You can do better. You deserve better.
“God, what a beautiful beach. Calm. Nice translucent turquoise water. I should really go back to Thailand. I wonder what time it is in Thailand. But… why is there a mangy German Shepherd on my beach? Orange collar. That makes no sense. Kind of looks like John’s dog. Actually, I owe John a call. Did I put his birthday party in the calendar? Birthdays and clowns. Clowns?! Why the hell am I thinking about clowns???”
And so my internal dialogues continues until 3, 4, or even 6 a.m., rotating through images, ideas, commitments, anxieties and fantasies.
I have insomnia. Horrific onset-insomnia that also afflicts my father and my brother. It’s not because we’re stressed out, it’s not because we’re not tired — it’s because we just can’t freaking fall asleep.
Here are some of the most important initial findings, ranking sleep from 1-10, 10 being most restful:
1. 8-10 sleep was most dependent on the ratio of REM-to-total sleep, not total REM duration.
The higher the percentage of REM sleep, the more restful the sleep. The higher the REM percent, the better the recall of skills or data acquired in the previous 24 hours. Higher percent REM sleep also correlated to lower average pulse and temperature upon waking. Based on available studies, I expected deep wave to affect the latter two, but the correlation was erratic.
2. I could increase REM percent by extending total sleep time past 9 hours or waking for 5 minutes at approximately 4.5 hours after sleep onset.
Short wakings of 5-10 minutes, particularly one additional waking approximately 6.5 hours after sleep onset, dramatically increased REM percent. It turns out that waking is not necessarily a bad thing, at least when intentional.
3. 200mcg (micrograms) of huperzine-A 30 minutes pre-bed can increase total REM by 20-30 percent
Huperzine-A, an extract of huperzia serrata, slows the breakdown of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine ( 1). It is a popular nootropic (smart drug), and I have used it in the past to accelerate learning and increase the incidence of lucid dreaming. The increased REM seemingly caused by huperzine-A could explain the increased retention some experience with it. I no longer use huperzine-A except for the first several weeks of language acquisition, no more than three days per week to avoid side-effects, and I do not recommend using it unless you do your homework. Inhibition in the human body usually triggers compensation — and often delayed side-effects — somewhere else. The brain is a sensitive instrument, and this drug is contraindicated with a fair number of medications.
Read more at Huffington Post.