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Category Archives: Memory

Take Sleep Seriously!

Meet Russell Foster, a circadian neuroscientist who studies sleep patterns in the brain. In the following video, he speaks about a range of topics relating to the importance of sleep.

He first describes three theories on the main function of sleep, as well as which theory he subscribes to. He then discusses what happens to a person (and the person’s brain) when sleep is lacking, as well as ideas about how to improve sleep quality and duration. Foster debunks some common myths and misconceptions about sleep, then speaks about the correlation between mental health and sleep disruption. He urges people to take sleep more seriously and realize the huge role that it plays in making us happy and healthy.

Watch to learn more:

Why Do We Dream?

Dreams are a very mysterious nightly phenomenon. We can only speculate on the purpose of dreams, but they are usually extraordinary in nature and a bit confusing to analyze. Why is it that most of the time we forget what we dreamt about as soon as we wake? Why are our accounts of dreams often unreliable or distorted?

The following video delves into theories about REM sleep and how important it is for forming and storing memories. It also discusses lucid dreams, sleepwalking, and a theory behind why we have so many negative feelings like anxiety and anger while dreaming.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GGzc3x9WJU

Happy Father’s Day!

Father’s Day is a great time to recognize all of the wonderful things dads have done for their children this year. There are many ways to show appreciation, like planning a special event, finding that perfect gift, or doing something nice to help him out. Here are some ideas that are fun for Dad and friendly for the environment.

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Prepare an organic breakfast-in-bed

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Buy him a nice organic-cotton tie, shirt, or bathrobe

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Take him on a trip to a farmer’s market or a local restaurant

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Take him to a concert, festival, or sporting event

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Set up a hammock for him in the backyard so he can relax

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Take him bird watching and take pictures of birds you see

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Go on a hike or bicycle ride and spend some quality time together

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Get a pair of fishing poles and take him out to the river

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Find a nice recipe for dinner that the two of you can make together

Whatever you decide to do, the best part of Father’s Day will be spending some quality time together!

Happy Earth Day from OMI

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25 Facts You May Not Know About Dreaming

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Check out these great and unusual facts, compiled by List 25, that you may have never heard before.

If you do not have time to watch the video we have written them out for you:

25. The average human spends 6 years of his or her life dreaming.

24. Ancient Romans submitted their significant or unusual dreams to the Senate for interpretation.

23. The Beatty Papyrus is the oldest dream dictionary in existence. It was written around 1350 B.C.

P._Chester_Beatty_I,_folio_13-14,_recto 22. Birth order influences the world of progression of dreams. Men generally dream about more violence, and first-born females tend to have more aggressive characters. On the other hand, first-born males tend to dream about themselves in a more positive light than their younger siblings.

21. People who grew up watching black-and-white TV when they were younger dream in more monochrome settings while people who grew up watching color TV have more vivid and colorful dreams.

Family_watching_television_1958 20. Visually impaired people dream too. Those who lost their sight later in life can see visual images in their dreams, while blind people who don’t dream visually can dream in sound, smell, and touch.

19.  We only dream of faces of real people we have encountered but might not remember, because people usually see hundreds of faces every day.

18. Between 18 – 38% of people say they have experienced at least one precognitive dream, and about 70% have experienced déjà vu.

17. Daydreaming, according to psychologists, may be related to dreams that occurred during sleep.  However, they require different mental processes.

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16. Within 5 minutes of waking up, half of dreams are forgotten. Within 10 minutes, 90% are forgotten. In just 10 minutes, however, people are more likely to remember their dreams when they are awakened during REM sleep.

15. Dreams of unpreparedness, falling, flying, and public humiliation come from common human anxieties and seem to transcend social and economic boundaries.

Flying_to_Paradise_Stock_7_by_SimplyBackgrounds 14. The inventor of the sewing machine, Elias Howe, said the cannibals who chased him in his nightmares held spears that looked like the needle he designed.

13. Falling dreams typically occur in the early stages of sleep. The muscle spasms of these dreams are called “myoclonic jerks.”

