The Scientific Power of Naps

Taking a nap, we’ve seen time and again, is like rebooting your brain.  Everyone likes to get a quick nap in every now and then, but napping may be as much of an art as it is a science. The Wall Street Journal offers recommendations for planning your perfect nap, including how long to nap and when.

 

The sleep experts in the article say a 10-to-20-minute power nap gives you the best “bang for your buck,” but depending on what you want the nap to do for you, other durations might be ideal.  For a quick boost of alertness, experts say a 10-to-20-minute power nap is adequate for getting back to work in a pinch.

For cognitive memory processing, however, a 60-minute nap may do more good, Dr. Mednick said. Including slow-wave sleep helps with remembering facts, places and faces. The downside: some grogginess upon waking.

“If you take it longer than 30 minutes, you end up in deep sleep. Have you ever taken a nap and felt worse when you woke up? That’s what’s happening — you’re sleeping too long and you’re going into a stage of sleep that’s very difficult to get out of.” – Dr. Michael Breus

Finally, the 90-minute nap will likely involve a full cycle of sleep, which aids creativity and emotional and procedural memory, such as learning how to ride a bike. Waking up after REM sleep usually means a minimal amount of sleep inertia, Dr. Mednick said.

In fact, a study published in PubMed in 2002 found that napping even for 5-10 minutes creates a heightened sense of alertness and increased cognitive ability in comparison to no nap.  So really, you want to be taking a 10-20 minute nap for a quick recharge, or a 60-90 minute nap for a deep sleep rejuvenation.

In addition to those recommendations, one surprising suggestion is to sit slightly upright during your nap, because it will help you avoid a deep sleep. And if you find yourself dreaming during your power naps, it may be a sign you’re sleep deprived.

– See more at: http://www.spiritscienceandmetaphysics.com/how-long-to-nap-for-the-biggest-brain-benefits/#sthash.BXn5O0LQ.dpuf

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Marijuana: The High and the Low

Fun Facts:

1.  The Queen of England smoked it!  (Another bowl, Your Majesty?)

2.  Our bodies make it!

 

Cannabis is one of the oldest psychotropic drugs in continuous use. Archaeologists have discovered it in digs in Asia that date to the Neolithic period, around 4000BCE. The most common species of the plant is Cannabis sativa, found in both tropical and temperate climates. Marijuana is a Mexican term that first referred to cheap tobacco and now denotes the dried leaves and flowers of the hemp plant. Hashish is Arabic for Indian hemp and refers to its viscous resin. An emperor of China, Shen Nung, also the discoverer of tea and ephedrine, is held to be among the first to report on therapeutic uses of cannabis in a medicinal compendium that dates to 2737 BCE. In 1839, William O’Shaughnessy, a British doctor working in India, published a paper on cannabis as an analgesic and appetite stimulant that also tempered nausea, relaxed muscles, and might ameliorate epileptic seizures. His observations led to widespread medical use of cannabis in the United Kingdom; it was prescribed to Queen Victoria for relief of menstrual discomfort.

Many who make public policy or are associated with interest groups respond to marijuana research according to the views of these groups: their interpretations say more about their own biases than about the actual data. For example, prohibitionists contend that THC often appears in the blood of people involved in auto accidents; yet they omit the fact that most of these people also had been drinking alcohol. Antiprohibitionists cite research that showed no sign of memory problems in chronic marijuana smokers; but they do not mention that the cognitive tests were so easy that even an impaired person could perform them.

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ESSENTIAL & EASY Natural Remedies and Natural Lifestyle Tips

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The Science of Sleep

Every living thing is regulated by a roughly 24-hour internal clock, which keeps ticking even when there is no light around to signal what time it is. But here’s where things get tricky. There isn’t just one body clock – groups of molecules have their own individual circadian rhythms that are regulated by a single master timekeeper in the brain, known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus, or SCN. One of the more important discoveries that Foster’s research group has made is that specialized light-sensitive cells in the eye feed information to the brain and help regulate the SCN. The discovery has helped scientists understand not only how light affects whether we feel sleepy or alert, but also why crossing time zones gives us jet lag. They’ve also found links between severe mental illness and out-of-kilter body clocks, suggesting that one way to help such sufferers is simply to help them reset those clocks.

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