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Medicine Science

The Brain's Secret For Sleeping Like a Log 259

Posted by Soulskill
from the light-exercise-and-a-fifth-of-rum dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Why can some people sleep through anything? According to this article in Wired Science, some lucky people have an extra helping of a certain kind of brain static that essentially blocks out noise and other stimuli. These 'sleep spindles' can be detected via EEG, and show up as brief bursts of high-frequency brain waves; some people naturally produce more than others. The researchers say these spindles are produced by the thalamus, the brain region that acts as a waystation for sensory information. If the thalamus is busy producing sleep spindles, sensory information can't make it through the thalamus to the cortex, the perceptive part of the brain."
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The Brain's Secret For Sleeping Like a Log

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  • by simoncpu was here (1601629) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @02:32AM (#33200894)
    I know this a troll, but this is very true. Our bodies produce proloactin and oxytocin after sex so we fall asleep afterwards. They're our bodies' natural sleeping pill.
  • Re:Sleep (Score:2, Informative)

    by SteelCougar307 (1070026) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @04:56AM (#33201408) Homepage

    Ah, the life of a night owl.

    I know it sounds weird, but you might try keeping a sleep journal. It could help you collect data and maybe see what's going on. I just started using a program called SleepChart [supermemo.com]. Seems like it will take a long time to gather enough data, but maybe it will be helpful.

    IANAD or anything, though. Just someone else who isn't a morning person.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @07:17AM (#33202168)

    ...opiates. I suffer from chronic insomnia and out of everything I have tried taking including diphenhydramine (benadryl), Ambien, Lunesta, and melatonin, the best and most consistently effective medication has been...hydrocodone, vicodin. I have periods were I can sleep through loud sounds, and periods when the slightest noise wakes me up. I have times when no matter how much I sleep I feel groggy and tired in the morning and periods when just a few hours leaves me rested and alert. The only thing consistent is that a single vicodin let's me sleep undisturbed for 7-8 hours and I feel completely relaxed and rested in the morning. I wish I could explain that to my doctor and not be instantly written off as a drug seeker. People with no addictive behavior (I'd say no capacity for addiction at all) suffer because the vast majority of humanity can't be responsible with pharmaceuticals.

    I'd welcome any advance in science which could provide the same benefit without the obvious downsides of regular opiate use, but I think the problem is actually rather simple and was solved thousands of years ago when man discovered that the poppy plant, when prepared correctly relieved all forms of suffering - although not without great cost. A close second to opiates is Lunesta, but my doctor acts like that's just as bad as taking heroin if I use it for more than a few days. So no luck there.

    I guess I just need more "spindles"

  • Re:Alcohol (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @03:46PM (#33208104)

    The way I do it is by successive approximation. It's not the best or fastest way, and not the way you'd do it on paper. However, in your head it's quite doable.

    Say you are trying to find the root of 29. Guesstimate the root: it's between 5 and 6, and probably more to the five side. So, first approximation is 5.5 and now we check that by squaring it. Multiply 5.5 by 5.5 gives 30.25, which is on the high side. Try 5.4, which gives 29.16.

    That's close enough to expand a decimal. Next approximation is 5.38 (because we're quite close on the previous pass). Multiplying 5.38 by 5.38 gives 28.9444. Close enough for another decimal, so next try is 5.385....

    It really helps to know the product rules:

    (x+a)(x-a) = x^2 - a^2 , which is convenient for things like:

    53 * 47 = (50 + 3)(50 - 2) = 2500 - 9 = 2491

    and

    (x+a)(x+a) = x^2 + 2xa + a^2, which makes things like:

    113^2 = (100 + 13) ^ 2 = 100^2 + 2600 + 13^2 = 10000 + 2600 + 169 = 12769

    I assume you memorized all squares upto (at least) 25 in elementary school.

    Anyway, this post proves my point rather well, as I'm "drunk" enough to not be able to have a conversation, but I'm quite sure my math above is correct, barring typo's.

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