Thursday, December 27, 2007

Getting it All Done in Bed

The next time you want to indulge yourself, give yourself permission to spend the day, or at least part of the day, in bed.

Now, that doesn't mean you get nothing done. Surf — er, research with your laptop computer. (I did that just this morning, thanks to a laptop and wireless Internet, both beautiful modern conveniences.) Balance the checkbook while reclining in bed. Spend time with that book you meant to finish. If you have a television in the bedroom (perish the thought!), pop in a movie. Whatever you can do seated, do it in bed.

Or maybe just catch up on some sleep.

Do the math: when do you get to bed? When do you actually fall asleep? And at what ungodly hour do you awaken to the alarm clock? Healthy adults are supposed to get seven to eight hours of sleep a night, and odds are you don't get nearly that much.

Despite its prevalence in today's society, that perpetually drowsy and yawning constitution is not healthy or normal.

Or safe, either: driving under the influence of exhaustion can cause traffic accidents just as handily as NyQuil- or tequila-impaired driving. Probably even worse — tired drivers want to just get to their destination and are apt to soldier on despite their impairment.

When you arise from the treat of spending the day in bed, remove all of the distractions from the bedroom. "Distractions" include computers and television sets, work papers, newspapers, school books and video games. A book or two on the nightstand might be essential, but don't turn your bedroom into a study hall or research lab.

If distractions absolutely must reside in the bedroom with you, make sure they're tucked behind closed doors of closets, armoires or shelving units. Sleep experts note that the more distractions are placed in bedrooms, the harder it is for people to sleep in them.

A treat of spending the morning in bed with your laptop or school books should remain a treat — and by definitions, treats are special, rare gems. Work at a desk, where work belongs. Remember: bedrooms are for beds and living rooms are for living.

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