The Basics of Sleep/Sleep Deprivation as a Stressor

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The Basics of Sleep/Sleep Deprivation as a Stressor

Post by cutthecashflow » Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:52 am

This may need additional work/citations as I have not fine combed it yet, but nonetheless here it is...

The Basics of Sleep

All things considered, sleeping is pretty creepy. For a third of your life, you’re just not there, floating in this suspended state, everything slowed down. Except, at points, your brain is more active than when you’re awake, making your eyelids all twitchy, and it’s consolidating memories from the day and solving problems for you. Except when it’s dreaming, when it’s making no sense and then you sometimes walk or talk in your sleep. Or drool. And then there’s those mysterious penile or clitoral erections that occur intermittently during the night.
Weird, what’s going on here? To start, sleep is not a monolithic process, a uniform phenomenon. Instead, there are different types of sleep--- shallow (also known as stages and 2) sleep, where you are easily awakened. Deep sleep (also known as stages 3 and 4, or “slow wave sleep”). Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, where the puppy’s paws flutter and our eyes dart around and dreams happen. There are not only these different stages, but a structure, an architecture to them. You start off shallow, gradually sleep your way down to slow wave sleep, followed by REM, then back up again, and then repeat the whole cycle about every ninety minutes.

Not surprisingly, the brain works differently in different stages of sleep. This can be studied by having people sleep in a brain scanner, while you measure the activity of different brain regions. Take some volunteers, sleep-deprive them for some godawful length of time, stick them in one of these imaging machines, poke them awake a little more while you get a measure of their brains’ activity when they’re awake, and then, snug as a bug in a scanner, let them go to sleep with the scanner running.

The picture during slow wave sleep makes a lot of sense. Parts of the brain associated with arousal activity slow down. Ditto for brain regions involved in controlling muscle movement. Interestingly, brain regions involved in the consolidation and retrieval of memories don’t have much of a decrease in metabolism. However, the pathways that bring information to and from these pathways shutdown dramatically, isolating them. The parts of the brain that first respond to sensory information have somewhat of a metabolic shutdown, but the more dramatic changes are in downstream brain areas that integrate, associate those bytes of sensory information, and give them meaning. What you’ve got is a metabolically quiescent, sleeping brain. This makes sense, as deep slow wave sleep is when energy restoration occurs. This is shown by the fact that the extent of sleep deprivation is not a great predictor of the total amount you will ultimately sleep, but it is a good predictor of how much slow wave sleep there’ll be---a very active brain or sleep deprived brain tends to consume a lot of a particular form of energy; the breakdown product of that depleted form of energy is the signal that biases toward slow wave sleep.

A very different picture emerges during REM sleep. Overall, there’s an increase in activity. Some brain regions become even more metabolically active than when you’re awake. Parts of the brain that regulate muscle movement, brain stem regions that control breathing and heart rate---all increase their metabolic rate. In the part of the brain called the limbic system, which is involved in emotion, there is an increase as well. The same for areas involved in memory and sensory processing, especially those involved in vision and hearing.
Something particularly subtle goes on in the visual processing regions. The part of the cortex that processes the first bits of visual information does not show much of an increase in metabolism, whereas there is a big jump in the downstream regions that integrate simple visual information. How can this be, when on top of it, your eyes are closed? This is dreaming!

That tells us something about how dream imagery arises. But something else happens in the brain that tells us something about the content of dreams. There’s a part of the brain, called the frontal cortex. It’s the most recently evolved part of the human brain, it is disproportionately huge in primates, and is the last part of our brain to fully mature. The frontal cortex is the nearest thing we have to a superego. Starting from toilet training, it helps you to do the harder, rather than easier thing—for example, thinking in a logical, sequential manner, rather than bouncing all over the place cognitively. It keeps you from murdering someone just because you feel like it, stops you from telling someone exactly what you think of their hideous outfit and instead finds something complimentary. The frontal cortex does all this disciplining of you by inhibiting that frothy, emotional limbic system. If you damage your frontal cortex, someone gets “frontally disinhibited”—doing and saying things we may think about, but never act upon. During REM sleep, metabolism in the frontal cortex goes way down, disinhibiting the limbic system to come up with the most outlandish ideas. That’s why dreams are dreamlike—illogical, nonsequential, hyperemotional. You breathe underwater, fly in the air, communicate telepathically; you announce your love to strangers, invent languages, rule kingdoms, have sexual encounters, star in musicals, etcetera.

