Archive for the ‘Sleep’ Category

28 Hour Day

I’m working on a new sleep schedule. It won’t work this quarter–but maybe in the Autumn. Then again, winter is the best time to explore sleep changes…

Here’s the idea:

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Where to Meet Your Friends

My friendships have been relegated to my dreams. I worked late last night, sleeping only to see my friends.

“Thanks for the book.”
“oh, yeah, glad you like it.”

Then we have a discussion on personal education philosophy and practices.
Sometimes, lately, I’m not sure if I had a conversation with a friend or if all happened in a dream.

“Didn’t we go to their house last week and play cards or something…?”
“No, it’s been a while.”

Optimistically, at least I remember having good times.

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Sleepy Brainstorming

I used to lie awake, in bed, thinking about time travel, cause and effect, logical fallacies, the history of the universe, the microcosmic dust and the macrocosmic crust–anything unknown that needed a good hypothesis.

Now, I lie there thinking about innanities, filling out forms, paying bills, the state of the economy, work, work and more work. All these worries and obsessions, so human, are so restrictive.

I just can’t find it in me at the moment to become creative about beurocracy. This makes it difficult to sleep.

I used to start dreaming to fall asleep, starting with something abstract and twisting it until it was even more difficult to articulate. Soon, all would be a haze of dream and random thought stream.

I need this again.

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Neo-Tokyo Towers

I’m up in a skyscraper that scrapes the ionosphere. It’s mostly under construction on the bottom of the tower but it’s all finished and full of people up top. There are escalators everywhere and I’m running down them. My Heely skate shoes come in handy as I round the corner and glide down one of the special wheelchair ramp escalators. It’s totally flat but it moves me faster than I can run. When I hit the bottom of the ramp I grab hold of a metal bar encircling the next escalator and I jump up through the opening that separates the pedestrian walkway from the pedestrian freeway. Now I’m flying. My feet tap every fiftieth step on the electric stairway, just enough to keep my momentum but the angle of descent is enough for me to nearly free-fall down dozens of floors.
Although I’m going fast, I know they are not far behind me, Yakuza, gokudō, but not bōryokudan–this group isn’t violent by nature. I think they just want to question me, why, I don’t know but I’m running anyway. It’s not that I mind answering questions, I just like to answer questions with all my fingers intact at the end of the conversation.
In almost no time at all, I’m nearing the underdeveloped part of the tower. The are no longer any escalators and I must take one of the large elevators they use to cart equipment. It also carries a lot of people on sometimes, like tonight, where countless tuxedo and gown clad citizens celebrate on the roof, gazing at the less distant stars, getting drunk off of the high altitude.
For a second, I worry that they may have someone stationed in the lift. Luckily, they had flown in and landed on the roof. They must not have had anyone come from the ground, yet. The elevator takes me all the way down to the basement level, my ears popping all the way. In the lowest level of the building, there are even more people than on the roof. They are getting ready for a Cirque performance of some kind.
I grab a seat, trying to be inconspicuous. The show starts and immediately I am unimpressed. They have giraffe unicycle magicians catching fine pieces of cloth, which are being projected out of thin air, but I can see a black gloved hand throwing them from behind an even blacker drapery. The contortionists are weak and the jugglers falter.

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50 Tips from NOED

The Nursing Online Education Database just posted a list of 50 sleeping tips. It’s a nice list with some really great things to try if you want to experiment with your sleep in subtle ways.

Keeping in mind that I am not a nurse nor a doctor, I still have some comments based on my own sleep experiences. I find it necessary to comment because very little scientific research has actually been done on sleep. Personal experiences add a necessary supplement to the modicum of information out there.

#5. Don’t go to bed with a full stomach
When attempting to get an 8 hour night of continuous sleep, I think this is one of the most important factors of having a both a restful night of sleep and an easy awakening without feeling groggy. Food digestion slows with the rest of your body functions at night and if you have food in your stomach at all, it will sit there for as long as you do. I have always felt groggy and unrested, regardless of how much sleep I get, in times that I have eaten before bed. I have been in the habit lately of actually staying up later (and getting less hours of sleep) just to insure that I rid my body of all food before going to sleep. It has paid off remarkably.

