July 2014

Hitting Snooze

Sleep is the best medicine for just about everything. Not only do I love sleeping, but I also use it to help me solve design problems, from simply thinking smarter after a good night’s rest to power napping through a creative block and sometimes, literally dreaming about solutions. Sometimes, I dream in Rhino (no kidding!) and am proud to say that I have never pulled an all-nighter, even throughout college. Sleep is just too precious and a lack of it has been shown to negatively impact creative thinking.

But just like everyone else in the city, I tend to forgo sleep too often for social gatherings, events, or work. After three years of constant sleep deprivation (aka grad school), I also developed a terrible habit of hitting snooze – not once, not twice, but up to five times every morning no matter how many hours of sleep I get. It’s gotten so bad that I often set my alarm to sound half an hour before I need to get out of bed. Despite the overwhelming knowledge that this behavior is, in fact, bad for you, I still can’t kick the habit. That is, until I sleep outside.

Having grown up in Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest, spending time outdoors unplugged and far away from the city is a regular necessity. But I find something particularly magical about sleeping outside, whether in a tent, on a hammock, or out on the deck or roof. I tend to sleep better for a shorter duration and wake up naturally without feeling groggy. (I haven’t found research on the therapeutic wonders of outdoor sleeping just yet, but there are definitely benefits to spending time outdoors.) Whenever I have the opportunity to snooze outside, I do it.

Ever since we moved into our home on Larkin Street, I’ve been talking about getting a hammock to pitch on our roof deck. Not just for lounging outside, but also for power naps, occasional post-lunch siestas, and a comfortable place to find some quiet in our open office space. And after going on about it for over a year, I was finally tasked to buy one! Naps for everyone! (Have I mentioned the benefits of napping?)

In the spirit of “the lived experience”, I’ve opted to test two hammocks: first, a Byer of Maine Barbados Brazilian hammock for its style and material heft and second, the Kammok Roo for its durability and easy set up. Two different takes on the traditional hammock, but I’m excited to try them both out! I hope the rest of the gang here is, too. The next time I’m stuck on a design problem, instead of waiting for a creative spark or mood to hit me, I’ll curl up in the hammock for a little outdoor respite. It’ll be like hitting “refresh” instead of “snooze”.