Let your sleep patterns determine your citizenship

Friday, 27 May, 2016

Are you living in one country, but feeling an affinity for another? Your sleep patterns may back up the assertion, possibly. I’m in Australia, but appear to have the sleep patterns of a Spanish woman. Curious. Portugal is a country I very much like, not that there’s anything wrong with neighbouring Spain of course, so maybe that has something to do with it?

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Aphantasia, a medical condition that deprives people of imagination

Friday, 27 May, 2016

It seems incredible, but there are people who cannot visualise ideas, places, or even faces, in their minds, and aphantasia is the name given to their condition.

This newly described condition is called aphantasia and has prompted scientists to reexamine an experience that we so often take for granted – our imagination. What’s more, studying it is offering new insights into how we all might boost our visual imagery to improve our memory, increase our empathy and even gain new treatments for conditions like addiction and anxiety.

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Drinking alcohol, good for a buzz, but not for long

Thursday, 26 May, 2016

This probably comes as little surprise to anyone… alcohol consumption may lift our mood, but will only do so for a short time.

Study leader Dr. Ben Bamburg Geiger, from the University of Kent in the United Kingdom, found that while drinking alcohol makes us momentarily happy, it fails to offer long-term life satisfaction and well-being.

I’d say there are other ways of seeking contentment and fulfillment, thankfully, though I wouldn’t go cancelling after works on Friday.

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Can you live on bacon alone? We should at least consider this

Thursday, 12 May, 2016

Bacon is one of the most popular topics of discussion on the interwebs, so I generally leave the conversation to others. Not today though, especially when the question is, can you live on bacon alone? I think we all know the answer to that, though I expect some people have given the matter serious thought, at one time or another.

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Sleep deficit, and the reasons why it needs to be avoided

Friday, 8 April, 2016

Lack of sleep, or sleep deficit, is a problem in the US and the UK, and I should think, elsewhere as well. While it may be easier to say than to do, there are a number of compelling reasons why we need to make a full night’s sleep a priority.

The report pointed out that consistent poor sleep has been linked to increased risk of high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke, and death (from any cause) in several studies. Researchers think prolonged routines of short sleep may raise 24-hour blood pressure, heart rate, salt retention, and activity of the sympathetic nervous system (what controls the body’s fight-or-flight response), all of which can lead to hypertension.

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And now for information that is useful… how to start running

Wednesday, 6 April, 2016

The Internet, I’m sorry, internet, is a fount of knowledge, that leaves no gaps in our knowledge. Pick a topic, anything at all, and you’re bound to an array of articles and resources relating to it. The question is though, how much of this information is actually useful? I guess that depends on who is looking up information on whatever they’re interested in.

Here is something useful though, how to start running. It’s a great source of exercise, and goes along way to reducing stress as well, to name a couple of benefits. This is knowledge to acquire.

The absolute best way to keep yourself running is to find a race, sign up for it, pay for it and put it on your calendar. A fixed race date will help you stay focused, and keep you on a regular running schedule. A beginner can run any race – you just need to allow enough time to train for it.

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The desire to constantly joke is no joke, in fact it may be an illness

Friday, 11 March, 2016

People who feel compelled to constantly tell jokes – and by constantly I mean during their every waking hour, and then some – may be suffering from a medical disorder known as witzelsucht.

One of the first noted cases of this pathological joking emerged in the strangest circumstances by the German neurologist Otfrid Foerster in 1929. Foerster was operating on a male patient to remove a tumour. The man was still conscious – as was common practice at the time – but as he started manipulating the cancerous growth, the man suddenly erupted in a “manic flight of speech”, compulsively recounting pun after awful pun.

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The brain peaks at 20, and then it’s down hill right? Don’t be so sure

Monday, 7 March, 2016

Fluid intelligence, being our ability to both remember, and make decisions quickly, declines from about age twenty. That’s not to say it’s all down hill from then. Apparently different regions of the brain peak at different times of our lives.

Crystallised intelligence, or facts and knowledge that we have built up, for instance, may not reach a height until we are about seventy.

“At any given age, you’re getting better at some things, you’re getting worse at some other things, and you’re at a plateau at some other things. There’s probably not one age at which you’re peak on most things, much less all of them,” says Joshua Hartshorne, a postdoc in MIT’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and one of the paper’s authors.

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A sort of handy checklist should you need to see a podiatrist

Thursday, 18 February, 2016

I don’t go to podiatrists all that often, so I guess it’s useful to know what do to prepare, should you ever need to see a foot doctor. I thought it would be as straightforward as making an appointment, but apparently not…

List all the medications, vitamins and supplements you’re taking and wish you could take, including non-medical marijuana, if it were legal in your state or didn’t require a humiliating meet up with a local high school student in the grocery store parking lot.

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Has a remedy for sleep paralysis been devised?

Wednesday, 20 January, 2016

Sleep paralysis is an unsettling experience, whereby you feel trapped in your apparently motionless body, for what seems like an inordinate amount of time. I have several brushes with the phenomenon each year, which is induced, ironically, by a lack of sleep, and also by lying on your back, which I had always believed was the best sleeping position.

Thankfully sleep paralysis, of itself, isn’t anything to worry about. It doesn’t point to some other nastier disorder, and the sensation is usually short lived. If that’s not enough though, a Meditation-Relaxation (MR) therapy has been developed, that you may like to try:

The simple treatment method, called Meditation-Relaxation (or MR) therapy, comes across as a nod to the mind-body connection – the sort of kumbaya “think good thoughts” exercise that might appeal to yogis more than post-docs. But, the simplicity of the treatment belies the immersive case reports and theories about parietal lobe disturbance that give it heft (and probably lab cred). Unlike treatment for nightmares, MR therapy can be performed during an attack to temper or potentially end it altogether.

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