Archives for category: Sleep

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Flipper is a smart fish.

Not only can he do my favourite trick of warding off sharks, but he also uses his sleep time with an effectiveness most new parents can only dream of.

When sleeping, dolphins can’t afford the luxury of physically stopping for a kip. Instead they need to keep swimming, and crucially breathing, to stay alive.

So how do they sleep?

Scientists have found that they actually manage to switch off half their brain, so that the active part can control swimming and breathing, while the rest rests.

Better than that, they team up in pairs to sleep, switching off the respective inner hemispheres (halves) of their brains, so that the outer halves are alert for predators, attack, Elijah Wood, Paul Hogan etc.

Talk about teamwork.

Check out this highly educational video offering rare insight into dolphins and their brains at work.

Note, if you do not find this funny, we prescribe that you need more sleep.

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In our “Sleep Series” today we look at the serious health effects of a lack of sleep and insomnia. A serious lack of sleep can result in a direct effect on clinical depression, obesity, stroke, diabetes and cancer.

The following is an excerpt from the interview between Dr Rubin Naiman and Dr Buczunski at the National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioural Medicine:

“There is very compelling data showing that insomnia, a year of off and on poor sleep, is the single, strongest predictive fact in clinical depression.”

There is very compelling data showing that insomnia, a year of off and on poor sleep is the single, strongest predictive fact in clinical depression. Many of us of course, were taught in graduate school and after that insomnia was a classic symptom of depression and that may be, but the data today is raising a question about whether or not depression is a classic symptom of insomnia, as virtually all depressed people have some sort of sleep disorder. So, it impacts on mood of course.

“Short-sleepers have a 50% increased risk for viral infection.”

We know that there is a profound connection between chronic sleep loss and our physical health. Short sleepers, people who sleep an average of five or six hours or less per night, have a 50% increased risk for viral infection. This is probably true for other kinds of infection too because short sleeping has a profound impact on our immune function.

We see a very strong correlation now between insufficient sleep and increases in cardiovascular disease. We see increases of stroke, high blood pressure, and heart attack. There is a very, very interesting and strong link between diabetes and metabolic disorders in general and being a short sleeper…

And surprising to some maybe not for others, the American Cancer Society did a study of a million American adults and found a correlation, no cause and affect evidence, but a very compelling strong correlation between being a short sleeper and increases in cancers across the board. So that the big picture is that sleep is fundamental to health, along with exercise, nutrition and stress management.”

Dr Naiman’s interview with Dr. Buczynskcan be found at … http://www.pacificariptide.com


The Challenger explosion in 1986 was thought to be caused by human error and sleep deprivation.

Those “on the nod” are also now thought to be responsible for the Exxon Valdez disaster, the Chernobyl disaster, Three Mile Island meltdown, The Challenger explosion, and the Bhopal Chemical disaster in India. So what more proof do we need that a lack of sleep makes your brain grind more slowly?

The following is an excerpt from the interview between Dr Rubin Naiman and Dr Buczunski at the National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioural Medicine:

 “…there’s a direct correlation between insufficient sleep and dysfunctional thinking.”

Dr. Naiman: It affects us both psychologically and medically, biomedically and I think that these two, many of us believe of course that they overlap. We know on a day- to-day basis just losing a little bit of sleep will impact your cognitive process…

…What I’ve noticed is there is a direct correlation between the amount of sleep a person gets or the insufficient sleep I should say and their tendency to engage in dysfunctional thinking. And I think most of us, you don’t have to be a therapist to know this, that sleep loss affects your judgment; it affects your perception, even just a little bit of sleep loss.

Sleep loss contributes very significantly to a decrease in performance. We see serious drops in the quality of work and the quantity of work. And we see a serious rise in accidents. There is some data suggesting that there may be more people having car accidents, motor vehicle accidents associated with driving drowsy than with driving drunk. But we don’t have complete data on this but we know that there are thousands and thousands of accidents caused every year.

From a larger sort of disaster perspective, there is strong data suggesting that the Exxon Valdez disaster, the Chernobyl disaster, Three Mile Island meltdown, The Challenger explosion, the Bhopal Chemical disaster in India, and many, many other large scale disasters like this were directly linked to sleepiness on the part of people involved. So that’s the tip of the iceberg.

Dr Naiman’s interview with Dr. Buczynski can be found at … http://www.pacificariptide.com

Google “sleep pods”; they do exist

Around 3pm each day, Leonardo Da Vinci put down his brush, set aside his easel, and headed down for a zuzz…

A firm believer in following his arcadian rhythms, he intelligently chose not to fight the mid-afternoon nods and instead refreshed himself with a quick nap.

“We are all biologically programmed to nap in the afternoon, whether we like it or not, whether we override it or not,” says Dr Rubin Naiman, psychologist and sleep specialist from the University of Arizona.

“…there is a certain ebb and flow of energy that naturally occurs through the day. We ought not to expect ourselves to be like jet airplanes and just sort of careen through the day with a steady energy. We are all biologically programmed, for example, to nap in the afternoon, whether we like it or not, whether we override it or not. We’re designed; all primates are designed to nap.”

This is just the best news ever. You can read Dr Naiman’s full interview at http://www.pacificariptide.com and visit Dr Naimain at www.drnaiman.com


Sleep Series 2 coming soon: The effects of a lack of sleep on your mental health

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