In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 19, 2012/ 5 Kislev 5773

Fighting sleep is a national pastime

By Mitch Albom

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I have never gulped a 5-Hour Energy. But I am on my second cup of coffee as I write this, and it is not even 8 a.m. Before the day is done, I'll have ingested at least four more cups. And I don't love the taste of coffee that much. I want (need? crave?) the caffeine.

It gave me pause this past week after reading that the Food and Drug Administration was looking into reports that 5-Hour Energy may be involved in 13 deaths over the last four years, on the heels of another investigation into five deaths possibly linked to Monster Energy Drink.

Both 5-Hour Energy and Monster are loaded with caffeine. And most of their users drink them less for the taste than the jolt of energy they need.

And why do they need it?

Because they don't get enough sleep.

Few of us do.

Let's face it. Americans have a love/hate relationship with rest. We want it, but we have too much to do! This of course means sleeping less than we should, which leaves us tired, which makes us want to sleep, which starts the cycle all over again.

If it's true that adults require between seven and nine hours of sleep a night, then aren't most of us walking around exhausted, bleary-eyed, low in the tank? We rise early for the kids, or the factory shift, or to run five miles before work. We stay up late grading papers, or watching TV, or checking endless Facebook posts.

Sleep is a natural healer, a true friend to the body. But we fight it like a foreign army. We yawn all day.

"Gosh, I'm so tired."

Does anyone ever say that happily?

I, personally, have been sleep-deprived since middle school. I had to rise at 5 a.m. for a long commute with my father, who needed to drop me off and get to his office by 7:30. I was so exhausted, I would sit on the bathroom floor and sleep against the bathtub, until Dad banged on the door and hollered, "I know what you're doing! Get moving!"

In college, I hated sleeping at night -- that was when the fun was -- so I socialized late and rose early -- really early -- to study. I popped a few NoDoz in those years. How else to get through finals?

In the early work years, there was so much travel, so many late-night deadlines, that sleep was mostly relegated to airplane seats or naps. It was then I discovered the eye mask, a great way to kid yourself that you are sleeping through a night, not through lunch.

Coffee was like plasma for me. I could do a triple espresso three times a day. I may have kidded myself that it wasn't NoDoz, or, more recently, 5-Hour Energy, but it adds up to the same thing, doesn't it?

All in an effort to fight sleep.

A very wise person recently reminded me of the oft-quoted 23rd Psalm, which gives us the passage, "He maketh me to lie down in green pastures...." I always thought "green pastures" was the key to that line. But maybe "maketh me to lie down" is more critical.

Sleep like that is truly heaven-blessed.

But who gets it?

Not kids, it seems. Energy drinks are the fastest growing soft drink in the country. The 5-Hour Energy folks rightfully note that one shot of their product is no worse than a cup or two of coffee. But what if you pop them like jellybeans? It's dangerous -- especially for still-forming teenage bodies. Still, can we blame our kids for thinking it's OK? What kind of example have adults set?

Ironically, as I was writing this, I closed my eyes and drifted off for a minute. A coffee cup was in front of me. I realize how ridiculous a picture that paints.

Kids, take note.

One of my fondest memories is a nap I took in a New Orleans hotel years ago, a spring day, the window open to a courtyard, the distant sound of a jazz saxophone drifting on the breeze.

I realize now it wasn't just the setting, it was the serenity of being at rest, without an alarm or a deadline. Maybe it's a sign of getting older. But I no longer feel the need to fill every waking hour with activity.

I would much prefer to find a green pasture and make up for about 40 years.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on Mitch's column by clicking here.

Mitch's Archives