More Thanh Words

"My name is Thanh and I'm a Blogger". Now that I have admitted to that, I can say that I'm a stereotypical "geeky" Engineer who enjoys sci-fi books and movies and into all things technological. I also love music and have a passion for FOOD. I'm a social person and like to talk to people. I hate people who are fake or overly aggressive. If you're also into some serious discussion, with a pinch of sarcasm and a dash of real emotion, then please read on.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Seminar, Sickness and Sleep

Today I attended a work seminar on particle technology. I was actually looking forward to the seminar as it sounded quite interesting on paper. However, in reality, my initial fears were realised and the seminar turned out the be a sales pitch of the product range from the company running the seminar. Normally, a boring seminar would have anyone struggling to stay awake. However, since I have the onset of a cold and due to my sore throat and runny nose, had hardly slept the previous night, I was struggling very hard to stay awake.

After the morning tea break, I started to get really really sleepy. I'm sure you have all had that feeling before were your eyes literally start closing and you might nod off for a second or two. I was struggling so hard mentally to stay awake. I tried drinking lots of water and eating the mints on the table but still my mind and body was so tired. It actually hurt my head so much to try and stay awake. By lunch time I actually had a massive headache from the struggle to stay awake and felt like throwing up a little.

However, once I stepped outside of that room, either it was the fresh air or the actual movement or my mind knowing that it was break, I felt a bit better immediately. During eating lunch, I felt a lot better and had a great talk with my manager who also attended the seminar. By the end of lunch, I was feeling as good as you can when you're sick.

However, the whole cycle repeated itself after lunch and I found myself struggling to stay awake again. By the end of the seminar, I was again really dizzy and just wanted to get home and sleep. Which is what I did when I got home. I slept for about 4 hours and have just woken up. I've showered and eaten a little and feel a lot better now.

This just goes to show how important sleep is. Sleep is seemingly the most useless activity that we do in our busy lives. A third of our lives is spent lying in a coma like state that doesn't seem to actually achieve anything. Yet, if you ask anyone who has sleeping problems, they will tell you that their lives are in turmoil since they don't get enough sleep. I can say from personal experience, where I couldn't sleep at night for about a 4 month period due to being unhappy about my previous job, that sleep is vital. I found that I was like a walking zombie in the day and was so down emotionally. Even during weekends I didn't want to go out or do anything. I just wanted to stay at home and vegetate on the couch.

The mind is such an interesting thing. What actually happens in our heads during sleep is still to be fully understood by scientists. Most agree that sleep is to regenerate the mind in one way or another. If sleep was a way to save energy, you may as well just sit on the couch watching TV as you use less energy doing that. Sleep, I guess, is a way to go over everything you have learnt that day and process it. Research have shown that people who study for an exam and then sleep the night before the exam actually remember a lot more than people who study all night and go straight to the exam. Sleep may also be a way for our minds to be creative and dream about numerous things. During the dream phase of sleep, our minds and body may actually be quite active. Sometimes your dreams are so intense that your body may move accordingly to it and get quite physical.

What is enough sleep varies from person to person. As Choo from The Oriental Express wrote in a post in her blog, she only requires minimal sleep of 4 to 5 hours a day. I would be half dead if I only slept that much. For me, I have to sleep about 7 or preferrably 8 hours a day. Some of you may think it is a lot and a waste of time, but I think sleep is vital and is a stage where my mind is ticking over thinking about everything, such as a lot of my blog posts which come from my half asleep stage.

So I say to you all, Sleep Long and Prosper. For you Star Trek fans out there, its a mock up of the Vulcan's Live Long and Prosper phrase!

14 Comments:

Blogger Princess Chloe said...

Im exactly the same. Any less than 8 hours (and I mean literally 5 mins less)and I am cranky and pale and moody all day!

6/01/2006 11:58 PM  
Blogger danielsan said...

Hope you are alot better now Thanh! I used to love my sleep. If I don't get at least 10 hours in, I'll be so moody the next day.

But over the last 3-4 years, I'll be pretty happy with 5 hours sleep. Don't know if it's the age thing, but I'd feel afresh the next day. Maybe it's the combinations of shift works, stress at work, and other issues in my life!

In fact last Saturday, I was out drinking and partying until 3am, went back to friend's house, had a chat and eventually went to bed about 4.30am! I didn't get a very good night sleep in that night, kept waking up every hour, and eventually got out of bed at 9.30am.

And I didn't get to bed until 1am the next day even though I felt like crap! I can't explain it, but these days I just don't need as much sleep as before?!

6/02/2006 6:50 AM  
Blogger The Oriental Express said...

Research has established that bet. 10a.m. to 3a.m. the liver cleans out the toxins. No wonder the adage, "Early to bed; early to rise makes a man healthy and wise."

I try going to bed around 11a.m. now and found I am in a better state of health. In the past I used to sleep around 2 to 3 a.m.

Never had insomnia in my whole life. Can sleep anywhere; everywhere whenever I need to sleep. Whether I am sleeping on the mud ground of a hut in Nepal; in a sleeping bag while camping with my students, or a boring lecture/concert, etc. I will sleep.

You were good Thanh. If it had been me, I would snore right under the speaker's nose throughout his boring lectures!

Choo

6/02/2006 10:56 AM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

I'm with you Chloe, I really need 8 hours sleep. Even with 7, I'm still slightly tired but can get by the next day.

