background preloader

Internal Time: The Science of Chronotypes, Social Jet Lag, and Why You’re So Tired

Internal Time: The Science of Chronotypes, Social Jet Lag, and Why You’re So Tired
by Maria Popova Debunking the social stigma around late risers, or what Einstein has to do with teens’ risk for smoking. “Six hours’ sleep for a man, seven for a woman, and eight for a fool,” Napoleon famously prescribed. (He would have scoffed at Einstein, then, who was known to require ten hours of sleep for optimal performance.) This perceived superiority of those who can get by on less sleep isn’t just something Napoleon shared with dictators like Hitler and Stalin, it’s an enduring attitude woven into our social norms and expectations, from proverbs about early birds to the basic scheduling structure of education and the workplace. But in Internal Time: Chronotypes, Social Jet Lag, and Why You’re So Tired, a fine addition to these 7 essential books on time, German chronobiologist Till Roenneberg demonstrates through a wealth of research that our sleep patterns have little to do with laziness and other such scorned character flaws, and everything to do with biology. (Thanks, Jalees.)

http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/05/11/internal-time-till-roenneber/

Related:  Brain

Spectral Signatures of Reorganised Brain Networks in Disorders of Consciousness Abstract Theoretical advances in the science of consciousness have proposed that it is concomitant with balanced cortical integration and differentiation, enabled by efficient networks of information transfer across multiple scales. Here, we apply graph theory to compare key signatures of such networks in high-density electroencephalographic data from 32 patients with chronic disorders of consciousness, against normative data from healthy controls. Based on connectivity within canonical frequency bands, we found that patient networks had reduced local and global efficiency, and fewer hubs in the alpha band. We devised a novel topographical metric, termed modular span, which showed that the alpha network modules in patients were also spatially circumscribed, lacking the structured long-distance interactions commonly observed in the healthy controls. Author Summary

02.22.2010 - An afternoon nap markedly boosts the brain’s learning capacity If you see a student dozing in the library or a co-worker catching 40 winks in her cubicle, don’t roll your eyes. New research from the University of California, Berkeley, shows that an hour’s nap can dramatically boost and restore your brain power. Indeed, the findings suggest that a biphasic sleep schedule not only refreshes the mind, but can make you smarter. Students who napped (green column) did markedly better in memorizing tests than their no-nap counterparts. (Courtesy of Matthew Walker)

Salvador Dalí Illustrates Alice in Wonderland, 1969 By Maria Popova UPDATE: The best illustrations from 150 years of Alice in Wonderland Last week, we marveled at Leonard Weisgard’s stunning illustrations for the first color edition of Alice in Wonderland, circa 1949. But it turns out they might not be the most culturally intriguing. As reader Varvn Aryacetas points out on Twitter, exactly two decades later a collaboration of epic proportion took place as the Lewis Carroll classic was illustrated by none other than Salvador Dalí. (And let’s not forget what a soft spot I have for obscure children’s illustration by famous artists.) Why great ideas come when you aren’t trying History is rich with 'eureka' moments: scientists from Archimedes to Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein are said to have had flashes of inspiration while thinking about other things. But the mechanisms behind this psychological phenomenon have remained unclear. A study now suggests that simply taking a break does not bring on inspiration — rather, creativity is fostered by tasks that allow the mind to wander.

30 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Die {Via studioflowerpower on etsy} “Rather than money, than fame, than love…give me truth.” ~ Thoreau I woke up this morning and my life clock marked 30. My first sleep-deprived idea was to pack a small suitcase, get on the first train, move to another country, change my name, change my hair color (or get plastic surgery if needed), and start from scratch. When I don’t know how to deal with life, I hide sometimes. And others, I fight it. 8 Surprising Ways Music Affects the Brain I’m a big fan of music, and use it a lot when working, but I had no idea about how it really affects our brains and bodies. Since music is such a big part of our lives, I thought it would be interesting and useful to have a look at some of the ways we react to it without even realizing. “Without music, life would be a mistake” – Friedrich Nietzsche

How to Fall Asleep Fast - 31 (now 37) Ways to Fall Asleep Fast and Sleep Better These are 31 (now 37) tips on how to fall asleep fast and sleep better. There are some lucky people that seem to already have learned how to get to sleep fast and sleep for a long time and some of the luckiest ones fall asleep the instant they put the head on the pillow. The rest of us have to go through many minutes or hours of simply looking at the ceiling before being able to fall asleep. Testing lots and lots of sleeping positions, trying to have a clear mind, even counting sheep are useless tips on how to fall asleep fast if the person suffers from insomnia, sleep apnea or any other sleeping disorder so it is best to determine the causes and then start treating it. Happy 130th Birthday, A. A. Milne: "Happiness" and the Origin of Winnie-the-Pooh by Maria Popova On rainy days and the simplicity of happiness. Though Alan Alexander Milne (1882-1956) is best-known for authoring the Winnie-the-Pooh book series, among the most beloved children’s books with timeless philosophy for grown-ups, A. A. Milne was also a prolific poet.

The Psychology of Flow (in under 300 words) What is it like to be fully alive, right now, engaged with what you are doing? That’s the psychology of flow. When the happiness and creativity expert Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi was studying how painters work, he noticed an odd thing. When their painting was going well they didn’t care about getting tired, hungry or uncomfortable, they just carried on. But when the painting was finished, they rapidly lost interest in it. The Science of Stress, Orgasm and Creativity: How the Brain and the Vagina Conspire in Consciousness “The more closely we analyze what we consider ‘sexy,’” philosopher Alain de Botton argued in his meditation on sex, “the more clearly we will understand that eroticism is the feeling of excitement we experience at finding another human being who shares our values and our sense of the meaning of existence.” But in his attempt to counter the reductionism that frames human sexuality as a mere physiological phenomenon driven solely by our evolutionary biology, de Botton overcompensates by reducing in the opposite direction, negating the complex interplay of brain and biology, psychology and physiology, that propels the human sexual experience. That’s precisely what Naomi Wolf, author of the 1991 cultural classic The Beauty Myth, examines in Vagina: A New Biography (public library) — a fascinating exploration of the science behind the vastly misunderstood mind-body connection between brain and genitalia, consciousness and sexuality, the poetic and the scientific. Wolf writes:

A Glimpse into the Meditating Brain A Glimpse into the Meditating Brain* Bryan Williams University of New Mexico Abstract: Meditation has served as a traditional Eastern technique to transform consciousness and gain higher insight by focusing attention and introspectively observing one’s own mental processes.

Related:  PsychologyScience