Debate Prep

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?

37 thoughts on “Debate Prep”

  1. Good morning. I usually don’t get enough sleep and I am not good at making choices. Apparently I am a good example of the the problems people have making choices without enough sleep. I just seem to move ahead in a bumbling manner. Somehow, I manage to not get into too much trouble. This is probably because I have had a lot of good luck. I am at my best at deciding what I should do first thing in the morning when I am lying in bed just before I get up. There probably are some bad choices that I made when I was very short on sleep, but I have suppressed the memory of those bad decisions.


  2. Last weekend I made what I was sure would be the last visit to my cabin.

    Today I will wrestle with a response to the offer just received from would-be buyers. It is a handsome offer in many regards, but about 20% below what is our fair asking price.

    I slept three or four hours last night. Let’s hope I make good choices as this plays out.


    1. Steve, maybe you should follow the advice of the Physicians for Bedrest and find a way to get more sleep before making any decisions on selling your cabin. I wish you the best of luck on deciding what to do.


    2. nice to get a offer, good luck figuring out if they will raise the offer if you counter. its like selling on craigslist. if you want 20 dollars youd better ask 30 because they are sure as heck going to offer lees that your asking price. if you want 20 ansd ask 20 you can sit for a while.i know you are not fond of the notion of sitting so it may be worth biting the bullet but that xxthousands of dollars would i assume make a difference too.
      im not sure sleep is going to do it on this one.


      1. Yes, I think tim is right and you should stand your ground to get a good deal, steve. You might need to get some advice from Captain Billy on taking a strong bargaining position as well as following the Physicians for Bedrest on getting more sleep.


        1. Ha! I have no need for a pirate to wage a fierce bargaining battle. The woman I married (and who co-owns the property) is far scarier and more combative than the foulest pirate that ever sailed. I’m a sweet little bunny in negotiations, but the buyers will have to satisfy my erstwife to make a sale.


        2. And I agree with this part of tim’s “it may be worth biting the bullet” – with the glut of available housing (including cabins, I hear) , who knows if/when another offer will come?
          Interesting tming – right after you’ve said “goodbye.”


    3. Maybe it will help that your erstwife is there to help make the decision, Steve. It must be a heart-wrenching decision to have to make. It’s a lovely little place. Best of luck to you and your family!


  3. For five years I had a job I really liked working as a coordinator for a sustainable agriculture project of a non-profit organization. During this time I got up earlier than usual to put extra effort into my work and was often short on sleep. In hind sight I can see that I did make one important decision that was not good during this time. I put all of my effort into the work I was doing and didn’t plan for my future. Maybe it would have occurred to me that I should have been planning for my future if had gotten more sleep. I sort of knew that the project could come to an end and I might be out of a job which is what happened.


  4. Like many people, my body does not let me choose to get enough sleep, for the last 30 years or so.. So it could be argued that my life has been a series of bad choices for the last 30 years or so.


  5. I must be the most well rested person on the face of the earth! I usually sleep like a baby. Dale’s suggestion of experiencing the debates with both audio and video turned off fascinates me. Snoozing in front of the TV is what so many people do with both audio and video turned on, I’m wondering whether or not having both turned off would work just as well. Think of all the electricity we could save.


  6. i am looking forward to the debate tonight. i missed the first hour of the last one and all of the vp debate because of other commitments.
    as for sleep i am accustomed to making decisions on too little sleep. it never occred to me until a friend showed me a list of the symptoms of sleep deprrivation and said that kind of looks like you. he was right and i added an hour or two and it helped. but sleep is not something that comes as naturally as it should,i always have a couple more things to look after and to research and to take care of and sleep can always be put off until later. i went for years on 4-5 and would guess its about 6 now and that works ok but when i drop like a rock i realize i have pushed it too far. so with that all my decisions are based on too little sleep for the forseeable past. i love that sleep cured brain feeling kind of warm and cozy as opposed to the electric zing i go around normally with. maybe id vote for the other guy if i slept. its kind of a different me. nah its not that different. ill just choose chamomile instead of earl gray


  7. i used to enjoy going to the symphony and would try to get there earlier enough to have a glss of wine or two before the music started. on a regular basis the lights would go down and so would my eyelids. i missed some great stuff but how do you put a value on that feeling of refreshed self after a two minute doze? i find that the 2 minute cat nap is magic for me. i need to do it more often.


  8. Morning-
    I told my wife todays question and we both laughed and said yeah, everyday we make decisions on too little sleep.
    I love playing solitaire and I think part of the reason is I get to make lots of decisions. This card here, this card here, hold this one a bit… I love making decisions. And I get ornery when I have to wait for further information before I can make one!
    I have a friend visiting his parents in FL and attending the debate tonight. Not sure if I’ll see it or not; depends how the day works out…


  9. Greetings! I am finaly a back in ND after having been in Minnesota on a whirlwind tour since October 14th on a variety of missions. Since I don’t really ever sleep well, I make most decisions on too little sleep.


  10. Where are the rest of you this morning? Did you go back to bed to catch up on your sleep to improve your decision making?


  11. Like others, I routinely make decisions on too little sleep. Fortunately, my job does not require me to make critical decisions.

    I will take the advice from Physicians for Bedrest tonight. The recliner should be a good place to test their theory. If I start thinking about taxes from the comfort of my recliner, with my eyes closed and the audio and visual components of the TV turned off, I’m sure I’ll be sound asleep within a minute or two. (I did calculate my income tax rate this morning, though, and found that I’m being taxed at 28.8%, which might keep me awake).

    I was awake this morning, for no good reason whatsoever, between 3 and 5 a.m., when I fell back to sleep. It makes it hard to wake up when the alarm goes off at 5:30 a.m. This has become a pattern for me and I’m not sure what causes it. If it went away, I could make some great decisions!


  12. 28.8%? Really????

    I have a humungous deduction for health insurance, so I don’t pay any income tax. Yes, I am one of Mitt’s 47%. Of course, I do pay self-employment tax, sales tax, and property taxes.


  13. I’m afraid I can’t attribute any of the bad decisions to lack of sleep, but who can remember that far back? They’re due to either wishful, delusional thinking; or fear of the unknown. I’m guessing neither of those was going to go away with a few more hours’ sleep.


  14. We returned home from our MN trip on Saturday evening. For rather complicated reasons, we left our old van in Bismarck, so my husband drove it back while I drove the other vehicle. He stopped at a grocery store in Bismarck prior to coming home. I knew when he told me his plans that it was a bad idea, since he was tired and broody and lost in thought, and he always has trouble shopping when he is like this. He spent 1.5 hours in the grocery store picking out a few, simple vegetables that he wanted with supper! This was a record of inefficiency and fussiness. I was steamed, since I and daughter had to unload the van and get everything put away and organized, and he was steamed at himself and he went to bed and never even cooked the veggies until Sunday.


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