Mania goes like this: It’s 3 am and I’m wide awake and ready to conquer the world. The rest of the world is sleeping, but I just don’t seem to need sleep. Nope, too much to do, and here are the priorities: buy a $200 belly dancing costume online, break out my oil paints and finish a painting, put shelves up in my room, work on my book (I’ll get another idea for a different book and have to start that too), start an heirloom yogurt business, research farmer’s market permit laws for said yogurt business, go to a meeting and take on a new sponsee, buy a book on the ancient myths of Egypt, read the book on the ancient myths of Egypt, fuck my boyfriend twice, practice playing finger cymbals and practice my Spanish online. Right now I’m learning conditional future tenses. [more inside]
Sleep is more than the sum of its socio-economic consequences. A new generation is planting sleep in a broader spectrum of consciousness. The poles aren’t asleep and awake–they’re omniscient and dead.😉K-HOLE, the "internet trend forcasting group", has followed up its 2015 report on Chaos Magic with what appears to be a legit report on how Sillicon Valley is monitizing sleep. (if the actual article is too sleep inducing, Ars has a write up)
If you’re just not a morning person, science says you may never be. Morning people and night owls are born that way. It's time we accepted that. An "abnormal" circadian rhythm has been linked with ADHD, mental illnesses, and chronic disease. What if embracing your natural circadian rhythm is the real missing key to improved health? [more inside]
A Journal of Insomnia is an interactive documentary that only comes alive at night. Make a nighttime appointment to experience a sleepless night through stories, images and webcam videos shared by the insomniac of your choice. [more inside]
Sleepy gorillas make their nests in Kahuzi-Biega National Park. You can visit these gorillas by going on a virtual gorilla trek in Democratic Republic of Congo!
The beverages are consumed regularly by thirty-one per cent of kids between the ages of twelve and seventeen, and by thirty-four per cent of those aged eighteen to twenty-four. U.S. sales for energy drinks and shots now total more than twelve and a half billion dollars—a number that the market-research firm Packaged Facts predicts will grow by another nine billion dollars by 2017. A new study [note: behind paywall] , published in the November issue of Health Psychology, suggests that appeals by energy-drink companies to the thrill-thirsty male id are coming at a psychological and physical cost, however. -- Rachel Giese, How Energy-Drink Companies Prey on Male Insecurities
As the first semester of the school year reaches the halfway mark, countless college freshmen are becoming aware that their clothes are feeling rather snug. While the so-called freshman 15 may be hyperbole, studies confirm that many students do put on five to 10 pounds during that first year away from home. Now new research suggests that an underlying cause for the weight gain may be the students’ widely vacillating patterns of sleep.
Sleep With Me is a bedtime story for insomniacs, designed to get more and more boring as you listen. This is the story of Drew Ackerman's strange but popular podcast, whose raison d'être is literally to bore you to sleep with carefully constructed, rambling monologues. (Episodes occasionally mildly NSFW)
Here’s the story that people like to tell about the way we sleep: Back in the day, we got more of it. Our eyes would shut when it got dark. We’d wake up for a few hours during the night instead of snoozing for a single long block. And we’d nap during the day. Then—minor key!—modernity ruined everything. Our busy working lives put an end to afternoon naps, while lightbulbs, TV screens, and smartphones shortened our natural slumber and made it more continuous. All of this is wrong, according to Jerome Siegel at the University of California, Los Angeles. Much like the Paleo diet, it’s based on unsubstantiated assumptions about how humans used to live.
"It’s late, and you’re still awake. Allow us to help with Sleep Aid, a series devoted to curing insomnia with the dullest, most soporific texts available in the public domain." [more inside]
Two million children are fleeing Syria, this is where they sleep.
Stop gloating, morning people. You might be up early, but you aren't morally superior. What's your chronotype? Find out here.
Sarah Hird answers the question, Why do Mammals Sleep? A winner is announced in the SMBC-inspired 2014 Festival of Bad Ad Hoc Hypotheses. [more inside]
A recent study indicates that scientists may have found the first real mechanical reason we need to sleep.
The Philosophical Implications of the Urge to Urinate: Our Sense Of Free Will Diminishes When We Need To Pee Or Desire Sex.
You're not as busy as you say you are. "According to sociologist John Robinson, or better known as “Father Time” to his colleagues, most people have around 40 hours of free time per week." [more inside]
Last week, American doom/stoner metal band Sleep released a single entitled 'The Clarity', their first new recording in over sixteen years, via the 2014 Adult Swim Singles series. [more inside]
Here's six minutes of glorious up-close video of a cockroach being surgically removed from a man's ear. No idea how it got in there, but I guess that's what the beauty of imagination is for.
What did Mozart do all day? A poster breaks down the daily habits and self-reported routines of hundreds of composers, painters, writers, scientists, etc to illustrate how people find the time to construct their work.
Blue light may be bad for your health, especially at night. You may want to click over to the grey or the green before you go to sleep, or, god forbid, turn off the technology!
In Dreams is an experimental documentary that visualises the dreams of ordinary individuals...
Sleepy, sleepy ostriches. According to this PLOS One article, "the amount of REM sleep in ostriches is greater than in any other bird." Here's a simplified article about that study, featuring video of three of the ostriches from that study experiencing [well-labelled] slow-wave and REM sleep. Here's one tired ostrich, succumbing to slumber around 0:50. And here's the cute baby ostrich who just can't stay awake. If this all's making you snoozy, you may need an ostrich pillow.
In a nutshell, this new study provides evidence that we need a certain amount of sleep every night, because the brain takes this time to rid itself of toxic metabolic byproducts, which would otherwise accumulate in the brain and impair brain function, destroy neurons — and potentially cause neurodegenerative disorders.
