Archive for the 'Sleep' Category

Nightmares

 

You ever have a nightmare and decide to tell someone about it and about half waythrough realize that you are dumb…Is there any way to describe a nightmare to be scary?

“I had a scary dream last night!”

“Ok, tell me about it.”

“So I was running through this pool of marshmellows in my flipflops right, then the manager comes out of nowhere and he starts yelling ‘mrrhhhmhmmmm!!! Mrrrhhhmhmmmmm!!! Mrhrmmm,’ there are only 18 seconds to eject before the bowling alley closes, and…Tom you were there, but you didn’t look like Tom and that was freaking me out!!!”

Alright…so, that joke was taken from Daniel Tosh’s stand up “True Stories I Made Up” but I felt that it conveys what I was trying to express; the feeling you get when you try to make someone understand your dream. After talking to friends about nightmares, there is at least one common nightmare I have found that everyone tends to have, it is the Falling Dream”, where you are falling and then you wake up in a jolt. We were all sitting around telling a few nightmares we had recently had, none of them were scary, most of them are fairly comical, but still stressful to have!

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I Must Be Dreaming…

Stress can haunt your dreams…literally!

When I have had a stressful week – full of tests, papers, and long nights in the library, I tend to have more vivid dreams when I finally hit the bed at night…even nightmares! So does the amount of stress in your week have to do with what you’re dreaming about? Perhaps.

Researchers think that having nightmares are normal…and I have to agree. The way you handle and deal with stress can sometimes trigger scary or frustrating dreams. Nightmares are a normal response to different levels of fear and stress. Those who have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, tend to have nightmares frequently. For example, War Veterans tend to have nightmares about getting killed or injured in battle because it was such a big part of their life that came with daily doses of fear.

What other things in our life cause dreams? Certainly, school and work. A nightmare that is full of frustration may resemble a day at school or in the office. One might have a dream about not being able to get work done in time. Our dreams are suppose to be our way of working through things. High-risk jobs, or even students with a lot of involvement and leadership positions- may have more nightmares or dreams that show they’re stressed.

Family life is a another big topic that can cause nightmares. If one has experienced a loss in their family, alcoholism, abuse, or neglect…these things can easily turn into a nightmare where you are forced to re-live it. It can be hard to control your dreams, but if you work on bettering yourself and the life around you – it may help to lessen the disturbing dreams at night.

To follow up on more reading about nightmares, go to:

http://www.dreammoods.com/dreaminformation/dreamtypes/nightmares2.htm

REM sleep and dream analysis

Lately, a friend of mine has been having stressful, bad dreams every night. She somewhat jokingly asked me how to make herself not dream. Well, there is no way to help ourselves to having dreamless sleep. But, could we stop ourselves before we enter REM sleep every night? It would be interesting to study, and maybe scientists already have. What would be the effects if a person were woken up during the transition from Delta waves to REM sleep? In order to eliminate dreams, a person needs to be woken up before they reach the dream stage (stage 5). While it may be good in helping diminish dreams, we need REM sleep to help is restore our energy. If people are unable to fulfill an entire sleep cycle, they will not get the proper rest they need. Also, the existence of dreams may be more useful than the uneducated person knows. While dreaming, we may be enhancing underused brain pathways, facilitating problem-solving, and helping us to form memories of the day before.

http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/features/the-health-benefits-of-dreams

For fun, check out this website which claims it has the meanings of dreams

http://www.dreamforth.com/

A Vicious Circle or the Perfect Intricate Link?

We worry a lot about our weight. The way people look today is one of the most important things for our first impressions. It can make a difference about whether or not you get that job or if the cute guy you are eyeing will come and talk to you. As such, there are weight loss plans and fads everywhere. Commercials come on every few minutes and happy skinny people cover the ad images online. Fads go on and on and change as new studies reveal better and faster ways to lose weight. Now, where everyone knew about the Special K Diet, we now have the Acai Berry Diet. However, what is most important and effective is simply eating healthy and getting a lot of sleep. We have learned now that as we stress all the time, overall, most people put on weight due to various reasons, extra eating, stress inhibition of proper digestion, and less activity. Nevertheless, we now know that sleep helps us lose weight too. As we have just learned, sleep helps your body rejuvenate and make its systems more efficient by allowing them time to rest and restore themselves. So, not only will you better digest the food you eat so it can be used as energy instead of fat, you will be more energetic throughout your day which will naturally burn fat as you move around. Instead of sitting around, you will get bored and want to go outside in the now warming weather and just go do something. Whether it means simply going outside to sunbathe, you will be laughing more and hanging out with your friends, burning calories all the way and being healthier.  So do we really need to be stringent on everything we eat? While moderation helps, being healthier comes not only from dieting, but also from better health overall. So, the next time you decide to stay up late just because you don’t feel like going to sleep just yet, remember, you won’t only feel better the next morning, you’ll be healthier at the same time.