#14. Never go to bed hungry
I have to disagree slightly with this one. While, in my experience, going to bed starving or even with a blatant hunger is not a good idea, being right on the verge of getting hungry and leaning on the side of hunger has been quite a good experience for me.
When I was working dinner shifts in the restaurant industry, going to school during the day, I was on a fairly strict schedule. I ate dinner a little after 5pm and had a small snack (and plenty of water) during my shift. My work shift was great exercise–resulting in plenty of sweat and sore muscles throughout the week. I was always incredibly tired when I got off work between 12:30-1am. I went to bed a little hungry at about 2am and I would always wake up at about 8am or 9am, jumping out of bed with energy and feeling very ready to start the day (stopping at the kitchen before the shower). For breakfast, I always had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (every day for over 9 months). Being allergic to milk gives me fun alternatives to the normal American breakfast cereal morning.
I was on that schedule for about 9 months, sleeping 6-7 hours a night consistently. I remember feeling more alert, better rested and happier than I have on any other sleeping regiment–even than the year I spent working graveyard, sleeping a consistent 10 hours a night, in which I had the best, longest, most vivid dreams that I could ever remember and even experienced my first lucid dreams.

#25. Take Melatonin
I tried Melatonin once and aside from vivid dreams and feeling well rested in the morning, it wasn’t a great experience (read Melatonin or LCD).
Last November, Science Daily published an article called < a href="">Hormone of Darkness: Melatonin Could Hurt Memory Formation At Night, which announces new sleep studies on zebra fish (grain of salt: they are not mammals, which may be important).
Now, there are other articles and research studies on mice (mammals) that show the opposite–that Melatonin actually may improve learning.
I decided to try Melatonin after reading the very detailed Melatonin Wikpedia article, which convinced me that it was worth trying and I may try it again since I still have a bottle of 2 stage release tablets.
Talk About Sleep has a great article on correct use of Melaton
I recommend to anyone wanting to experiment with it, to read all of the links within this post :)

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Melatonin or LCD?

Last night, I took a two stage release Melatonin tablet at 23:00. Melatonin, is a neural transmitter produced in the pineal gland, used by the brain to regulate sleep cycles. This particular tablet releases .25mg 30 minutes after ingestion and then dispenses the remaining .75mg 3-4 hours later. Even though I went to bed at 00:20, I didn’t fall asleep until after 03:00. Even after the initial series of tossing and turning, it seemed I didn’t sleep at all. And yet, I feel quite well rested and I remember several vivid dreams.

The Dreams

Falling from a plane is not a good time when you don’t have a parachute. This I learned with 3 other army guys who all got shot up with something and shoved in the cargo bay of a high flying helicopter. After the machine began it’s long descent, we slipped out an opening and came to consciousness just as our gear belts caught on the railing. As we screamed at one another, against the furious force of the wind, a radio began to emit the cries of a friend. A friend was telling us that we might not die. There are parachutes behind the passenger seat. We just need to climb back up into the cockpit and retrieve them. And by the way, you only have 10,000ft before you go splat.
Upon reaching the cockpit, without a moment to spare, we discover that our assailants stripped the cockpit of anything useful. No shoots. No chance. What were we to do but ride out the fall? And we did, until we landed at a peculiar angle on the freeway. Going about the pace of traffic, we slid in and started to drive with it. Even in a traffic jam though, we couldn’t shake the feeling of inertia mixed with vertigo.

I’m walking through Ballard, only it’s not Ballard but some place I’ve never been. I’m exploring since I have no way of getting home and I decide to get lunch. Our kitten, Cassiopeia, is nestled upside down in the fold of my shirt, just around my waist. She looks up at me as I walk but is not disturbed by the motions. As I round into a pizza place, I pick Cassy out of her pouch and she becomes a baby. Suddenly much heavier and clothed, I sit at a counter stool next to a fairly attractive girl who’s ordering a vegan pizza. I too order a vegan pizza, with mushrooms, olives and bell peppers. Everyone loves the baby and wants to hold it. While I’m eating, the girl next to me asks if the baby is safe with that stranger over there. The stranger in question is a makeshift midget. His legs are severed below the knee and he wears shoes to cover the stumps. He’s slowly rolling the baby toward the door every time my eyes appear not to follow him.
“Don’t worry about it. I’m watching.”
I walk over, crouched down, I extend my foot to keep the door closed, just as a patron tries to enter. That time, the door would have smacked the baby on the head. I reprimand the short man and return to the counter with the baby.

