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How to fake waking up

Thinking You’ve Woken Up When You’re Still Asleep

How to fake waking up

How to fake waking up

Anita Chandrasekaran, MD, MPH, is board-certified in internal medicine and rheumatology and currently works as a rheumatologist at Hartford Healthcare Medical Group in Connecticut.

Have you ever woken up only to find that you are still dreaming? This is a common sleep event known as false awakening. While false awakenings often occur for no reason, there are certain conditions that may cause them, including sleep disorders that disrupt REM sleep.

This article looks at the science of false awakenings, including the types, causes, and symptoms of this common dream state.

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Paul Mansfield Photography / Getty Images

Types

Sleep scientists divide false awakenings into two types:

  • Type 1 false awakening is a dream state in which nothing special happens. The person may dream about doing mundane things like getting up, taking a shower, and getting dressed. At some point, the dreamer may realize that something is not right and wake up.
  • Type 2 false awakening is a nightmare state that involves tense, anxious, or frightening images or feelings. The dreamer may or may not be jolted awake by a scare.

Both type 1 and type 2 involve vivid dreams in which the feelings, images, and events are so intense and life-like that you feel that they are real and remember them the next morning.

Symptoms

In simple terms, a false awakening is thinking you are awake while you are dreaming. They are very common, and almost every person will have them at some point in their life. With that said, the symptoms can vary from one person to the next.

The features of a false awakening may include:

  • Lucid dreaming: When a dreamer becomes aware they are dreaming
  • Pre-lucid dreaming: When a dreamer starts to wonder if they are dreaming (even if they don’t become fully lucid)
  • Directed dreaming: When a person in a lucid dream takes control over what happens in the dream
  • Looping: When a person keeps “waking up” again and again in a dream
  • Non-realism: When things don’t make sense in a dream (such as spaces with impossible proportions) or the dreamer cannot do things (like talk or scream)
  • Dissociation: An out-of-body experience in which the dreamer perceives the dream as an outside observer
  • Sleep paralysis: The temporary inability to move or speak after waking up

Recap

Although false awakenings are very common, the symptoms can vary from one person to the next. The dream may be mundane or scary, realistic or non-realistic, or lucid or non-lucid,

Causes

Vivid dreams are more likely to occur during REM sleep, the stage of deep sleep that involves rapid eye movements. Some experts believe that false awakenings occur when REM sleep is interrupted. This is a form of sleep fragmentation, also known as divided sleep.

It is thought that when REM sleep is disturbed, the person may be partially conscious even if they remain in a dream state.

Causes of sleep fragmentation include:

  • Insomnia: A common sleep disorder that makes it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep
  • Sleep apnea: A disorder in which there are frequent and/or lengthy pauses in breathing during sleep
  • Periodic limb movements of sleep (PLMS): The repetitive jerking, cramping, or twitching of the legs during sleep
  • Narcolepsy: A disorder in which a person will suddenly fall asleep at inappropriate times
  • Environment: Including sleep interruptions caused by noise or bright lights

All of the conditions can affect the quality of sleep and, in turn, cause subtle breaks in REM sleep.

Recap

False awakenings are thought to be caused by interruptions in REM sleep. Causes of fragmented sleep include insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and a noisy environment.

Coping

As false awakenings are not linked to any illness, mental or physical, they are not usually something to worry about. But if a dream recurs and is very upsetting, it can lead to anxiety, depression, somniphobia (the fear of going to sleep), and sleep deprivation.

If this occurs, ask your doctor for a referral to a sleep specialist known as a somnologist. The specialist may recommend a treatment known as dream rehearsal therapy in which you create and practice non-scary endings to recurring nightmares. Some studies have shown that the practice is very useful in people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The high blood pressure drug Minipress (prazosin) is also sometimes used to reduce nightmares in people with PTSD.

Summary

A false awakening is a common dream event in which you think you’ve awakened even though you’re still dreaming. The symptoms can vary from one person to the next. Some dreams may be realistic, mundane, and straightforward, while others may be bizarre, frightening, and repetitive.

Although false awakenings often occur for no reason, some experts believe that they are the result of subtle breaks in REM sleep.

A Word From Verywell

If you have disruptive or disturbing dreams, speak with your doctor or a board-certified sleep specialist about treatments that may help. This usually starts by diagnosing the underlying cause using a sleep study or other techniques.

It is important to see a doctor if a sleep disorder is causing chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression, loss of memory or concentration, or changes in your mental state.

Frequently Asked Questions

Researchers are still unclear, but some believe they involve a disruption of REM sleep. This could happen when your sleep is disturbed by noises or when you’re feeling anxious.

Getting a good night’s sleep is probably the best way to prevent false awakenings. That’s because they tend to happen when your sleep is disturbed. Speak with your doctor if you have frequent problems with falling and staying asleep.

How to fake waking up

How to fake waking up

If you’ve had a full, restful and restorative night’s sleep this week, I envy you. If you’re the type of person who opens their eyes at 7am sharp, bounds out of bed and gleefully greets the other early birds of the world, I am in awe. Because I certainly am not one of you.

I rely on lots of sleep and cherish it above all else, but for the last few months, I’ve been waking up between 2 am and 4 am every night, and struggling to go back to sleep. I’ve done everything – phone down-time, no caffeine, regular exercise, the list is endless. But still, I wake.

I’ve become very good at faking longer sleeps out of necessity. If you’re a mother of small children, if you suffer from anxiety, or if you’re generally just not a great sleeper, you might be interested in the following ways to fool the world into thinking you’re fully rested.

1. The wonder of water

As soon as you get up, drink a pint of water. It’ll not only liven up your metabolism for the coming day but it will refresh you and give your body back any hydration it lost during the night.

2. Yet more water

Run the cold tap (or better yet, throw some ice into a bowl) and rinse your face for 30 seconds in nice, cold water. Because of something called vasoconstriction, the cold water will reduce the blood flow and the size of your blood vessels, causing a de-puffing effect, especially effective around your eyes.

3. Drops of life

Tired eyes are the biggest giveaway of a sleepless night. Make a small investment in a decent bottle of eyedrops and pop a couple of drops into each eye in the morning after you’ve washed your face to brighten them and make you feel less like there’s a beach worth of sand in there.

How to fake waking up

4. Roll away

If you have a jade roller, make use of it. Not only will it aid lymph drainage, refreshing and plumping your whole face, but the coolness will liven up your under-eye area and make you feel more awake. No jade roller? Top model tip: put a spoon in the freezer for 20 minutes and use it under your eyes to de-puff.

