Pondering the Serious Science of Sleep

Posted by katie on September 15, 2012 in All Posts, Helpful Tips and Sleep Science |

Neuroscientists love a mystery.

And the brain, and what it does when we sleep is a really big one.  As much as they know, and they know a lot, it’s just a drop in the bucket of true understanding of our mind in all its aspects – physical, chemical, energetic.  Here is what Harvard says healthy sleep is:

http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/science/what/characteristics 

by WordRidden

 

Sleep is really important; for learning, for rejuvenation of the cells with growth hormone, for processing and organizing the brain’s activity during the day:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21228442.400-hijack-your-own-dreams-to-improve-your-skills.html

and

http://www.parade.com/health/your-healthy-home/articles/the-healing-power-of-sleep.html

And even studies of our human genome are now revealing that we are born with certain tendencies to sleep patterns.  There is no ‘normal’ sleep.  But there is ‘good’ sleep, ‘healthy’ sleep.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/01/genes-sleep-duration_n_1118896.html

And there are those dreams; sometimes confusing, sometimes frightening and sometimes feeling as real as when we are awake.  We can even ‘see’ the brain hard at work during these inner fantasies, making them just a little more real:

http://news.discovery.com/tech/brain-scan-lucid-dream-111102.html

Those inner fantasies do have another, more serious link with reality, though.  Our daytime mind does influence our nighttime mind, and not always in a good way:

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/SleepNews/sleep-locks-bad-memories-emotions/story?id=15377705

I am really glad that there is so much science being done around something so inherently mysterious and powerful.  The science is very important.  But it also takes the pressure off of someone like me, who is studying sleep from a different perspective.

I have been doing a kind of experiment with my sleep for the past seven years.  But I feel that I am more of an experiencer than a studier.  I prefer the stage to the audience.  And I would love lots of company up here on this stage of sleep.  I would love to dance with my dreamtime with friends alongside me in their own magic nights boats.  It’s not hard.  I’ll show you the ropes.

And I certainly invite the scientists among you to come sit in the front row and study this magical nighttime mystery.   Study about why I can tell myself where I want to ‘go’ during the night and how I want to feel in the morning with consistent levels of success.

But you scientists may have to take your turn at the wheel on the stage.  It will be fun, I promise.  Like the “Pirates of Penzance” musical play where the ‘bad people’ aren’t so bad and there are curious paradoxes, songs and dancing and a great band, and a happy ending, of course.  Auditions start now.  Just get your script.  It’s called Magic Nights: A Treasure Map and Travel Guide to the Ocean of Power and Possibility in Your Sleeping Mind.

 

 

 

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