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We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

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For Better Health, Build Your Work around Your Play

May 12, 2012, 5:15 PM
Sleepy%20ss

What's the Latest Development?

New research reveals that losing sleep could be a significant contributor to obesity. In a study at the University of Munich, researchers surveyed the sleep habits of more than 65,000 adults and found that "people whose weekend and weekday sleep schedules differed were three times more likely to be overweight than those who went to bed and awoke at the same time each day." When people are low on sleep, they tend to eat less healthily and rely more on alcohol, caffeine and tobacco to keep them going. And those who eat while their body should be sleeping will be met with a slower metabolism, contributing to weight gain. 

What's the Big Idea?

The German researchers isolated a phenomenon they call "social jet lag", referring to the different set of hours many people keep to manage their work and social commitments. Alternating between those two sets, typically between workweek and weekend, can result in the sleep deprivation that promotes weight gain. The study concludes that work schedules should do more to accommodate people's social lives: "Rather than bending early birds and night owls to the same work schedule, why not encourage personalized schedules based on each individual’s circadian rhythms?"

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com


 

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