5. Down the drain

Rejuvenating your face with a jade roller is great, but a bit of facial massage for lymph drainage using your hands can be just the ticket. During your skincare routine the morning after the night before, use some of the techniques beauty expert and Lancôme Creative Director of Makeup Lisa Eldridge employs in one of her most-watched YouTube videos:

6. Eye cheat

Charlotte Tilbury was on to something when she called her creamy-nude coloured eyeliner Eye Cheat – it really does cheat brightness and openness. Pop it on your lower waterline after your interrupted snooze and you’ll see an immediate difference.

How to fake waking up

7. Take cover

Yes, the old reliable – a great concealer will tell all sorts of lies to both your mirror and anyone who encounters you the day after a crap night’s sleep. Start with a peach or orange-toned colour corrector, then go over that with your foundation. If needed, top that up with your usual concealer afterwards.

8. If all else fails…

Wear a bright red lipstick. Outright distraction is sometimes the only way.

Dr. Dan Jensen August 31, 2020 Sleep

How to fake waking up

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Have you ever woken up just as you were about to fall asleep? Did you wake up with a jerk, or the feeling of falling? This is called hypnic jerks, hypnagogic jerks, or sleep starts. Hypnic jerks are quite common, and the condition isn’t a serious disorder.

What Are Hypnic Jerks?

Hypnic jerks are strong, involuntary contractions that usually happen just when you’re drifting into sleep. This jolt in the body can startle you awake when you’re in the period between being awake and being asleep. Lots of people experience hypnic jerks from time to time, and researchers think that around 70% of people will experience hypnic jerks.

Hypnic jerks have a lot of names, including hypnagogic jerks, night starts and sleep twitches. All these terms describe the same thing. Hypnic jerks aren’t a serious disorder, they’re simply a natural contraction in the body that can happen to anyone.

Signs of Hypnic Jerks

Hypnic jerks are different for everyone. Sometimes the contractions will be enough to scare you awake, and other times you will drift off to sleep even after hypnic jerks. The signs of hypnic jerks include:

  • A jerk or contraction in a muscle, such as in your leg
  • A feeling of falling
  • A dream in which you fall or are startled
  • An increased heart rate as you wake up
  • A shallow breathing pattern as you wake up

If you’ve experienced these, you’ve had hypnic jerks!

What Causes Hypnic Jerks?

Researchers aren’t quite sure what causes hypnic jerks. They are a normal reaction in the body, and don’t cause any harm. We do know that some triggers can make hypnic jerks more frequent or more noticeable.

  • Stimulants: One cause of hypnic jerks are stimulants. Caffeine, nicotine, and even alcohol can make it harder to fall asleep and can make you restless as you’re drifting off to sleep. Both coffee and smoking can increase hypnic jerks.
  • Anxiety: Have you been feeling anxious? Stress and anxiety can keep your mind active even as your body is falling asleep. This can cause hypnic jerks as you’re drifting into sleep.
  • Evening exercise: Getting enough exercise during the day will help you sleep soundly, but if you’ve been exercising in the evening you may experience hypnic jerks. Your body may be too active when you go to bed, making it harder for you to relax and fall asleep.
  • Sleep hygiene: If you’ve been experiencing sleep starts, take a look at your sleep hygiene. You’re more likely to have sleep starts if you don’t give yourself time to wind down before bed. It’s also important to sleep in a cool, dark room, and keep a consistent sleeping schedule
  • How to Treat Hypnic Jerks

Hypnic jerks are natural, and they don’t pose any health risks. Treating hypnic jerks isn’t necessary, but if you’re feeling anxious about hypnic jerks, or they’re making it harder for you to fall asleep, there are a few things you can do to reduce hypnic jerks.

Limit your caffeine intake – enjoy your coffee in the morning, but avoid drinking coffee or caffeinated drinks after lunch. Avoid caffeine in the afternoon and evening.

Get into a routine – if you’ve been having hypnic jerks, develop a consistent nighttime routine. Avoid using screens an hour before bed, turn off any bright lights, and do something that relaxes you, such as reading or doing breathing exercises. When you’re calm and relaxed before bed, you’ll reduce hypnic jerks.

Exercise in the day – make sure you do your workout earlier in the day. Try to exercise in the morning or early afternoon, so your body will have lots of time to wind down and relax before you go to sleep.

Sound Sleep Medical

If you’ve been experiencing hypnic jerks or feel like you’re falling while you sleep, you can make a few changes to your sleep habits to help you sleep more soundly.

Looking for more tips on ways to relax in the evening, develop a good sleep routine, or talk about any sleep disorder you may have? Visit us at Sound Sleep Medical where our team of sleep experts will help you get a great night’s sleep.

Bright is best. Here’s why.

Alina Bradford has been writing how-tos, tech articles and more for almost two decades. She currently writes for CNET’s Smart Home Section, MTVNews’ tech section and for Live Science’s reference section. Follow her on Twitter.

Is every morning a struggle to wake up? Are blaring alarms not working? You may be able to hack your brain into waking up at the right time by changing the stimuli around you.

How? With zeitgebers, or social and environmental cues that affect our natural internal clocks. These include light exposure, when we eat meals and exercise.

That first one is really important when it comes to going to sleep and waking up. If you create the right lighting conditions, you can make waking up much easier and far more enjoyable than an alarm.

Why waking up to light is better

If you’re a late riser, controlling the amount of natural light you’re exposed to immediately after you wake up, and throughout the day can help you wake up earlier.

This is because your eyes have light receptors that gauge the brightness of the light around you and tells your brain, “Hey, it’s daytime,” if it’s light around you, or “It’s night, go to sleep,” if you are in the dark for a while.

When you wake up to an alarm in a dark room, your brain is still in “sleep” mode. But if you throw open the curtains immediately and let sunlight in, your brain will accept the fact that it’s time to be awake. If the lighting gradually gets brighter, like during a sunrise, our bodies are even more responsive and you’ll feel much more refreshed.

This gets tricky as the seasons change, when we are more likely to wake up before the sun rises. Luckily, there are ways to fake it and still wake up feeling refreshed.

How to get better sleep in 2019

How to wake up to light

If you have to wake up before the sun, there are some easy ways to add natural light to your wake-up routine to get you going. Just turn on a light, right? Well, it has to be a certain kind of light.

Adding natural daylight to your routine can be an important signal to your brain to wake up, but most indoor lighting is much dimmer than natural lighting. It confuses our bodies. Daylight bulbs mimic natural light to trick your brain, and many different devices use this technology.

For example, consider getting a sleeping mask that you can schedule to become gradually brighter as your wake-up time closes in, like the Sound Oasis Illumy.

You can also purchase lamps or nightlights, such as the Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock or the hOmeLabs Sunrise Alarm Clock, that have a sunrise simulation which mimics the rising sun to wake you more naturally.

The Illumy mask.

If you’re more of the DIY type, you can also buy a smart bulb, like Philips Hue, Emberlight, Stack Lighting, Lifx or WeMo, that you can connect to your phone or fitness tracker to create a sunrise alarm. Taylor Martin has the full step-by here.

