Scientists argue that a few hours of silence dramatically help to the rejuvenation of brain cells just the way sleep does.

From the old times, people who appreciated silence a little more than the ordinary were confronted by their social community with suspicion or “burdened” with the label of “monotonous” and “peculiar”. Now, however, it is time for the supporters of silence and generally all those who don’t appreciate the bustle, the noisy spaces, and the endless talking, to celebrate.

But, let’s get things right: in 2011 the Finnish Ministry of Tourism launched a campaign that used silence as an exportable product(!). This campaign called for tourists to visit Finland and discover the healing properties and beauty of the tranquil landscapes of the country.

In fact, they had gone on to publish promotional material, in particular, a series of wonderful photos that their main slogan was “Quiet, please” and was accompanied by a few more words: “No more talk, actions!”

Eva Kiviranta, who manages the social media of VisitFinland.com, said:

We decided, instead of saying that it’s really empty and really quiet and nobody is talking about anything here, let’s embrace it and make it a good thing.

Probably, she ignored a scientific project that was conducted on the beneficial properties of silence.

How Silence Benefits the Brain?

In particular, on the basis of studies carried out from 2013 until today at Oregon and Duke universities, both in newborn mice and humans, it has been found that two minutes of absolute silence benefits the brain; it can be as relaxing as if we were sleeping for 15 minutes or if we listened to our favorite music for 5 minutes.

The study titled Brain, Structure and Function revealed a truly amazing finding: 2 hours of absolute silence were enough to create new cells in the hippocampus, the brain region involved in the transfer of information from short-term memory to long-term and to better containment of this information.

In this sense, scientists have argued that silence helps in the development and proper functioning of our brain. They explain that noise and talking affect the functioning of our brain, causing it to produce high levels of stress hormones.

Sound waves affect the brain, which perceives them even when we sleep. So, either by looking for a two-hour pause in the day or by sleeping in a completely quiet environment, you will benefit your brain.

H/T: LIFO

References:

What chronic lack of sleep can cause to our overall health?

It’s been estimated that an average person spends a third of their life sleeping. Surprised? Don’t be: sleep plays a major role in healing, recovery, and recharge of both the body and the nervous system; as such, a decent nightly shuteye is integral to lasting health. Unfortunately, sleep is the first aspect of a healthy lifestyle that flies out the window when stress goes up a notch or work agenda takes a twist for the busier. And while an odd sleepless night won’t kill you, chronic lack of sleep can claim a hefty toll on your long-term wellbeing, emotional health, and brain function.

In case you have a habit of burning the candle at both ends, you may want to check out the effects of sleep deprivation on your organism listed below and take steps to improve your sleep quality and prevent large-scale damage before it’s too late.

The High Health Cost of Sleep Deprivation

Chronic lack of sleep won’t just chip off chunks of your physical and mental health: according to Harvard Medical School, getting too few Zzzs every night can shave your lifespan and increase the risk of mortality by as many as 15%. In addition to that, sleep deprivation can compromise almost every aspect of your wellbeing and contribute to a range of chronic conditions that will take more time to remedy than a simple bedtime routine tweak.

Here are only a few effects of lack of sleep to help you get a better idea of the extent of damage you can cause to your body by not allowing it to rest properly.

Immune System Dips

Unless you allow your body sufficient time to rest and recover, the immune system will be the first to suffer. Fewer than five or six hours of nighttime rest will increase your organism’s sensitivity to viruses and bacterial infections, which may leave you bed-locked and fever-ridden for days.

Anxiety and Depression

Mood swings are another telltale sign that you’re not getting enough sleep. Unless you take the steps to improve the quality of your nightly rest, mood oscillations can evolve into depression, anxiety, and memory problems.

Cognitive Function Issues

Sleep allows neurons in your brain to rest and replenish, so if you’re cutting your Zzzs short, your cognitive function may suffer. Apart from fatigue-induced focus dips, chronic lack of sleep can contribute to the development of memory problems, brain fog, and even hallucinations.

Diabetes and Weight Gain

If denied sufficient time to replenish through sleep, your brain will signal to your body that it needs more easily digestible fuel, which is a shortcut to weight gain and onset of diabetes type 2, both of which can lead to a host of other health complications and trim your lifespan by a few years.

Cardiovascular Hitches

Sleeping less than five or six hours a night can lead to elevated blood pressure and heart rate. With those factors in the mix, heart disease, arrhythmia, and stroke are not far away either. Drops in body temperature are one of the first symptoms that your body needs more sleep, so don’t take your sleep sessions lightly if you want to keep your cardiovascular health in check.

Tips to Unleash Superior Sleep Quality

Improving sleep quality isn’t an overnight affair, especially if the symptoms are already starting to show. In case you’re tossing and turning in bed every night, here are some tips which you can try to hack proper rest and prevent sleeplessness from evolving into a serious health issue.

Lay off Caffeine, Nicotine, and Alcohol

Caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol stimulate the nervous system, but if consumed regularly and to excess, they can completely shatter your peaceful dreams. If possible, try to limit your intake of coffee and spirits, and lay off smoking to make sure you fall asleep faster and improve the quality of your nighttime rest.

