Your Life IS Now

Your Life IS Now

It was true in 1998, it’s true today, and it will be true a thousand years from now . . . . . . change your mind and you change your life . . . . . .  your life IS now! John Mellencamp is the only “semi-prophetic” dream figure I’ve ever dreamed about. As I recall, back in the mid to late 1990s, I dreamed that I was walking the streets of Bozeman, Montana (where I lived at the time) and came across John Mellencamp playing an impromptu concert on one of the sidewalks downtown. It was an interesting and enjoyable dream, to be sure, but it wasn’t until months later that I read in the local newspaper that Mellencamp was actually doing that – putting on unannounced public performances in city parks in various cities that I realized how connected my dreaming self was to something much larger. (Sadly, he never came to Bozeman . . .  as far as I know.)...

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Get More Sleep!

Get More Sleep!

I think the most striking item that emerged from the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial against concert promoter AEG Live last week is the extent of Michael Jackson’s sleep deprivation in the weeks leading up to his death. It’s already well-known that Jackson had grown accustomed to frequent propofol infusions to combat his insomnia, and that he went into fatal cardiac arrest on June 25, 2009 as a result of acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication. I’m not exactly medically trained, and I also admit that I didn’t follow that closely the general news coverage of MJ’s death or that of the trial of his personal physician, Conrad Murray, so maybe this was also widely known – but I guess I just wasn’t aware that propofol, as the CNN story states “disrupts the normal sleep cycle and offers no REM sleep, yet it leaves a patient feeling refreshed as if they had experienced genuine sleep.” But what really caught my attention in the coverage of Week 8 of the trial was the testimony from Harvard Medical School sleep expert Dr. Charles Czeisler.   Sleep and Memory What was so striking was the clarity and conciseness with which Dr. Czeisler explained the relationship between REM sleep and memory, something that I’ve always felt was closely correlative (cool, I think that’s the first time I’ve been in a position to slip that word into a conversation). From the CNN article: An adult should get seven to eight hours of sleep each night to allow for enough sleep cycles, he said. You “prune out” unimportant neuron connections and consolidate important ones during your “slow-eyed sleep” each night, he said. Those connections — which is the information you have acquired during the day — are consolidated by the REM sleep cycle. Your eyes actually dart back and forth rapidly during REM sleep. “In REM, we are integrating the memories that we have stored during slow-eyed sleep, integrating memories with previous life experiences,” he said. “We are able to make sense of things that we may not have understood while awake.” Learning and memory happen when you are asleep, he said. A laboratory mouse rehearses a path through a maze to get to a piece of...

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