Summertime and the Living is Easy, or, Cottage Life is Messing With My Heart

Last week I told you about cottage life and the terrible effect it has on my back and posture. The thing is, I love the place, and I’m perfectly willing to take the hit to my back and posture in order to enjoy it while it’s still in the family.

I’m not the only one.

My boys all love visiting their grandparents, and they particularly love visiting them at the cottage. I took them up for a couple of days this week, so they could play in the lake while I worked. The only thing they were missing was Mumby.

On the way home, just as we were pulling off the highway, my 6 y/o volunteered, “Daddy, I’m happy to be coming home to mummy, but I’m sad to be leaving the cottage.” I allowed that I felt the same thing, and the other two chimed in with agreeance.

What does this have to with anything?


I’ve jabbered on about my resting heart-rate a time or two. I’ve been tracking it up and down, and trying to determine the causes of it rising and falling. So far, not too surprisingly, I’ve discovered that stress causes my resting heart-rate to rise.

I say not too surprisingly because of the multiple negative effects of stress on your health. Remember when I wrote about a lower resting heart-rate being indicative of a longer lifespan?

Remember when I wrote that stress is killing you?

Well, higher stress, higher heart-rate, lower life expectancy. Not too hard to conceptualize.

This weekend, in two days, my resting heart-rate jumped 3 bpm. Normally, it will sit at a given value for days, or weeks, moving up or down 1 bpm. Two nights ago it went up 1 bpm, and last night it went up 2 bpm.

What did those two nights have in common? Too little, low quality sleep. So there we have another effect on resting heart-rate, and another link to stress.


Yes, stress. One of the effects of heightened stress is poor sleep. And one of the effects of poor sleep is heightened cortisol levels, i.e., higher stress.

Fortunately for me, I’m home now, to the care of my wonderful wife, in a much better quality bed, and without my sister’s dog, or my father’s cat, running around, jumping on beds and generally wrecking my night’s sleep.

Will this help my resting heart-rate? I’ll sleep on it.