Light therapy: How bright lights can make you sleep better and fight seasonal depression.

Wondering how well you slept last night? Just ask Alexa : These smart mattresses and accessories now work with Amazon Alexa.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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How to fake waking up

Waking up with blurry vision in the morning is a common occurrence, though if it’s consistent, it may have you curious as to the cause. Rest assured, temporary blurry vision in the morning is usually harmless and can be attributed to the environment and several ordinary habits.

While it doesn’t usually take long for your vision to adjust back to normal, morning blurriness can be caused by eye allergies, sleeping in contact lenses or even certain medications.

Why you may be waking up with blurry vision

If you’ve woken up with blurry vision in one or both eyes, chances are one of the following sources is to blame. Fortunately, each one is fairly simple to avoid or manage.

Eye allergies

Eyes typically react to allergens by watering, itching, swelling or drying out. Dry eyes can cause blurred vision, especially when it’s first thing in the morning.

If you only experience eye allergy symptoms in the morning, the allergens may be in your room. Common household allergens include dust mites, pet dander and certain laundry detergents.

Sleeping with a fan on

Whether it’s the fan on your bedside stand or the one on the ceiling, sleeping with it on throughout the night can wreak havoc on your eyes and skin.

Though your eyes are closed when you sleep, fans can make them dry, irritated and itchy, leading to blurred vision in the morning.

Specific medications

Many people take specific medications at bedtime, which can lead to lower tear production throughout the night. The most common medications with this side effect include cold medicine, blood pressure medicine, sleep aids and antihistamines (the active ingredient in many over-the-counter sleep aids in an antihistamine).

Unless specifically suggested otherwise by your doctor, try taking these medications at a different time of day, when you’re able to fend off dry eye symptoms with artificial tears.

Tears that have dried overnight

Your eyes are constantly producing tears — even when you’re sleeping — to keep the eyes moist, nourished and clean.

If you wake up with blurry vision, it’s possible that tears dried on the surface of your eyes while you slept. Don’t worry, blinking a few times once you’re awake should break up the buildup on your corneas and restore clear vision.

Sleeping in contact lenses

Unless you’ve been prescribed extended-wear contacts by your eye doctor, sleeping in your contact lenses is not recommended.

Wearing contacts overnight raises your risk of various eye infections and reduces the level of oxygen supplied to your eyes. The lack of oxygen dries out the eyes, resulting in blurry vision when you wake.

Fuchs’ corneal dystrophy

Seen most commonly in women over age 50, Fuchs’ corneal dystrophy causes swelling of the corneas (the clear outer layer of the eye) during sleep. This swelling effect creates blurred vision in the morning, though it usually improves during the course of the day.

Diabetes

Blood sugar levels associated with diabetes can cause vision fluctuations. It’s common for diabetics to wake up with blurry vision if their blood sugar is too high or too low. Blurry vision related to diabetes may be accompanied by other symptoms, including weakness or dizziness.

Sleeping on your face

Sleeping face down is not only bad for your neck and skin, it can affect your eyes as well. This sleeping position can cause floppy eyelid syndrome — a condition that diminishes the elasticity in the upper eyelid.

Floppy eyelid syndrome can result in burning eyes, tearing up and blurred vision in the mornings. Though the condition is most common among men who are overweight, it can affect anyone.

Problems with your oil glands

Meibomian glands, which are tiny oil glands around the inside of your eyelids, produce oil and water-based tears to keep the eyes moist. If the glands produce too little oil, it could result in dry eyes, not just while you sleep, but also during the day.

Dry eye testing called the Schirmer’s test is available to determine whether the glands are producing enough lubrication for the eyes.

Alcohol consumption near bedtime

You may notice blurred vision the morning after a night out. In this case, blurry vision is likely caused by dry eyes, a result of being dehydrated.

Alcohol is a known dehydrator. So, even enjoying a glass of wine before bed can dry out your eyes, leading to blurry vision in the morning.

When to see an eye doctor

Blurry vision is usually temporary and does not require medical attention. However, if your blurred vision persists or has additional symptoms with it, it’s wise to see an eye doctor.

Suffering a head injury near bedtime — especially one severe enough to cause a concussion — can cause blurry vision in the morning. In this case, blurry vision may also be accompanied by other symptoms, including:

Ringing in the ears

Lack of coordination

Waking up with blurred vision can also be a sign of stroke, a life-threatening event involving a blood clot in the brain. If any of the following symptoms are detected, it’s critical that you seek medical attention immediately.

Numbness or tingling, especially on one side of your body

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Before the Industrial Revolution, most people slept in 2 shifts, says sleep expert

FIRST PERSON | Written by Adam Killick

I have a fraught history with sleep. That is to say, I’m often not very good at it.

Over the years, I’ve tried all manner of ways to try to get a good night’s sleep: White noise, pink noise, rain noise, running a fan, wearing earbuds all night, using a sleep mask, various medications — the list goes on. And that was before the pandemic. So when I got the chance to have my sleep studied, I jumped at it. Well, given how tired I am (and who isn’t these days?) it was more like a desperate lunge.

Typically, you’d go to a special facility to do a sleep study. A technician wires you up to machines that monitor your brain activity, heart rate, breathing, body movement and so on. Then you’d try to sleep in a strange bed, knowing that the technician was observing you.

Now, a Canadian company called Cerebra Health has condensed that entire experience into a container slightly larger than a shoebox, which contains all the devices required to properly monitor sleep.

So on a recent Sunday night, I dispatched my partner to another room, and set about the hour-long process to connect myself to the equipment. There’s a chest strap, to which you attach a black box about the size of a TV remote control. Plugged into that are electrode wires, which you stick on various parts of your body: two on each leg, just below the knee, one on your stomach. Another connects to the strap itself.

Then, there’s another, smaller black box you stick right in the middle of your forehead. From that, the wires go to both eyes, the bone behind your ear, and your chin.

For the chin electrode, I had to shave off my beard, which I’d had for more than two years. Lastly, there is a set of nasal cannula — a pair of small tubes — that you stick up your nose for the night. Fun times!

I slept surprisingly well the first night, although I remember waking up a lot. (I can’t imagine why.) Regardless, the sleep scientist, Amy Bender, got enough data to provide an assessment of my sleep. Bender is the scientific director at Cerebra Health, the Winnipeg-based company that makes the take-home sleep lab.

A quick search on any app store brings up dozens, if not hundreds of apps designed to help you sleep better. Then there are the smartwatches, fitness bands and other devices that clean to measure out sleep and assess our “readiness” to perform when we wake up.

But Bender, who did postdoctoral research studying the sleep habits of Olympic athletes, said that often those apps end up causing us more anxiety: reading the morning sleep report can merely add stress.

Indeed, if you have a wearable device and fret about your sleep statistics, she advised not wearing it to bed.

