Manual Sleep & Dreaming. Origins, Nature and Functions

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  1. Download Sleep Dreaming Origins Nature And Functions 1979
  2. A sleepy common ancestor
  3. The Science Behind Dreaming - Scientific American
  4. On Dreaming

Workaholics like to quote him on his contempt for sleep. Advocates of polyphasic sleep claim he was a polyphasic sleeper. Indeed, Edison's contempt for sleep is well documented. Yet it can only be attributed to his ignorance. Little was known about the biological role of sleep at his time.

He believed wrongly that, as with food, humans will always sleep more than necessary given a opportunity. As a natural short sleeper, he believed long sleep is a sign of laziness: " Most people overeat percent, and oversleep percent, because they like it.

Download Sleep Dreaming Origins Nature And Functions 1979

That extra percent makes them unhealthy and inefficient. The person who sleeps eight or ten hours a night is never fully asleep and never fully awake - they have only different degrees of doze through the twenty-four hours ". In a parallel flash of ignorance, Edison could not see much value in physical exercise. His winter home featured one of the first modern swimming pools, yet Edison never used it. His co-workers noted that Edison actually slept far more than he would like to admit.

Clearly, he would carry sleeping little as a badge of honor. He catnapped a lot, and his nap cots have been preserved to this day in Edison museums.

By no means could I though find any credible evidence that Edison's napping complied to any regiment other than "nap when sleepy", which usually turns out to match a biphasic pattern. The most reliable information I could find about Edison's sleep was his own diary kept only for a short time while approaching the age of forty. From this diary we can learn a lot about his sleeping habits. He seemed rather obsessed with getting a good night sleep as his day would often start with notes on the quality of sleep.

The better he slept the happier he seemed. That's quite the opposite of what polyphasic proponents claim. Instead of maximizing waking hours, Edison would rather maximize the hours in which he could use his well refreshed mind. And that's exactly what seems most rational from the point of view of physiology of sleep, mental hygiene, and productivity.

After a short stint under Edison's umbrella, Nikola Tesla became a bitter rival of his former mentor. We have all heard of the "war of the currents", but Edison and Tesla clashed in another battlefield. They tried to outbid each other in sleeping little.

A sleepy common ancestor

Tesla noted that Edison slept much more than he would want others to believe. That injects a dose of boastful personality to their own reports on how much the great inventors slept. Tesla who could indeed work throughout the night, would often crash for the entire day of sleep after his exploits.

He exhibited classic signs of manic creativity, which might have been interrupted by short recuperative naps or long recovery sleep. Otherwise, Tesla was nothing more than a short sleeper. He was too busy with his pursuits to ever think of anything resembling a strict polyphasic schedule. That would be a strait jacket on his flamboyant personality.

All in all, the whole list of polyphasic geniuses seems to be lacking any credible evidence. As such it is probably a child of collective wishful thinking committed by those who would love to add waking hours to their day. Polyphasic sleep for dummies. Some of the biological argument presented in this article may not be entirely suitable and convincing for teenagers, esp. Let's then reword it all in baby language. Experience shows that "for dummies" sections are most popular and most effective in conveying the message.

Disclaimer: the models presented below are used for illustration only and are a remote approximation of real processes occurring in sleep. During the day, while learning and experiencing new things, you store your new data in RAM memory. During the night, while first in NREM, you write the data down to the hard disk.

Overnight, you repeat the write-and-defragment cycle until all RAM data is neatly written to the disk for long-term use , and your RAM is clear and ready for a new day of learning. At waking up, you reboot the computer. If you reboot early with the use of an alarm clock, you often leave your disk fragmented.

Your data access is slow, and your thinking is confused.

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Even worse, some of the data may not even get written to the disk. It is as if you have never stored it in RAM in the first place. In conclusion, if you use an alarm clock, you endanger your data. If you do not care about your intellectual performance, you may want to know that there are many biological reasons for which using alarm clocks is basically unhealthy. Those run beyond the scope of this article. Many people use alarm clocks and live. Yet this is not much different from smoking, abusing drugs, or indulging in fat-dripping pork. You may abuse your brain with alcohol for years, and still become president.

Many of mankind's achievements required interrupted sleep.

The Science Behind Dreaming - Scientific American

Many inventions were produced by sleepy brains. But nothing is able to change the future as much as a brain refreshed with a healthy dose of restful sleep. Your whole sleep cycle can be explained with the clock and hourglass model. Deep in your brain, your body clock is running on a 24 hours cycle.

Every 24 hours, the clock releases a sleepy potion that puts you to sleep. If you try to sleep at wrong hours, without the sleepy potion, you may find it very hard to fall asleep. All insomniacs suffers from the lack of sleepy potion. If they go to sleep too early, before they get their fix of sleepy potion, they will toss and turn. Often for hours. You need to listen to your body clock to know when it is the right moment to go to sleep.

Yet the sleepy potion produced by the body clock is not enough to put you to sleep. The brain also uses the hourglass of mental energy that gives you some time every day that you can devote to intellectual work. When you wake up, the hourglass is full and starts being emptied. With every waking moment, with everything your brain absorbs, with every mental effort, the hourglass is less and less full.

Only when the hourglass of mental energy is empty, will you able to quickly fall asleep. If your sleepy potion tries to put you to sleep but your hourglass is full, you will be very groggy, tired, but you will not fall asleep. If, on the other hand, you try to sleep without the sleepy potion while the hourglass of power is empty, you may succeed, but you will wake up very fast with your hourglass full again. That will make sleeping again nearly impossible.

Insomniacs go to sleep before the body clock releases the sleepy potion. When you wake up early with an alarm clock, you can hardly get to your feet because your body is full of sleepy potion, which begs you to go back to sleep.

  • Sleep And Dreaming Origins Nature And Functions.
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  • The Internet Classics Archive | On Sleep and Sleeplessness by Aristotle.

When you are drowsy in the afternoon, your hourglass of mental power might be almost empty. A quick nap will then help you fill it up again and be very productive in the evening. If you drink coffee in the morning, it helps you charge the hourglass and add some extra mental energy. But coffee combined with the sleepy potion produce a poisonous mix that engulfs your brain in sickly miasma.

If you try to drink coffee to stay up in the night, you will feel like a horse kicked you in the stomach. That's the acme of a criminal attack on your brain's health. If you decide to sleep polyphasically. You will have to use an alarm clock. Otherwise you will not wake up in the night. Once you use the alarm clock, you will be sleep deprived. That will make your hourglass conveniently drained of energy.

Empty hourglass will make napping easier indeed. But it is the hourglass that determines your mental powers. With the hourglass empty, you will be nothing more than an empty-headed zombie.

On Dreaming

To generate naps at equal intervals, you would have to kill the h circadian component of sleepiness. You would have to kill your body clock, and prevent the release of the sleepy potion. That is not possible. The sleepy potion will be released every 24 hour and make you sleepy; however, much you fight it. The shortest natural night sleep rarely goes beneath 3 hours.

Many biphasic sleepers can do well on 4 hours. Yet most adolescents may need 7 or 8 hours of night sleep to function optimally. In healthy sleep, daytime naps are either impossible or very short. If you track your sleep with SleepChart freeware , you will see it on your own.