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Monday, February 27, 2012

89

The Two Sleeps

"For most of evolution we slept a certain way. Waking up during the night is part of normal human physiology."
—In case you missed it, the BBC has a reassuring if slightly sad article on the history of sleep, insomnia, and the apparently unnatural rise of the Eight-Hour Standard. Elsewhere and somewhat related, the Times has a piece on living alone and quirk-indulgence, and, to end on a different but still health-related note, there are also new tampons.

Photo by zhu difeng, via Shutterstock

89 Comments / Post A Comment

anachronistique

Tampons "with strips that release lactic and citric acid"? My knees just shut tighter than a Senate committee hearing's doors.

atipofthehat

@anachronistique

Nothing beats a lemony snicket.

annepersand

@atipofthehat Daniel's not gonna want to handler.

atipofthehat

@annepersand

You'll have to admit: citrus has a peel.

annepersand

@atipofthehat It often goes hand in hand with a certain zest for life.

atipofthehat

@annepersand

There's actually nothing I like better than a tasty slice.

annepersand

@atipofthehat It would take a lot to get me to sour on the idea.

atipofthehat

@annepersand

Orange you glad I didn't say "banana"?

AndSomethingElse

@anachronistique Not sure puckering is what I want in a vagina, but willing to experiment.

BUT SERIOUSLY what? So if, say, a woman is suddenly having much more sex than she used to, is the pH of her vagina going to shoot way up and...and something about flora? Doesn't that mean plants? Why are there plants in your vagina?

This isn't something I have to know about, right?

anachronistique

@atipofthehat @annepersand I'm so glad I came back to a load of pithy puns.

atipofthehat

@anachronistique

There's nothing like a squeeze and a squirt to start the second sleep!

realtalk

SORRY TO MESS UP THE PUNS, BUT:
@Al Cracka: semen is baasic, to allow the sperm to survive in the acidic environment of the vagina. This raises the pH of the vagina (makes it more basic). The acidity of the vagina usually keeps yeast (which is what they're calling flora, I guess; I don't quite agree with this, but they're not animals either, sooo) from proliferating, so more frequent condomless sex can increase the frequency of yeast infections. For that matter, if you're using a lube with neutral-to-high pH, it can do the same thing. Some women are more sensitive to this than others. SCIENCE!!!

AndSomethingElse

@realtalk Oh hey, this is all actually really helpful for me because I had a weekend-long booty call a very nice lady and we had oodles and oodles of sex and then suddenly she had a yeast infection. And we were also, coincidentally, trying out a new lube. SCIENCE! indeed. So okay, if "Not having oodles of sex" is off the table, and she's already OD'ing on cranberry juice, any other ideas for the next weekend? I guess I need to lower the pH up in there stat, yo. I know, "Let her worry about her flora or whatever" is a pretty valid response. It's just that, like, I'm pretty deeply invested in her vagina.

Is this something I could use Tang for?

contrary

@Al Cracka Well, cranberries aren't really going to help the yeast the much, but yogurt might.

realtalk

@Al Cracka hahaha. Cranberry juice actually doesn't help with yeast infections - it supposedly helps prevent urinary tract infections - but besides using lady-friendly lube (aka water-based, no glycerin, etc)... you may be SOL until things clear up. Tell her to eat less refined sugar and more plain yogurt with live cultures - that's supposed to help - or there are OTC treatments like Monistat but there are also "folklore" remedies like boric acid, which I use. I put boric acid powder in an empty pill capsule (most drugstores have both of these things) and shove it up my hoo-ha and usually everything's back to normal within 1-2 days.

eta - also, I know the tang thing was a joke, but SERIOUSLY NO SUGAR-CONTAINING ANYTHING UP IN THERE. EVER. talk about a recipe for yeast infections.

AndSomethingElse

@realtalk Well, shit...um, I meant a UTI anyway. I got so excited by you listing off all the things we'd totally been doing that I failed to process the fact that we're all talking about yeast infections. Oops?

realtalk

@Al Cracka LADYPARTS PROBLEMS!! UTI treatments: prescriptions for antibiotics from doctors. Prevention tips: cranberry capsules (health food store!!), peeing immediately after sex, cotton underwear always always, vitamin C supplements. That's all I got.

MatildaGold

@realtalk @Al Cracka: "vaginal flora" = the good bacteria that populate the vagina (much like the good bacteria that populate your gut) and keep everything healthy and happy and infection at bay.

