Monthly

The Hit List

What I'm reading, watching and listening to, the February edition

WHERE — New York
PHOTOGRAPHY — Sam Flaherty on 35mm

The second installment of The Hit List: a round-up of the best things I read, listened to, watched, cooked and generally enjoyed over after the past month.

WHAT I’M READING

Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker. I first discovered neuroscientist Matthew Walker via his interview on Joe Rogan’s podcast – honestly, say what you will about Joe Rogan (my main beef is that he constantly speaks over his female guests) – he has some incredible people on his show. The podcast in question is basically a two-hour deep dive into the most up-to-date science about sleep and how it affects the brain (which you can listen to here).

Unsurprisingly, Why We Sleep covers the exact same subject, but delves even deeper and will really open your mind into the importance of sleep and how it effects long term health, dreams and a lot, lot more.

I also read Jodi Picoult’s Small Great Things, a novel about race, prejudice and power in the USA. It’s the first book of hers I’ve read in years, and as always she manages to find the line between an incredibly heavy subject matter and an easy-to-read page turner.

WHAT I BOUGHT

I finally got around to buying (and trying) CBD oil. I’m almost reluctant to share my experience, since it feels like it’s become such a fad—largely due to the various CDB ‘organic’ drinks and beauty products which are nothing more than a millennial marketing exercise.

To give you a super quick background (if you haven’t already heard this a thousand times), CBD is typically derived from hemp and contains no THC (the compound that gets you high). CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain, so many people take it for everything from period pain to anxiety and insomnia. The truth is that there haven’t been enough conclusive studies – particularly in regards to dosage – on whether it actually works. Buuut there’s a lot of anecdotal evidence, and I have to say it’s been a real game-charger when I’m feeling stressed or anxious.

It calms me without making me feel drowsy. I’ve also tried it for insomnia, although the recommended dose for insomnia is so high it makes it a super expensive sleep aid (high quality, high dosage CBD ain’t cheap). To be honest I found it great for stress and anxiety but less effective for insomnia.

I don’t feel comfortable (or qualified) recommending it to anyone willy nilly, but I would 100% recommend reading up on it yourself and making some informed decisions if you suffer from any kind of chronic pain, anxiety or sleep disorders.

So if you are interested in trying it out, make note of the dosage because you can buy every strength of CBD (I use a 1000mg oil which you drop under the tounge), and ensure that it’s derived of natural ingredients from a reputable company.

PODCASTS I’M LISTENING TO

I’m a big fan of Love Stories by Dolly Alderton, a podcast about love, passion and heartbreak. Dolly manages to have real, heartfelt conversations about love (without being cheesy) with some pretty incredible guests. It’s the kind of podcast that delves into the human experience and reminds you that you’re not alone – which, let’s be real, is always a rather lovely thing to hear on a weekday morning.

WHAT I’M WATCHING

It’s not new, but on the off-chance you missed Please Like Me when it initially came out a few years ago, it’s time to rectify things asap. Please Like Me is an Australian series about a group of twenty-somethings – but I promise it’s so much more than that. It’s sad and hilarious all at once. And if you need further convincing it also stars Hannah Gadsby of Nanette fame.

Also, it would be wrong not to mention that Steve Coogan’s brand new series, This Time with Alan Partridge has just come out this past week. I haven’t actually watched it yet, but I’ve always got time for Steve Coogan’s slightly-painful-to-watch sense of humour. If you’re not familiar, he’s kind of like the British Larry David (minus the Seinfeld cash cow).

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