There’s quite a bit more, but I need to eat breakfast. After my shower, I half ejected a bit of morning bile. I managed to subdue it for the moment. I suspect some of my trouble sleeping last night was from dehydration. I suffered a bout of shortened breath and heat exhaustion from about 02:00-03:00. We’ll see how waking up at 06:30 works tomorrow.

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Dead Letters

I couldn’t sleep well last night. I think it has something to do with the home made blackberry/cherry/grape wine.
I just wrote my first dead letter (a letter to a friend in case of my death). I was planning on writing several but then I thought, “Hey, why not take a bunch of videos. They will be more entertaining while making it easier for the recipients to claim legal holding over my assets.”
Now, I just have to do it.
The letter was shorter than I wanted–but what do you say in a letter you hope nobody will ever have to read.

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Dream: Kung Fu Graffiti Afro

There was this old church that had the bottom floor turned into a community center. There were dozens of floors above us that were still the original building. I was talking to this group of adolescent guys I didn’t know. They said they were graffiti artists. I saw one of them sparing with another and they said that was their thing. They all liked to spar but they all had their own styles. I said I’d like to try out my hand against one of them. They weren’t hitting each other hard–it was just playful whacking.

In the main room, a couple of them stood up and said they would challenge anyone with their Gung-Fu style. A slightly larger group stood up and posed in a horse stance with their fingers pointed out, “We will beat you with our Pointing Style.”

Another larger group leaped off the ground and hovered in unison, all in lotus position with nothing but their index fingers holding them off the ground. “Feather Touch will destroy you all!”.

The groups grew larger and more specialized and when everyone had set up for the fight, I realized I should get involved.

I came crashing through the ceiling with a mighty afro hair style–somewhat mangled from going through the ceiling. I looked like I put my finger in a light socket. “Wild Hair Style!”

Everyone began and somehow I managed to get through the mass unscathed.

An earthquake suddenly hit and I was the only one left on the bottom floor. Someone said falling through the ceiling was a good approach to death at this point because if you died outside you would have no chance at eternal life. We were somehow all evil but forgiven if having died in a church. I decided to go outside.

Hills shook and people lost balance but the quake subsided fairly quickly.

There’s much more but I can’t spend all day writing. I’ve got some errands to run. Maybe later I’ll finish up the story. Here are some reminder notes:

Police force, tapping phone lines. The mole. The secretary with a secret crush. Spearmint posing as peppermint but calling himself outright the “Kandy Kid”.

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Eating and Drinking

Last night, I went to the College Inn Pub to celebrate the coming weekend with some of Lena’s coworkers. I didn’t have anything to drink but some cranberry juice. We ate chips and salsa, then I had some chicken tenders at IHOP while Lena sobered up to drive us home. By the time we got home, it was bedtime and I could still taste the food we had recently consumed.
When I awoke this morning, I felt like I had indulged in a few drinks–even though I didn’t.
I’ve read that eating within 3 hours of bedtime is not very healthy. I suspect this is the case only with monophasic schedules though. When I was on the polyphasic system, I found that eating before a nap was practical and easy, without the side effects of feeling hung-over.
The reason for the hung over feeling has to do with deep sleep slowing down digestion to almost nothing. So, if a person sleeps for 6 hours straight (as I did last night), food just sits partially digested. Not a very pleasant thing to wake up to. However, when I was only sleeping for 20-40 minutes, it didn’t have much of an impact (if any) on the digestion process.
I’ve also noticed a distinct difficulty remembering my dreams on days when I wake up with the grogginess of a late night meal.

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So, my sleep experiment may be at an end–for the time being. My schedule is a little too booked to fit time for naps in the middle of the day (and at night). Since I missed about 5 days worth of evening naps and overslept the next morning on each occassion, I think the schedule would definately be doable if the rest of my life permitted it.
I’m not taking classes next quarter, so I think I’ll try it again at the start of the new year. Until then, I’m going to keep logging my sleep times to have a regular schedule to compare it to.
I won’t stop the blog either. I’ll write my dreams and whatever research I come up with. By mid December, my full research paper will be online.

Something about last night that was interesting:

Pictures soaked in glass jars full of water, enlarged for viewing. Some sort of way to find people.
Flowers, dripping bloody stems when cut by men for their women, a ritual sacrifice of beauty. Some sort of way to regain youth.

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