@Al Cracka, a UTI actually doesn't have anything to do with pH/flora and fauna/yogurt/lube/etc. It has more to do with dirt or bacteria getting stuck in her urethra due to much sexing. Cranberry juice (WITHOUT HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, that shit will only make everything last for two weeks) and water and the frequent peeing that comes with them will help - for prevention, though, post-sex peeing and clean-up are key... and sometimes you can't help it, it just HAPPENS.

...also if your new lube was sweetened? That could be a problem. Ugh flavored lube.

AndSomethingElse

@MatildaGold and @realtalk: okay, yeah, we're pretty much on point here. Even I knew most of this stuff - although can you believe I never knew why girls always rush off to pee after sex? I thought it was...well, because we'd made sortof a mess up in there. I didn't know it was (at least partly) a UTI prevention thing.

That new lube sucked anyway, we're totally not using that anymore. It was classy shit though, organic blah blah blah.

But the point is, and this is what I've really failed to find backup online for but it seems logical and is backed up by you Matilda: heaps of sex, especially sortof out of the blue, could increase the risk for a UTI, yeah? So. Nothing to be done about that.

MatildaGold

@Al Cracka Alas, no. Just keep up the good care & feeding. And the peeing - always much peeing! Not only after sex! Drink and pee! As a UTI prone type myself, I am a super-hydration, frequent-pee proselytizer. Hope your lady's urinary tract is feeling much better soon.

carolita

@anachronistique yeah, mine, too. I'm all for keeping it pretty natural down there. Maybe a lactobacillus douche? I dunno. I don't even use tampons anyway. I'm a Diva Cup gal.

redheaded&crazy

I would like to go see a sleep doctor and be told the best sleep schedule for me. 95% of the time it takes me less than 5 minutes to go from laying my head on pillow, to total lights out, which is apparently a sign of needing more sleep. but I get about 7-8 hours a night!

(i know my opposite insomnia is nothing to complain about. i'm not complaining about it. i'm just curious)

also i used to take iron supplements and used to feel a lot zingier but now i'm wondering if its a placebo effect since i still feel better now that i'm not taking it regularly, OR, if my iron levels have been kind of semi-permanently increased

lobsterhug

@redheaded&crazy So would lots of tossing and turning indicate that you are getting too much sleep? I was a good streak of sleeping through the night but in the last week that has gone to shit. According to my period tracker app that could be a PMS symptom. Or maybe I should start taking my vitamins again if it's iron related.

Speaking of supplements, I took Vitamin D for the first time today and I'm not experiencing the euphoria I had expected. I am disappoint.

contrary

@redheaded&crazy Have you changed your diet? Maybe you're just getting the iron naturally?

redheaded&crazy

@contrary I wondered about that but I still don't eat a lot of meat ... maybe I'm eating more greens. maaybe.

@lobsterhug I don't know, I toss and turn a lot too. Are they related somehow? I can't tell if you're questioning the validity of the "under 15 min" assertion or asking me in the hopes that i am a sleep science expert! (which I am not)

AndSomethingElse

@redheaded&crazy See if your insurance will cover a consultation with a sleep therapist. Mine did; this is one of those weird but preventative things where insurance companies figure if they pay for it now it'll save them money later. I learned a ton from just one session.

lobsterhug

@redheaded&crazy That was a lot of very specific questions, wasn't it. I'm not questioning it! I also drop off very quickly when I'm tired, but lately it has been a struggle.

Maybe more activity and trip to the doctor are in order.

Snicker-snack!

@lobsterhug My doc diagnosed me as being severely Vit D deficient summer before last and prescribed me 50,000 IU doses once a week for a couple of months. I never got euphoria taking it, but it did do amazing things for my mood and general depressive tendencies.

redheaded&crazy

@Snicker-snack! Vitamin D is apparently the rave and fave of the medical profession and good for everything. but also supposedly does not get processed through the body properly without a fatty acid so you're supposed to take omega 3 supplements alongside?

I'm probably remembering some things wrong up there.

I think it may also be a question of adjusting to schedule, this time last year I was just starting a new 9-5 job where previously I was doing shift work that allowed me to take a nap between 2-4. i used to be an afternoon zombie. i'm better now, although it's a rare day that i don't fall asleep on the subway commute home. but that's normal right?

atipofthehat

@redheaded&crazy

I've always wanted to go HERE just because of the name.

