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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

40 Facts About Sleeping You Didnít Know
  The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature is not just how you like it, think about how things used to be.The record for the longest period without sleep is 18 days, 21 hours, 40 minutes during a rocking chair marathon. The record holder reported hallucinations, paranoia, blurred vision, slurred speech, and memory and concentration lapses.It’s impossible to tell if someone is really awake without close medical supervision. People can take cat naps with their eyes open without even being aware of it.Anything less than five minutes to fall asleep at night means you’re sleep deprived. The ideal is between 10 and 15 minutes, meaning you’re still tired enough to sleep deeply, but not so exhausted you feel sleepy by day.A new baby typically results in 400-750 hours lost sleep for parents in the first year.One of the best predictors of insomnia, later in life, is the development of bad habits from having sleep disturbed by young children.The continuous brain recordings that led to the discovery of REM (rapid eye-movement) sleep were not done until 1953, partly because the scientists involved were concerned about
wasting paper.

REM sleep occurs in bursts totaling about 2 hours a night, usually beginning about 90 minutes after falling asleep.Dreams, once thought to occur only during REM sleep, also occur (but to a lesser extent) in non-REM sleep phases. It’s possible there may not be a single moment of our sleep when we are
actually dreamless.
REM dreams are characterized by bizarre plots, but non-REM dreams are repetitive and thought like, with little imagery - obsessively returning to a suspicion you left your mobile phone somewhere, for example.Certain types of eye movements during REM sleep correspond to specific movements in dreams, suggesting at least part of the dreaming process is analogous to watching a film.No one knows for sure if other species dream, but some do have sleep cycles similar to humans.Elephants sleep standing up during non-REM sleep, but lie down for REM sleep.· Some scientists believe we dream to fix experiences in long-term memory, that is, we dream about things worth remembering. Others reckon we dream about things worth forgetting — to eliminate overlapping memories that would otherwise clog up our brains. Dreams may not serve any purpose at all, but be merely a meaningless by-product of two evolutionary adaptations — sleep and consciousness.REM sleep may help developing brains mature. Premature babies have 75 percent REM sleep, 10 percent more than full term babies. Similarly, a newborn kitten, puppy, rat or hamster experiences only REM sleep, while a newborn guinea pig (which is much more developed at birth) has almost no REM sleep at all.Scientists have not been able to explain a 1998 study showing a bright light shone on the backs of human knees can reset the brain’s sleep-wake clock.British Ministry of Defense researchers have been able to reset soldiers’ body clocks so they can go without sleep for up to 36 hrs. Tiny optical fibers embedded in special spectacles project a ring of bright white light (with a spectrum identical to a sunrise) around the edge of soldiers’ retinas, fooling them into thinking they have just woken up. The system was first used on U.S. pilots during the bombing of Kosovo.Seventeen hours of sustained wakefulness leads to a decrease in performance equivalent to a blood alcohol-level of 0.05%.The 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill off Alaska, the Challenger
space shuttle disaster and the Chernobyl nuclear accident have all been attributed to human errors in which sleep-deprivation played a role.
The NRMA estimates fatigue is involved in one in 6 fatal
road accidents.
Exposure to noise at night can suppress immune function even if the sleeper doesn’t wake. Unfamiliar noise, and noise during the first and last two hours of sleep, has the greatest disruptive effect on the sleep cycle.The “natural alarm clock” which enables some people to wake up more or less when they want to is caused by a burst of the stress hormone adrenocorticotropic. Researchers say this reflects an unconscious anticipation of the stress of waking up.Some sleeping tablets, such as barbiturates suppress REM sleep, which can be harmful over a long period.In insomnia following bereavement, sleeping pills can
disrupt grieving.
Tiny luminous rays from a digital alarm clock can be enough to disrupt the sleep cycle even if you do not fully wake. The light turns off a “neural switch” in the brain, causing levels of a key sleep chemical to decline within minutes.To drop off we must cool off; body temperature and the brain’s sleep-wake cycle are closely linked. That’s why hot summer nights can cause a restless sleep. The blood flow mechanism that transfers core body heat to the skin works best between 64 and 86 degrees. But later in life, the comfort zone shrinks to between 73 and 77 degrees — one reason why older people have more sleep disorders.A night of drinking will help you get to sleep but it will be a light slumber and you won’t dream much.After five nights of partial sleep deprivation, three drinks will have the same effect on your body as six would when you’ve slept enough.Humans sleep on average around three hours less than other primates like chimps, rhesus monkeys, squirrel monkeys and baboons, all of whom sleep for 10 hours.Ducks at risk of attack by predators are able to balance the need for sleep and survival, keeping one half of the brain awake while the other slips into sleep mode.Ten percent of snorers have sleep apnea, a disorder which causes sufferers to stop breathing up to 300 times a night and significantly increases the risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.Snoring occurs only in non-REM sleepTeenagers need as much sleep as small children (about 10 hrs.) while those over 65 need the least of all (about six hours). For the average adult aged 25-55, eight hours is considered optimal.Some studies suggest women need up to an hour’s extra sleep a night compared to men, and not getting it may be one reason women are much more susceptible to depression than men.Feeling tired can feel normal after a short time. Those deliberately deprived of sleep for research initially noticed greatly the effects on their alertness, mood and physical performance, but the awareness dropped off after the first few days.Diaries from the pre-electric-light Victorian era show adults slept nine to 10 hours a night with periods of rest changing with the seasons in line with sunrise and sunsets.Most of what we know about sleep we’ve learned in the past 25 years.As a group, 18 to 24 year-olds deprived of sleep suffer more from impaired performance than older adults.Experts say one of the most alluring sleep distractions is the 24-hour accessibility of the Internet.The extra-hour of sleep received when clocks are put back at the start of daylight in Canada has been found to coincide with a fall in the number of road accidents.Grunstein, R. P. N.P. Web. 18 Jun 2013. 
8:15 am est 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Where did that come from?
  The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature is not just how you like it, think about how things used to be.Here are some facts about the 1500’s:Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June. However, since they were starting to smell, brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married!Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then the women and finally the children, last of all the babies. By then, the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water!”Houses had thatched roofs (thick straw) piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals and bugs lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying, “It’s raining cats
and dogs.”
There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hanging over the top afforded some protection. That’s how canopy beds came into existence.The floor was dirt. Hence the saying, “Dirt poor.” The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing.As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway. Hence, a thresh hold. (Getting quite an education, aren’t you?)In those days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over
the fire.
Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly 

vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes the stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme, “Peas porridge hot, peas’ porridge cold, pea’s porridge in the pot nine
days old.”

When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, “bring home the bacon.” They would cut off a little to share with guests and would sit around and chew the fat.Those with money had plates made of pewter.Food with high acid content caused some of the
lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so
for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were
considered poisonous.
Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf; the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. The combination would sometimes knock the drinkers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom, “holding a wake.”England was small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So, they would dig up coffins and take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So, they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell.Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, “saved by the bell” or was “considered a dead ringer.”Now, who said history was boring? Get out there
and educate someone! Share these interesting facts with a friend.
7:37 am est 

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