The complex biochemical mechanisms of our dreams

human brainAfter having identified REM sleep as the privileged moment of the dream, scientists wanted of course to know more.

How, precisely, does this phase of REM sleep occur? How and where does the dream originate in our brain? Many elements are still missing, but the teams of sleep specialists and neuroscientists have allowed science to move forward on the issue.

Brain imaging and inconsistent dreams

First observation: during the REM phase, the primary visual areas are deactivated, that is to say that the sense organs do not transmit information to the brain.

However, the brain continues to form images in other more sophisticated visual areas: it seems that it functions in autarky and does not need external images to function. In the same way as when a person closes his eyes and makes an effort of imagination, he can easily visualize the landscape of his dreams, for example.

Except that in the case of the dream, it was not his will that made an effort to recall this image. What remains to be investigated is how this image was created in the brain.

What we do know, however, is that the prefrontal lobe, which partly manages the consistency of the information we receive, is at rest during REM sleep. So there is no more censorship and our brain can no longer tell the difference between what is true, what is not, what is coherent or not.

Hence the difficulty in telling our dreams on waking: they often have neither tail nor head and no logical frame.

Birth of dreams: an experience on cats

Neuroscientists wanted to understand what was causing this altered state of the brain and to verify where exactly REM sleep was born: is there a dream center? These researchers therefore conducted an exciting experiment on cats. We already knew that the cortex was not essential for REM sleep.

The teams therefore concentrated on the brainstem and gradually removed small parts, notably the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland, two structures which are nevertheless very important in regulating moods. Each time they cut a part of the brainstem, they found that cats continued to experience very regular REM sleep periods, neither the duration nor the frequency of which were shortened.

Second stage of the experiment: there remains only the bridge, a structure which makes the link between the brain and the spinal cord. The researchers decided to practice progressive bilateral lesions on this element.

Very quickly, they realized that, this time, the mutilated cats no longer had REM sleep and meaningful dreams at all: it would therefore seem that it originates in this bridge, more precisely at the level of its dorsolateral part.

The role of neurotransmitters

These data were confirmed by histochemical experiments which made it possible to show the accumulation of enzymes, responsible for the destruction of monoamine oxidases at the level of a very close structure, the cerulean complex.

This explains in particular that when a person has been deprived for a certain period of REM sleep, the duration of the dream, each night, increases: the enzymes seem to regulate the release of these monoamines over the long term.

This theory is now confirmed: thus, when monoamine oxidase inhibitors are injected into an individual, the phases of REM sleep (and therefore the dream in its strict version) disappear.

It remains to be seen how this monoamine oxidase then acts on the brain. It makes it possible to inactivate certain neurotransmitters of the monoamine class, such as norepinephrine, serotonin or dopamine. All these neurotransmitters play, among other things, a role in the regulation of mood and sleep.

Monoamine oxidase therefore has an obvious indirect effect on the different phases of sleep. Later, a team of Swedish researchers from the Karolinska Institute helped define a topography of the circuits of these neurotransmitters. Systems that would also be able to control each other and that researchers are still far from finished deciphering.

We know in particular that serotonin is necessary for falling asleep and keeping the body in a state of sleep. In the morning, serotonin inhibitors take effect, its concentration in the body decreases and we wake up.

The two systems are linked: if we deactivate the noradrenergic neurons, then the serotonergic neurons activate and the amount of daily sleep increases considerably, as does the quantity of dreams.

As for the REM sleep phase in particular, teams have identified in the brainstem the structures responsible for its activation. It is a set of SP-on neurons, active during REM sleep.

These neurons have their reverse equivalent, the SP-off neurons, which work thanks to aminergic neurotransmitters (noradrenaline, serotonin, histamine): they prevent the SP-on neurons from functioning. It is only when their action stops that they can “light up” and trigger REM sleep.

Another peculiarity of REM sleep, metabolic this time: experience has shown that the energy expenditure of the organism in glucose and oxygen was the same as during waking: better to have eaten well the night before if we want to have enough energy to dream! Spending is significantly slowed down during slow sleep.