STRESS AND A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP

Who really needs sleep?  I never really thought getting a certain amount of hours of sleep was really that big of a deal.  But, after performing our presentation on stress and a good night’s sleep, I will never take sleep for granite again.  I have been up for more than twenty-four hours and I feel exhausted.  Multiple people have come up to me asking me if something was wrong or why I was moving so slow.  I guess the lack of sleep really affected my performance during my day. 

A few reasons that I found important and why a good night sleep is useful is lack of sleep can increase your aging.  The countless nights that I or you have skipped sleep are actually increasing our aging process. You may not notice it, but lack of proper slumber is making your eyes droop, forming wrinkles on your face, making your skin drier and causing your memory to fail.  I personally know that I have a bad enough memory as it is and I don’t need the lack of sleep to increase my memory failure.  I know you all hear adults and the elderly say that they don’t remember something and they begin to blame it on their age.  Yes, some people can get away with that excuse, but the main reasons are the sleep debt.  One important thing we (college students) deal with is stress and test taking; it has been proven if you have a good night’s sleep you are more likely to perform better on that exam then someone who is suffering from sleep debt.  The second important reason for needing a good night sleep is because sleep affects your mood in multiple ways.  Sleep deprivation often causes irritability, moodiness, impatience and the lack of concentration and focus. More crankiness is expected from those who have not been sleeping soundly for a while (which we experienced this morning in our presentation and throughout our day, due to no sleep).

I learned many things about how sleep can affect us and i found it quit interesting.  It also made me even more tired than I am now.  Hopefully i will sleep well tonight since last night did not happen…

What Do We Do When We Can’t Sleep?

So, as I am working on my case study, I’m thinking about the times that I haven’t been able to sleep. I have more than one friend who is an insomniac and hates it.

Insomnia Image

Sheep Image

 They both become even more stressed when they can’t sleep and have tried all different manners of remedies to fix the problem, but none of them seem to work. So, my question is, what do you do when all else fails and you just cannot seem to fall asleep. If you have tried everything you can think of, and yet nothing seems to work. You read a book, you meditated, and you even tried counting those stupid sheep that dance elusively in front of you across the inside of your eyelids. For me, I know I am a bookworm. I love losing myself into a good book and escaping into whatever land I find myself in. Generally, that will relax me enough that I can fall asleep with no problem after a little while of just sitting and relaxing in my bed. But what do other people do? I know there are few people who loves books like I do, so what is your remedy? Do you listen to music on your iPod and just think? Do you get on Facebook and see who else is still up at whatever ungodly hour you are awake? Do you play a game that helps you to focus on just that one thing and not the rest of the stressors of your everyday life? Or, do you just lie there, while the sheep mock your efforts, and wait until sleep finally comes to you?

Lack of Sleep Ends in Insanity

Have you ever pulled an all-nighter?  Maybe it was because you had to study for a test and you got all hyped up on caffeine?  Well, for my group’s Above and Beyond project we decided to stay up all night and see how stressed out we would be the next day.  Right now it is 6:00 a.m. and all that has resulted is us going crazy.  We have made our Sheetz and Macon Coffee runs to get caffeine and stay awake, but the lack of sleep has stressed us out and begun to make us go crazy.  If it wasn’t for all the caffeine we would not have been able to stay up, and would not be nearly as loopy as we all are.  Two out of three people had caffeinated drinks and were acting very strange at the end of the night.  Not only did I not sleep this past night, but am running on four hours of sleep from the night before.  Sleep is really important and helps keep all of our levels in balance.  I have a feeling that having only four hours of sleep within two days will result in a very long recovery, and hard time to catch back up on the sleep I have missed.

Studies show that a good night’s sleep allows you to perform better and remain less stressed.  So remember, when everyone says, “you sleep when you’re dead” it is still super important to keep a regular sleep pattern to remain healthy and stress-free!


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