So those are the nuts and bolts of sleep. But what is sleep for you? You die without it. Even fruit flies do. The most obvious answer is to have a stretch where your brain is going at half speed, in order to build up supplies of energy. Your brain consumes phenomenal amounts of energy to pull off all that calculus and symphony writing that you do—the brain constitutes something like 3 percent of your body weight, but needs nearly a quarter of the energy. So stores tend to decline during the day and some solid slow wave sleep is needed to restock these stores (mostly a molecule called glycogen, which is also an energy store in liver and muscle).

Others speculate that sleep is for decreasing brain temperature, letting it cool off from all that daytime brainstorming, or for detoxifying the brain. Weirdly, another major reason to sleep is to dream. If you skip a nights sleep, when you finally get to sleep the next night, you have more REM sleep than normal, suggesting that you’ve built up a real deficit of dreaming. Some extremely difficult studies that are queasy in nature just to contemplate deprive people or animals of REM sleep preferentially, and the study subjects go to pieces much faster than they do for the equivalent amount of deprivation of other types of sleep.

Thus, this begs the question of what dreaming is for. To work out unresolved issues about your mother? To provide a living for surrealists and Dadaists? So you can have a sex dream about some unlikely person in your waking life and then act all weird around the person around that person the next morning by the water cooler? Well, maybe. The marked increase in metabolic activity during REM sleep, and in some of the most inhibited areas of the brain during waking, have suggested to some a sort of “use it or lose it” scenario in which dreaming gives some aerobic exercise to otherwise underutilitized brain pathways (that is, the oft-neglected starring in musicals brain pathway).

What has become clear is that sleep plays a role in cognition. For example, sleep can facilitate problem solving. This is the realm of “sleeping on a problem,” and then suddenly discovering a solution the next morning while you’re cleaning crud out of the corners of your eyes. The neurobiologists Robert Stickgold of Harvard has emphasized that this type of problem solving is the kind where a morass of unhelpful facts are broken through to get to feelings. As he says, you don’t forget a phone number and then “sleep on it” to remember it. You do it for some complex, ambiguous problem.

Both slow wave and REM sleep also seem to play roles in the formation of new memories, the consolidation of information from the previous day, even information that became less accessible to you while awake over the course of the day. One type of evidence supporting this is the fact that if you teach an animal some task and disrupt its sleep that night, the new information isn’t consolidated. While this has been shown in many different ways, the interpretation remains controversial. Stress can also disrupt memory consolidation, and sleep deprivation is stressful. Maybe sleep deprivation disrupts memory consolidation merely because of the stress, which wouldn’t prove that sleep normally helps memory consolidation. But the pattern of memory disruption caused by sleep deprivation is different from that caused by stress.

Another type of evidence is correlative. Being exposed to lots of new information during the day is associated with more REM sleep that night. Moreover, the amount of certain subtypes of sleep at night predicts how well new information is recalled the next day. For example, lots of REM sleep during the night predicts better consolidation of emotional information from the day before, while lots of stage 2 sleep predicts better consolidation of a motor task, and a combination of lots of REM sleep and slow wave sleep predicts better retention of perceptual information. Others have taken this further, reporting that it’s not just the amount of some subtype of sleep that predicts some subtype of learning, but whether it occurs early or late in the night.

Another style of evidence for the “sleep helps you consolidate memories” story was first obtained by Bruce McNaughton of the University of Arizona. As we should all know, the hippocampus has a central role in explicit learning. McNaughton recorded the activity of single hippocampal neurons in rats, identifying ones that became particularly busy while the rat was learning some new explicit information. That night, during slow wave sleep, it would be those same neurons that would be particularly busy. Taking that one step further, he showed that patterns of activation of hippocampal neurons that occur during learning are then repeated when the animal is sleeping. Brain-imaging studies with humans have shown something similar. There’s even evidence that when consolidation is going on during REM, genes are activated that help form new connections between neurons. During slow wave sleep, metabolism remains surprisingly high in areas like the hippocampus. It’s as if sleep is the time when the brain practices those new memory patterns over and over, centering them into place.