Enzymes are therefore responsible for the ability to dream; the more there are, the less a person dreams. The mechanism of the latter is therefore very biochemical, even metabolic.

Why You Should Be Using Coupons When Shopping For A Mattress

When shopping for something as expensive as a mattress, you should be looking for coupons. After all, even the smallest fraction of percentage off can save you a lot of money. Below, we will be going over some of the reasons you want to find coupons when shopping for something like a mattress.

Reasons To Use Coupons:

1. Save Money

Obviously, the main reason you are going to want to try to find and use coupons when shopping for a mattress has to be the fact that it can save you a lot of money on your total purchase. Because the purchase is going to be such a large amount, even a small 5% coupon is going to result in significant savings. Therefore, you should be primarily looking for a coupon to save money on whatever you plan on buying.

2. They Are Easy To Find

Another big reason you are going to want to consider using a coupon on the purchase is due to the availability of these mattress coupons. The fact is, finding a coupon to purchase your bed has never been easier. You are going to be able to find a coupon that you can use very easily. As a result of it being so easy to find a coupon nowadays, there is simply no reason to purchase a mattress without using one. By using a coupon, you can save a significant amount of money and it has never been easier to find one. You should be able to find one either by signing up for special offers from a bed store or seller or by completing simple searches online.

3. The Industry Is Competitive

Another reason you are going to want to look for one and use one when buying a mattress has to do with the competitiveness of the industry. The fact is, the mattress industry is one of most competitive industries on the market. With various manufacturers and sellers looking to sell in the marketplace, you should have no issues being able to find great coupons being offered. Along with this, you will even be able to find affiliate marketers offering huge discounts on mattress purchases. Therefore, you should be taking advantage of the competitiveness of the entire industry to help save you money.

4. They Are Expensive

Another big reason you are going to want to use a coupon is due to the fact that they are going to be very expensive to purchase. Because of this, you want to save and use coupons when making the purchase of a mattress. No one wants to have to spend a huge amount of money when they can save some money on the purchase.

5. Combine With Sales

Another good reason you are going to want to use one when making a purchase is due to the ability to combine them with sales events. A lot of retailers and manufacturers are going to offer you the ability to combine coupons with purchases that are already heavily discounted and on sale. This alone is going to save you a significant amount of money on top of the original savings.

Overall, there is simply no reason to not use a coupon when you are buying a bed. As long as there is a coupon available for the product that you are looking to purchase, you should be able to experience significant savings on your total purchase. Using a coupon is a great way to minimize the total amount of money you end up having to pay on your next purchase and you will want to dig as much as you have to in order to find a good one due to the significant savings potential it comes with.

Global warming explained

The average temperature of the Earth as a whole is not stable but varies with time, as evidenced by analysis of geological layers. For example our planet was ten degrees colder 20,000 years ago, during the height of the last ice age.

These variations are still very slow, and the temperature has fluctuated by only 0.2 degrees between the year one thousand and the late nineteenth century.

The fact that worries the international community at present is the acceleration of the phenomenon, which now occurs at a rate unmatched in the past. Thus, since the late nineteenth century, a hundred years ago, the average global temperature rose 0.6 degrees.

Worse, the computer simulations suggest that warming will accelerate and the average temperature could therefore increase by 1.4 to 5.8 degrees by the end of the century. It is this unlucky phenomenon that is called global warming.

Temperature variations of the atmosphere are usually linked to factors such as fluctuations in solar activity or speed of rotation of the Earth. But most scientists believe that the main cause of the current warming of the planet is a different phenomenon called the greenhouse effect. It is a process by which a large part of the Sun’s energy reaching Earth is stored by the atmosphere of our planet, rather than reflected back into space.

