Wednesday, January 28

The Butterfly Effect

I have made a little permanent change in my lifestyle.
Let me first begin by sharing a theory and 2 stories.

The Theory
Most of us know that sleeping early at night is bad. Traditional Chinese medicine theory speaks of the body organs resting at different times. The liver - the body's main detoxifying organ other than the kidney, needs to rest at 11pm after a long day at work. Without sufficient rest, the liver will not cleanse the body that well. Negligence of the liver will inevitably lead to other organs being unhealthy.

This explains why most of us, after the partying, sleeping late in the wee hours and then waking up the next day, will feel lethargic, even if you rested 8-10 hours. The whole idea is that it is not just how much you sleep, but how early you sleep.

A similar experiment was done with laboratory rats. Putting 1 group of mice on threadmills so that whenever they fall asleep, the threadmill will move and wake them up, making it impossible for them to sleep. After a few days of interrupted sleep, these mices are allowed to sleep for as long as they like, uninterrupted for the next 2-3 weeks (ie. let them catch up on rest). After which, this group of mice are put on the mice maze, and timed to see how long they take to leave the maze - a test of their memory and coordination. They took significantly longer than mice that are allowed to sleep on regular hours.

Story 1
During my stay in my ex-company, I have made many good friends. One of the friends I have made is a Muslim father, who sleep early at night and wake up at 4am+ everyday. And yes, that includes weekdays. I am not sure why he got up so early, but it should be safe to assume it should be for his prayers, knowing him as a devoted Muslim. Isn't it wonderful that he can do something he likes after he gets up, rather than prepare for work immediately?

Story 2
One of the greatest incentive for me to be rich, is for freedom. The freedom to wake up, do some jogging, read the papers, sip the coffee, and then slowly prepare for work. This freedom can also be achieved by not taking a 9 to 5pm job, like being an insurance agent or tuition teacher. But they don't provide the stable salary that I need, especially now that Wifey is back to being a taitai again.

So what I actually adjusted..
A mediocre life calls for a simple yet radical change. If sleeping late was so evil, then heck, I should sleep early.

If I have to enjoy my freedom in the morning, then I just have to wake up earlier. While the common folks out there wake up to go to work, I want to wake up and enjoy life first!

For the past few weeks, I have started this new lifestyle, sleeping early and waking up earlier. This is a complete overhaul of my sleeping habits, when I used to sleep between 12-1am and wake up just in time for work.

I have at least another 30 years of worklife, assuming no successful business ventures or lottery wins. The least I can do for myself is to make myself happier and healthier. Health is accumulative, its always easier to take precautions against a late sleeping habit than to live with the consequences later.

No more late night TV - wrestling shows can now be recorded.
No more late night gaming - gaming should never consume my life.
No late night mahjong - hey, it's not as if I do so in the first place.

In return, say yes to
- Doing serious Tae-bo workouts in the morning.
- Picking up Paso Doble (thats the Spanish bullfight dance), which is a really fierce looking matador dance
- Basic Jive.
- Sipping morning drinks while reading newspapers and articles, or even watching Primetime Morning on TV, without having the urgency to rush for work.

The Butterfly Effect theory states that a butterfly flapping its wings will create tiny changes in the atmosphere that will ultimately alter the path of a tornado.

I chose to flap my wings, now let me see what tornado I can create.


Cherish Tulips said...

I've learnt paso doble from my Latin Ballroom class..very difficult dance to master.You need to stick your butt in all the way when dancing!

Josephine said...

I am a night owl but only when i am in Malaysia.
Singapore == no night life

Shingo T said...

Cherish Tulips:
Latin Ballroom dance sounds cool. Bet you must be a pro! ^_^

Singapore's nightlife is to watch TV or surf the Internet. Haha.

taebo_melanie said...


My name is Melanie and I am with Billy Blanks' Enterprises. We are happy you are enjoying Tae Bo!

To say thank you we'd like to send you a free t-shirt, if you will send your t-shirt size and mailing address to we will get that out to you!

You can also check us out at and

Have a great day and enjoy your workouts!

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