Today’s post is a special message from Physicians for Bedrest – a public interest group advocating completion of the Job of Rest.
They say the way to know who has won a presidential debate is to listen to it on the radio, because the strength of a good argument will shine through when the distractions of the TV picture are absent.
Others say exactly the opposite – the words don’t matter. Watch with the sound off if you want to know who’s winning, because the key to victory is projecting confidence and competence. May the man with the best lighting win!
But at Physicians for Bedrest, we think the smartest way to experience these presidential debates is with BOTH the sound AND the video turned off. That’s right. Sit in front of the blank screen. Turn the lights down low. Let your mind wander to thoughts of taxes, infrastructure, job creation and budget cuts.
Close your eyes. Take a little nap.
When you wake up feeling rested and refreshed, you will be in better shape than most Americans when it comes to weighing your options and making political choices. Most people work too hard and don’t get enough sleep. And research tells us that a sleep-deprived mind is also deprived of good judgment. Weighing one’s options is a neuron-intensive process, so a couple of hours extra sleep will be invaluable when it comes time to step into the voting booth.
“But what about the debate?” you may ask.
The debate will be with us for the next three days, at least. If anything at all happens, there will be no shortage of breathless messengers panting to deliver the news. They’ll be exhausted, but because you debate-dozed, you’ll be ready to carefully consider what they have to tell you, assuming they’re able to produce a coherent string of words.
Knowing about the candidates and the issues is an important part of civic engagement. But being able to process what you know relies on getting a healthy amount of rest, and unfortunately many working Americans try to squeeze their visit to the polls into the early morning hours, or worse, drag themselves to the polling place after a long day on the job. That’s just not conducive to clear thinking!
So between now and election day, whether you’re at home, at church, on the job, in the grocery store, out at a restaurant, attending an arts event, but especially if you’re watching TV, take some time to Sleep For America!
And when you step in to that polling booth, make sure it has a pillow attached. (Not all of them do!) You might need to catch a few extra Z’s before filling out the form, just to sharpen your mind.
If anyone asks what you’re doing, tell them you’re doing your civic duty!
When have you had to make an important choice on too little sleep?