Category Archives: Sleep

Dreaming the Dreams of Dreams

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NLPNOW

Last night was the last night of the Muslim fasting, and as darkness fell in the evening, prayers were offered via the very noisy loudspeakers perched atop of the mosques minarets, and even more noisy firework were being let off, booming like I have never heard before.

Fireworks were still being let off well after midnight, and even more prayers were started to be  broadcast via the minarets starting a good ten minutes after the clock struck twelve. I think their watches must be slow, why start ten minutes after midnight?

But I was tired, and sleep soon took me away into its arms, to a Never Never Land of make believe.

Dreams

I knew I was dreaming very vivid dreams, as I was consciously aware of the dreams taking place even in my sleep, it was as if I was awake knowing that a story was unfolding in my dreams, and I was happy.
At 4:05 am, another loud bang, rattling the whole bedroom, coming from yet another firework waking me up, my poor heart thumping with shock and my body aching from an overly hard bed. Some of these blasts could not be from shop bought fireworks as the blasts were too deep and the sound wave too big and penetrating. I am told they are home made. Interesting as I do not know of many people who can make explosives.
As I lay there, calming myself down, I tried to recall my dreams only minutes before I had been enjoying. Nothing, except I knew it had involved an ex girlfriend called Liz, (was her name Elizabeth Drew?), from the days when I was a young schoolboy, where certain urges were there, but what those urges meant, I had no idea at the time.
What were we doing in those dreams I had had?
They were not naughty, I knew that much, I know I could have shared the story-line with my mother, and I knew there had been a proper story-line, a good one. But, nothing came to mind of the dream.
Yet, other memories came flooding back as I lay there of actual events that happened, many, many years ago, of me hiding under the dining table one evening when I had visited Liz at her parents house, why I did that I have no idea, of me missing band practice so I could watch Star Trek on her parents TV, and walking with her around the water’s of Chasewater, a large reservoir near our home town. But, nothing about the contents of the dream I had just awoken from.
Other actual memories came flooding back too, of long lost girlfriends, of days when I was so innocent and naive, and so young. Paula Dawes from my college days, then the girl whose name eludes me, on the number 5 Walsall bus every morning and night, with her long straight red hair, we never dated but we were very close, and the girl I had my first real kiss with at a Xmas Party for the Lichfield Junior Accident Prevention Committee, sorry did I ever know your name?
Still nothing about my dream content.
I know I dreamt, but I cannot remember.
Often in my courses as we discuss what are dreams and why do we sleep, participants will say that they never dream. I disagree. Just because we cannot remember something happening, does not mean it never happened. We all dream.
Brains are designed to forget, to erase information, thy are designed to sleep, to dream, from the smallest of living beings, say the fruit fly, through mice, fish, whales, cats and dogs on to humans, without sleep and dreams we would be overwhelmed by information and the brain would die.
But, I would still like to recall my dream.

I Had a Dream, Are Dreams and Beliefs Truth

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Last night I was taken to a rather expensive restaurant called VU’s on the 50th floor of the Emirates Towers here in Dubai.

The eight course meal must have been cooked by Gordon Blue (Cordon Bleu), as each dish was very small, for example the appetiser was one small mushroom set upon an equally small amount of sauce, but in the end the whole meal was very filling and superb.
Retiring to my bed, I drifted of into a very heavy sleep which resulted in those dreams which are so vivid.
I dreamt that I had been in a previous employment many years ago, and that after I had resign, I was accused of taking a sum of money from the company, a cheque valued at £2,000.
The whole scene was so vivid, yet so unreal, as I recall that some of the scenes were set it seems in a classroom I studied in when I was a schoolboy many years earlier.
I knew I was innocent as I tried to prove that there had been a mistake, also protecting my staff from being accused who I knew were innocent. Yet, the management wanted blood, my blood, especially from one manager whom I realised was a nasty piece of work, using any tactic to help him climb the ladder of success, removing those who got in his way, and I was in his way.
I was in panic, so much panic, it awoke me, or was it the bright desert morning sunlight?
In this half awake, half asleep state, I was guilty, and although I used my logic, my memory of the real event of leaving that job or employment, I was guilty.
I knew I had dreamt that I had been accused of this crime, but my mind, part of my conscious mind was adamant it was true.
It took me some minutes to rationalise, to reason with my conscious mind, to convince it that it was just a dream.
This whole incident of my dream reminded me of one of the radio interviews I had just done (listen) on beliefs, what they are and how they formed, it also reminded me about false memories, those memories of passed times which we are totally convinced are true, but are in fact totally wrong and untrue.
Perhaps you have been with a friend discussing something that had happened sometime ago, one said this happened and you knew it was something different that had happened. 