KeLynn

@redheaded&crazy Innnteresting. I also fall asleep super quickly. And I know I don't stir much during the night because I have a fitness monitor that also monitors your sleep, and I never wake up in the middle of the night. But I consistently get 8-9 hours of sleep a night so I can't possibly be under-rested, right?

Judith Slutler

I feel like I could get behind this whole first sleep, then sex, then second sleep schedule that's so historically valid according to that BBC article. BUT it seems so mean to wake up my boyfriend in the middle of the night when I often find myself wide awake and kinda horny :(

atipofthehat

@Emmanuelle Cunt

It would tend to knit up the raveled sleeve of care!

AndSomethingElse

@Emmanuelle Cunt Yeah, that would be terrible. He'd probably have to complain about it to his coworkers in detail the next day.

Judith Slutler

@Al Cracka I just really hate waking anyone up out of a deep peaceful sleep OKAY

tortietabbie

@Emmanuelle Cunt Middle of the night sex is my faaaaaavorite. But usually I'm dead to the world from the moment I lay down to the first alarm going off, so it's a rare treat.

iceberg

@Emmanuelle Cunt I feel like this pattern would increase the chance of getting some for... someone... whose wife might be tired all the time for... reasons.

Nutmeg

@Emmanuelle Cunt Sometimes my gentleman caller and I both half-wake in the middle of the night and sort of have sex. In the morning I always have to ask, "Did we start boning last night or was I dreaming?"

mpdg

@Emmanuelle Cunt Waking-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night sex is the best best best! But it only happens for me when my boyfriend and I both wake up simultaneously...I wouldn't like to be woken up if I had college in the morning. If it's the weekend though..? Maybe that would work?

paddlepickle

That NYTimes article is either bizarre, or I am. I'm not the only person on earth who lives with people, but also sings in the shower, talks to myself, leaves bras on the kitchen table occasionally and doesn't close the door when I pee so I can continue my conversation, am I?

atipofthehat

@paddlepickle

Wait, is that you?

paddlepickle

@atipofthehat Who?

atipofthehat

@paddlepickle

Ah. Then there are at least two of you. Carry on!

plonk

@paddlepickle i'm more and more convinced the NYT lifestyle sections are written by alien scientists studying humans and not doing a very good job.

paddlepickle

@plonk I would love to be interviewed for one of these weird style pieces. Because they do such a good job of taking totally normal statements and putting them in the context of this Weird New And Different Thing. So I would love to do an interview in which I say things like "Yeah, sometimes I'm too busy to make my lunch at home so I get a sandwich", and then see it turn into an article called "For Working Millennials, A Busy Lifestyle Means A New Culinary Tradition"

Oh, squiggles

I agree that the quirks seemed...not that quirky. I do similar things, and I have lived with people my whole life. And I have yet to be ostracized from society for it...

Ellie

Yeah, literally everything in that article is normal, except for spending so much time thinking about what you do in the course of a day. Esp. the guy who was like "Uh, I eat cereal for dinner a lot, I'm so weird."

I've never lived alone but I used to have my own bathroom that was off my bedroom and I HATE having to close the bathroom door in the apartment I live in now!

annepersand

I find it odd that the so-called "perils" of living alone seem to be exclusively concentrated on the "am I too quirky for a girlfriend/boyfriend?" concerns and not on the "what if I slip and fall getting out of the shower and die and am eaten by my pets" or "what if someone climbs up my fire escape and kills me and they don't find my body for three weeks and so my murderer is never caught" ACTUAL perils.

Judith Slutler

@annepersand Seriously, if 1 in 2 people lives alone in Manhattan, don't Manhattanites just figure that every person they date will have a few single-person quirks about them?

annepersand

@Emmanuelle Cunt No one dates in Manhattan! And if they do, it's like high school and zits - everyone is too scared that the person they're with will discover their quirks to notice the other's. Or they just own the quirks, I guess, and stay single and talking to their cat forever.

atipofthehat

@annepersand

Are you implying that there's something wrong with bringing your cat along on dates?

annepersand

@atipofthehat If that's wrong, I don't wanna be right. My cat goes with me everywhere.