Weirdly, amid this general picture of sleep deprivation disrupting cognition, at least one type of learning is facilitated by sleep deprivation, as shown in some recent work of a graduate student by the name of Ilana Hairston. Suppose you have some unlikely task where you have to learn to recite the months of the year backward as quickly as possible. Why is this going to be so hard? Because there will repeatedly be the pull to recite the months in the way that you have done your entire life, which is forward; the previous, over learned version of the task interferes with this new reversal task. Who would excel at this task? Someone who has never learned to do January, February, March, etc., automatically in that direction. If you sleep deprive some rats and give them a rat’s equivalent of a reversal task, they do better than do control animals. Why? Because they can’t remember the prior overlearned version of the task well enough for it to intrude now.

SLEEP DEPRIVATION AS A STRESSOR

As we glide down into slow wave sleep, some obvious things occur to facets of the stress-response system. For starters, the sympathetic nervous system shuts down, in favor of that calm, vegetative parasympathetic nervous system. In addition, gluccocortocoid levels go way down. Corticotropin Releasing Hormone (CRH) is the hypothalamic hormone that gets the pituitary to release Adreno Corticotropin Releasing Hormone (ACTH) in order to trigger adrenal release of gluccocortocoids. Some of the hypothalamic control of pituitary hormone release consists of an accelerator and brake—a releasing factor and an inhibiting factor. For years, there’s been evidence floating around for a hypothalamic “corticotropin inhibiting factor” (CIF) that would inhibit the release of ACTH, counteracting the effects of CRH. No one’s sure what CIF is, or if it really exists, but there’s some decent evidence that CIF is a brain chemical that helps bring on slow wave sleep (called “delta sleep-inducing factor”). Thus, sleep deeply, and you turn off gluccocortocoid secretion.

In contrast, during REM, as you’re mobilizing all that energy to generate the outlandish dream imagery and to move your eyes rapidly, gluccocortocoid secretion and the sympathetic nervous system revs up again. But given that most of what counts as a good night’s sleep consists of slow wave sleep, sleep is predominantly a time when the stress response is turned off. This is seen in species whether they’re nocturnal or diurnal (that is, sleeping during the dark hours, like us). About an hour before you wake up, levels of CRH, ACTH, and glucocorticoids begin to rise. This is not just because merely rousing from a slumber is a mini-stressor, requiring mobilization of some energy, but because those rising stress hormone levels play a role in terminating sleep.

So deprive yourself of sleep, and the sleep-induced decline in the levels of those stress hormones doesn’t occur. And, no surprise, they rise instead. Glucocorticoid levels increase and the sympathetic nervous system is activated; down go the levels of growth hormone and various sex hormones. Sleep deprivation definitely stimulates glucocorticoid secretion, although not a massive extent in most studies (unless the sleep deprivation is really prolonged; however, “it is postulated that these increases [in response to sleep deprivation] are due to the stress of dying rather than to sleep loss,” dryly noted one journal article.

The elevated glucocortocoid levels during sleep deprivation play a role in breaking down some of the stored forms of energy in the brain. This, along with many of the glucocortocoid effects on memory, could have something to do with why learning and memory are so lousy when sleep deprived. That’s something we all learned when we were doing an all nighter and discovering the next morning during the final exam that we can barely recall what month it was, let alone any of the factoids crammed in our heads the previous night. A recent study demonstrated one way in which our brains become impaired when we try to think hard on no sleep. Take a normally rested subject, stick her in a brain imager, and ask her to solve some “working memory” problems (holding on to some facts and manipulating them—like adding sequences of three-digit numbers). As a result, her frontal cortex lights up metabolically. Now, take someone who is sleep deprived and he’s awful at the working memory task. And what’s going on in his brain? What you might have guessed is that frontal metabolism would be inhibited, too groggy to get activated in response to the task. Instead, the opposite occurs—the frontal cortex is activated, but so are large parts of the rest of the cortex. It’s as if sleep deprivation has reduced this gleaming computer of a frontal cortex to a bunch of unshaven gibbering neurons counting on their toes, having to ask the rest of the cortical neurons to help out with this tough math problem.