“If I’m looking at the app, and it’s telling me that my readiness score is a 40, that could impact my performance when, in reality, I could have slept okay that night, and maybe done better without the feedback from that information,” she told Young.

Sleeping in shifts

Prior to the industrial revolution and the invention of the electric light, most of our ancestors actually slept in two shifts, spending the time in between awake. It’s known as biphasic sleep.

“They slept in two chunks of roughly three and a half hours, separated by an hour or so of wakefulness shortly after midnight,” Roger Ekirch, a history professor at Virginia Tech, told Spark host Nora Young.

During that waking period, they prayed, meditated, or “engaged in connubial bliss,” added Ekirch, author of At Day’s Close: Night in Times Past — a watershed moment in sleep studies when it was published in 2005.

How to fake waking up

In the 19th century, the invention of gas—and soon after, electric—lighting spelled the end for biphasic sleep.

“It pushed back the time that people went to bed. And yet. they still had to get up at the normal time that they had in the past, thereby limiting the amount of sleep that they could enjoy if they were now retiring at 11 pm rather than nine or 10,” Ekirch said.

Also, as the Industrial Revolution drove an increased emphasis on productivity, excessive sleep was frowned upon, and work and social pressure began to limit the number of hours spent in bed.

Sound familiar? All of that has led to today, where many of us, like me, suffer from less-than-optimal sleep habits.

Bender said there are several simple ways to improve the quality of our sleep—none of which depend on technology.

Rather, Bender suggested that getting outside for 30 minutes each day—preferably in the morning—is really important. “That’s going to help regulate our circadian rhythms and help lead to better sleep quality at night,” she said.

Conversely, spending all day looking at artificial light sources can confuse our brains, she said.

It may be necessary to limit screen time before bed. It’s not just the blue light from your phone, tablet or computer, Bender said, but also the content.

“If you’re watching a murder mystery show or something that could make you more alert and release cortisol [the fight-or-flight hormone] then it’s probably not a good thing.”

It’s also good to establish a solid pre-sleep routine. She suggested setting an alarm for an hour before you go to bed, to signal to your brain that it’s time to slow things down.

“I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but limit the caffeine and alcohol, too, because we know those can disturb our sleep as well,” she added.

Bender said there are some technologies on the horizon that could help make sleep analysis even less invasive than attaching 16 electrodes to your body, such as an EEG recorder that’s about the size of a Band-Aid, that you would stick on your forehead.

It could be useful in providing much more individualized information, such as whether having a cup of coffee at lunchtime affects your ability to sleep at bedtime.

As long as it doesn’t take me an hour and five minutes to set up, I’d be fine with that.

Written by Adam Killick. Produced by Adam Killick and Kim Kaschor.

How to fake waking up

Traditions as old as Feng Shui or Vastu Shastra ensure that the geographical direction in which we sleep affects our health. Is this possible?

How many times have you heard that sleeping facing north is harmful? This belief, which assures that the cardinal point towards which we sleep can affect our wellbeing, is so widespread throughout the world that no matter where you are reading this, you have surely heard it. And at that moment you probably wondered what the reason is and if it really happens that way. Let’s take a look at it (plus other easier solutions for a good night’s rest like our Eye Mask).

The origin of the belief

The idea that the geographical direction in which we lie down to sleep influences our health has its origin in the ancient Hindu practice of Vastu Shastra. This set of Ayurvedic teachings aims to live in harmony with the energies that flow in the world, very similar to what the Chinese discipline of Feng Shui proposes – in fact, it is said that both have the same origin. And yes, those energies also flow when we sleep.

The key is magnetism. Because its core is filled with iron and spins at great speed, the Earth has a magnetic field that goes from north to south. According to this philosophy, if you sleep facing north, you make the positive pole of the Earth coincide with the positive pole of your body – located theoretically in your head – making both repel each other. This can cause nightmares and sleep disorders and wake up tired from the “internal struggle” between your body and the planet. Some people further claim that this polarity can affect blood circulation and even raise cholesterol. On a spiritual level, Hindu tradition believes that when the soul dies, it leaves the body for the north, so sleeping in that direction is impure.

Does all this mean that it is best to sleep facing south? Well, not exactly. Although sleeping towards the opposite pole of the Earth makes the energies flow “correctly,” and the sleep is more profound, it is recommended to sleep towards the east. In this way, the magnetic fields are neutralized, and sleep is perfect, promoting memory and concentration and having general health benefits. Sleeping facing north does not sound good, right?

Does the direction you sleep matter?

The truth is, if you look at what science says, it doesn’t. There is no scientific study that has proven the integrity of these theories to date. In fact, everything we know so far about magnetism, which is a lot, tells us that the influence of terrestrial magnetism on the body is absolutely nil because the power of that field is very low, insufficient for us to realize it.

Let us take, for example, a well-known medical diagnostic technique, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The machines that perform it use magnetic fields that are thousands of times more powerful than Earth’s. If the Vastu Shastra approach is valid, submitting to this technology would completely disrupt the flow of “natural” energy in our bodies in seconds, making us sick. And that, as we well know, doesn’t happen.

On the other hand, the magnetic north and south poles referred to in these theories do not coincide with the traditional geographic poles of the Earth. Still, they are separated by several miles – and that is why it is so difficult to reach the geographic poles using a magnetic compass. And above all, what about the people who live in the southern hemisphere? Does it work the opposite way for them?

So, if you thought that sleeping facing north was the cause of your sleep problems, you can rest assured. However, other forces of nature, such as light, may prevent you from sleeping well, so why not try a sleep mask like our Eye Mask? You don’t need to move anything!

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    From dreams of waking up to waking up in your dreams.

    False awakenings occur when someone believes they have woken up, only to realize later that they are still in a dream. These experiences have sometimes been called a ‘hybrid state,’ a mix between sleeping and waking. Lucid dreams and sleep paralysis are also called hybrid states. In lucid dreams, although you remain asleep, you realize that you are dreaming and have a fairly wake-like consciousness (see my prior post on lucid dreams). In sleep paralysis, although your mind awakes from sleep, your body remains paralysed and asleep for a minute or two (see my previous post on sleep paralysis).

    False awakenings then are similarly a mix between sleep and waking. You wake up, get out of bed, and go about your normal routine, and then suddenly you realize you are dreaming and then awake again (into the real world or into another false awakening). Sometimes, there is a foreboding atmosphere to the experience, as the dreamer becomes suspicious that something is off, or something is not right. They have an eerie sense that this is not normal waking life.

    In a recent survey study, subjects responded to a questionnaire regarding lucid dreaming and false awakening experiences, defined as “sleep-related experiences in which the subjects erroneously believe that they have woken up, only to discover subsequently that the apparent awakening was part of a dream.”.