H.E. Ladypants

@Emmanuelle Cunt My boyfriend and I moved in together after several years of New York-style living alone. And while on one hand there has had to have been some breaking of single-living habits, there is also a lovely acknowledgement that we've both grown into our eccentricities honestly and I think being in touch with our own weird habits makes being accepting of the other's weird habits much easier. It's sort of a "oh, you do that? Well then I guess it's okay if I do this!"

Ophelia

@annepersand In a backpack, I hope.

annepersand

@Ophelia Oh are we not using a euphemism for vaginas?

.... My bad.

The Lady of Shalott

singing Journey songs in the shower

What, seriously? That qualifies as "strange behaviour" now? I thought that was like, "common behaviour for every human in the English-speaking world"

oh well never mind

@The Lady of Shalott

Yup. While I was at university, my housemate had to ask my boyfriend to stop singing in the shower as it was waking her up in the morning. What is it about Journey that is so suited to bathroom acoustics?

Lily Rowan

Don't get me started on that Times article. KRAMER?? Because the rest of them didn't also live alone?????

Among other things.

paddlepickle

@Lily Rowan Also, I love how the NYTimes is only capable of assessing trends among the absolute richest people. I don't know ANYone who can afford an apartment in Manhattan on their own. And Seinfeld exists in a bizarre money-less universe.

teaandcakeordeath

@Lily Rowan
I know you said not to get you started, but why oh why was there such a warning tone to that article. Does singing in the shower really cause doom? Does drinking juice out of the carton render you unloveable? No! Pipe down NYTimes and stop scaremongering.

Lily Rowan

@teaandcakeordeath YES! You will end up mentally ill like that other fictional character! AND ALSO WEARING UGLY PANTS AROUND THE HOUSE!!

@paddlepickle I lived in Manhattan alone and was not rich, actually. I just spent most of my money on rent.

klemay

Eeeediiiiiith, why are you trying to tell me to put acid in my vagina?

Seriously, though, the company who developed these tampons also makes vaginal "cleanses" and douches, so I am automatically suspicious. My vagina has survived several menstrual cycles without becoming too alkaline to keep "foreign bodies" out, so I probably don't need to stick a ton of acid in there every month. Just sayin'.

anachronistique

@klemay Even worse: the comment from someone asking about putting lactic acid in their menstrual cup. Eeeeeeeegh.

realtalk

@klemay you may laugh, but when I get a yeast infection, boric acid fixes it in no time. It's the best. Also the only thing that works, because monistat is apparently not successful for me?

Mingus_Thurber

@realtalk I'm allergic to all of the topical azoles (OTC yeast infection creams) (don't ask me how I know), so I'm stuck with taking oral meds, which can get both expensive and annoying, as a yeast infection means a trip to the doctor if I'm not at work. When I'm at work, I scrounge one from the pharmacy by threatening to tell the male pharmacist details of why I need a Diflucan.

ANY way, I read in "The Guide To Getting It On" that goat's milk soap has the perfect pH for the vulva and surrounding areas. Cut to three weeks of using goat's milk soap from the local goat-keeper/soap-maker/milk-seller, and boyo! I had the happiest, healthiest oona a girl could ask for. I've never looked back. I think I might get a yeast infection once a year, now? rather than every six weeks before-soap-change.

realtalk

@Mingus_Thurber how exciting! Goat's milk soap is also supposed to be better for my eczema. I'm gonna go pick some up from the farmers' market this weekend. Thanks for the tip!

klemay

@realtalk I think boric acid is great for people who are prone to infection, but telling a woman with an otherwise self-regulating vagina that she needs to "fix" her pH can be harmful and just kind of adds to the whole "vaginas are gross and wrong" narrative.

So basically, marketing these pH tampons (if they actually work) to infection-prone ladies could be great, but I don't think it's a good idea to try to sell them to all ladies everywhere.

realtalk

@klemay oh, definitely. I use it when I feel like I'm getting a yeastie beastie, not preventatively at all. In that sense, I agree with you. Rampant american commercialism :(

fondue with cheddar

@klemay Because if there is a product to regulate the pH levels in your vagina, you can keep using douches! They can sell you two products instead of one!

Megasus

@Mingus_Thurber teeheehee "azoles"

contrary

I lived alone for a couple of years and never became so out of touch that I left my house with putting clothes on. Did I miss something? I think the only " quirk" I developed was ordering excessive amounts if Chinese food in order to meet the delivery minimum and didn't feel the need to immediately wash my dishes after using them.

anachronistique

@contrary Hell, I do that anyway, and I have a roommate. We just don't share food. And are lazy.

