I recently read an online article that told me I was sleeping wrong. Since I consistently go to bed at a decent hour, sleep through the night and wake up feeling rested and refreshed, I had ignorantly assumed that sleeping was one of the few things in my life I was doing correctly.
According to the internet, I am not doing it correctly. I sleep on my side, which can cause all sorts of problems to my shoulders, of all things. On top of that, I should be sleeping on my left side. Better for digestion. Let’s not even get into my choice of mattresses.
Under the sleep position article, I found an article (recommended especially for me!) informing me that I — along with the entirety of the U.S. population — am eating wrong. Again, I had been under the impression I was doing this activity somewhat correctly. I have, after all, been successfully feeding myself since I was a toddler. That adds up to over four decades of experience in which I ate when I felt hungry, then felt sated. Less hungry. Which is the whole point of eating, right?
According to the health section of my online news feed — which seems to grow more alarming every time I click on an article — there is a lot more to it. I am eating the wrong types of food, at the wrong times, in the wrong amounts — and with the wrong attitude. Oh, and I don’t chew my food for the proper amount of time.
That one vegetable that is the only vegetable I manage to eat every day? Wrong. Too many pesticides, according to an article posted by a Facebook friend. I’m surprised, based on just how wrong I have been eating all these years, that I’m still around to tell the tale.
I am using the wrong toothbrush, and clearly not flossing enough. I drink too much coffee (or is it not enough?), use the wrong type of shampoo for my hair type, and have never — apparently — gotten a handle on just how often I should apply hand lotion. I can use it if my hands feel dry, but should avoid using it every day because it will eventually diminish my skin’s natural ability to do the same, and then I’ll need to apply hand lotion every day. Or will the lotion clog my pores? I can’t remember the specifics. I just know that I feel a little worried whenever I apply hand lotion, because deep down, I know I’m doing it wrong.
I am, of course, completely off base in my exercise habits. Walking is not strenuous enough, running is too hard on my knees. Yoga will aggravate my lower back issues, which I have because I’m not flexible. If I can’t find enough time in my day to relax and focus on my breathing, I need to meditate twice as long.
I should read more, but sit less. Listen to audio books, but not use ear buds too frequently. Cut back on screen time, but do more research on my health. Which in today’s world, is all online.
With Thanksgiving weekend coming up, Twitter is now telling me it would be a grave mistake to overeat, but if I do, don’t fret about it, it’s just one meal. Take a nap afterward, but it would be better to fit in a walk instead. Also, get more sleep and spend more quality time with my family. None of whom want to go for a walk with me because all of this information I am giving them makes them anxious and keeps them up at night.
I doubt that’s the problem. They’re probably just sleeping wrong. Give me a minute, I’m sure I can find that online article again to prove it.
Kathleen Murphy is a freelance writer who lives and works in Duluth. Write to her at email@example.com.