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No booze, no TV, no heat and no mobile but then sleep well

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If we're sleeping properly, and long enough, we shouldn't need an alarm clock!

Country Living with Frank Farragher

With the advent of Winter, there always seem to be more emphasis on heat, comfort and sleeping soundly but it seems the more we learn the more we go back to the old adage of: early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.

Over the past few weeks there have been more research studies and surveys that delve into our sleeping patterns to try and ascertain why some mornings we wake up fresh as daisies, while on others, we crawl from our beds encased in grumpiness and lethargy.

In the south of France, over 3,000 people were surveyed and those who were involved in shift work, showed a very clear decline in cognitive abilities, or what we would regard as the normal learning and thinking processes.

According to the research teams in Swansea and Toulouse universities, the shift workers over a period of time underwent quite a substantial decline in brain function, a process that could take about five years to reverse, when people went back to normal sleeping patterns.

More recently, another survey revealed that during the peak winter months, around 50% of people in Ireland leave their heating systems on at night-time, another practice that leads to disrupted sleeping patterns.

Admittedly the survey was commissioned by Slumberdown, who want to sell more duvets and comfy pillows, but many people will have experienced the pretty uncomfortable feeling of waking up in a room or bed that’s just too hot (temperature wise) to handle.

Over one third of those who left their heating on overnight woke up with mild headaches or feeling unwell, a further 10% had dry mouths or were dehydrated and another 14% were more tired than usual.

We’ve all heard the stories of so called very successful people who could get by with only four to five hours sleep per night including the likes of Maggie Thatcher, Winston Churchill and Napoleon Bonaparte. The latter is reputed to have laid down the following guidelines as regards sleep requirements for his subjects: “Six for a man, seven for a woman, eight for a fool.”

In the case of Maggie Thatcher, all her staff had to gear their schedules to a four hours per night sleep routine for their ‘great leader’ but in hindsight maybe her lack of proper rest may have accounted for her contrarian ways and her almost complete lack of warmth and nature as a human being.

Anyway all of the latest research studies and papers very definitely suggest that this is not the way to go and that a regular, settled and sufficiently long night’s rest, can make a huge difference to an individual enjoying a better quality of life and doing a good day’s work.

A key aspect to all of this is what is referred to as the circadian cycle, or the 24 hour biological clock that we just cannot change. We do our work, play or relaxation for 15 or 16 hours each day and then we need to sleep and rest for the remaining eight.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

City Council pays €120k to orange bollards’ company

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For a while, the joke was that just like Londoners with rats, people in Galway were never more than two feet away from an orange bollard. PHOTO: JOE O'SHAUGHNESSY.

Bradley Bytes – A sort of political column by Dara Bradley

Do you remember last year, during the Covid-19 lockdown, Government fired a heap of cash at local authorities to do stuff – any stuff – under the general guise of ‘mobility’?

And then do you remember, we all tentatively emerged from our cocoons and discovered the city centre had been overrun by a new species, the orange bollard?

The running joke for some time locally was that – just like rats in London – in Galway you’re never more than two feet away from an orange bollard.

Yeah, well, the company that supplied Galway City Council with those gaudy orange bollards was paid over €120,000 for transport equipment during the pandemic.

Not all of it was spent on bollards that are so bright they can, like the Great Wall of China, be seen from space. But a fair chunk of it was.

According to records released to Galway City Tribune, under Freedom of Information (FOI), the Council made dozens of payments to Drogheda-based IPL Group Ltd between February 2020 and May 2021.

The amount paid to IPL Group during that time totalled over €120,000. Records indicate that as much as €67,510 of this outlay was on bollards, including semi-permanent orange ones.

A little over €30,000 was spent by the Council in May and June 2020, as we emerged from lockdown; including thousands on orange and white, and black and white, road flexi-bollards with reflective tape.

In July, it spent €12,000 on black and white quick-flex bollards; and in September, it ordered more orange, and black and white bollards to the value of €18,000. Last February, the records show, the Council spent a further €6,500 on more orange and white bollards with reflective resin tape.

As well as bollards, over €50,000 was spent with IPL Group on speed ramps, pole-retention sockets and plugs, and Weebol Flex signs, a bollard variation.

We don’t know how many bollards the Council bought off IPL, nor do we know the price per bollard.