    The survey asked how often participants experienced false awakenings and lucid dreams. Ninety participants (75 males, age range 14-75 years) responded who had experienced both false awakenings and lucid dreams, and there was a positive correlation between the two kinds of experience, although the frequency of lucid dreams was higher than that of false awakenings. Thirty-seven subjects (41%) experienced false awakenings at least monthly.

    The survey then queried how false awakenings began and ended, to see whether false awakenings were often preceded or followed by other hybrid states like lucidity or sleep paralysis. Further, the survey asked, “During False Awakenings, do you try to determine if you are awake somehow?” and “Do you typically notice any anomaly or bizarre situation during False Awakenings?”

    Fifty-six subjects (62%) reported that they noticed anomalies or bizarre situations during False Awakenings — for example, details out of place or devices not working properly (e.g., light switches or digital clocks).

    “Usually (my False Awakenings) start with me waking up in bed. I get up and go check on my children to see if they are sleeping. I may go into the living room or back into the bedroom . then I go back to sleep and when I wake up for real I realize that some things were out place and that I had yet another false awakening”

    Sixty-eight subjects (76%) actively tested the dream to confirm whether they were awake or asleep, and 45 claimed that they used false awakenings as a bridge to lucidity:

    “. a good way of inducing lucid dreams as I often perform reality checks during False Awakening.s”

    “. hold my nose and breathe through it (you can if you’re dreaming).”

    “. turn something on; if it’s a dream it usually comes with mechanical failure.”

    The relation between false awakenings and lucidity seems to stretch further, in that some elements of dream control can characterize false awakenings. When lucid, dreamers can exert varying degrees of control over their dream, namely two kinds: “One type involves magical manipulation of the dream environment or of dream characters other than the dream actor . The other . is self-control, exercised over one’s own actions and reactions to events occurring in the lucid dream.” False awakenings seem to be characterized by some level of self-control, but less magical manipulation than lucid dreams.

    Overall, the study provides new information about false awakenings which are relatively understudied hybrid-state experiences. False awakenings seem to co-occur quite frequently in lucid dreamers, and can occur either at the end of a lucid dream or can, through reality checks, lead to lucid dreams.

    Buzzi, G. (2019). False awakenings in lucid dreamers: How they relate with lucid dreams, and how lucid dreamers relate with them. Dreaming, 29(4), 323.

    Pilar Rodriguez, head of communication at the IBE, gives us clues on how to distinguish between real and fake scientific news – especially important in these times of coronavirus.

    How to fake waking up

    Everyone can do their part to prevent the spread of false information. Photo of the United Nations: Response to COVID-19.

    Waking up to COVID19 discussions on the radio. Reading WhatsApps from friends and family between call and videoconference. Listening to the press conference. Watching the news. Following the Twitter thread. Clicking and reading the article, discussing it with your partner and resending…

    Day after day, the COVID-19 crisis has led to an information avalanche difficult to handle for everyone. “The virus” has been installed in the fron headlines of all media and, in many cases, in our own biography.

    In the maelstrom of scientific information about the coronavirus, alarming and non-rigorous messages have proliferated. In fact, a study by MIT published in Science and based on more than 126,000 news threads on Twitter, recently confirmed that the truth takes about six times more than a lie to reach 1,500 people on this social network.

    Often it is in our hands (literally, on our mobiles) to prevent one of those “fake news” from continuing its virtual path beyond us. But how do you distinguish between real and fake scientific news?

    Here I share the 5 tips that I have been giving these days and I continue to circulate among friends and family. I hope they can be of help to anyone who wants to read scientific news with a researcher’s spirit.

      Don’t just stick with the headline. It is important to review the details about the research presented in the article. It is not the same to say that an experiment demonstrates a fact than to say that it suggests that in the future an event could happen. Similarly, it is important to identify if the headline’s claims are based on research that has already been done, or if it is research that is ongoing but has not yet produced results.

    Find the original source. Identify which study or research the article refers to in order to have a look at it. Today, scientific studies related to COVID19 have proliferated, and around 2000 are published every week. However, part of this research has not yet been peer reviewed or officially published in any journal, so it is advisable to be particularly critical of articles based on these pending studies.

    Treat very surprising claims with skepticism. You must find out if you are facing a piece of research based on exceptional evidence, which would justify the surprise, or exaggerated or simply false news. Sometimes the news surprises us because we do not have a very deep knowledge of a subject. It is an opportunity to read an article or general news that talks about it, and that allows us to assess the veracity of the revolutionary news. For news related to global health, WHO has a very complete and updated portal with information on many topics of interest, such as planetary health, biodiversity or climate change.

    Double check the information. If a very flashy or alarmist news story only appears in one news medium, be skeptical and put on your scientist glasses. Do a search and confirm if you can find it on other websites or media. The UPF Center for Scientific Culture Studies shares on its website a selection of useful and rigorous information resources for both communication professionals and citizens about the Covid crisis.

  • Do not forward or disseminate information that you have not critically appraised. Disinformation is everyone’s problem, and retweeting or forwarding a WhatsApp message without having reviewed the information can contribute to the spread of “fake news” or misleading news. Above all, be careful with messages that are supposed to come from health experts, such as the message falsely attributed to Unicef stating that drinking hot water could kill the coronavirus. Often a visit to the organization’s website or a quick internet search of the alleged experts can expose a false story.
  • How do I know if I have been a victim of a “fake new”?

    The WHO has published a portal where it collects many of the “fake news” that have been circulating lately throughout the planet. In Spain, the website https://maldita.es also publishes a large number of detected “fake news” daily. But we can all detect and stop the massive sending of new false news through WhatsApp and social networks. In the case of images, we can look at whether they appear modified, or do a reverse search via “google images” to find out if the image corresponds to the message that accompanies it. In the case of news, following the five previous tips before spreading a message can in many cases prevent us from escalating untrue information.

    Technology at the service of truth

    Meanwhile, social media is also stepping to the challenge. WhatsApp has taken steps to prevent sending mass messages, and Twitter and Facebook are trying to direct users to trusted sources like the WHO to prevent the spread of sensational information. Indeed, citizens ask for clear measures against the global “infodemia” caused by viral disinformation through social networks – a disinformation that, according to health personnel, puts at risk the lives they are trying to save.

    With artificial intelligence algorithms capable of detecting certain patterns that correspond to fake news, technology could indeed play an important role in the future of fake news. But the last decision is made by each and every one of us.

    The experience of the pandemic has pointed to the need we have as a society to be able to critically interpret the complex problems that affect our planet (one health). And for this, a decent scientific culture and education are essential.

    The coronavirus pandemic shows us that the scientific culture of society is essential to be able to critically interpret the complex problems that affect our planet.

    We can all do our bit and contribute to a more informed and free society if we become aware and avoid spreading false news. So, before sharing or retweeting, always check the facts!