“Jane wore that blue dress she always wears” your friend say, and you reply convincingly, “No, it was her red dress”.

Who was right? 
There have been many cases of people being accused and convicted of crimes that they have not committed, especially in child abuse cases, where the child with their active minds, or people who were mentally unstable, or people with a grudge against the accused, have told stories that were so convincing that they believed them to be true, the judge and juries believed to be true, even leading to the accused believing them to be true, and you and me perhaps believed to be true.
False memories. False beliefs.
In the 1970’s and 1980’s, especially but not restricted to the USA, many people were “brought to justice“, for child abuse, only to be later overturned as evidence was submitted to prove innocence, or it was proved there was no evidence in the original trials, or that false memories had been created.
In 2001, Margaret Talbot wrote in the New York Times :- 

When you once believed something that now strikes you as absurd, even unhinged, it can be almost impossible to summon that feeling of credulity again.” 
A policeman was accused and convicted along with some his colleagues, of abusing his daughters. His strong religious beliefs, and his beliefs that his children would never tell lies, placed false memories in his own mind that he had done those atrocities, and he admitted his (false) guilt. The way that the daughter had been questioned by investigators, the way the interviewers had constructed their questions, the interviewers’ preconceived ideas or notions, because the interviewers’ had authority with the child, the child wanted to please, because the child had been repeatedly asked the same questions, because the child had perhaps heard similar stories from their friends, had led the memories to become what the interviewer wanted, they were false memories, their beliefs.
I was asked to travel to Italy to work with a lady who was having problems. With her doctors permission, I worked with her. It turned out that at a time of stress, the birth of her child, a family member who had just started a physiology type course, tried to analyse her help her, and placed in her mind that she had been, as a child, raped by her father, then her mother, her aunties and uncles, the villagers, her pet and then the animals in the surrounding farms. Her relative had placed in her mind false memories which she believed to be true. My job was to help her back to reality, to reprogram those memories and not remove them.
Many examples can be cited here, the case of brainwashing by counties, regimes and organisations, for example the Branch Davidians in the Waco Siege of 1993,
In recent months we have had the case of Amanda Fox, Rafaelle Sollecito and Meredith Kercher, many beliefs were created, and not knowing all the facts I am not going to express any opinion on the outcome. These beliefs firstly led to convictions, then led to acquittals.
Firstly we had the alleged preconceived ideas of the investigators, the alleged methods of questioning, both the accused, Amanda Fox, and the investigators under stress, and the differences in Italian and English languages, how in translation words have and could be given different meanings and thus outcomes. This led to strong beliefs in the prosecutors, defendants, jury and press, and thus the public, you and me, as to what was the truth.
Even after the retrial and acquittal, people still hold on to t
heir beliefs, as Margaret Talbot said above.
I have to be very careful of how I construct my language, how my words are being translated in my courses given in so many non English speaking countries. It could be the problem given in the recent incident between the Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini and Carlos Tevez who is alleged to play against Mayern Munich. What is the truth? Which ever story is stronger, which every side of the fence you fall, will be your belief.
What ever we are taught at school, in your religious teachings, by your parents, family and friends, what news we are being fed by the radio, TV, newspapers our governments all create our beliefs which are of cause the truth.
So was my dream true or not. I had to dig deep, to chunk down, to gather more information to prove my dream was just a dream and not the truth, even if it was so vivid, so much so that it could become my belief.
We have to go below the surface level (iceberg effect) to find the truth that become our beliefs, but are they true?
Is our Cat on the Mat the correct cat?