An animated comic that tries to capture what it was like to fall asleep in the car at night as a child. (via)
"Over the years, napping has gotten a bad rap, becoming a sign of laziness or weakness, especially during the workday. Yet, according to a growing body of scientific research, napping can actually be a very good and very smart thing to do. How so? Napping can help refresh the mind, make you more creative, boost your intelligence, and even help you live a longer, healthier life. Studies over the past decade have confirmed all of this and more, and napping is slowly gaining acceptance as a part of a healthy lifestyle, even in some corporate offices. Whether you're ready to jump on the nap-happy bandwagon or just learn more about the research being done on the practice, read on as we share the science behind the need to nap, interesting research into napping, and a scientist-approved method for taking the ideal nap."
The Great Hog-Eating Confederacy
Early Southerners ate a rather limited and unvarying diet. At table the famished guest seldom found more than bacon, corn pone, and coffee sweetened with molasses. Pioneering sociologist Harriet Martineau complained that “little else than pork, under all manner of disguises” sustained her during her visit to the American SouthFor the most part, slaves observed the same diet as poor white farmers. Though many kept gardens, and thus supplemented their rations of pork and corn with a wide variety of vegetables, they had otherwise little opportunity to augment their diet.. Another traveler griped that that he had “never fallen in with any cooking so villainous.” A steady assault of “rusty salt pork, boiled or fried … and musty corn meal dodgers” brought his stomach to surrender. Rarely did “a vegetable of any description” make it on his plate, and “no milk, butter, eggs, or the semblance of a condiment” did he once see.Christine Baumgarthuber is a writer for The New Inquiry and runs the blog The Austerity Kitchen. [more inside]
The science of sleeplessness. "Wolf-Meyer refers to the practice of going to bed at around eleven o’clock at night and staying there until about seven in the morning as sleeping 'in a consolidated fashion.' Nowadays, adults are expected to sleep in this manner; anything else—sleeping during the day, sleeping in bursts, waking up in the middle of the night—is taken to be unsound, even deviant. This didn’t use to be the case." [more inside]
"Although IMDb warns that short descriptions of less than ten lines may not be adequately detailed, I believe that a longer description is probably not reasonably possible. I think I have included everything that bears mentioning." Andy Warhol's Eat. Also Kiss. Also Sleep.
Anna Sumner’s craving for sleep began when she was an 18-year-old high school senior. She thought nothing of it. When it followed her to college, she blamed it on stress. She was working so hard, she told herself, her body just needed the extra rest. But it was more than that. She would chose naps over eating lunch, working out, or being with friends. Every night after dinner, she came back to her dorm room to sleep. If her parents called on those evenings, her roommate would cover for her, telling them she had gone to the library.
"Even if your alarm clock is one of those Zen alarm clocks with melodious metal chimes, or it's your phone playing New Age music at gradually increasing volume, an alarm clock is still not offering you anything." MeFi's own dansdata wakes up to a proper cuppa.
Sleep deprivation making you feel jumpy? It's not in your head. Human cortical excitability increases with time awake. [Abstract and link to full paper.]
Whoever claims to be on a perpetual polyphasic schedule must be either suffering from a sleep disorder, or be a liar, a mutant, or a person with a mulishly stubborn iron-will that lets him plod through the daily torture of sleep deprivationPolyphasic Sleep: Facts and Myths | Polyphasic Sleep: 5 Years Later!
Top 10 cutest photos of sleeping cats. UK charity Cats Protection has released its top ten pictures of sleeping cats, to coincide with National Sleep Awareness Week. [more inside]
Adults needing 8 consecutive hours of sleep every night is a common, generally unquestioned bit of medical wisdom that we are all familiar with. Is it really true?
Getting babies to sleep is a topic of great interest to all parents (see previously). One trick that has been shown to work is white noise. Although many opt for a white noise machine, other parents swear by radio static, vacuum cleaners, dryers, or a running faucet. Now, of course, you can send your cutie to slumberland without wasting nearly so much electricity or water, all thanks to youtube. [more inside]
The Phantom Menace of Sleep Deprived Doctors: Young doctors are no longer working long, stupor-inducing hours. So why aren’t hospitals any safer?
For tired parents everywhere, the not-even-released yet Go the F**k to Sleep, is a already a best seller on Amazon.com, probably due to its viral release on the Internet. You can find the pdf if you use your Google-Fu and definitely worth the search. I've ordered my copy.
Featuring 2052 performers from 58 countries, I give you Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir 2.0 performing Sleep. [SLYT]
1-3 percent of the population may be natural "short sleepers" who function well on only a few hours sleep. Not only are these people both night owls AND early birds, they function perfectly happily on a short amount of sleep, without caffeine, without drowsiness. They're more energized, multitask more, are thinner, and are very cheerful and resilient. Sounds like Beggars In Spain wasn't too far off...
"When you say to a child 'Bedtime, it's bedtime now' that's not what the child hears. What the child hears is 'Go and lie down in the dark. For hours. And don't move. I'm locking the door now."
Scottish teenagers to receive sleep training in schools. [BBC] Resources to teach teenagers how to get enough sleep are to be offered to schools across Scotland.
Parasomnia Pseudo-Suicide? Family and friends of designer Tobias Wong speculate that his suicide may have been linked to a severe sleepwalking disorder. Parasomnias can result in weight gain, severe injury or criminal charges*. The theorized phenomenon of parasomnia pseudo-suicide adds new terror to an old myth. *previously
An essay on sleep and loss by Bill Hayes, author of Sleep Demons. The essay is part of a NYT series All-nighters, which has also included work from Mefi favorite Christoph Niemann (previously) and other sleep deprived contributors.