Set up Your Nest for Nighttime Rest

Visual and audio distractions can be another reason why you’re still counting sheep at 3 a.m. To nudge your sleep onto the healthy and uninterrupted track, clean your bedroom of clutter and consider reorganizing your bedroom based on the principles of Feng Shui design.

Scenting the Path to Dream Realm

Aromatherapy is a centuries’ old stress relief method that can help you fall asleep faster and get all the nighttime rest your body needs for another busy day. Pour a few drops of chamomile or lavender oil into your bedtime bath, or sprinkle bedclothes with relaxing essential oils to scent your way to the dream realm.

A Plateful of Sleep-Inducing Snacks

Carbohydrates are the nutrient sweet dreams are made of, so make sure to stock your dinner plate with complex carb-rich staples such as boiled rice, potatoes, or corn before turning in for the night. You can also try enriching your menu with tryptophan and melatonin enhancing foods such as cherry juice, milk, honey, walnuts, and kale.

Exercise your way to Quality Sleep

You know how you sleep much better if you’re tired? It’s simple really, your body needs to recover from the physical exertion it’s been through during the day. So, use this mechanism to improve both quality and duration of your sleep; do some moderate to intense exercise on a regular basis and don’t forget to stretch and breathe properly. Experts from Santosha Yoga Institute claim that a tiring exercise routine, accompanied by proper breathing and followed by stretching can significantly improve your sleep patterns.

Ditch the Screen to Hack Sound Sleep

A recent study found that exposure to light emitted by smart screens at bedtime impacts sleep quality. If you want to fall asleep fast, let your mind off the virtual hook: swap the e-book for a hardback at bedtime, try conscious breathing exercises, or go out for a quick jog in the park.

The negative effects of sleep deprivation don’t stop on the skin level and the puffiness and dark circles in the eye area. Unless you identify the problem and take steps to remedy it on time, lack of sleep can completely shatter your focus, energy, and mental faculties. Take active steps to prevent sleep deprivation today: don’t lose your health over lost sleep. Sweet dreams!

This article was originally created and published by Visual Meditation. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution (active link to this article) and author bio.

Dreams are an integral part of every living being. All people dreaming, although most do not remember them.

Our dreams are not black and white. The congenitally blind people also dreaming, but based on their five senses; even animals dreaming. Various approaches and many interpretations have been given as to the role dreams play on the mentality of people mainly.

A psychological interpretation as expressed by the pioneers of the science of psychology, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, dreams involve aspects of the character, statements, desires, faces and frustrations, that we suppress in our everyday life from the current social conventions and ethical barriers. They state that dreams serve as a psychological self-therapy for the brain.

Another interpretation as given by relevant researchers like Eugene Aserinsky (discovered REM sleep), Allan Hobson, Mark Solms, Jie Zhang and Robert Mc Carley, is that all have to do with signals that different parts of the brain give to others – either accidentally or during any process the brain is doing, such as encoding or storage of information in memory. They liken dreams with “short films” noting that during sleep the brain either processes information better or understands the physical immobility and converts these signals into virtual motion.

What About Dreams Expressed as ‘Prophetic’?

People see a lot of dreams, but most of them don’t remember them. But many of those who have improved dream recalling ability are expressing them as prophetic.

Scientists mostly not share this version, as based on the method of EEG trying to put dreams in their true dimensions. So by categorizing brain activity, argue that sleep can be divided into five stages, and during the night sleep human lasts two to three cycles of these stages.

  • The first is the stage of light sleep, where anything can awaken us
  • In the second stage the body has a slight drop in temperature
  • The third stage is the beginning of deep sleep which reaches the peak of the fourth stage. Finally, in the fifth and last stage is the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) in which we actually dreaming

Based on their scientific technique, they give rational approach to the “prophetic” dreams considering metaphysical issues as subjective opinion of each one. The rational approach is that the brain during sleep arranging the information received, finds motifs and a sequence.

Adding that the power of prediction in the scientific field has been achieved through the inductive method i.e. through large numbers of analysis and observation of information which the brain includes, patterns can emerge and lead us into theories capable of accurate prediction of the next event.

Also, a second approach is the subject of probabilities; as the dreams we see are too many, they consider that probably incur the symptoms of verification.

The Metaphysical Aspect of Dreaming

It’s also worth mentioning that dreams also have a philosophical dimension. Since ancient times, philosophers questioned the senses as the absolute source of knowledge about the world. Philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle and later René Descartes showed particular interest in the question “if our life is ultimately a dream.

In prophetic dreams the term metaphysical is contained, which according to Aristotle’s work on “first philosophy” has to do with what are beyond the physical limits. His work shows the investigation of the universality of “being” in contrast to the sciences that examine aspects of the parts of the being.

In modern times, the parapsychologists approaching this issue in another dimension, as they claim that dreams serve as a pathway for the entry of people into another universe. They believe that brainwaves represent states of consciousness and point out that sleep is an altered state of consciousness.

They argue that the seemingly prophetic dreams are too many to reasonably attribute them all in coincidence. However, many people express their opposition to so-called prophetic dreams. They consider as most accurate and rational the scientific approach, quieting fears that probably born about these unknown aspects of their own existence.