    Experts have given their top tips on how to tackle overthinking at night so you can get a better night’s sleep

    We’ve all been there – awake at 3am – but while some of us can go back to sleep easily, for others it’s impossible. Many will be familiar with the problem of “overthinking and undersleeping”, which Cheryl Cole previously revealed led her to try sleeping tablets. Nighttime waking is a normal occurrence. Contrary to what people think, sleep is not a single entity; we all have multiple awakenings each night – known as micro-arousals – and they are part of the normal circadian sleep pattern, where we go into lighter and deeper periods of sleep.

    The problem tends to arise when one of these naturally brief arousals opens out into more of a chasm and instead of simply turning over and being awake momentarily, there’s a cognitive realisation you’re awake, which can lead to this “racing mind” phenomenon.

    Just like a child wakes up at night and can either turn back to sleep or wonder where their mum or dad is and wake up properly, we can get into the habit of waking when things are on our mind. Our mind then goes into overdrive, and inevitably, the harder we try to go back to sleep the more elusive it becomes. Before you know it, the habit of waking at 3am every morning is established, and reinforced by concern about sleep itself.

    Studies show that this common sleep problem is more prevalent in women and can be made worse by hormonal changes such as menopause, pregnancy or during certain times of the menstrual cycle. It is particularly common around the age of 50, just a year before the average age of the menopause when melatonin – the hormone that governs the sleep/wake cycle which releases before sleep and expresses itself during the night – significantly reduces.

    Whether or not hormonal factors contribute, weeks or months of insomnia will leave you struggling, like Cole, throughout the day. We need our sleep to function physically, but one of its primary purposes is to help us manage our emotions. People with chronic insomnia are twice as likely to have a depressive illness than good sleepers.

    The good news is that cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can fix all these issues, at whatever age or stage of life. NICE guidelines recommend that CBT is the first line of treatment, instead of sleeping pills. CBT can be hard work but it does result in habit change. Here are some ideas used during a course of CBT that can help:

    How to stop overthinking late at night

    Reframe sleep positively

    If a good sleeper wakes at 3am, they might look at the clock and think: “It’s only 3am, great. I’ve got another four hours sleep to go.” A person suffering with insomnia, however, will look at the clock in horror at 3am and think: “Oh no, here we go again.”

    The challenge is to change your mindset into that of the good sleeper; to think about sleep and wakefulness in an entirely different and positive way.

    Try to stay awake to fall asleep

    During CBT for insomnia, we teach people that trying to remain awake is the key to falling sleep. If you wake up at night and don’t immediately fall back to sleep, just lie quietly with your eyes open and keep them open for as long as you can. You might feel sleepy and want to close them but resist. In your gentle attempt to stay awake, you could easily fall asleep.

    The quarter of an hour rule

    If this doesn’t work and you’re not asleep within a quarter of an hour, then get up and do something you enjoy – read a book, watch TV, even go on your phone – and go back to bed when you feel sleepy. You might do this scenario three or four times a night, but eventually you’ll break the habit and be able to turn over and just go back to sleep.

    Manage your racing mind

    Set aside time to do what you need to and put the day to rest before going to bed. While it’s fine to get up and watch TV or read a book at night when you’re struggling to sleep, I wouldn’t encourage looking at your work as this should be something you have addressed in the day. Also don’t worry too much about stress because as humans we’re designed to manage stress. Know that your sleeping brain is actually better at managing this stress than being awake; sleep allows your brain to reset overnight so you can start again the next day.

    Personalise your sleep

    When should you go to bed? How long should you be sleeping for? Finding a sleep size that fits is trial and error. If you’re suffering from insomnia, it’s clear what you’re doing now isn’t working. Tracking your sleep over a week or a fortnight should help you figure out the optimum sleep requirements for you. Jotting down some notes is just as good as using a device.

    Protect your sleep

    Exposing yourself to bright outdoor light tells your body clock the day has begun. Even going out on a dull winter’s day is better than staying indoors as the exposure will help to trigger your circadian alerting system that keeps you awake during the day. In the same way, dim the lights as it gets closer to bedtime to alert your body clock that it’s time for sleep.

    Regular timing of meals and a balanced, healthy diet also work together with a balanced sleep/wake schedule. Don’t eat meals that are heavy and difficult to digest just before bed or drink alcohol as this destroys the normal sleep architecture.

    If you’ve had a bad night and are feeling sleepy in the day, take a safety nap of 10 minutes or less. Make sure you know the difference between sleepiness (nodding off, yawning, eyes closing) which may require a safety nap and fatigue (exhaustion, weariness, low energy) when you need to activate yourself to re-energise and overcome it.

    And finally. Trust in your sleep

    Sleep is an involuntary behaviour and therefore any attempt to control it won’t work. You have to think of sleep like breathing – you’ve been doing it since you were born. Implicitly, what good sleepers are doing are not thinking about or dwelling on sleep – they’re just doing it. If they have a bad night, they shrug it off, expecting to sleep well the next night. The key is to allow sleep to become dominant again, not your thoughts.

    As told to Lauren Libbert. Colin Espie is professor of sleep medicine in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, co-founder of Big Health, which offers digital therapeutic solutions, and author of Overcoming Insomnia.

    This article is kept updated with the latest advice.

    If you’re prone to waking up and worrying in the middle of the night, a recent Facebook post probably didn’t help: It says you might die if you get out of bed.

    “Avoid sudden death at night,” the Aug. 30 post begins, offering what it calls a doctor’s advice.

    “It often happens,” the post continues. “A person who always looks healthy has passed away at night. We often hear stories of people saying: ‘Yesterday, I was talking with him, why did he die suddenly?’ The reason is that when you get up at night to go to the toilet, it often happens quickly. We stop immediately and the brain does not have blood circulation.”

    The post then says that the three and a half minutes after you wake up are important because “by suddenly rising, the brain will be anemic and will cause heart failure for lack of blood.” Therefore, according to the post, you should stay in bed for a minute and a half when you wake up, sit in bed for another half minute, and then lower your legs and sit on the edge of the bed for another half minute.

    “After three and a half minutes, your brain will no longer be anemic and your heart will not weaken, which will reduce the risk of falling and sudden death,” the post says, encouraging people to share this guidance with family and friends.

    On Facebook, this post was shared more than 10,000 times and it was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

    Why let a little thing like remote working keep you from creating a buffer between work and personal time?

    ‘It’s an hour where I don’t really need to talk to anybody, I’m just sort of away.’ Photograph: Sean Kilpatrick/AP

    ‘It’s an hour where I don’t really need to talk to anybody, I’m just sort of away.’ Photograph: Sean Kilpatrick/AP

    Last modified on Tue 16 Mar 2021 20.55 GMT

    A t the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic, some workers found themselves at home, momentarily (at least they thought) liberated from the many impositions of office work – including commuting. Now, instead of waking up early, getting dressed and schlepping to the office and back, people had time to do anything they want. Which is why it might be surprising that some are still pretending to commute.

