Monday, January 31, 2011

Brain and Cognitive Sciences- MIT Open Courseware





Brain and Cognitive Sciences


Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences.

Stress Fixes for Better Sleep



Target the Enemy!

When stress interrupts your sleep on a nightly basis, it sets you up for a chronic insomnia that can send you sliding down the rabbit's hole toward sleeping pills, alcohol, and chocolate cake at night and a zillion cups of coffee during the day. Here's how to step back from that precipice.

Target the enemy. "Every night a couple of hours before bed, sit down and make a list of all the issues, problems, and things you have to deal with," says Donna Arand, Ph.D., clinical director of Kettering Hospital Sleep Disorders Center in Dayton, Ohio. "Next to each item, write a solution or plan." If you're mad at your mother-in-law, for example, the solution could be to call her and talk it out.


Even if it's not something you want to do, write down your ideas for dealing with each stressor you've listed, urges Dr. Arand. Then mull the solutions over.


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Can you control your dreams?



A lucid dreamer is a person who is aware that he or she is dreaming and is able to manipulate the plot and outcome of the dream, like a video game. It is not uncommon, and in children it can happen frequently, even as an expression of creativity, said Gary Schwartz, professor of psychology and neurology at the University of Arizona.

It appears that Jared Loughner, allegedly responsible for the shooting at a supermarket in Tucson, Arizona, on Saturday, took a keen interest in the phenomenon. In the YouTube video called My Final Thoughts: Jared Lee Loughner! that is said to belong to him, he talks about conscious dreaming and reflects a blurring between waking life and reality -- "Jared Loughner is conscience (sic) dreaming at this moment / Thus, Jared Loughner is asleep," he writes.


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