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“How amazing would it be if we could pick the destination for our dreams each night and let our imaginations fill in the rest once we reach the right REM state? Choose your own subconscious adventure.“

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Ryan is the founder and publisher of a well-curated lifestyle magazine called Hello Mister, actually more than a magazine, a communitiy for men who date men. From his Brooklyn bedroom he gives us some insight about how sleep influences his daytime.

June 2015
Brooklyn, New York (EDT)
Photography: Ryan Fitzgibbon
Find out about Hello Mr. magazine here

Interview: VM

“Our bodies get to 'clock out', but our mind stays forever active, taking us on its own adventure once our visual senses aren’t leading the way.“

What are you doing during the day?
I publish Hello Mr. magazine. In 2012, after three years as a communication designer and strategist for IDEO in San Francisco, I left to pursue building my own brand. Three years later, I’m now in Brooklyn, working on the sixth issue of Hello Mr. and many other extensions of the community.

What time do you usually get up?
I get up between 6:30 and 7:00, even on the weekends. The earliest of birds.

How does your alarm sound?
It rarely has to make any sound at all.

What is the first thing you do in the morning?
I check my phone. Instagram first, then email. Many of my collaborators (my printer, fulfillment house, editors, etc.) are based in Europe, so there’s always something in my inbox for me to address when I wake up. If it’s a gym day, I’ll brush my teeth, throw on my workout gear, and walk to my gym, stopping to check my PO Box at the post office on the way. If it’s not a gym day, or if I’m generally just feeling lazy, I’ll check Facebook and Twitter, then stumble into the shower around 7:30.

Do you like having breakfast? And what do you have?
I need breakfast. It’s my favorite meal of the day. At home, I’ll have yogurt with granola, some kind of fruit, and honey. Occasionally I’ll make eggs with mushrooms, feta, and avocado – that’s typically on gym days though, or when I’m not in a hurry to get out the door.

What time of the day are you most productive?
I'm absolutely most productive in the morning. I’m not sure whether it’s because I’m an early bird, or if I’m an early bird because I’ve learned that about myself, but my brain is the most alert before noon.

Do you think sleep influences your work?
It can influence my work, but I think it’s usually that which inhibits or alters my sleep that ultimately affects my work (alcohol, stress, etc.) than sleep itself.

Do you think you get enough sleep?
Definitely not, but then again, when I get too much sleep I often feel less productive than I’d expect.

Where do you sleep best?
I sleep best in a bed, doesn’t really matter whose, in complete darkness, at a moderately cold temperature. And if it’s raining, I’ll be out like a light!

Do you have any rituals before going to bed?

I don’t, but I suddenly feel like I should.

Do you remember your dreams?
Sometimes, but the memory seldom stays long enough to use in casual conversation – if they did, I’d be much more entertaining at dinner parties. I do remember having a recurring dream as a child whenever I was sick. For what felt like the duration of my sleep, I would be falling down an Alice in Wonderland-esque vortex alongside various floating candies and delicious foods. That one was strange enough to be memorable, I suppose.

Do you care about what you wear for sleeping?
Boxer briefs and a tank top. Rarely completely naked, even after sex.

Describe your bed in 3 words.
Not big enough.

What is the most special spot you’ve ever fallen asleep?
My family had a trampoline when I was growing up, which was my favorite sleeping spot in the summer. The large black surface was partially covered by the shade of a tall oak tree in our backyard, so I would roll in and out of the sun when I got too hot or too cold. I miss taking a book outside and taking leisurely naps in my springy suburban sanctuary.

What do you think happens when we sleep?
Our bodies get to “clock out,” but our mind stays forever active, taking us on its own adventure once our visual senses aren’t leading the way.

What do you want to dream about tonight?
In my dreams, I would love to visit a new place, somewhere out of reach, like outer space! I’ve been reading about the colonization of Mars, and would love to assess the situation on the red planet myself. How amazing would it be if we could pick the destination for our dreams each night and let our imaginations fill in the rest once we reach the right REM state? Choose your own subconscious adventure.

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