Science in Action: Why Did I Sleep So Well? (part 3)

Yesterday I did two of the 10 or so possible things that might have caused me to sleep really well recently: (a) looked at my face in a mirror earlier than usual with voices behind the mirror (Factor A) and (b) stood on one foot until exhaustion (twice) (Factor B). And last night I slept better than usual — not quite as great as the first time but still really well. This seems to narrow down the possibilities to:

  • Factor A only
  • Factor B only
  • Factor A and Factor B

I have doubts about Factor A. After I figured out that seeing faces in the morning improved my mood, I tried for months to find the right “dose” (right time, right length) to improve my sleep. I didn’t find it. Whereas Factor B is merely a new version of something that has improved my sleep countless times, so much that I’ve noticed its effects when not looking for them. The effect might have been less clear last night than the first time because I only stood on one foot to exhaustion twice. The first time — I wasn’t paying attention, of course — I think I did it three or four times.

So today I did it six times. It was curiously exhausting. After I felt recovered (about an hour later), the rest of the day I felt really good, cheerful and energetic — better than after yoga. That doesn’t make a lot of sense. If I do something that makes me sleep better, shouldn’t it make me more tired?


5 Replies to “Science in Action: Why Did I Sleep So Well? (part 3)”

  1. I guess the problem with experimenting like this on consecutive days is that there’s no way to know whether the first day’s activity has impacted the second…do you think it’s necessary to decide, for each experiment, how much time must elapse between tests to be sure this effect does not apply?

    Pay Now Live Later

  2. maybe being on your feet triggers energy during the day. being on your feet a lot could mean there’s some benefit to being on ones feet, and so more energy is provided by your body to keep up the beneficial behavior (might explain why runners get addicted to running and feel nervous when not running). but since one is expending more energy on one’s feet, one sleeps better. there is a greater need for recuperation.

    it’s a bit like your dieting theory. the body economizes on behaviors, doing them when they are most beneficial and cutting back on them when they aren’t terribly worthwhile. maybe in the stone age we benefited from days of long exploration on our feet sometimes, but at other times it was best to relax and not wander around too much.

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