Geniuses usually sleep eight hours, unless the world worries them

Wednesday, 16 July, 2014

The sleeping habits of geniuses… twenty-seven of them to be precise. I was hoping to find something that I might be able to take advantage of, and it looks pretty straightforward, seven to eight hours sleep seems to be the norm among smart people.

Then again no fewer than one hundred and fifty items, problems in the world and the like, may also be keeping the same people awake at night.

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Sleep paralysis as a portal to out-of-body travel? Not sure of that…

Monday, 7 July, 2014

I’m not sure I’d regard the sleep paralysis experience as being a “portal to out-of-body travel and lucid dreams”, unless that’s how you see the sensation of having what feels like an elephant sitting on while you lie, unable to move a muscle, in what seems like a wind tunnel, a dark wind tunnel at that.

The experience can be terrifying. Trapped in your paralysed body, you might sense the presence of a malevolent intruder in the room or a pressure on your chest, squeezing the breath out of your lungs. Hallucinations can jangle the senses: there are ominous voices, supernatural entities, strange lights. You feel as if you are being touched or dragged, bed covers seem to be snatched from you, and you are helpless to grab them back.

Then again, what is actually happening quickly becomes apparent, so as disconcerting as a sleep paralysis episode is, the knowledge that it will be relatively short lived is reassuring. So why not view it as positively as possible…

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Telling yourself you slept is a placebo for no sleep, it seems

Monday, 3 February, 2014

Convincing yourself you had a full night’s sleep, when possibly you barely slept a wink, is akin to enjoying said night’s full and relaxing sleep, or so says some research into the topic:

A great victory was won here for lies, over truth. This study shows that if you’re in the mindset that you’re well-rested, your brain will perform better, regardless of the actual quality of your sleep. Conversely, constantly talking about how tired you are, as so often happens in our culture, might be detrimental to your performance.

I absolutely would not go for any of this if you need to drive somewhere, especially a long distance, though.

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Delete your alarm clock with a steady sleep routine

Tuesday, 26 November, 2013

You could dispense with an alarm clock, were you to go to sleep around the same time each night, every day, and wake up at the same hour the next day. Such a routine allows for the optimisation of a protein called PER, that regulates sleep, largely ensuring you wake at the same time every day.

If you follow a diligent sleep routine – waking up the same time every day – your body learns to increase your PER levels in time for your alarm. About an hour before you’re supposed to wake up, PER levels rise (along with your body temperature and blood pressure). To prepare for the stress of waking, your body releases a cocktail of stress hormones, like cortisol. Gradually, your sleep becomes lighter and lighter.

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Sleeping may be hazardous to your health, not what I want to hear

Monday, 29 April, 2013

Nine hours sleep a night seems to becoming the norm, in the US at least, and while the prospect may seem like bliss, especially on a Monday morning, and after what, for some, may have been a long weekend, oversleeping, as with too little sleep, likewise poses health risks:

Although there’s been lots of talk about society sleeping too little, not much attention has been paid to the problem of too much sleep. However, studies show that sleeping more than nine hours a night is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, thinking problems and premature death.

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For your own well being, let sleep-walkers… sleep

Wednesday, 6 March, 2013

While I’ve not encountered any sleep-walkers to date, I’ve often heard that they should not woken mid sleep-walk. It seems this advice is more for the well-being of the person trying to help someone who is walking (or cooking, or driving even) in their sleep, rather than the sleep-walker:

Sleep experts warn that forcefully bringing a person out of a deep sleep into this impaired state can cause them to become startled, confused or agitated. Not immediately recognizing you as someone they know, they may push you, strike you, or otherwise lash out at you. Even if they don’t react aggressively, some sleepwalkers have been known to drive or prepare meals in their sleep, and having a groggy, confused person behind the wheel or at the stove can be dangerous for them and for others.

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Less sleep makes us healthy, wealthy, and productive?

Wednesday, 23 January, 2013

The eight-hours sleep a night we currently enjoy may become a thing of the past, if drugs that safely allow people to get by on two to three sleep, become commonplace. This has the potential to free up a person’s day by about five hours. So what to do with this extra time, work, or pursue more leisure activities?

Well, it could be you do not have a choice in the matter:

Workers would probably prefer to allocate the bulk of that extra time to leisure but I doubt employers will let that happen. Let’s make a generous breakdown and give work an extra 3 hours and let workers spend another 2 as they wish. This increases working hours by around 34% and potentially increases leisure time by 80%. This increases the number of hours a worker spends at work from around 1800 hours a year now to about 2,400.

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There are five stages of grief each morning, likely more on Mondays

Tuesday, 9 October, 2012

Circadian rhythms are back in the news… if we were more in sync with them, those early morning starts may not be so harsh as to invoke a five stage grieving process:

The first is Denial, which entails pressing the sleep button when the alarm goes off. Five minutes later it’s buzzing again, so I proceed to Anger. This is followed by Bargaining, during which I attempt to calculate how many more minutes I can stay in bed without being late. The stage of Depression hits as soon as I realise that – shit – now I’m late. And finally, when I get to work, I reach Acceptance.

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Put your head in the sand, might be the only way to get some sleep

Wednesday, 3 October, 2012

The Ostrich Pillow

The in development Ostrich Pillow just might be what it takes to block off the outside world, if you want a power nap while travelling or otherwise away from home.

Ostrich Pillow is a revolutionary new product to enable easy power naps anytime, everywhere, Ostrich Pillow’s unique design offers a micro environment in which to take a cosy and comfortable power nap at ease. Ostrich Pillow has been designed to allow you to create a little private space within a public one, to relax and unwind. Its soothing soft interior shelters and isolates your head and hands (mind and body) for a short break, without needing to leave your desk, chair, bench or wherever you may be.

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Some sleep disorders are nightmares unto themselves

Friday, 7 September, 2012

Could particularly severe nightmares, or night terrors, or parasomnias, result in death? These are not the most pleasant of sleep disorders:

But something is still wrong. I am now completely panicked, and I jump back onto my bed and lean over the half-wall that my bed is up against, overlooking the hallway. There, I see what’s causing all the problems, and I push it downward and off the wall with all my might. It shatters loudly, glass flying everywhere. Then, finally, I wake up. My two dogs are cowering in the corner, and I put on shoes to sweep up the glass. I am confused and embarrassed, though there is no one besides the dogs there to see that I just pushed a framed poster off a wall and broke it. I clean up the glass and go back to sleep, and it is not until the morning, when I see my shoes scattered everywhere, that I look into the closet and realize that I have also ripped the TV cable completely out of the back wall of my closet.

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