Three Things that Caught My Attention

This past ten days I have been intrigued by Sleep, Memory and the book, Becoming an Artist, and am compelled to pass these on to you, dear readers, one at a time.


Sleep is a double-edged sword: the evidence is clear on how critical sleep is. The evidence also claims that almost half the population cannot get enough sleep.


Scientists have discovered a revolutionary new treatment that makes you live longer. It enhances your memory and makes you more creative. It makes you look more attractive. It keeps you slim and lowers food cravings. It protects you from cancer and dementia. It wards off colds and the flu. It lowers your risk of heart attacks and stroke, not to mention diabetes. You’ll even feel happier, less depressed, and less anxious. Are
you interested?

While it may sound hyperbolic, nothing about this fictitious advertisement would be inaccurate. If it were for a new drug, many people would be disbelieving. Those who were convinced would pay large sums of money for even the smallest dose. Should clinical trials back up the claims, share prices of the pharmaceutical company that invented the drug would skyrocket…this ad is describing the proven benefits of a full night of sleep.”

An excerpt from Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker

“The downside of talking about the benefits of sleep, risks leaving those with sleep problems feeling worse. Furthermore, sleep problems seem to affect at least 40 % of the population. That is a lot of sleepless nights.”

I tread lightly

when it comes to sleep, because it seems to me the people I know who suffer have tried everything, to no avail. However, I stumbled across an intriguing article that took a fresh take on sleep and whoever needs a helping hand may want to read it and try some of the suggestions. I am not recommending it because clearly I have no direct experience but some of you may want to investigate for yourselves.  How to Sleep: Try Japan’s Kaizen Method to Cure Insomnia and Sleep Anxiety   Here is the link.

Note that it is 9 minutes to read and the actual Kaizen steps are at the end. When we have a health problem we keep our eyes peeled for new information and approaches. Nothing to lose by being informed and trying things out.


My book club just finished the book Remember : The Science of Memory and The Art of Forgetting by neuroscientist and author Lisa Genova. She is a storyteller scientist, which makes her books easy to read, evidence based, and in this book there is lots to be hopeful for around memory. You won’t be left, scared to death. It is “engaging and edifying” as Steven Pinker from Harvard exclaims. As an ageing society, this book has much practical and inspirational information to offer and I highly recommend it. A chapter on sleep here too.

On Becoming An Artist –

by Dr. Ellen J Langer, author and professor of Psychology at Harvard University, and the recipient of numerous awards and honours.  I would never have picked up this book, if it were not for the conversation I had with my friend F.M. In contrast, I signed up for a drawing course this fall called: Drawing for the absolute and terrified beginner! Even that is quite intense at 2 and 1/2 hours a week for 9 weeks.

Nope, no plan to be an artist. However, my friend’s recommendation did not lead me astray. It is an excellent book on the creative arts, mindfulness as opposed to mindlessness, and offering up  profound insights on choice, possibilities and creativity. Here is an interesting blurb on her publishers site.

That’s it for this week. I will leave you with this:

Dr Graham Pole, suggests: “We make a clear distinction between art that patients and clients passively enjoy and art that participants create themselves. Participation is more effective in the healing process of illness both physical and psychological because the more involved patients are in the creative expression, the more able they are to take charge of their situation.”


Note:1)  Something a little different. I notice in my drawing class that while we draw, our teacher plays very specific classical music in the background.  Here is a piece by Debussy that CBC suggests was influenced by artists. “The spiraling melodies and gracefully interlocking lines of Debussy’s “Arabesque No. 1” (from Deux Arabesques, 1890-91) bring to mind the swirling designs of Art Nouveau as well as the Middle-Eastern art that fascinated French artists and collectors in the late 19th century. Link

Note 2:) Every week I am grateful to be here and so very honoured and appreciative that you show up and click the link to read more. Heartfelt thanks and may you find moments of joy and meaning every single day.

Note 3:) I would like to persuade you to explore expressive arts, music, wood working, fabric. Anything you do with your hands.There is lots of anecdotal evidence along with scientific research that it really is good medicine.

6 replies
  1. Jean
    Jean says:

    Timely,I just slept?….with sleep test on last night.Always tight on my path Trudy,and now ,a smile,as I read your article this morning.🤗😇❤

  2. Janice
    Janice says:

    Wonderful resources Trudy, caught my attention too. I’ve read Genova and agree, nothing scary there. Read the sleep article and found it covers all the bases. And now I’ve ordered Langer’s book from the library to learn more about mindful creativity. Happy you share your interests with us dear Trudy. xoxox

  3. Wendy Kurchak
    Wendy Kurchak says:

    Thanks, Trudy, for your information about sleep ( which I’m reading after being awake all night) and your link to Debussy.

    I rarely think to play music when I’m creating anything, which is strange given my Bachelor’s degree in Music. I wonder why?
    Thanks for all your wisdom and generosity in sharing.

    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      Thanks for your comment Wendy. I know too well that we sometimes forget to do lovely things like listen to music while creating. Not that we have to but I was reminded by my drawing teacher how nice it was and very happy that I got to remind you.trudy


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