I'm a lot better now thanks Stan. Ever since I changed jobs I no longer have sleeping problems at night so it must really have been job related stress. When I get "old" Stan, I'll tell you whether its age that means you need to sleep less.

You're the type I envy Choo. People that can just sleep at the drop of a hat. When I go on holidays, I tend to find it very hard to sleep in motel beds. But usually because you do so much on holidays and get so tired that eventually I sleep well after a few days.

I had to try so hard to stay awake during that seminar. It hurt my head so much.

6/02/2006 11:29 AM  
Blogger Superb said...

Here ye here ye, I too need 8 hours of sleep and not a minute less. It's amazing how accurate the body clock is!

Yeah, all niters and everything I used to do, thinking i'll get more work done but really it just does u no good eh? I would sit at the front of lectures and fall asleep, man mylecturers must've hated me. It makes me regret my earlier years at uni, I could've managed my time so much better.

Sleep is just important to the body as food and breathing...Its funny- I think trying to concentrate when you're short sleeped just puts u to sleep.

I could talk about sleep for ages!

6/02/2006 7:12 PM  
Blogger The Oriental Express said...

Alamak! My typing errors. My apologies. I meant 10p.m. to 3.00a.m. and 11.p.m.

To mee sleep is boring, but it is very shiok if one is very tired.

Why sleep and dream? Why not be awake and make your dream a reality?

6/02/2006 8:31 PM  
Blogger The Oriental Express said...

I dislike ceremonies especially convocation ceremonies. I did not attend my own convocation in Edmonton and Singapore. Just asked for the degrees and diploma to be mailed to me.

Yet, when I went to Melbourne, had to attend my nieces' convocation not once but twice! And during the 2 ceremonies, I slept right through some 3 hours! Woke up only to have the makan or reception.!

Even at wedding ceremonies, if the sermon is boring, I will also fall asleep! Wake up only when it is time to kiss the bride!

What's the opposite of insomnia?

Choo

6/03/2006 8:57 AM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Trev, well possibly those all nighters did you some good seeing as you passed your subjects. You're also very brazen to fall asleep at the front, I only did that at the back. I think we all think that we could have managed our time better at uni. Only the very disciplined few actually used their time wisely.

Its definitely the case when you're driving. If you're tired, the more you try to concentrate, the more tired you seem to get.

Choo, I have to disagree with you and to me sleep is very interesting. There's still so much to learn about what the brain is doing during sleep.

As to the opposite of insomina, I have no idea, but I'll just call it sleepy head.

6/03/2006 12:00 PM  
Blogger The Oriental Express said...

You are also right, Thanh. Sleep is nice. People who sleep at least 8 to 10 hours a day are usually good looking. No wonder they cll it the beauty sleep. I had one very beautiful Indonesian student. She needs 10 to 12 hours sleep every day. No wonder you are also good looking!

Nan kuai,zhe kerh lao ah yee jiang nan kan! Ker nen bu koh suay chiao!

Choo :-)

6/03/2006 1:27 PM  
Blogger The Oriental Express said...

Gosh, forgot to translate my Mandarin phrase. It means, "No wonder this Old Aunty does not look pretty. Perhaps , not enough sleep.

For Daniel:
Oleh sebab ini, mak cik tak cantek, kerana tak cukup tidor.

6/03/2006 1:58 PM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Do you speak Mandarin Choo. Because your pin yin is not quite right. My pin yin is bad too but I know some of the words are wrong. I can make out what you're writing but only after looking at your English translation.

Nan kuai,zhe kerh lao ah yee jiang nan kan! Ker nen bu koh suay chiao!

I think the proper pinyin should be

Nan guai, zi ge lao ah yi jiang (not sure what this jiang word should be) nan kan! Ke neng bu gou shui jiao!

6/03/2006 11:57 PM  
Blogger The Oriental Express said...

Speak Mandarin only.... but cannot read or wrtie. Never studied chinese .... learnt from watching TV and movie prog. Malay is my second language.

My pinyin is not pinyin at all.... it is more sound from Hokkien dialect.

In Vietnam you studied Chinese?
Impressive!

6/04/2006 1:50 AM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Oh I understand. No wonder some of the pinyin were the wrong letters, because they were sounded out from Hokkien.

I only stayed in Vietnam till I was 6. I did learn a little bit of Chinese there but actually the core skills were learnt in a 3 hour class of Chinese school each Saturday in Australia for about 8 years. Then I improved it more by watching lots of Chinese TV shows, listening to music and reading newspaper. I also learnt Cantonese by watching Hong Kong TV shows.

6/04/2006 10:59 AM  
Blogger The Oriental Express said...

In fact, I first learnt Mandarin from my flatmates from China when I was at the uni in Edmonton. This is why people often ask me why I speak with a kind of Beijing accent!

When summer came, Mrs. Chen asked me what the Canadians were doing - wearing binkins and lying down on the grass in their gardens. I wanted to tell her they were sunbathing but didn't know the word. So I said, "Ta men tai yang chung liang" tai yang - sun,
chung liang - bathing.

Of course now I know the right word for sunbathing, "ri kuang yu."
In language learning, we must be bold and not be afraid to make mistakes, and learn to laugh at ourselves.

6/04/2006 1:50 PM  

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