The 4th radio interview in the series

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As an on-going project, I have giving today my third radio interview on Ashford Radio.

In this interview by Marcus, I talk about what I call DREAMS and SLEEP.
Here I talk about how the brain, we humans can use future thoughts, our imagination to achieve whatever we desire.
For some computer systems the radio button will not appear on this page, so click here to listen.


 

Listen to internet radio with AshfordPublishing on Blog Talk Radio

Please leave any comments you may have below.
I am available to give courses to corporate and the public, in many subjects around the world, plus talks and presentations, and will work with individuals on personal issues.
Contact me for more information. 
Find other radio interviews by clicking here.

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REM Sleep

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REM sleep or Rapid Eye Movement, is part of the sleep cycle, and in a normal nights sleep can occur a number of times, say 5 or 6 times.

As we sleep, we enter into differing levels or stages, 1 – 5, from a light sleep to a deep sleep, and theses stages will cycle round as mentioned perhaps 5 or 6 times.

Initially as we fall asleep we enter the 1st of 5 stages. This first stage is very light and is akin to being awake it is so close, and often people do not recognise stage as the body begins to relax.

The 2nd stage is a light sleep, where the heart rate slows down, the muscles relax and contract, and the body temperature begins to fall.

As sleep continues the sleep goes into the deepest stages, the 3rd and 4th, the 4th being the deepest, and the sleep will cycle between these two stages. The brain activity is very rhythmic and the body is quite still.

There are different levels of brain activity, and these are defined as:-

BETA           high brain activity, awakened state
ALPHA        a studious brain
THETA         a daydreaming brain
DELTA         low brain activity, deep sleep

It is during this Delta sleep, the 3rd and 4th stages, that the 5th stage is entered into, and this is defined as REM.

REM is characterised by quick, rapid movements of the eyes under the eyelids, and is often accompanied by the rigidity or the paralysis of the muscles, believed by sleep scientists to stop us enacting out our dreams, because it is believed that it is during REM sleep that we dream.

When the brain is monitored with an EEG, and the sleep cycle is studied with a Polysomnography (PSG), it will be seen that there is a high level of brain activity, the heart rate increases, and there could be twitching of the legs, fingers or facial muscles. Very similar to the wakeful state. This is compared to NREM (no rapid eye movement) sleep, which produces brain waves seen on an EEG that are typically slow and of high voltage, the breathing and heart rate are slow and regular, the blood pressure is low, and the sleeper is relatively still.

This REM sleep is often call paradoxical sleep, a mixture of encephalic (brain activity) states of excitement and muscular immobility.

The length of the REM sleep varies as the sleep cycle progresses, from a short 5 minute burst at the beginning to perhaps 90 minutes prior to waking naturally. This length and quality depends upon physical and psychological factors of the subject, for example depressives have shorter REM stages. Then, it depends if the subject is taking any drugs or stimulants, i.e. anti depressants such a s Prozac (click to read) tend to lengthen the REM stage. For me the herbal tea of St. John’s Wort, lengthens and gives me more intense dreams during REM, as it is a mild anti depressant.

Age also has a factor in the length of REM sleep and total amount of sleep. An infant will typically require 16 – 18 hours sleep a day, whereas a teenager will require say 9 hours, compared to and adult from 6.5 to 7.5 hours sleep. As we enter into old age, REM sleep lengthens.

Research has shown that subjects who do not have REM sleep through sleep deprivation may have memory problems, and may begin to hallucinate.

