investing in stocks is a tricky business

Posted: July 3, 2016 in Humorous Bits
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I love sleep, probably a bit too much. I should clarify. I love a good long sleep, many hours of bliss when my mind wanders, my eyes flutter and, on occasion, my leg twitches as if given electroshock therapy. But a good long sleep does what it is designed to do – set me proper for the new day. I tend to wake quickly. Within 20 minutes or so I am itching to get on with things. True, my first move upon rising is to smash into the shower like my body is a fresh egg and the shower a brick wall. I suspect that accelerates my daily awareness. Nonetheless, after a good long sleep I am rested and ready to face the challenges of the wide-awake world, shower notwithstanding.

However, it must be a good long sleep, at the very minimum six hours, but ideally in the seven-to-oblivion range. Anything under six hours is useless. I wake with the dreaded sleep hangover. You know the feeling. Disoriented, groggy, clumsy and, ironically, sleepier than when you first nodded off. “Power naps” are the sole exception, but they are as rare in my life as headcheese. If my sleep time slides past 15 minutes I am toast. Burnt, bitter, black toast. Blacker than deep space. Blacker than Satan’s soul. How much more black could I be? To paraphrase the wise Nigel Tufnel the answer is None. None more black. Therefore, any amount of sleep between 15 and 360 minutes is like napalm to my consciousness.

Plenty of data exists about sleep. As you almost certainly know, sleep is characterized by two primary cyclical phases: non-REM (NREM) and REM. NREM has its own distinct set of three stages. As you move through these stages you fall into a deeper sleep. The closer you get to REM, the more disoriented you are if suddenly awoken. And if you wake during REM, you experience all those sleep hangover goodies mentioned above. You are essentially hopeless until your body normalizes, several days in my case. It is like getting an unexpected present from a practical joke loving god. Oh sure, you can still perform basic activities, like breathing. You can move about the house and occasionally miss the wall, respond to basic questions with the quickness of a slug, and give your shirt a cleansing rinse when you miss your mouth with that glass of water.

Naturally, most sleep experts expertly recommend waking during the initial stage of NREM if you want to experience the full revitalizing effects of “a good night’s sleep.” The trick comes with knowing when that small window is. The length of sleep cycles vary from person to person. But we have technology on our side. I am sure any day now Apple will unveil a device that reads and adjusts to your unique sleep cycles and then advises you when the perfect time is for you to wake. They will call it iRise. Apple shareholders will makes oodles of cash and the stock market will glow and workers will be more alert and super productive and everyone will be friendlier with strangers on the street and caffeine jolts will become a quaint notion, a thing of the past. And when caffeine jolts become a thing of the past the coffee and tea industries will crumble and Starbucks will disappear and Mr. Coffee will weep and national economies will collapse and the stock market will free fall into the dark abyss, much like me with a sleep hangover. Which is why investing in stocks is a tricky business.

  1. rangewriter says:

    Ha! I think Apple is halfway there already with their Fitbit thingie. I have very sleep deprived school teacher friend. She claims to get only about 1.5 – 2 hours of REM sleep per night. Now her Fitbit has confirmed this. She insists on wearing the thing every night. Why have that bad news confirmed, I wonder? And why be reminded every morning how scientifically sleep deprived you are? One more thing for overly wired people to worry and fuss over, I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

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