So why care if sleep deprivation is a stressor? It’s obvious. We’re accustomed to all sorts of amenities in our modern lives: overnight deliveries of packages, advice nurses who can be called at two in the morning, round-the-clock technical support staff. Therefore, people are required to work under conditions of sleep deprivation. We’re not a nocturnal species and if a person works at night or works swing shifts, regardless of how many total hours of sleep she’s getting, it’s going against her biological nature. People who work those sorts of hours tend to over activate the stress response, and there’s little habituation (learning) that goes on. It’s not surprising that night work or shift work increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal disorders, immune suppression, and fertility problems.

A widely reported study a few years back really brought this into focus. Prolonged stress and glucocorticoids can damage the hippocampus and impair hippocampal-dependent explicit memory. Kei Choi of the University of Bristol studied flight attendants working for two different airlines. On one airline, after you worked a transcontinental flight with major jet lag, you’d have a 15-day break until being scheduled for the next transcontinental flight. In contrast, on airline #2, presumably with a weaker union, you got a 5-day break before the next transcontinental flight. Cho controlled for total amount of flying time and total number of time zones shifted in the course of flying. Thus, Airline #2’s crews didn’t experience more total jet lag, just less time to recover. Finally, Cho considered only employees who had been doing this for more than five years. He found that airline #2’s attendants had, on average, impaired explicit memory, higher glucocortocoid levels, and a smaller temporal lobe (the part of the brain that contains the hippocampus). This is obviously not a good thing for the employees working under these conditions. And this may make it less likely that the flight attendant will remember that 17C requested a mixture of ginger ale and skim milk with ice. But it kind of makes one wonder whether the back-to-the-grind-after-5-days pilot is having trouble remembering whether or not this little ol’ switch turns the engine on or off.

These worries about sleep deprivation are relevant to even those whose 9-to-5 job is 9-5 during daylight hours. We have an unprecedented number of ways to make us sleep deprived, beginning with something as simple as indoor lighting. In 1910, the average American slept nine hours a night, disturbed only by the occasional Model T backfiring. We now average 7.5 and declining. When there’s the lure of 24-hour-a-day fun, activities, and entertainment, or for the workaholic, the knowledge that somewhere, in some time zone, someone else is working while you indulge yourself in sleep, that pull of “just a few more minutes,” of pushing yourself, becomes irresistible and damaging.

Special Thanks

I would like to give thanks to the following researchers/authors who provided me with the necessary material to write this report.

Benington, J., & Heller, H. (1995). Restoration of brain energy metabolism as the function of sleep. Progress in Neurobiology, 45, 347.
Braun, A., Balkin, T., Wesensten, N., Gwardy, F., Carson, R., Varga, M., Baldwin, P., Belenky, G., & Herscovitch, P. (1998). Dissociated patterns of activity in visual cortices and their projections during human rapid eye movement sleep. Science, 279, 91.
Cauter, E., & Spiegel, K. (1999). Sleep as a mediator of the relationship between socioeconomic status and health: a hypothesis. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 896,, 254.
Cho, K. (2001). Chronic ‘jet lag’ produces temporal lobe atrophy and spatial cognitive deficits. Nature Neuroscience, 4, 567.
Drummond, S., Brown, G., Gillin, J., Stricker, J., Wong, E. & Buxton, R. (2000). Altered brain response to verbal learning following sleep deprivation. Nature, 403 655.
Fenn, K., Nusbaum, H., & Margoliash, D. (2003). Consolidation during sleep of perceptual learning of spoken language. Nature, 425, 614.
Gip, P., Hagiwara, G., Sapolsky, R., Cao, V., Heller, H., & Ruby, N. Glucocortocoids influence brain glycogen levels during sleep deprivation. American Journal of Physiology in press.
Hairston, I., Little, M., Scanlon,M., Lutan, C., Barakat, M., Palmer, T., Sapolsky, R., & Heller, H. (2003). Sleep deprivation enhances memory? Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, 616.
Meerlo, P., Koehl, M., van der Brought, K., & Turek, F. (2002). Sleep restriction alters the HPA response to stress. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 14, 397-402.
Okajima, T. & Hertting, G. (1986). Delta sleep induced peptide inhibited CRF-induced ACTH secretion from rat anterior pituitary gland in vitro. Hormones and Metabolic Research, 18 497.
Maquet, P. (2001). The role of sleep in learning and memory. Science, 294, 1048.
Mednick, S., Nakayama, K., & Stickgold, R. (2003). Sleep-dependent learning: a nap is as good as a night. Nature Neuroscience, 6, 697.
Pace-Schott, E., & Hobson, J. (2002) The neurobiology of sleep; genetics; cellular physiology and subcortical networks. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 3, 591.
Sapolsky, R. (2001). Wild dreams. Discover, 22, 36.
Shaw, P., Tononni, G., Greenspan, R., & Robinson, D. (2002). Stress response genes protect against lethal effects of sleep deprivation in Drosophila. Nature, 417, 287.
Skaggs, W., & McNaughton, B. (1996). Replay of neuronal firing sequences in rat hippocampus during sleep following spatial experience. Science, 271, 1870.
Siegel, J. (2003). Why we sleep. Scientific American, 92
VanReeth, O., Weibel, L., Spiegel, K., Leproult, R., Dugovic, C., & Maccari, S. (2000). Interactions between stress and sleep: from basic research to clinical situations. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 4, 201.
Vgontzas, A., Bixler. E., & Kales, A. (2000). Sleep, sleep disorders, and stress. Encyclopedia of Stress vol 3., 449.
Wagner, U., Gais, S., & Borm, J. (2001). Emotional memory formation is enhanced across sleep intervals with high amounts of rapid eye movement sleep. Learning and Memory, 8, 112.
Wilson, M., & McNaughton, B. (1994). Reactivation of hippocampal ensemble memories during sleep. Science, 265, 676.
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Re: The Basics of Sleep/Sleep Deprivation as a Stressor