We have seen in earlier articles that the plasticity of the brain, the learning, passing short term memory to long term memory takes places in REM. We have also seen that REM clears the brain of unwanted working memory by having we can say a spring clean.

As stated above, REM sleep is believed to produce dreams. I say the word “believe” as research I have recently seen may indicate dreams are produced both in REM and NREM sleep.

For participants and people who practice hypnosis, REM phenomenon or REM signs can be clearly seen, the movement of the eyes under the eyelids, the rigidity of the body when catalepsy is induced, changes in muscle tone, changes in breathing, all producing a sleep like state that Dr. James Braid (James Braid 1796 – 1860 the Father of Hypnosis) coined the name of “hypnosis“, a sleep like state.

Once we understand hypnosis, we understand that it is not sleep, the client is fully aware of everything that is happening to them, and has full control, unlike sleep REM were the conscious mind is switched off.

See other sleep related articles on blog. CLICK

Sleep, Power-Naps the downside

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I have just awoken from my “power-nap”, and I notice a downside.

I feel very groggy as soon as my eyes open, my arms feel heavier, my legs are like lead, my head does not want to work. I feel my age of 95, or is it 96?

Groggy after sleep

Groggy after sleep

But I know if I relax a little, within a short period, I will be like the superhero I am.

Super Hero Phillip

Super Hero Phillip

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Sleep, Power-Naps the benefits

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A power-nap can be from a couple of minutes to no more than 90 minutes research has indicated, and having a power-nap can have many beneficial results.

As in the previous article Sleep Power-Nap, it has been found that when REM sleep is attained, the brain passes short-term memory to long-term memory, the brain learns, the plasticity of the brain occurs. In Berkeley continuing research indicates that a 15 minute to 35 minute “power-nap” is the most efficient to obtain best results for increased cognitive learning and increases in IQ.

There is a saying in English, “If you have a problem, sleep on it.” How often have you woken in the middle of the night with an answer to a question you have been searching for the previous day? For me, many times. A “power-nap” may be the answer to problem solving.

“Power-naps” may help us to be more creative, as stepping away from a problem will help us gain insights to new ideas, find loose associations which we may have missed having been too close to the subject, or just dreaming to hallucinate new ideas.

Often our brain becomes overloaded with information, for some this is alright, they can cope, but for the majority, this overload is too much, by having a “power-nap” the brain has time to dump unnecessary information, clear working storage, sort-out and link associated ideas, in computer terms undertake a defragmentation, leaving room for more learning and information. Even just standing up from our desk, our study book will perhaps be enough.

Taking the afternoon nap, even at the desk research has found, reduces the stress hormones, thus leading to a more focused and risk free afternoon and evening. We can become more alert, energetic and having more stamina. Our mood can change and we will be more efficient.

“Power-naps” can be beneficial to health and well being as it triggers cell repair, maintains hormone levels and their maintenance. It has also been seen to reduce the risk of heart disease, as research on young men from Greece, where the culture is taking an afternoon snooze, nap or siesta, when compared to other young men who did not “power-nap” had a 35+% lower risk of heart related deaths.

People who say cannot sleep at night, like a certain person I know, can help themselves by having a “power-nap”, as it seems that the cumulative sleep over 24 hours will be equivalent to a straight 8 hours.

Can a session of hypnosis produce the same results? I believe so, as work I have done with colleagues produce good results, especially as hypnosis produce sleep like states, i.e., REM, paralysis or rigidity of the outer limbs, and brain waves similar to REM sleep or Delta sleep.

Other experiments I did and introduced into an intensive language course in Istanbul, Turkey, seemed to prove that the participants who were in-class from 9am till 9pm, with breaks, and whom I placed in a trance for 30 minutes in the afternoon and early evening, learned better than those who did not attend the hypnotic sleep time.

So now I have earned a “power-nap”, sitting here on a comfortable sofa with a cooling breeze lulling me towards downtime.