But we can’t pass over the prophetic dream experiences of people around the world that are quite many, who once publicly describe their personal experiences and sometimes conceal the fear of non-acceptance and the questioning of their logic.

Finally, as Ann Faraday mentioned,

The surest guide to the meaning of a dream is the feeling and judgment of the dreamer himself, who ‘deep down inside knows its meaning’.

References:

https://sciencearchives.wordpress.com/2014/08/24/%CF%8D-%CE%AF-%CF%8C-%CE%AC/#more-1749

http://ebooks.edu.gr/modules/ebook/show.php/DSGL-B102/132/960,3471/

https://sciencearchives.wordpress.com/2010/05/18/%CF%8D-%CF%8C-omicr/

Remember Your Dreams, with Subliminal Messages

Remember Your Dreams - Subliminal MeditationThere are many theories as to why we dream, how we dream and what’s the meaning of dreams. This theory suggests that dreams can solve daily problems.

Many people believe that dreams provide useful insights to our problems and questions, but they’re very difficult to remember. “Remember Your Dreams” is a powerful subliminal meditation designed for that purpose.

It contains a “dreamy” music track and thousands of powerful subliminal messages that will enhance your dream recalling ability. After several sessions, you will start to focus on your dreams more intensely, recall your dreams more easily and in greater detail, and be aware more and more of what your unconscious mind is trying to tell you. Try it here.

This article was originally created and published by Visual Meditation. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution (active link to this article) and author bio.

How lucid dreams can enhance our psychological development.

About 20 percent of the general population has at least one spontaneous lucid dream each month and now through scientific study, there are various cognitive techniques that anyone can learn to apply, in order to have these lucid dreams deliberately.

So now today, there are thousands and thousands of lucid dreamers all over the world, who are practicing lucid dreaming to have these extraordinary experiences that are impossible or very unlikely according to our ordinary waking life.

The emerging science of lucid dreaming has now generated evidence to suggest that it can be used as a valuable tool for our social and psychological development. We can learn from lucid dreams, so when we wake up we can implement those learning experiences and improve our waking life circumstances.

While we are mostly unaware of our nightly dreams while we dream, Tim Post has trained countless individuals around the world to attain dream awareness in dreams. Remarkably, “lucid” dreamers can learn to consciously reshape their dreams while dreaming and give rise to profound dream experiences.

Tim gives an insight into the emerging science of lucid dreaming and unveils the potential power of using lucid dreams to enhance psychological development and overall well-being.

– TEDx

German and American scientists have discovered that stimulation of the brain with harmless electric current can help one control their dreams, that is not only be aware of the fact of being asleep, but also directing them at will. The new non-invasive technique could, among other things, help people who often see nightmares get rid of them.

Controlled, conscious or lucid dreams are part of the ritual traditions of various ancient civilizations and a subject of scientific research in recent years. These dreams are considered a hybrid or intermediate form of consciousness between sleep (with the usual non-lucid dreams) and wakefulness. Some even consider lucid dreaming to be a “gateway” for entry into some other reality fields.

Researchers, led by psychologist Ursula Voss of JW Goethe University of Frankfurt and Professor Allan Hobson of the School of Medicine at Harvard University conducted experiments with alternating electric current.

They found that if the brain is stimulated with alternating electrical current, it generates waves of specific frequency range of 40 Hz. The so-called gamma waves, the frequency of which shows how many times per second the neurons synchronize their electrical activity, are associated with the higher mental functions during wakefulness, such as decision making, which almost never take place in sleep.

The experiment was conducted with the participation of 27 volunteers, 15 women and 12 men aged 18-26 years, who slept in the sleep laboratory for four days. They agreed to undergo a low-intensity harmless transcranial electrical stimulation, which lasted half to two minutes.

This allowed the participants, while they were in the stage of deep sleep called REM (Rapid Eye Movement), to produce gamma waves and be aware of the fact that they were sleeping, as they confirmed when scientists purposely woke them up after a few seconds to talk about what was happening in their sleep.

Over 70% of volunteers reported that they could affect at will the plot of their dream and felt observing themselves “from the outside” or “like on a screen”. Electric current with higher or lower frequencies did not cause any change in the brainwaves of the volunteers neither at bedtime, nor after the experiment.

Apart from the frequency of 40 Hz, the frequency of 25 Hz appeared to have a less significant effect on lucid dreaming.

Voss does not believe that there will be an immediate market solution for ‘lucid dreaming’ devices and warns that such a device should be used only under medical supervision.

However, as expected, if the findings are confirmed by the future studies, the technique could be used in psychiatry and help patients who suffer from post-traumatic disorder and often have scary nightmares in which they relive the earlier traumatic experiences.

“Learning how to control their dreams, these patients could reduce the emotional impact and deal with post-traumatic disorder,” said the German researcher.

The study is published in the journal «Nature Neuroscience».

Original source: Learning Mind

About the author

Anna LeMind is the owner and lead editor of the website learning-mind.com, and a staff writer for The Mind Unleashed.