12. Even fetuses in the womb dream.  Even with the lack of visual stimuli, scientists think their dreams come from sound and touch sensations.

11. Experienced by 40% of the population, sleep paralysis occurs when a sleeper awakens and recognizes his or her surroundings, but is unable to move for up to one minute.

10. Around 70% of characters in men’s dreams are other men, whereas women dream of an equal amount of men and women.

9. Plato believed that dreams originate in the organs of the belly. He described the liver as the “biological seed of the dreams.”

8. Research involving students suggests that waking someone up at the beginning of REM stage of sleep can cause irritability and hallucinations, and can eventually lead to psychosis.

7. William Shakespeare used dreams to help develop characters and advance the plot in many of his plays.

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6. The Greeks regarded dreams as messages from the gods, and would sometimes sleep in sacred places to conjure significant dreams.

5. Children tend to have shorter dreams than adults do, and 40% of them are nightmares.  Scientists believe this is because dreams act as a coping mechanism.

4. Studies have revealed that animals (mammals in particular) dream just like humans.

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3. Known as “Dream Incorporation,” while sleeping you may include or incorporate sounds and stimuli from your surrounding environment into your dream. For example, if your brother is playing a loud guitar next door, you may dream you are at a concert.

2. The word “dream” is most related to the West Germanic “draugmus,” meaning “deception,” “illusion,” or “phantom.”

1. Toddlers do not appear in their own dreams until the age of 3 or 4.

Which fact did you find the most surprising?  Comment below!

How are you sleeping?

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National Sleep Foundation 2012 Bedroom Poll discovered that most consumers are not getting good sleep every night.

When polled the participants were asked, “How many nights can you say, I had a good nights sleep?”

Every night/ almost every night           34%

A few nights a week                                 42%

A few nights a month                              12%

Rarely                                                          10%

Never                                                            2%

The survey shows us how only one-third of consumers say they are getting a good night sleep every night or almost every night.  The big number that gets overlooked is the two-thirds of consumers that are not getting a good night sleep.  And almost one in four consumers are getting a good night sleep just a few nights a month, or less.

What category does your sleep fall into? If you are like 2 out of every 3 consumers that does not get a good night sleep every night, it is time to consider getting a comfortable bed that allows for proper support and comfort.  Visit an OMI retailer to help you get a great night of sleep every night, check HERE for locations near you.

If a full night of sleep is not reason enough, take these health benefits into account:

Major Benefits

Better Health

A study found that C-reactive protein, which is associated with heart attack risk, was higher in people who got six or fewer hours of sleep a night. Inflammation is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, and premature aging. Research indicates that people who get less sleep—six or fewer hours a night—have higher blood levels of inflammatory proteins than those who get more.

Better Weight Control

An earlier bedtime can help boost your diet.  Researchers at the University of Chicago found that dieters who were well rested lost more fat—56% of their weight loss—than those who were sleep deprived, who lost more muscle mass. (They shed similar amounts of total weight regardless of sleep.)  Dieters in the study also felt hungrier when they got less sleep.

Safer Driving

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported in 2009 that being tired accounted for the highest number of fatal single-car run-off-the-road crashes due to the driver’s performance—even more than alcohol!   “Sleepiness is grossly underrated as a problem by most people, but the cost to society is enormous,” Dr. Rapoport says.

“Sleeplessness affects reaction time and decision making.” Insufficient sleep for just one night can be as detrimental to your driving ability as having an alcoholic drink.

 Improve Your Memory

Your mind is surprisingly busy while you snooze. During sleep you can strengthen memories or “practice” skills learned while you were awake in a  process called consolidation. “If you are trying to learn something, whether it’s physical or mental, you learn it to a certain point with practice,” says Dr. Rapoport, who is an associate professor at NYU Langone Medical Center. “But something happens while you sleep that makes you learn it better.” In other words if you’re trying to learn something new—whether it’s Spanish or a new tennis swing—you’ll perform better after sleeping.

Remember to visit an OMI retailer soon to find a mattress that will not only make you sleep soundly, but safely.

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