    “When I [started] working from home, I had this gap in my day. At first I was like, ‘Wow, like I have a lot more time, I can sleep in!’ But there are a lot of aspects of the commute I just was missing,” says Kerri Jesson, a digital marketing associate in Vancouver, British Columbia.

    Before the pandemic, Jesson had planned her day while on public transit – going over her to-do list, checking her calendar, and getting ready to transition into work mode. “I didn’t even really realize that I was prepping myself for the day until I no longer had the ability to do that,” she says.

    In an effort to regain the satisfying elements of her former routine, Jesson began faux commuting several months ago. Now, she drives about 20 minutes to a coffee shop most mornings, before her workday starts. Not only does Jesson’s commute create a buffer between her work and personal time, but it “adds that more human aspect” back into her day.

    When you’re commuting, there’s hundreds of people around you, so it’s kind of like everyone’s in it together

    “When you’re commuting, there’s hundreds of people around you, so it’s kind of like everyone’s in it together,” she says. Jesson is clearly not the only one craving this sort of downtime. Microsoft has tried to recreate the benefits lost from commuting by creating a “virtual commute”, giving employees time to set goals in the morning, and reflect back on the workday at its end – with an optional short guided meditation to round everything off.

    John Dorsey, an attorney in Washington DC, had been cycling 40-odd minutes to work and back every day for 20 years when the pandemic hit. For him, cycling was a way to avoid heinous city traffic while exercising, or to listen to the occasional HG Wells audiobook.

    Dorsey’s last day working in an office was a Friday, and the following Monday he was already back out there on his “circular commute”, a 15-mile morning ride through Rock Creek Park that’s become a favorite pastime. “It’s an hour where I don’t really need to talk to anybody, I’m just sort of away,” he says.

    But with winter’s freezing temperatures, you would think some cyclists might appreciate a break from their morning commute. Apparently not, for cyclist Louis Philippe, a business analyst in Mississauga, Ontario, who has continued cycling to work through winter, but from the comfort of his own home.

    Philippe appreciates the meditative qualities of a morning “fake commute” cycle – but swapped out the rush of wind in his hair and got his adrenaline pumping from November onwards using a stationary bike in his basement. “As soon as it starts getting dark early and we change the clocks I have trouble getting up to [bike outside] early in the morning,” he explains.

    Studies support the fact that commutes offer the benefit of creating psychologically useful transition periods between work and home life. Consciously signaling to the brain and body it’s time to stop working is especially important when we’re working from home: a recent study of 3.1 million people by the National Bureau of Economic Research determined that following lockdown orders, remote workers stayed on the job almost 50 minutes longer every day than they did while in office, a trend which could exacerbate burnout.

    Before the pandemic, when commuting was obligatory, its healthy, boundary-creating elements may have felt like a meager silver lining around a dark cloud of drudgery and stress to many.

    Now, faux commuters can journey on their own terms, choosing where to go – like a park instead of gridlocked traffic; they can choose their mode of transportation – like a nice walk rather than a dark subway ride; and how long they want to “commute” for – perhaps just in the morning, afternoon, or both.

    [The faux commute] is super vital for optimizing sleep quality and the capacity to fall asleep easily at night

    Jessica Eastman, a naturopathic doctor and a faux commuter herself, even believes a commute can be the secret to a high-quality sleep – something many have found harder to get during the pandemic. Now, Eastman prescribes morning and after-work walks to her clients to help them clear their minds and get better rest.

    “People are having a really hard time falling asleep at the end of the day after working remotely,” she says, explaining how time blurs together without clear slots for things like lunch, start time and finish time.

    Without the time to process and clear information, she says we end up finally doing it at the end of the day, when we lie down to sleep – keeping us up at night.

    “Not only is [the faux commute] really vital for helping to regulate mood, energy and focus for the day, it’s also super vital for optimizing sleep quality and the capacity to fall asleep with ease in the evening.”

    At the very least, faux commuting is as good a reason as any to get out of the house.

    What Is a Nightmare?

    A nightmare is a bad dream. Almost everyone gets them once in a while — adults and kids. It can may make you feel scared, anxious, or upset. But nightmares are not real and can’t harm you.

    Why Do I Get Nightmares?

    Stressful things that happen during the day can turn dreams into nightmares. Nightmares may be a way to relieve the pressures of the day. This usually means dealing with things most kids have to face at one time or another: problems at home, problems at school, and stress from sports or schoolwork. Sometimes major changes, such as moving or the illness or death of a loved one, can cause stress that leads to nightmares.

    Another thing that may cause nightmares is watching scary movies or reading scary books, especially before you go to bed.

    Sometimes if you are sick, especially with a high fever, you may have nightmares. Some medicines also can cause nightmares. Let your parents and doctor know if you notice you are having more nightmares around the time you started a new medicine.

    But sometimes you might have a nightmare for no reason at all.

    How Can I Prevent Nightmares?

    Here are some tips you can try to get nightmares under control.

    Get into a healthy sleep routine. Try to go to bed about the same time and wake up at the same time every day. Unless you’re sick or didn’t get enough sleep the night before, avoid naps during the day. Avoid eating or exercising just before bedtime. Avoid scary books or movies before bedtime.

    Sleep with a stuffed toy or favorite blanket. This helps some kids feel more secure.

    Use a nightlight. Even if you gave up yours up years ago, you might want to turn it back on. With a nightlight, if you awake from a nightmare, you’ll be able to see familiar things and remember where you are.

    Keep your door open. This will help you remember that your family is close by. If you are scared, get up and find someone for reassurance. You’re never too old for a hug!

    Page 2

    What if the Nightmares Don’t Go Away?

    Most of the time, nightmares are not a big problem. It often helps to tell a trusted adult about your bad dreams. Just talking about what happened might make you feel better. If something has been troubling you during the day, talking about those feelings also may help.

    Some kids “rewrite” their nightmares by giving them happier outcomes. Another trick is to draw a picture of the bad dream and then rip it up!

    Sometimes it helps to keep a dream journal, a notebook in which you describe the dreams you can recall. Tracking your dreams — good and bad — and how you felt before you went to sleep can give you a better sense of how your mind works at night.

    If you have nightmares a lot, you and your parent might want to see a counselor or a psychologist to help you deal with your bad dreams. It will give you a chance to talk about some of the things bothering you that may be related to your nightmares.

    Rarely, kids with frequent nightmares may need to visit a doctor who can see if the nightmares are because of a physical condition.

    Remember, nightmares are not real and they can’t hurt you. Dreaming about something scary does not mean it will happen in real life. And it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person who wants to do mean or scary things. Everyone has nightmares now and then.