As we have seen, according to Wien’s law, the nature of the radiation emitted by a body depends on its temperature. The Sun, with a surface temperature of 6000 degrees emits mainly in the visible and energy passes easily through our atmosphere. But as the Earth’s temperature is much lower than that of the Sun, the Earth re-emits this energy as infrared radiation. However, certain gases in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, although transparent to visible light, are opaque to infrared light. So they block the re-radiation, absorb its energy and thereby heat up. Much of the solar energy is absorbed by the atmosphere, a phenomenon that is also found on the planet Venus.

The most likely cause of the acceleration of the greenhouse effect and global warming since the late nineteenth century is the impact of humans playing on the environment. Huge amounts of greenhouse gases are indeed released into the atmosphere by various modern activities such as fossil fuel use in industry and transport, and agricultural practices such as deforestation and farming cattle. For example, it is estimated that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased 30 percent since the beginning of the industrial age, which contributes significantly to the greenhouse effect.

The effects of global warming already being seen with, for example, the withdrawal of some glaciers, rising of sea level by thermal expansion of water as well as reduction in thickness of the polar cap Arctic. The acceleration of the phenomenon in the twenty-first century should lead to stronger effects, especially a sharper increase in the mean sea level and extreme changes in weather, with powerful heat waves and periods of heavy game rainfall.

The effects will induce great human suffering with more floods, more droughts, problems of water supply, development of diseases like malaria, the disappearance of certain coastal areas or low altitude islands. In the longer term, we can worry about such phenomena as the melting of the ice sheet covering Greenland, which would result in a 6 meters rise of sea level, with the disappearance of most coastal regions of the world. We should not count on luck for the game of global warming effect to reverse, but only hard work for the current and future generations can make it happen.

Bible Names and its Relevance in the Modern Times

Bible names have never gone out of fashion or become outdated; parents still go through The Holy Book to find unique and meaningful names for their little one. There are many names in the Bible that have become immortalized over the centuries like Moses, Abel, Aaron, Adam, Rebecca, Chloe, Immanuel, Jacob, Peter, Thomas etc. In fact, all the disciples’ names continue to be used even today.

It is true that parents are now looking for modern names or trying to come up with unique and unheard of names for their little ones. And the difficulty in spellings or pronunciation has taken away some of the glamour from Biblical names. But in spite of that, biblical names continue to be extremely popular not just in the Western world but in other countries with Christian occupants.

It is a known fact that the choices are much more for males than females simply because there are more male characters of importance and significance in the Bible. The choice might be less for the girl child but nevertheless, there are some beautiful and exquisite Bible names for females that you can consider for naming your little princess.

Though biblical names should actually mean the personalities and characters mentioned in the Holy Book, there are many modern names which are adaptations or derivations of these names. These include names like Hope, Grace, Bethany, Adonis, Marcellus etc. According to a recent survey, one of the most popular Biblical names that continue to be used frequently in the modern times is Jacob. The others include Andrew, Anthony, William, Joshua, Daniel, Ethan, Matthew, Michael and Christopher.

Sometimes, parents tend to name their children after the heroes of the Holy Book like Moses, Abraham, Issac, Abel etc. as these are meaningful names which have been immortalized by the people who bore these names. The desirable qualities and strength of the character makes these names all the more attractive for the modern generation parents.

The top female name from the Bible, according to the survey, is Emily which is closely followed by Emma, Isabella, Madison, Hannah, Ava, Abigail, Olivia, Sophia and Elizabeth. Another trend for naming babies these days is to use tweak the biblical names to from new and unique ones. One such name that is becoming common is Nevaeh which is heaven spelt backwards.

Mary, mother of Jesus, used to be an extremely common name in the earlier days but has somehow lost its shine because of its very high frequency. So is the case with Eve which used to be extremely popular among girl children but is now on the downside.

The relevance of Bible names will continue in the coming generations too. There might be many new and unique names that will come up but the beauty of these age old names will never go out of fashion. So the next time you are looking for a baby name, open up the Bible and read through it to come across beautiful and meaningful names for your little bundle of joy.