Daily Prompt: Placebo Effect

Once again I find myself sitting in my tiny cubicle without any classes or tasks at hand.  Of course many people would love to sit in a cubicle all day and get paid to do nothing. An occasional day of laziness and idleness from time to time is a nice break from a busy work schedule, but extended periods of idleness can have adverse physical and psychological effects on a person. Life without work and goals makes one lazy. Today I am suffering from a slight bout of “idleness”. I simply have nothing to do – I am tired of surfing the web, reading books, watching YouTube videos, strolling around campus, and listening to colleagues complain about trivial matters. So, I will take a stab at today’s daily prompt. Placebo effect: If you could create a painless, inexpensive cure for a single ailment, what would you cure and why?

I know very little about medicine, but I think a placebo effect is not an actual cure for any known disease. Instead it fools the mind into believing that an empty pill provides positive effects as a result of a person’s perception that it is a beneficial treatment. Thus, a placebo effect cannot be considered a cure for any serious ailment.

Now, getting back to my cubicle situation, I fear that continued isolation and idleness may deteriorate my mental health. Actually, this is not true. I am just writing for the sake of making my post a bit longer.

On a more serious note,  there are so many diseases in the world that are in need of a painless and inexpensive cure. It is difficult to pick just one to cure.  Yet, if I was given some mysterious power to create a cure for one ailment I would remove cancer from the planet. This terrible disease strikes people of all ages across the world. It knocks people down in their prime, often arrives without warning, weakens the old and wreaks havoc on the lives of so many people. No placebo effect can conquer cancer, but I pray that modern medicine will find a cure for this horrible disease in the near future.


Daily Prompt: To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

Another uneventful day  in my cubicle and I could easily nod off for a short nap and no one would even notice. However, I am not tired enough to fall asleep. So, here’s my take on today’s daily prompt from the Daily Post.

My cat loves to sleep on the sofa with a comforter as his pillow.

My cat loves to sleep on the sofa with a comforter as his pillow.

Many people complain about not being able to sleep or not getting enough sleep because of work schedules, family obligations, household chores, and the list could go on.  If anything, I may get too much sleep. The general recommended amount of sleep for an adult to maintain a healthy mind and body is between 7.5 and 9 hours.

Living in Oman, with few entertainment options, stifling heat for six months of the year, I often find myself hitting the sack early because I have nothing to do in the evening. I am usually fast asleep by 9 o’clock and I don’t lift my head from my pillow until 5 or 6 the next morning – a full 8 or 9 hours.

I wake up relaxed, well-rested and energetic after a good sleep. I start my day with a morning run, yoga or some stretching, followed by a healthy breakfast and tea. Then I try to stay busy the rest of the day so that my mind and body are tired enough, so that I can easily fall asleep as soon as I go to bed. I believe an active body and mind helps to ensure a solid sleep without any distractions.

As for dreams, I never remember the details, which probably indicates that they are not exciting or dramatic enough to disturb my sleep.

If you are having trouble dozing off after a long day here are some tips:

1) Close the curtains and turn off the lights. Light tells the brain that it is not time to sleep yet, so a dark room makes it easier to sleep.

2) Follow a routine by going to bed around the same time every night and getting up at the same time the following morning. This helps condition your sleep and wake patterns, so you fall asleep faster and get adequate sleep.

3) Avoid caffeine drinks such as tea, coffee or soda in the late afternoon if you want to sleep well.

4) Become more active during the day. If your body is physically or mentally tired then it is easier to fall asleep quicker and rest better.

5) Don’t eat or do exercises before going to bed. Your body needs time to digest food and calm down or relax after exercise.