Monday, December 23, 2013

SUMMARY: SNOOZERS ARE, IN FACT, LOSERS


By Maria Konnikova
Location: Level ** reading tasks
The first alternative: The long version
Suggestion: study both summary tasks carefully and see how they relate to the original text.
The take home point: It is possible write summaries of varying lengths for the same text

When we hit the snooze button, instead of gaining a few more minutes of sleep, we are actually slowing down the wake-up process by taking ourselves right back to the beginning of the sleep cycle. If we wake up too early or suddenly from this cycle, we can experience sleep inertia, the deceptively gradual period between sleeping and waking in which we feel groggy. Cognitive faculties, decision-making, and our ability to perform simple tasks are all inhibited in a process that takes far longer than many expect. Our natural sleep cycle is based on our circadian rhythm, or the amount of external natural light and the setting of our internal alarm clock. Social jet lag is the difference between the time we actually wake up and the most optimal and natural time for us to do so, and its effects reveal the importance of sleep timing rather than simple duration. Social jetlag can not only  lead to higher use of alcohol, cigarette, and caffeine use but also to cancer and other chronic diseases. People could avoid these negative effects and eliminate social jet lag and sleep inertia by synchronizing their sleeping patterns more closely with natural light patterns. (198 words)

The second alternative: the short version

When sleep is not synchronized with natural light patterns, people experience sleep inertia: a difficult and gradual period between sleeping and complete wakefulness characterized by grogginess. The difference between our natural sleep cycle and the time we actually wake up is called social jetlag, a phenomenon that many experience which can lead to serious and negative health effects. All this shows that snooze buttons, and perhaps alarm clocks in general, do more harm than good. (75 words)


Both of these brilliant summaries have been written by our summary guru; Nick O’Gara

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