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Mindful : February 2017
SLEEP WITH ME The Sleep With Me Podcast prom- ises results for tossers and turn- ers. The secret? “A lulling, droning, boring bedtime story to distract your racing mind.” SLEEPIO A new phone app, Sleepio, analyzes your data—such as age, lifestyle, and sleep pat- tern—and tailors advice to you. THE ZEEQ This “smar t” pil- low is equipped with eight wireless speakers (for soothing music), a microphone, a movement-moni- toring gyroscope, and a sensor that buzzes when you snore. Food for Thought Regular mindfulness practice may temper food-related desires in daily life. In a small preliminary study, Esther Papies of Utrecht University and her colleagues surveyed 33 meditators, and results showed practitioners who were able to detach themselves from thoughts about food—for instance, viewing their reaction to, say, a tempting chocolate as a “transient mental event” that soon fades away—had fewer food cravings. That was more so for women than for men. YOU’RE NOT ALONE Loneliness is a modern-day epidemic. The UK is especially affected—a 2014 study found Britain to be the “loneliness capi- tal of Europe.” These initiatives are working to break down walls and foster human connection: CAMERADOS Anyone in Black- pool, England, looking for a chat, chess game, or just a smile can call on Camera- dos, a library- room-turned- cozy-salon that’s open to all. SILVER LINE Social isolation most severely affects the elderly, for whom it’s a predictor of early death. The Silver Line helpline gives elderly people someone to talk to any time, about anything. TUBE CHAT? In response to silence on public transit in London, a US expat gave out badges that read “Tube Chat?” to encourage peo- ple to talk to one another. It was met with disdain by many London- ers on Twitter. Bees and Refugees Team Up in Copenhagen From the airport to Tivoli Gar- dens, Copenhagen is swarming with bees. But no menace are these friendly fliers. Indeed, they’re welcome guests in a city that has embraced the work of Bybi (“city bee” in Danish), an organization that creates and maintains hon- eybee hives throughout the urban corridor with the help of some of its newest residents: refugees flee- ing violence in their own countries. Businesses and organizations “rent” bees to place on their Saving the Oceans Six Beers at a Time A small craft brewery in Florida has created an edible six-pack ring to hold together their cans of beer. It’s made from an organic byproduct of the brewing process. Some 8 metric tons of plastic end up in the oceans each year, with devastating consequences to sea life. Saltwater Brewing’s biodegradable packaging is a big step in the right direction. properties, while Bybi employees and volunteers tend the hives and help produce a cottage-industry of products, including table honey, candles, candy, beer, and rum that is sold back to the community. “The changes we’re seeing in Denmark and around Europe in terms of the economy and the refugee crisis are splitting Danish society right down the middle,” Bybi founder Oliver Maxwell told the digital newsmagazine TakePart. “But bees are something universal— there’s nowhere in the world where people don’t have stories in their culture about bees and honey.” A FEW GOOD ZZZZZ’S “When you stop thinking about yourself all the time, a certain sense of repose overtakes you.” Leonard Cohen (1934–2016) in an interview with The Guardian The struggle for sleep is real! But there is hope, as shown by these projects: PHOTOGRAPHSBYTAKAHIROKYONO,ANNESINIVAARA