The City Council said: “The unit price of each item was redacted. This is because the cost of the items will be known to competitors, and they may contain discounts from the supplier to Galway City Council. Disclosure of this unit price may jeopardise the competitive position of the supplier in that they may be undercut in future tender competitions by competitors as they will know what they charged for these items to Galway City Council.

“Furthermore, the release of this information may reasonably be expected to prejudice the conduct or outcome of contractual or other negotiations of the supplier to whom the information relates. Release of records describing a possible discount to Galway City Council may affect any negotiation with another consumer or purchaser.

“The number of units procured per item was also redacted, as it may be the case that the total price may be divided by the number of units procured and may give an indication of unit price.”

Aside from the nonsense that the City Council won’t reveal the price per bollard for fear its supplier is undercut – and by extension it and the ratepayer might get cheaper bollards – was it money well spent?

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Fascinating final in store but St Thomas’ hold most of the aces

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Salthill/Knocknacarra's Niall McGauran on the attack against Luke Murray of Dunmore MacHales during Saturday's County U19 football A final at Tuam Stadium. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

ST Thomas’ will be attempting to achieve what has proven beyond three great Galway club hurling teams over the past 30 years when targeting a four-in-a-row of senior titles at Pearse Stadium on Sunday. During their respective periods of dominance Sarsfields, Athenry and Portumna were nearly untouchable on their best days, but winning four consecutive county senior hurling championships proved a bridge too far for each of these former powers.

Athenry went the closest of them all. Heading to Duggan Park in October 2001 – the last senior final to be played in Ballinasloe – Pat Nally’s troops stood 60 minutes away from claiming a fourth title on the trot. The red-hot favourites came mightily close too, only losing by a point (0-18 to 2-11) to a Clarinbridge outfit winning their first ever title.

Portumna pulled off the title hat-trick in 2009, but didn’t make it back to the following year’s final, and while Sarsfields – under Michael Conneely – triumphed in 1992, ’93 and ’95, they came unstuck in the 1994 decider when falling to Athenry (2-6 to 0-9). These three clubs were outstanding ambassadors for Galway club hurling, but there was no four-in-a row for any of them.

It underlines how difficult the achievement is and we must go back to the Turloughmore team of the sixties for a club to enjoy such an extended stranglehold on the county championship. They ended up winning six titles on the trot, but have only won the one since – in 1985 when overcoming Killimordaly (1-14 to 1-4) at Pearse Stadium.

Given that St Thomas’ are only one hour away from a fourth consecutive title, it’s curious that they are not yet held in the same awe as Sarsfields, Athenry or Portumna when they were at the peak of their powers. Perhaps, their lone All-Ireland club success up to now may have some influence in this regard.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

 

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Connacht Tribune

Delayed gratification has given way to Amazon Prime mentality

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Delayed gratification used to be a thing; you wanted something, you longed for it, you counted down the days to Christmas or summer or your birthday – and then it arrived, and you enjoyed it all the more because it was worth the wait.

But delayed gratification went out, for the most part, with the dodo (the bird, not the child’s soother) because everyone wants everything now. That’s why – days before Santa comes down the chimney on Christmas Eve – you’ll still see kids getting toys in toy shops.

Nobody wants to wait for anything anymore; they want it now – and because they can order most things on their phone, they don’t even have to go out in the rain to get it.

And they now have a name for it – it’s called Amazon Prime Mentality. That’s shorthand for high expectations and inability to wait for anything.

It could as easily be Netflix or Sky bBox set syndrome; any platform where you can gorge yourself to death by downloading one show after another instead of waiting an unfathomable seven days between episodes.

This particular diagnosis of Amazon Prime Mentality had nothing to do with television at all; it came from an English GP who was having a go at patients who were blocking up Emergency Departments instead of seeing their local doctor – leading to a massive wait for hospital beds.

We’ve a bit of that here too as can be seen in the overcrowded A&E departments. The vast majority of people are in the right place – but some could as easily have been treated by their GP or at one of those growing number of Primary Care Centres.

Dr Jonathan Griffiths, a GP in Winsford, Cheshire, said that his belief was that some patients didn’t want to wait for GP assessment – but instead wanted everything investigated and sorted in one trip.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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