The Magic of Sleep
‘Karen and Jay share thoughts on the importance of getting a good night’s sleep.’
A good night’s sleep is terrifically underrated. The health aspects of sleep and rest are monumental. Studies have shown that sleep can help decrease heart disease, stroke and even control obesity. Moreover, mental acuity. You feel sharper, smarter – ready to ‘take on the world’ when you are rested and restored. But how many of us really get the sleep we need? Have you even sometimes felt a little bit guilty about getting a bit of extra sleep? Heard others sounding virtuous boasting about how little sleep they claim to need or get. Well, we’re here to tell you – ‘abandon the guilt!’ A good night’s sleep is a wonderful thing.
With the holidays around, there are so many activities, parties, and errands to get done, by the end of it all, you might experience what I like to call holiday burnout. It can be a lot, especially when we’re always expected to be “on”, whether it’s the holidays or another part of the year. The truth is, taking time to rest sometimes has the misfortune of carrying a negative connotation with it. We often think of working, ‘grinding’, or ‘hustling’ as some might put as absolute positives, whereas rest can be seen as the absence of work, equated to laziness, or even lacking ambition. Putting in long hours and maybe going the extra mile most definitely has its virtues in certain scenarios, yet often times, it can be at the expense of our own well-being. The key is finding a balance.
I’m sure there’s been a scenario where you’ve put in extra hours or stayed up late working on something because you felt that it would be ‘more productive’ than going to sleep, only to feel underwhelmed with what you’ve come up with. Or perhaps you’ve had a busy day and are weary to take even the slightest of breaks because it feels ‘unproductive.’ The truth is, and there is a great body of science that supports this, rest in any capacity from a 5 minute water break to a good night’s sleep is essential to our overall success, health, and happiness. Study after study demonstrate that when we take time for ourselves to rest, we not only do our minds a favor, but also our bodies, helping us regulate stress, heal, and reset in some ways. I’m reminded of a story I was once told about the investor Warren Buffet who adamantly ensures he gets at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night, and even takes a quick nap during the day if he feels the need.
Things can often feel like they are non-stop in today’s culture. We feel that we have to be on the move all the time, to keep up with the latest and the greatest. But when it comes down to it, we also need to recognize our limits and acknowledge that rest is in some ways the great equalizer. In short, it allows us to be the best version of ourselves. When we look at it not as a negative but as something that has true value for our well-being, we give ourselves yet another resource to be the best version of ourselves. Rest isn’t some sort of adversary we should look at with disdain, but instead something to cherish and embrace in order to live a better life!
Where to Get a Good Night’s Sleep in the Granite State?
If you’re looking for a great night’s sleep, the hospitality industry around New Hampshire provides a number of interesting – and truly unique – hotel options.
For instance, hotels in New Hampshire both past and present have played key roles in not only providing a great night sleep but also playing important roles in history. Back in 1944, the Mt. Washington Hotel hosted the conference which created the World Bank. And every four years, New Hampshire becomes the political capital of the world. Hotels in our towns and cities are packed with press, leaders, and political junkies. The now LaQuinta Hotel on the Amoskeag rotary in Manchester used to be a Holiday Inn. That's the spot where Ronald Reagan claimed victory to the 1980 primary which started his path as the 40th President.
A great friend of mine, Steve Duprey owns the Courtyard By Marriott and Grappone Conference Center in Concord. There isn’t a public official or office holder in the 603 who hasn’t stepped foot in that place which has played ‘ground zero’ for war rooms, unity breakfasts, fundraisers, and victory parties for decades. Speaking of Concord, there used to be the Highway Hotel. This hotel was the place legislators after session would meet to strategize, negotiate, and have backroom deals in smoked-filled rooms just like we read about in our history books. The who’s who would be at the Highway Hotel and many policies we have in place today were crafted at this location. It is no longer standing but its memories live on forever. There was a certain congeniality that the old Highway Hotel fostered amongst political players of all persuasions.
Spread all over the Granite State are Common Man Restaurants, founded and owned by Alex Ray. Well did you know he is also in the hotel business? That's right, Alex Ray and his crew have some of the coolest hotels in the state. With locations in the Lakes Region, Tenney Mountain Area, and in Claremont, the Common Man Inns and partner hotels have amenities that are second to none and I invite you all to check’em out.
Back in Manchester and one of my favorite hotels is the Doubletree right on Elm Street. This legendary hotel still stands strong and tall in the Queen City. It's been a Holiday Inn, a Radisson, and is now a Doubletree. Every four years the meeting rooms are packed with radio row participants. The ballrooms are converted to studios for major cable and network companies from around the world. Candidates are buzzing all over the place and it truly is one of the coolest places to be the week before the primary. The Doubletree has hosted victory parties from the White House to the State House, hosted Presidents for decades, and it truly has some of the greatest moments in political history embedded deep in its walls.
