining the proper amount is simple enough: if you sleep more on the weekend than you do during the week, you’re not getting enough Monday through Friday.  Of this, I am horribly, horribly guilty.

Ah, the Sleep of the Innocent...and the Shamelessly Cute. (Image from

I don’t need a raft of scientific research to know that this is no good.  If you do, however, here’s some, and some more, and yet even more.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, a lack of sleep accrues like interest, creating what’s termed a “sleep debt.” This deficit depresses our immune systems, raises blood pressure and insulin resistance, impairs cognitive functions, and reduces levels of leptin, a molecule secreted by fat cells the brain uses to inhibit appetite.

All right, so we all know now that a lack of sleep is a big problem.  What do we do about it?  The National Sleep Foundation provides a list of tips and strategies that range from the rather obvious (e.g., abstaining from caffeine early in the afternoon) to the counterintuitive (e.g., if you can’t sleep, don’t toss and turn, get up and do something relaxing).  The New York Times even recommends an optimal temperature for sleep, around 60 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit.  Anything outside that range makes us restless.

Those of us whose schedules preclude a normal sleep schedule have the unique challenge of trying to sleep when all the external cues say we should be awake.  We’re fighting our circadian rhythms, and in many cases, we’re losing the battle.

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Written by Todd Hatton

July 13, 2010 at 12:00 pm