Unanswered questions about sleep

Book Wild Nights:

Sleep was a scientific mystery not many years ago. Coton Mathere was a pioneer in his 1724 book The Angel of Bethesda. He handed out cures for nightmares and insomnia. “If gentle purges and forced committing didn’t work, he suggested a bath of rain water, vinegar, spirit of wine on a napkin. And if that didn’t work opiates were moderately given.

So what was Lady Macbeth to do with a sleep disorder. In the 18th and 19th century a study of the brain’s production and disrupting of sleep began. Rachel Bater attracted visitors because she was tranquil but woke up with a sickly dilation in the pupil. In the 18th century Europe and North America began to ascertain unruly sleep to mental instability rather than demon possession.

In 1833 an American killer was the first to claim sleepwalking defense in court. Rachel Bater was diagnosed eventually with chorea, a muscle spasm. Rider, a similar case pricing to see in the dark, was committed against her wishes to state Lunatic Asylum at Worcester. Her diet was experimented on. Then bled copiously and given a shaved head. At the end the doctors had no explanation for her sleeping condition, except as a result of eating fruit like green currants.
Now centuries later over 70 sleep disorders are now recognized. 40 million Americans are diagnosed with 1 yearly and unruly sleeping are no longer checked into a hospital. Despite being reams of tech data driving the strangeness of sleep persists. Now the strangest person in the village is the one who says they sleep soundly and tranquilly each and every night.

Blake Butler’s work: Waking: A portrait of insomnia. After a bout of sleep loss. He experienced panels of color appearing and slurring as well as burts of philosophical psychosis. But sleep as Liv nancy describes is falling and the screen goes blank. Even Thoreau tried to become more interested in sleep by going to the cabin on July 4, 1845. He notes his sleep patterns revolve more slowly than that of nature. Today we turn our sleeping and waking into mechanical operations rather than natural processes. Thoreau contributes awakeness to circadian rhythms like “flower clocks.”

In 1930s the study of circadian rhythms by Kleitman was experimented on when he slept in a cave for 6 days with a 28 hour day. He couldn’t adjust but his younger brother could for the extended day. Kleitman’s claim to fame was his discovery of the REM sleep cycle in 1953.

Interestingly, sleep durations last longer by one or two hours in the winter in the equator but in Berlin only by 18 minutes in the winter. So one might pose another question such as how many REM cycles happen in circadian rhythm and what are they called. The first is called Light Sleep. A k-complex wave appears if whispered in someone’s ear while they are in this sleep phase. 20 minutes later and lasting 2 hours is something called slow wave sleep. 20 minutes after that is something called REM sleep and its the lightest type and people wake up usually from REM sleep. If you stay awake longer than normal then you would fall directly into slow sleep. The cycle happens about 3-4 times during a normal sleep.