Dreams

Power Nap

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Sleep Power-Nap

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 I do not know what it is, the heat, the humidity, or the different time zone to the UK, Malaysia being eight hours in front, but often I need an afternoon nap, a small sleep in the afternoon.

This afternoon sleep, may last from ten minutes to one hour, but I find it such a deep sleep, the whole body plus my brain seems to shut down.

When working in Saudi Arabia, we had a time when the office hours were changed from working 9am – 6pm, to working 9am – 1pm, we would then go home to return to the office at 5pm and work until 9pm.

I would enjoy an afternoon sleep, away from the midday heat, but what a waste of a day, by the time we had returned home in the afternoon, had lunch and a nap, it was time to go back to the office, and in the evening, by the time we got home, prepared a meal, it was time to get to bed.

On my many trips to China giving training, it really confused me to see straight after lunch, office workers, participants, ordinary people, suddenly fall asleep at their desk, in their chair, but just for say half an hour.

Much research has been undertaken on afternoon naps, or what is known as “power-naps”.

In a California University, many years ago, researchers undertook tests on a group of cats.

The cats were taught a challenge, something special to do, and their brain waves were monitored. After a while the group of cats were split into two, and one of the groups was allowed to sleep or nap, whilst the other was allowed to learn the challenge.

A while later, the group of cats were woken, and the two groups were tested on how well they had learned the challenge. It was the group of cats that had slept who had mastered the challenge better. Sleep had increased learning.

Whilst the cats were taking the nap, researchers noticed unusual brain activity, and at a time when the sleep was at its’ deepest, when the cats entered REM or Rapid Eye Movement sleep. The researchers said that this was the first time they had seen the brain learning, the short-term memory passing information to long-term memory, a function they called the plasticity of the brain.

Further research has been carried out on REM sleep, in Harvard University (USA) and University of Surrey (UK). It was found that when nappers took 1 hour to 90 minutes sleep say around 2pm, and which involved slow wave sleep, that is light sleep, which also included REM sleep, that is deep sleep which is often identified with dreams, they performed better than those who did not sleep or had a “power-nap“.

It was also noted that the “power-nap” enhance performance of work and duties in the afternoon, but remarkably only if REM was achieved as well as light sleep. Also noted was that the “power-nap” was no substitute for a normal good nights sleep.

Research at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center suggests that a nap does not effect the normal nights sleep, in fact they found that the nap could be beneficial for improved cognitive performance, to perform arithmetic, decision-making and reaction time tests and mental for up a day after.

It is said that there have been famous and great “power-nappers” in our time including Margaret Thatcher, Bill Clinton, Lance Armstrong (the cyclist), yachtswoman Ellan MacArthur, Leonardo da Vinci and Thomas Edison, and that they could/can exist with a few hours sleep a night. But experts say that a full night’s sleep is still necessary for many bodily functions.

Will a “power-nap” influence the circadian rhythm or biological clock? No, only if you take more than 90 minutes for a nap.

sleeping man power nap sleeping man power nap

So sleep and nap well, I will.

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English day 5

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Today was nearly a full day away from the office or school.

I was delivering a Mind Map and Memory course at a major communications company in Turkey. Sixteen employees finding out that they can remember 14 random items by just listening to them once, the planets, how to construct a Mind Map as originated by Tony Buzan.

Yes guys I had a burger but not from McDonnell’s, but from a Turkish takeaway.

The English session in the morning of NLP was not run, and due to the course I was running out of the school, but they the participants, had a rest.

They settled down to a lunch time session but I was not there. As they closed their eyes, my voice was with them, we played my CD of The Castle (buy it by clicking here) .

For the evening English session I took the ferry back over the Bosphorus for the installation a very relaxing time.

The drive back to my apartment took nearly two hours, much quicker to take the ferry.

In my mind as we drove back, I thought of those that were doing things I was not, perhaps being with friends eating a meal, something I cannot do, I do not have time, if I did, I would need to relax, but that is seen as not being social, or not etiquette.