Thursday, 28 April 2016

A waking nightmare

I found an article about sleep that really caught my eye, as I absolutely dread sleep paralysis. I'm sure I'm not the only one to experience this disturbing event, so I decided to share it with you. Here's a slightly edited version of the article:

As you fall asleep each night, the electrical nerve impulses are cut off between your muscles and your brain. Your brain can still tell your body to do stuff, such as run away from some terrible danger (REM), but your body won’t respond (atonia).
  • REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement (the sleep phase linked with dreaming)
  • Atonia means lack of muscle tension
Having atonia while dreaming is ok, it keeps you safe by stopping you from acting out your dreams, but if you wake up when your body is still in a state of atonia, you experiment sleep paralysis. It's quite frightening, but here are some tricks that may work for you:
  1. Relax your body into the paralysis. Don’t fight it forcefully, as this creates panic and increases the chance of having scary hallucinations.
  2. Try to gently wiggle your fingers and toes. These tiny movements will eventually tell your brain that your body is awake and to stop the atonia.
  3. Try to move your eyes by blinking and looking around the room. Again, the goal is to establish waking-like movements to fully awaken your brain and body together.
  4. Try to move your lips and facial muscles.
  5. Focus on breathing as slowly and deeply as you can. If your breathing feels restricted, remember that you have been breathing fine like this while asleep for hours.
  6. Maintain a calm and positive mental state. Focus on relaxing thoughts. Imagine a beach in the sun, a million miles away from the darkness of your bedroom. Sing an upbeat song in your mind.
  7. The Ultimate Method We know — we said 6 ways, but this is the single best way to wake up from sleep paralysis and it’s really in a class of its own. When you realize you are in SP, scrunch up your face. In other words, make a face like you just smelled something bad. Snarl and squint. Do this two or three times in a row and the paralysis will break IMMEDIATELY. We’re not sure why it is so effective, but unlike the pinky wiggle, this method is foolproof.
After you wake up, get out of bed immediately and turn on a light. Wash your face with cold water. If you just stay in bed, the chance of sliding right back into sleep paralysis is pretty high.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

It's all a matter of opinion...

We're long overdue for a frivolous post, so here goes: According to Americans, these are the sexiest nationalities. People from other parts of the world would beg to differ about some of them! I agree that this particular Irish guy is sexy, but I'm skeptical about the Armenian woman...

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Breathtaking photographs

These photographs are very different from each other, but they're all very beautiful in their own way.

    Photo by Robert Davis

    Red Lotus Sea, Thailand (photographer unknown)

    Super Moon (photographer unknown)

     Photo by André Villeneuve

    Photo by Liz Nolan

Monday, 25 April 2016

A very special nurse

A little black cat was taken to an animal shelter in Poland in a bad way. A serious upper respiratory infection led the vet to consider putting the poor animal to sleep. Then it started to purr, so the vet reconsidered and initiated treatment. Not only did Radamenes pull through, but he became a valuable asset to the shelter:

Once Radamenes regained his strength, he started to befriend the other animals at the shelter. The shelter staff noticed he was particularly fond of animals who had just undergone major surgeries or procedures. Sometimes when you’re sick, all you need is a loving cuddle or a warm hug to help you through it. This is where Radamenes comes in. 

Sunday, 24 April 2016

I love these paintings

These paintings by Catrine Welz-Stein take us to a magic world. Lovely and calming.