Caffeine and More Sleep Help Improve Chronic Pain
In sleep-deprived mice, caffeine and other drugs to promote wakefulness ease pain better than analgesics.
The research is in Nature Medicine. (full access paywall)
A cognitive scientist has devised a drug-free sleep trick for your restless mind
A cognitive scientist may have solved a familiar sleep riddle: If you struggle to fall asleep, you’re likely to keep thinking about how you can’t fall asleep, which makes it harder to fall asleep. So how do you stop thinking about your struggle to sleep? Luc Beaudoin of Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, has invented a method called cognitive shuffling that’s meant to lull the brain into that groggy state that precedes a sleep cycle by asking it to focus on random words and images, without making connections between them. When he’s speaking to other cognitive scientists, he calls the concept “serial diverse imagining.” There are two ways to do this cognitive shuffle. The first is to play a simple word game as you lay in bed: Pick a word that contains at least five letters. Take the first letter, and create a new list of words that begin it, and vividly picture each in your mind. When you run out of ideas or inspiration, move on to the next letter. The “seed” word can be anything, though it should be emotionally neutral, and ought not contain too many repeated letters. Beaudoin uses “bedtime” as an example on his site. The second option is to use Beaudoin’s app, mySleepButton, which works on a similar principle but does all the heavy lifting for you. Turn it on and a generically pleasant voice reads out a list of random objects, scenes, and activities, seconds apart; all you have to do is set the timer for how long you want the voice to keep listing items, and then picture each item vividly.
Considering the modern era connection between brain and gut micro-flora/fauna
and famine/feast driven behaviours
kinda puts the exploring and exploiting the food niches
conferring the offspringing advantage
Why Some Images Trigger Seizures
The key, they propose, is a particular repetitive pattern of neural activity in the brain known as gamma oscillations that occurs when people view certain images, such as black and white bar patterns, and not others. In fact, the researchers say, it’s possible that those kinds of images are responsible for other problems, such as migraine headaches, particularly in people who are generally sensitive to light.
The research is in Current Biology. (full open access)
+1ovrstimulation and pattern confusion. short circuit the processing in an overclocked brain. makes sense
– Evidence of chewing poplar bark to access salicylic acid (the active ingredient of aspirin) to treat pain and swelling by an individual who suffered from a bad dental abscess and an intestinal parasite that causes acute diarrhea
– Plus, 40,000 years before the development of penicillin, this same very ill individual was consuming a food source containing the natural antibiotic mould Penicillium