background preloader

Sleep and the Teenage Brain

Sleep and the Teenage Brain
by Maria Popova How a seemingly simple change can have a profound effect on everything from academic performance to bullying. “Sleep is the greatest creative aphrodisiac,” Debbie Millman asserted in her advice on breaking through your creative block. In Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep (public library) — the fascinating exploration of what happens while you sleep and how it affects your every waking moment, and also among the best science books of 2012 — David K. Biology’s cruel joke goes something like this: As a teenage body goes through puberty, its circadian rhythm essentially shifts three hours backward. Randall points out that those early school start times originated in an era when youths either had a job after school or had to complete chores on the farm, so the schedule was designed to fit everything in; thus, the teenage circadian rhythm has only become problematic in the past century or so. The school, however, stuck with the plan for the academic year. Related:  Wellbeing

Are You A Thoughtless, Inconsiderate Jerk Of A Person? Here's How To Tell. Are you kind of a jerk? Don't worry, this is a safe place, you can be honest. There are a lot of inconsiderate people out there; people who don't think of anyone but themselves; people who walk through everyday life oblivious to the world and the people living in it. It's often the little considerations that keep us from going completely insane at the end of the day. Think about all the times your day was brought to a screeching halt because you just could not get over that person who was so blatantly inconsiderate to you or even someone else around you. It's time to play the part of the surrogate mother holding you painfully by your ear. Well, do you at least look behind you to see if someone needs the door held for them? But you know the consideration doesn't stop at the door-holding end. How dare you not recognize my kindness! If there was a human being handbook given to all of us on the way out of the womb, surely "Eating And You" would be one of the essential chapters. Oh.

Interpreting the Data: 10 Ways to Teach Math and More Using Infographics From stock prices and unemployment rates to trends in tuition and quality of life, the ability to understand and interpret quantitative data is more important than ever in understanding the world. Over the years we’ve written many posts about teaching with Times infographics, including a 2010 series about using them across the curriculum, and a 2011 lesson called “Data Visualized: More on Teaching With Infographics.” If you like, you can scroll through our entire collection of posts that highlight Times interactives and graphics here. Below, we offer a math-focused list of 10 ways students can learn from and tell stories with the numbers in some recent charts, tables and interactives found in The Times. 1. Pick a graph from The Times that plots some quantity over time and use it to tell a story. For example, the first graph in “The War on Poverty Turns 50″ shows several different poverty rates in the United States over the past 50 years. 2. 3. Browse The Times with a critical eye. 4. 5.

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. The distribution of midsleep in Central Europe. This myth that early risers are good people and that late risers are lazy has its reasons and merits in rural societies but becomes questionable in a modern 24/7 society. The scissors of sleep. Chronotypes vary with age: [T]he less stress smokers have, the easier it is for them to quit. (Thanks, Jalees.)

A Wonderful Graphic Featuring The Importance of Music in Education Music education is profoundly important to the success of individuals and learners. According to this graphic created by University of Florida, music is an essential element in students overall education and in some cases it is a precursor of good academic achievements. Some of the pluses of listening to music include : developing language skills and creativity, decrease anxiety and pain and speed up healing. It is also reported that music is known to help in some neurological disorders such as Parkinson, Alzheimer, and Autism. Have a look at the visual below to learn more about the importance of music in education. 189, Stephen King Stephen King began this interview in the summer of 2001, two years after he was struck by a minivan while walking near his home in Center Lovell, Maine. He was lucky to have survived the accident, in which he suffered scalp lacerations, a collapsed right lung, and multiple fractures of his right hip and leg. Six pounds of metal that had been implanted in King’s body during the initial surgery were removed shortly before the author spoke to The Paris Review, and he was still in constant pain. “The orthopedist found all this infected tissue and outraged flesh,” said King. A second interview session with King was conducted early this year at his winter home in Florida, which happens to be within easy driving distance of the Red Sox’s spring training compound in Fort Myers. King was born on September 21, 1947, in Portland, Maine. In person, King has a gracious, funny, sincere manner and speaks with great enthusiasm and candor. How old were you when you started writing? It might.

This Is What Happens When You Don't Get Enough Sleep (Infographic) You know what it feels like when you don't get enough sleep. You're grumpy, you're groggy, and you probably just don't really feel like yourself. But did you know that sleep deprivation can have serious long-term consequences on your body and mind? Fortunately, the folks over at the Huffington Post have put together an infographic that details what some of those effects may be. Long story short: get enough high-quality sleep if you want to be your best self! 8 Tips To Help You Live To Be 100 In my last article, I gave you the labs you should run to know how quickly or how slowly your body is aging. Reframing Success: Helping Children & Teens Grow from the Inside Out by @DrPriceMitchell If you question today’s notions of success and wonder how adults really affect the growth and well-being of today’s digital generation, download this free eBook by developmental psychologist, Marilyn Price-Mitchell, PhD. Price-Mitchell makes an argument that measuring success by grades and test scores alone is not enough. In fact, it is a practice that is hurting our children. How do we instill the types of skills and abilities that cannot be measured by numbers, including effort, critical thinking, collaboration, respect, caring, honesty, open-mindedness, initiative, and imagination? Discover how children learn to be successful by developing an internal compass that guides them through life. Please return to share your thoughts and comments!

