Posts Tagged ‘Ruth Bader Ginsburg’

I was assisting the teacher in an English class for immigrants about a year ago, when she asked the students what was customary for them to do when they couldn’t sleep.

Some people said they drank water, which surprised us. Others favored warm milk, exercise, a book, or music.

Today I thought I would go online to see what the experts recommend. This article is from WebMD.

Susan Davis wrote, “Whether you drank one cup of coffee too many earlier, or you’ve got a lot on your mind, it’s time to decide whether to get up or stay in bed. …

“If you do get up, though, you’re not giving up for the night. You still need rest. So your goal should be to get back to sleep as soon as possible. Some activities help with that. …

“Give yourself about 10 more minutes in bed. While you’re lying there, try not to watch the minutes tick by.

“Worrying about how long you’ve been awake backfires. It ‘perpetuates insomnia,’ says Russell Rosenberg, MD, chairman of the board of the National Sleep Foundation.

“He recommends keeping clocks out of sight and guessing how long you’ve been lying there. If you’re still awake after what feels like 10 minutes, it’s time to get up for a little while. …

“As comfy as your bed may be, it’s best to leave your bedroom when you get up. Do something ‘mildly entertaining’ but ‘sedate,’ Rosenberg says, until you’re sleepy enough to go back to bed. …

  • Read.
  • Listen to music.
  • Meditate.
  • Do relaxation exercises …

“Avoid doing anything that will rev you up and make it harder to doze off. … Resist the urge to get stuff done, even though you’re wide awake. This is one time when it’s better to be inefficient. Keep your TV, computer, and phone off, and leave work alone. Your to-do list, online banking account, and Facebook can wait.

” ‘Try to avoid [doing] anything productive,’ Rosenberg says. ‘If you feel good about getting something done, you’ll reinforce the habit of waking early.’ …

“There’s another reason to stay powered down. Anything with a screen lights up. The light from that screen could trick your brain into thinking it’s daytime and that you need to be awake, Rosenberg says.

“Everyone has a bad night from time to time. Working on your sleep habits can help. That includes going to bed at a regular time, making your last hour of the day relaxing, keeping your bedroom restful and devoted to sleep, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bedtime.

“Try that for a couple of weeks, and your sleep should get better. If not, talk to your doctor to check on any medical reasons for your insomnia, get more sleep advice, and see if you should see a sleep specialist.” More at WebMD, here.

One thing that helps me counteract the bad thoughts that keep running over and over on the same track is to plan some kind of action or actions for the next day. Which I have done.

What do you do?

We put a lot on your frail but strong shoulders. Now it’s our turn.

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Photo: Cory Weaver
Wexford Festival Opera:
Dinner at Eight, by William Bolcom, got its European premiere at last fall’s event.

Back in the 1990s, I worked with a woman whose father was an opera buff. He loved opera so much that, although he had no real connections in the field, he managed to organize a high-quality company in the part of New York State where he lived. Westchester, if I remember correctly.

It wasn’t his day job: it was what he did for love. In another example of opera lovers who go out of their way to lend support, US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has taken small, non-singing parts on stage, attracting some new audiences.

At the Irish Times, David McLoughlin has another example of what some folks will do for opera.

“Never intimidated by the weight of cultural heritage, each new generation of Irish artists continues to reimagine, reinvent and reinvigorate. The arts are constantly changing, finding new forms of expression and igniting new flames. …

“Wexford Festival Opera was founded on an idea and ethos which still remains at its core today, 67 years later – to present rarely performed operas, to unearth and shine a light on hidden gems.

“I was once told by the then chairman of a leading American opera company that the reason Wexford has rightly survived is because from the outset its rationale was plain wrong.

“He was right: the dream by a small group of local people, including a GP, a hotelier and a postman, in the early 1950s, of bringing international singers to a remote corner of Ireland to present rarely performed operas, wouldn’t even get past the first page of a modern-day feasibility study.

“But they weren’t dissuaded, and the minor detail of no real financial underpinning was from the outset not even considered a hindrance. The dream they were determined to see become a reality was enthusiastically shared and championed by the local community, who volunteered their time and skills. …

“The festival opened up not just Wexford itself, but Ireland and its arts sector, to the international performing world in a way no other cultural venture had done up until then – nor, I would argue, since. The spin-off has been enormous – artistically, culturally, and economically, generating [$14 million] annually. …

“Wexford is often defined as what it is not: a national opera company. It isn’t. Wexford is an annual festival, an international event, proudly Irish, presenting Irish and international audiences with a distinctly international repertoire, featuring Irish and international performers and attracting an audience that stretches well beyond these shores. It makes a vital contribution to the profile, development and reputation of the Irish opera sector. It may be niche but it’s broad enough to accommodate new audiences.”

More at the Irish Times, here. It will be interesting to see how this festival fares after Brexit, when Ireland will still be part of the European Union and its closest neighbors won’t.

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