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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Sleep: FINAL Post--Mental health and sleep disruption

Mental health and sleep disruption: Mentally ill people always have sleep disruption. Often, sleep deprivation precedes mental illness—neural networks that give normal sleep and normal mental health are linked. Sleep disruption could be a marker for potential mental illness.

 Link to Russell Foster’s TED Talk

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Sleep: Post #9--Getting Sleep

Getting Sleep: Do you feel tired, do people say you look tired, need an alarm clock, need stimulants?? Best sleep comes when it’s cool, dark, quiet (like a cave). Don’t overstimulate before sleep, avoid caffeine, avoid harsh lights…wind down.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Sleep: Post #8--Tired Brain

A Tired Brain wants caffeine, drugs, nicotine, alcohol—a vicious cycle. Weight gain: if you get less than 5 hours of sleep, the body produces ghrelin—a hunger hormone—and you’re 50% more likely to be overweight. Sustained stress due to sleep loss can lead to cancer, diabetes, CV disease.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sleep: Post #7--Sleep deprivation.

Sleep Deprivation:  In 1950, we got 8 hours, but today we sleep only 6.5. Teens need 9 hours, but only get 5.  Shift work: Body clock does not adapt—quality of sleep is poor—simulates jet lag. A result can be micro-sleep—involuntary sleep. Thirty-one percent (31%) of drivers will fall asleep at the wheel in their lifetime, and over 100,000 accidents a year are associated with sleep at the wheel. Poor judgment due to sleep deprivation contributed to the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. Sleep deficits account for impulsivity, poor judgment, poor memory and poor creativity.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sleep: Post #6--Russel Foster--Summary of his TED Talk

Why do we sleep? ~Russell Foster (2103 TED Talk)

We treat sleep lightly. Sleep was once revered—Shakespeare called it “the sweet honey-dew of sleep.” But later, people like Edison had a dimmer view—“Sleep is a criminal waste of time!” We spend 1/3 of our time sleeping. But you don’t eat, work, or do much of anything while sleeping, so we sometimes consider it a waste of time. BUT: The brain does not shut down when we sleep—it does important things: 1) Restoration—a host of genes are only turned on during sleep for restoration; 2) Sleep enhances both learning and memory consolidation—hard to learn when you’re tired; 3) Innovation is enhanced by 3 times with proper sleep. Neural connections that are important are strengthened and others loosened—basic consolidation.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Sleep: Post #5--Alzheimer's

Alzheimer's: What gets cleared—Amyloid-beta—a waste protein made in the brain. In Alzheimer patients, amyloid-beta builds up and gets backed up (acts like a pollutant). Clearance of this protein is rapid in sleep. Sleep problems often precede and may contribute to development of Alzheimer’s. Sleep keeps our brain clean and ready for important mental activity when we’re awake.

Link to Jeff Iliff’s TED Talk:

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Sleep: Post #4--Brain Restoration

Brain Restoration: MOST Surprising Finding: CSF flushing and restoring of the
brain only takes place during sleep! When you sleep, your brain cells shrink and CSF gets pumped down along the circulatory system to flush out waste. But when you’re awake, the brain puts off restoration and clearing. It waits until, and only until, you’re asleep.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Sleep: Post #3--Brain Waste Clearance

Brain Waste Clearance: The brain is surrounded by a large supply of Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF)—blood dumps waste into the CSF. A specialized plumbing system is at work in the brain. CSF gets pumped down into the brain alongside the blood vessels. It’s an elegant and clever design due to the confined size of the skull and compactness of the brain—it replaces the lymphatic system. NO other organ uses this system

Monday, December 8, 2014

Sleep: Post #2--Nutrients and Waste

Circulatory System solves the nutrient supply issue—gets nutrients and oxygen to every cell in our body. The lymphatic system (a parallel system) solves the waste-removal problem from our cellular activity. However, lymphatic vessels are not in the brain.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Sleep: Post #1--Brain Nutrients and Waste

The Importance of Sleep
One more reason to get a good night’s sleep. ~Jeff Iliff (2014 TED Talk) Summary

Brain Nutrients and Waste--Sleep is an elegant design to solve one of  two problems that every organ in the body has to solve: 1) How to get nutrients to the organ and 2) How to get waste away from the organ. These are especially important tasks for the brain, which is only 2%of our body mass but uses 25% of its energy.

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