Post by weedguru_animal » Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:29 am

Some of this proved very interesting and informative, from a scientific stance, but the scientific breakdown of WHAT SLEEP IS, referencing chemical processes and the physical make-up of the brain, made the reading road rather sticky, and at times, I found myself skipping lines. That is one point I wanted to make. Another is that as soon as you start talking of REM sleep and DREAMS, the scientific focus becomes, to me, futile and unnatural. Because dreams are an area which science simply cannot explain, no matter what measures are put in place, to gauge what different areas of the brain and body are doing, then postulating WHY. Dreams have literally shaped the course of human history, and will continue to do so...Which opens up the discussion to many other paths of enquiry. For what the hell do I mean by that statement eh???? Not just that wars have been waged, whole civilizations have been wiped out, on the basis of dreams, but also, individuals of lesser wide reaching potency than say...Alexander the Great, have also reacted to their dreams, and changed their lives, and the lives they toouch as a result of their dreams, whether consciously or otherwise.

The fact that if you stop a creature dreaming, for a prolonged period, and i mean REM sleep, for the scientific term, then they die, demands me to believe that dreaming has an INTENSELY important function. That can stay with the science stance, for now...but as I move on with this response, you will understand why I must move into metaphysical realms, and mysticism, if I am to seriously consider the nature of dreams.

As you are, by now, mate, after many years of wading through my word swamps, well aware, I am a conflicted creature, with strong idealism, realism and fantasy, all competing for centre stage, all dominant. I am no enemy of science, though I am far more poetic, by both nature and desire. I have of course, pondered not just my own dreams and nightmares, countless times over the last 31 years, but also dreams in general. What they are. Why we have them. I am NOT a man who has ever regularly dreamed of such things as impossible in the waking realm sexual encounters, or...becoming the greatest footballer in the world...I mean, on the odd occasions when I HAVE dreamt of interactions with my heroes, whether they be Valentino Rossi, or Hunter, or Wayne Rooney, I do not have, in my dreams, massively improved talents on what I have in my waking state. Whilst its impossible for me to say I look like me, i certainly always feel like me, and act like me, in my dreams. No superhuman strength.