Salman Khan doubles down on building the school of the future When Salman Khan shared his vision for “a free world-class education for anyone anywhere” at TED2011, he turned the education world on its head. As he introduced Khan Academy — a virtual classroom that uses video lessons to create an individualized, self-paced learning experience — his alternative model fueled the nascent dialogue about online education. The conversation only exploded from there. In the three years since his talk, Khan has doubled down on his efforts to cultivate Khan Academy into the education model of the future. Khan himself has been busy reimagining the education experience. Khan recently spoke with the TED Blog about Khan Academy’s incredible growth, and what’s on the horizon for classrooms both physical and virtual. Khan Academy has seen incredible growth since you spoke in 2011. Content coverage is a big thing. The other big thing that’s happening is internationalization. How have you seen the thinking about education shift since you gave your TED Talk?

How You Can Permanently Damage Your Brain If You Keep Putting Off Sleep June 24, 2014 | Like this article? Join our email list: Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email. Do without sleep now and make up for it later. New research suggests that the consequences of chronic insufficient sleep are less reversible than previously understood and may involve lasting damage to the brain. Scientists put mice on a rotating sleep routine, including periods of normal rest, short periods of wakefulness and also extended periods without sleep. • Short-term sleep loss in mice elicited a protective response from LC neurons. • Short-term sleep loss also spurred antioxidant activity in LC neurons, another protection against cell damage and stress. • Under periods of prolonged sleep loss, LC neurons lost the ability to generate these protective responses. • Under these conditions of extended and recurring sleep loss, LC neurons in mice began to die. Other recent research has also highlighted the damaging effects of insufficient and poor quality sleep on the brain:

GIANT ROBOT FINGER ASSEMBLY NOTE: There are 3 levels of difficulty - -from a simple one-piece finger, to a whole hand -- depending how far you go in the instructions. Going to Step 4 will give you a basic finger with one tendon. That's enough to get the point about how tendons work. Going on to Step 5 will get you a finger with opposing tendons. What you need: string You will need about 2 feet per finger. thin cardboard I use cereal boxes to recycle them, but you can use "poster board." scissors, tape, (ruler, optional) Either clear tape or masking tape will work. Step 1 Cut out the cardboard using the pattern, Click here and print out the pattern page. Roll 4 pieces of tape into circular "doughnuts" with the sticky side out. Notice that there are two kind of lines on the pattern: solid lines (shown in blue in the illustration) and dashed lines (shown in green in the left illustration). Cut on the solid lines. Step 2 Fold on the dashed lines. Step 3 Shape and tape into a 3-dimentional object. Step 4 Tape on the string. Step 5

The Science of Our Optimism Bias and the Life-Cycle of Happiness by Maria Popova “To make progress, we need to be able to imagine alternative realities, and not just any old reality but a better one.” “If I expect as little as possible, I won’t be hurt,” Susan Sontag famously wrote in her diary. And yet we’re wired to expect a lot — and to expect great things. So argues neuroscientist Tali Sharot in The Science of Optimism: Why We’re Hard-Wired for Hope — a short, absorbing TED Book summarizing Sharot’s own research, as well as that of others in the field, using a combination of neuroimaging and behavioral science to explore why we’re “more optimistic than realistic,” what this might mean for our everyday well-being, and whether it’s due to the specific architecture of our brains. The root of optimism, Sharot suggests, isn’t far from what Montaigne argued five centuries ago. Optimism starts with what may be the most extraordinary of human talents: mental time travel. She traces the intersection of memory and optimism to a neural framework:

ROBOT FINGER INTRO This robot finger is as easy as cutting and taping. If you make 5 of these fingers and tape them, you can make a hand. It's less messy to make than the advanced robot hand project. I first thought about a working models of a fingers and hands when I became literally unable to lift a finger. I learned that fingers get their amazing strength from strings (called tendons) connected to big, powerful muscles in our forearms. The project really comes alive with excitement when you combine it with activities that allow you to actually see and feel the tendons going through your wrist, going to your own fingers.

We Are Singing Stardust: Carl Sagan on the Story of Humanity’s Greatest Message and How the Golden Record Was Born by Maria Popova “We [are] a species endowed with hope and perseverance, at least a little intelligence, substantial generosity and a palpable zest to make contact with the cosmos.” In 1939, just before his fifth birthday, Carl Sagan visited the New York World’s Fair, where he marveled at the Time Capsule evincing the fair’s confidence in the future — a hermetically sealed chamber, filled with newspapers, books and artifacts from that year, buried in Flushing Meadows to be revisited in some far-off future era by a future culture very different from and curious about the present. Sagan, in his characteristic eloquence, writes of the motivation, offering a poetic, humbling, and timelier than ever reminder of just how misplaced our existential arrogance is: The coming of the space age has brought with it an interest in communication over time intervals far longer than any [of our predecessors] could have imagined, as well as the means to send messages to the distant future. The Golden Record