Quote of the Day

“He is happy whom circumstances suit his temper; but he is more excellent who suits his temper to any circumstance.” -David Hume

 For most college students, exams have either passed or will commence this week. My first is today at 3 o’clock.

With that said, this is it; the final stretch.

It’s been a long semester, and for some, determining whether an A or B, pass or fail, graduation or another semester is on the line. What a precarious situation!

Like many, I’m sure you can’t wait for the uncertainty and what seems like limitless amounts of torture to end. Who could blame you?

But these are the moments that truly define who we are, and our ability to push through regardless of how uncomfortable we feel. We know that by the end of the week everything we just endured will be an after-thought as summer awaits with beautiful weather and the hope to be entertaining.

So I’d like to offer a challenge!

To enjoy the entire process of finals weeks. Treat it as a contract job. You know what you have to do, so get it done and revel in the opportunity.

The light at the end of the tunnel is visible. Stay focused, envision success, and follow through.

Be adaptable to any circumstance. You’ve been through all of this before; last time you may have got so worked up on the daunting possibility of failure that you did more worrying than anything.

Turn that around this time. Embrace the chaos by finding inner tranquility. Meditate upon positive thoughts and outcomes.

And remember, being at peace does not mean you’re in a place where there is no hard work, noise, or trouble; but rather being in the midst of all those things, and still being calm in your heart and mind.

Good luck!

Strange but True

Less Sleep Means More Dreams

Missing sleep tonight may just boost your dreams tomorrow night.

by Christie Nicholson

About three years ago Eva Salem got into some trouble with a crocodile. It snapped her hand in its jaws. In a panic, she managed to knock out the crocodile and free herself. Then, she woke up.

“I imagine that’s what it’s like when you’re on heroin. That’s what my dreams were like—vivid, crazy and active,” she says. Salem, a new mother, had been breast-feeding her daughter for five months before the croc-attack dream, living on four hours of sleep a night. If she did sleep a full night, her dreams boomeranged, becoming so vivid that she felt like she wasn’t sleeping at all.

Dreams are amazingly persistent. Miss a few from lack of sleep and the brain keeps score, forcing payback soon after eyelids close. “Nature’s soft nurse,” as Shakespeare called sleep, isn’t so soft after all.

“When someone is sleep deprived we see greater sleep intensity, meaning greater brain activity during sleep; dreaming is definitely increased and likely more vivid,” says neurologist Mark Mahowald of the University of Minnesota and director of the Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center in Minneapolis.

The phenomenon is called REM rebound. REM refers to “rapid eye movement,” the darting of the eyes under closed lids. In this state we dream the most and our brain activity eerily resembles that of waking life. Yet, at the same time, our muscles go slack and we lie paralyzed—a toe might wiggle, but essentially we can’t move, as if our brain is protecting our bodies from acting out the stories we dream.

Sleep is divided into REM and four stages of non-REM; each has a distinct brain wave frequency. Stage one of non-REM is the nodding off period where one is between sleeping and waking; it’s sometimes punctuated with a sensation of falling into a hole. In stage two the brain slows with only a few bursts of activity. Then the brain practically shuts off in stages three and four and shifts into slow-wave sleep, where heart and breathing rates drop dramatically.

Only after 70 minutes of non-REM sleep do we experience our first period of REM, and it lasts only five minutes. A total non-REM–REM cycle is 90 minutes; this pattern repeats about five times over the course of a night. As the night progresses, however, non-REM stages shorten and the REM periods grow, giving us a 40-minute dreamscape just before waking.

The only way scientists can study REM deprivation is by torturous sleep deprivation. “We follow the [electroencephalogram] tracing and then when we see [subjects] moving into REM, we wake them up,” says psychologist Tore Nielsen, director of the Dream and Nightmare Lab at the Sacré-Coeur Hospital in Montreal. “As soon as you start to rob them of REM, the pressure for them to go back into REM starts to build.” Sometimes Nielsen will have to wake them 40 times in one night because they go directly into REM as soon as they are asleep.

Of course there is non-REM rebound as well, but the brain gives priority to the slow-wave sleep and then to REM, suggesting that the states are independent of each other.

In a 2005 study published in Sleep, Nielsen showed that losing 30 minutes of REM one night can lead to a 35 percent REM increase the next night—subjects jumped from 74 minutes of REM to a rebound of 100 minutes.

Nielsen also found that dream intensity increased with REM deprivation. Subjects who were only getting about 25 minutes of REM sleep rated the quality of their dreams between nine and eight on a nine-point scale (one being dull, nine being dynamite).

Of course, REM deprivation, and the subsequent rebound, is common outside the lab. Alcohol and nicotine both repress REM. And blood pressure drugs as well as antidepressants are also well known REM suppressants. (Take away the dreams and, curiously, the depression lifts.) When patients stop the meds, and the vices, they’re rewarded with a scary rebound.

Filosophy Phriday: Charles Schultz

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schultz , the creator of the “Peanuts” comic strip. 

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world .

2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.

3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America Contest.

4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.

5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.

6. Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. They are not second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one: 


1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school…

2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.

3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.

4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.

5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easier?

The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are NOT the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones who care. 

Share this with those who have made a difference in your life.