I perceive dreams to be real, Chris. What happens in the dream realm, has happened, the memory is created, as if the event happened in the waking realm. this CREATION of memories, not fabrication of memories, I find intriguing. The mind is a very powerful thing...I hate to use the word thing, but I must separate the mind from the physical brain. In order to make this needed jump from science to something else...To me, the mind, the ego, the soul, all reside in the head area. Spirit is all over the body...for there is Daniel in my dick, as there is Daniel in my spoken and written words...and beyond. But I am strongly eager to postulate, that it is the soul which takes centre stage when we dream. Soul is a word which a scientist simply cannot use. At best, they can link it to the subconscious...but that isn't good enough for me, as whilst I will agree, that SOUL is generally a subconscious entity, there is more to it than that. Its beyond the ego, the spirit, the emotive core. Its a law onto itself, not a scientific law like gravity, but a NATURAL law, and it spreads its wings and flies free when our eyes are flickering, and the scientists are saying we are in REM sleep.

The soul flies free...indeed. and the ONLY way our brains can make sense of its movements, is to invoke dream imagery, meaning images which have been gathered, and can be understood and related to, by the waking mind. I mean...that the mind will use an image it understands, to show what the soul is doing. So...a woman from work, who i would love to lick up and down, appearing in a dream, with zero sexual value, is my soul playing with the dictionary of imagery stored within my mind, and She becomes, not HER, as I see her, and want Her, in my waking state, but as a symbol...of my day to day life. Again, this needs massively deeper examination and elaboration...but time is running thin, and before I leave this screen, this box, to be more precise, I need to cover more ground, even fleetingly.

So if I am suggesting that dreams are the soul speaking, playing, flying free of the shackles of Waking Ego, the next question, which always comes to me, is this...'WHERE???? ON WHAT PLANE?? IN WHICH DIMENSION???'...ANd the best I have gathered, which makes any kind of sense is that the dream realm is indeed a very different dimension, far beyond the access or even sight, of our waking senses. Its a realm where not only the soul is in charge, leading us, showing us reflections of itself, of ourselves...but also, its a dimension where ALL souls take flight, and sometimes, its possible for souls to meet there. I will cite one example:

When i was becoming entangled with my last long term girlfriend, Heather, she told me one night that she had received a call from a boy who was chasing her heavily, after they had been together beforehand. He was distraught...strangely distraught...a street fighter. Not in any way naturally predisposed to mysticism. he was plagued by a recurring nightmare. Which involved him being with Heather on a sea front. Then a gang of little men, all wearing motorcycle helmets, attacking HIM, not her, he tried to defend himself, but they had knives and were many. Now this chap knew NOTHING about me, other than that I lived in brighton, which is on the coast. So the seafront imagery makes some sense, from his conscious knowledge. As for the motorcycle helmets...Heather had never been with a man who rode bikes before. This chap didnt ride, nor was connected to anyone who rides bike. and he knew NOTHING of my motorcylcing habits. At the time, when she told me this, I was sure it was me, in his dreams. it was my soul, showing itself to him, and i carved that fucker up...not just as myself, but as an army of myself...Bear in mind, this chap had zero history of talking of dreams or nightmares, zero interest or belief in the power of unexplained dimensions, yet his fear was so savage, the nightmares so vivid, so severe, that her spoke to heather about it...to warn her...though when pushed, he admitted, the little men in bike helmets with blades, were after HIM, not Her...

Now...i truly believe that souls can become entangled. I also believe that the soul is a law onto itself. It has no desperate need to bother the waking Me with nightmares, with dreams even, its not merely serving some mechanical process, its free...and flying. in ITS realm. doing ITS thing. and the reason why, I cannot remember EVER waking up from a dream and seeing myself in the memories, is because the soul is connected to my spirit, my emotive core, my mind, but not to my body. Which also adds weight to the hugely repeated suggestion of MANY both old and modern spiritual doctrines, which state that the soul IS nothing to do with the flesh. Its deeper. Its our core.

Let me outline one more dream...or one more dream event, which has occurred several times in my life.