Mingus_Thurber

@contrary I've lived alone for ten years now and have never left the house without pants. I have had to double-check on the way to work that I *did* put pants on, but so far I've been okay. Given that I leave the house at about 0530 for work, I don't feel bad that there've been those "wait. . .pants?" moments.

contrary

@Mingus_Thurber I would definitely have more " wait...pants" moments if I had to leave for work that early, even if I had roommates, so that's fine.I feel like the lady in the article entered territory beyond Quirks Of Single Occupanacy Apartment Dwellers but NYT was just like "ahh you're so weird and no one is around to tell you!"

AndSomethingElse

@contrary That.

I've left with only a t-shirt on, and several times with sweaters on backwards and / or inside out, but that happened when I lived with women too.

Also have been known to do the minimum Chinese delivery thing. Last night.

carolita

@contrary I lived alone till I was 43, and my only real indulgence was sleeping all day with impunity on my first day of my period (it's the worst! all I can really do is sleep with the TV on), and eating loads of Kim Chi. I still relish when the BF goes off for a week with his kids every summer knowing I can load up on Kim Chi. Oh, and farting. Yep. I did fart a lot when nobody was there. Now I have to restrict myself to the mornings (I get up earlier than the BF). Ah, the farting freedom of the loner.

AndSomethingElse

@contrary ha...thank you for that bit about farting. That is brilliant. Not that MY girlfriend farts, of course - she doesn't poop either - but still.

Ellie

The sleep article is so interesting! I wrote a paper on the symbolism of electric light/different types of light in Hard Times once. I've had insomnia off and on my whole life but only in the past year or so have I started waking up in the middle of the night and lying awake for a while. I had always believed that this was the more "serious" and entrenched form of insomnia, whereas not being able to fall asleep (which I had really severely as a teenager, but went away in college) was the less serious kind. Actually I'm pretty sure I learned this from "Insomnia" by Steven King. Soooo I guess I can stop worrying that something is more seriously wrong with me because I wake up in the middle of the night now.

fondue with cheddar

@Ellie I have the same problem! I'm always afraid to get up and do anything when I wake up in the middle of the night though, for fear that I'll stay up until morning. I have a tendency to be tired but not sleepy, if that makes sense.

KeLynn

I would LOVE it if I could wake up for an hour or two and have quiet reading/sex/snack/video games/working time, then go back to bed. This whole idea is endlessly appealing.

ru_ri

I think I remember reading that Ben Franklin used to like to take "air baths" in the middle of the night, which involved sitting naked in a chair, in the middle of the room.
Could we talk about Ben more here? Because he really had some great shit going on. (The whole thing about wild turkeys, not eagles, being a better choice for the national bird just stole my heart. Ben!!!)

fondue with cheddar

@ru_ri My boss calls Ben "the greatest American ever", and I'm inclined to agree. He had so many great ideas! We have a big, framed portrait of him on the wall opposite the front door.

fondue with cheddar

When I lived alone I enjoyed letting all table manners go out the window. I tucked a napkin into my shirt like a bib, made slurpy noises, and didn't wipe my face until the meal was done. Sometimes I would take off my shirt when I ate so I wouldn't have to worry about spilling food on my clothes. :)

I have a lot of quirks, and after living alone for several years I was afraid I'd have too hard a time living with another person, but it wasn't so bad once I found the right person.

Nutmeg

Since I became unemployed my sleep has gone to shit. First I had chronic insomnia, then I was sleeping all the time, and now I am on a "sleep 14 hours, sleep 4 hours, sleep 14 hours, sleep 6 hours" schedule; I would start to set an alarm or regulate my sleep or something but, uh, I'm unemployed

Scott Sessions@twitter

Is anybody willing to try a week or so of the 4 hours - fun - 4 hours schedule? I've meant to try the last couple nights but get freaked out or something, and it would be easier if I knew other people were trying it too.
The first night I was so excited that I wrote a list of things I could do during the hour in the middle: write in journal, watch Company (There's always a Sondheim waiting to be watched), take a walk, design the perfect city, write a letter to a friend, practice juggling, etc.
Yeah? Anyone interested? (We could even email during the hour and commend ourselves on our ingenious-ness.) (Unless one or both of us is having sex, obviously).

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