There are well over 400 hotels in the Granite State, and we could do a multi-part series on this topic and include other great hotels like the Inn on Golden Pond on Little Squam Lake but I encourage you all to reflect on the hotels you have relaxed in, thought of something special, or even had a fond and memorable family moment. We all have those moments at old Howard Johnsons and such. Think about it and please share on my Facebook page and remember - who left the light on for you!
America’s Stonehenge – Right Here in NH
America's Stonehenge, located in Salem, New Hampshire, is an ancient archaeological site that has been shrouded in mystery for centuries. The site consists of a series of stone structures and alignments that are believed to have been constructed by Native Americans over 4,000 years ago. The site is made up of a variety of fascinating stone structures including walls, chambers, and other unique and interesting features.
And so, while the exact purpose of the site is unknown, it was mostly likely used as an astronomical observatory or calendar built by Native Americans to predict lunar and solar events in North America. It is also thought to have been used for spiritual ceremonies and rituals. The site has been studied extensively by archaeologists and historians who have uncovered evidence which suggests the site has served a variety of purposes over its long history.
The most impressive feature at America's Stonehenge is the Great Stone Circle which consists of 30 large stones arranged in a circle with two entrances. This structure looks to be aligned with the sun and moon and may have been used as an astronomical observatory or calendar. Features at the site include walls, chambers, cairns, petroglyphs along with other structures that seem to have had spiritual significance for those who built them.
America's Stonehenge is open to visitors year-round and offers guided tours as well as self-guided tours so visitors can explore the mysterious site on their own. Visitors can also take part in special events such as solstice celebrations or educational programs about the history of America's Stonehenge. You can learn more at stonehengeusa.com
America's Stonehenge remains one of New England's most mysterious archaeological sites and continues to fascinate visitors from all over the world with its unique history and mysterious structures.
Positive Profile of the Week: Dr. Bianca J. Lang - The Sleep Doctor!
This week we are delighted to highlight a true expert on the topic of sleep – New Hampshire’s own – Dr. Bianca Lang.
It's been well documented that since COVID there have been increases in mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. What's also been growing is the number of people with insomnia with some 60 percent of people reporting an increase in problems sleeping since the start of the pandemic. Fortunately, there is a growing number of sleep clinics and specialists in NH. And if you're one of those that's trying to sleep better - who would you pick? A Google search of the best sleep doctors turns up a list of 25 and the first one on the list is Dr. Bianca J. Lang. She's a sleep medicine specialist as well as a pulmonary medicine expert in Lebanon, NH. She's been practicing medicine for over 25 years and is highly rated in the areas of Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Excessive Daytime Sleepiness, Central Sleep Apnea, and Drowsiness.
Dr. Lang works at Dartmouth Health (formerly known as Dartmouth Hitchcock) which was recently recognized by U.S. News & World Report as New Hampshire's Best Hospital as per the U.S. News Best Hospitals 2022 rankings. Dartmouth Health is NH's only academic health system and the state's largest private employer serving patients across northern New England. It also includes the Dartmouth Cancer Center which is one of only 51 designated such facilities in the U.S. Its Children's Hospital is the state's only children's hospital in the state.
Dr. Lang is also an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry at the Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine. Founded in Hanover, NH in 1797 it is the fourth-oldest medical school in the country. It has deep relationships with Dartmouth Health and is ranked #47 in Best Medical Schools in Research and #36 in Best Medical Schools for Primary Care. And an interesting note, it is named after the famed author Theodor Geisel aka Dr. Seuss who graduated in the Dartmouth Class of 1925.
She started on this pathway by attending the Dalhousie Medical School in Canada and did her residency at the University of Ottawa's Internal Medicine Department. Her Fellowship was in Pulmonary & Critical Care at the Maine Medical Center and in Sleep Medicine at the Rush University Medical Center. She's board certified in Internal Medicine, Critical Care Medicine, Pulmonary Disease and Sleep Medicine. She speaks English and French, is licensed to treat patients in NH and is currently accepting new patients.
And in addition to all of her excellent qualifications, I think you’ll also enjoy seeing some of the recent comments from the CAHPS Clinician & Group Survey where she scored 4.9 out of 5 stars: "Dr. Lang tuned in to what I was saying and recapped our discussion; Dr. Lang explained in great detail that I could understand; She is so kind and has more compassion than other doctors I see. I feel she cares." Dr. Bianca Lang, thank you for being such a dedicated professional in your field and we certainly need your help in our community.
Quotes of the Week: Sleep
‘Happiness is waking up, looking at the clock and finding that you still have two hours left to sleep.’ - Charles M. Schulz
‘Sleep is the best meditation.’ - Dalai Lama
‘I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I'm awake, you know?’ - Ernest Hemingway
‘A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.’ - Irish Proverb
‘Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.’ - Thomas Dekker