I am a lover. I have loved several women. And have held the torch of a true romantic love as my leading light since i first became aware of myself and the world around me. ONE of the women I have loved...I should say One of the women i love, for generally if I love a woman, romantically, then, unless she doesn't savage me, and compromises that love, my love remains true. This can be said of 3 females I have entangled with. 2 of these women, I have engaged in serious relationships with. The other...my first love. A female whom i grew up with, who i was incredibly close to, who I fell in love with, when my heart was completely unscathed romantically. She is NOT glamourous. And if you placed her side by side the women I have been with, most men would go for the others...purely on Dick...yet her soul...indeed, her soul...is divinely beautiful to me. She is the ONE. For whom i would cheat, steal, kill, go to war. And she is the sister of one of my longest serving, closest brothers. Does she feel the same??? anything of the same??? I will say YES....to a palpable, but unknown degree/// Have we ever...entangled??? YES...albeit briefly, but it was the most perfect morning of my 31 year life. For there was no awkward demand for lust, no nervy apprehension of anything whatsoever...just...loveliness. I was so fucking happy, blissfully happy, to be close, to be intimate, with the girl i have loved more purely than any other, all my life. Kissing her cheek, in a London park, as the sparrows were delivering their morning chorus, meant more to me, and still does, than ANY other intimate connection to a woman, before or after this night and morning in question. Indeed...it makes little sense to some, but this is not a feeling, sensation, though, knowledge, which demands reasoning. I simply...love HER SOUL. and even now, if she ever needed me, in any way, i don't mean as a lover, i mean as someone whose love for her is truly unconditional, I would be there, in an instant. Because I adore her, more than I still feel for women i have been with for several years then split with for reasons which didnt leave us hating each other, in fact still loving each other. Anna, is simply...the only girl I know, who comes anywhere near being The One. And despite my very heavy, perhaps intense, to some, character, I do not chase her. I do not hound her. for she is with another man, and i respect that. I respect Her. And...truly, i am so fucking happy whenever i hear from her, so fucking happy that we remain in sporadic correspondence, that I confirm to myself, with these very words, with this very train of thought and feeling, that my love for her is indeed, not a matter of need, or desire, but an unconditonal hope and eagerness for her happiness. It makes me warm here and now, just to ponder her. And I am not pondering being with her. just pondering her...Enough of that. Back to the dreams...

Now...when i am involved with a woman. In a proper way. I am more involved than most. I give my ALL. So when such relations go sour, bitter, and then become painful and traumatic, I am fucked up...its a death to me. a death of hope. a death of a dream I thought and felt i had been living. There is nothing remotely cathartic or bearable in the vicious breakdown of romantic intimacy to me. Its heavy, consuming, enough to end me. Now...my last two major relationships have ended in betrayal. On the girl's part. Not mine. I have dived, perhaps partly consciously, into a sea of such severe sickness, to the soul, the spirit, the mind, the heart, everything i am, so totally, that i become a geyser of pain. Nothing more to give but pain...to the world in general. to myself...And during these two periods in question, of injury, of trauma, i have dreamt of Anna. Yes, her and me together, but simply kissing and canoodling. Or even walking and talking together... And i have awoken the next day, massivley changed, massively improved. pain vanished. Hope returned....True enough I have then gone back to the Horror. But my point is this...when I am drinking myself to BLACK OUT, crying myself to sleep, and i dream of Anna. my WHOLE being is changed. Its as if my soul is saying to me...'come now, little man...im not interested in Laurene, or Heather...lets pay Anna a visit...let me remind you of the mere existence, let alone your connection to her, of Anna...of this bedazzingly beautiful soul, who is warm to you, and you warm to her...and the others, in fact, everyone else, pales into insignificance...so enjoy...as we dance with her, in MY REALM...for no matter how harshly you have been treated...it means nothing, when i remind you, when i feel myself, of this connection to a true earth angel...'...and i wake, bouncing with joy, smiling, upbeat, madly content. Not filled with vigour rooted in I MUST GET ANNA...but the mere locking of soul-ar horns with her, in the dream realm, is enough to profoundly improve me, and take stock of my situation.

Enough for now...
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Re: The Basics of Sleep/Sleep Deprivation as a Stressor

Post by SpRi7e » Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:44 pm

Once I finish this, I'll get back to it with a discussion.. dreams are extremely interesting so I'm sort of using this as a reminder to read it
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Re: The Basics of Sleep/Sleep Deprivation as a Stressor

Post by emilyblunt » Wed Nov 17, 2010 4:19 pm

That was a very long post man but I'll try to read everything. I'll get back to you when I'm done. :)

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AbbyRoad
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Re: The Basics of Sleep/Sleep Deprivation as a Stressor

Post by AbbyRoad » Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:37 pm

i am on the boat of people that are going to read this and get back to you
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