    You aren’t a baby if you feel afraid after a nightmare. If you need to snuggle with a parent or even a sister or brother, that’s all right. Sometimes just talking to a parent or grabbing a quick hug may be all you need.

    Nightmares may be scary for a little bit, but now you know what to do. Sweet dreams!

    I f you’ve ever heard a sudden loud noise in your sleep that turns out to be imaginary, you’re not losing your mind. In fact, you’re among the roughly 10-15% of people who have experienced Exploding Head Syndrome (EHS), a phenomenon that strikes as a person is falling asleep. Here’s what you need to know about the condition.

    Exploding Head Syndrome can sound strange and disorienting

    EHS starts when you hear a loud noise, ranging from the sound of fireworks and gunfire to thunder and lightning. It’s generally painless and lasts just a few seconds. “There’s this sudden crescendo of noise, then a profound and jarring explosion of sound, electrical fizzing and a bright flash in my vision, like someone has lit a spotlight in front of my face,” an EHS sufferer explained to the BBC.

    People respond to EHS differently. Some think they’ve heard a real event and wake up confused, looking around for the source of the noise. Others who have it more frequently may find it anxiety-inducing and start avoiding sleep, or feel panicked when they go to bed.

    Some people have even incorporated the episodes into conspiracy theories. “Some individuals believe they’re not natural events, but are essentially caused by malevolent government agencies,” says Brian Sharpless, an associate professor at the American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, Northern Virginia and author of the recent book Unusual and Rare Psychological Disorders. Sharpless has led studies on EHS. “I’ve received a number of phone calls from conspiracy theorists who don’t believe the scientific explanations.”

    It may stem from problems with the brain shutting down

    Because EHS occurs when a person is falling asleep, researchers think it may be connected to the brain having problems shutting down.

    “The way I usually describe EHS is by considering the brain to be a computer,” says Sharpless. “You go through a series of steps when you’re shutting down your computer, and your brain does the same thing. As you go to sleep, your auditory and visual neurons are normally inhibited. What we think happens during EHS is that instead of shutting down, these neurons fire all at once. When they do they, they create a perception of sound, which is why sufferers hear the loud noises.”

    Sharpless found that EHS is connected to isolated sleep paralysis—a condition in which a person wakes up unable to move or speak for a few minutes at a time. In a study of 211 undergraduate students, Sharpless and his team found that the overall EHS rate was 18%, and 37% of those with EHS also experienced sleep paralysis.

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    How to fake waking up

    Thank you!

    EHS is not uncommon

    EHS has a long history in medical literature, and the first reference dates back to 1870. “I think it’s actually not uncommon,” Sharpless says. “For most people though, it happens rarely, and there’s only a relatively very small number of people who experience it to the extent that it’s problematic.”

    The syndrome was initially thought to occur most commonly in women and those age 50 and over, but in his research, Sharpless has found that about 13% of undergraduates have experienced it at least once. However, more research is needed to determine which groups of people are more likely to be sufferers and how prevalent it is.

    There isn’t much you can do about it

    There are no well-established treatments for EHS, and there has never been a controlled trial for it, Sharpless says. “It’s probably not shocking to hear that there’s not a lot of money to study EHS and that many doctors have never even heard of it,” he says.

    The best piece of advice for sufferers is “to not freak out and to realize that it’s a natural event,” Sharpless says. Those who experience EHS to a high degree, where its frequency or intensity is particularly troubling, may be advised to use antidepressants, calcium channel blockers (which are often used with headache disorders) or an anti-seizure medication.

    “In general, anytime you have sleep disorders, one of the best and easiest things to do is to regulate your sleep by going to bed and waking up at the same time and to avoid using alcohol or caffeine prior to bed,” Sharpless says. “Simple things like that can really lead to a reduction in episodes. If it is EHS, it’s not dangerous, and is just one of those strange experiences you can tell your boyfriend or girlfriend about when you wake up.”

    Try these tips for keeping the sandman at bay when you just have to be awake.

    Staying up late can be tough on the body, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. Maybe you’re working late, or you might need to stay up for a one-time event like a family trip or a kid’s sleepover or even adjust your sleep schedule to accommodate a new night shift assignment. Either way, there are tricks you can use to successfully become a night owl.

    Keep in mind that success is relative when it comes to staying up late. The longer you’re up, the more your mind and body will feel the effects of sleep deprivation. “Our bodies are programmed to sleep during the night and be awake and alert during the day,” said Christopher Drake, PhD, a sleep researcher at the Henry Ford Sleep Disorders Center and an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at the Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit. “When we try to stay up late and sleep during the day, we are working against our own bodies.”

    Officer Shane Sevigny can testify to that. During the summer he works the graveyard shift patrol for the Salem Police Department in Salem, Ore., which runs from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m.

    “As you get older, it’s harder,” said Sevigny, 47. “I have a harder time sleeping during the day. My body clock would like to be sleeping at night. I have experience doing it, but going back and forth is the hardest for me, especially if it’s for a short time. I just don’t feel rested.”

    6 Ways to Stay Up Late

    If you’re pulling a single all-nighter or trying to adjust to a night shift, there are some basic ways you can improve your chances of staying up late.

    Nap beforehand. Either sleep a little longer each night before your late night or grab an afternoon nap that day. “One can bank sleep,” Drake said. “Prior to your all-nighter, get nine hours of sleep a night for a week and bank some sleep.”

    Keep busy. People who stay busy while they are sleepy tend to rally, pushing sleepiness aside because they are interested in the new task. That’s what helps Sevigny get through the night. He’s happy that his night shifts start on Friday and Saturday, typically the busiest nights for police officers. “If we stay busy, you don’t even notice it until you’re done with your shift and you’re on your way home,” he said.

    Use caffeine…the right way. Caffeine is an effective aide for staying up late. However, just chugging one big caffeinated beverage at the start of the shift will not help you through the whole evening. “My recommendation is not to utilize a giant Venti Starbucks but to use small doses equally spaced throughout the night shift,” Drake said. “That will help maintain alertness throughout the shift but also avoid people having significant sleep disturbance once they are home and ready for bed.”

    Nap smart at night. Taking a short half-hour nap during a shift can be effective, but some people will feel sluggish afterward. Drake’s solution: Drink an 8-ounce cup of coffee, which is about 75 milligrams of caffeine, before your nap. “Taking a small cup of coffee right before one takes that short nap will eliminate the sleep inertia effect,” he said.

    Stay in bright light. Light has a powerful effect on your internal clock, and bright light can temporarily fake the body into thinking it’s not yet time for bed. “That circadian clock has connections to the eye, and bright light can reset our internal clock,” said William Kohler, MD, medical director of the Florida Sleep Institute in Spring Hill, Fla. “That clock is what tells us when we’re alert and when we’re tired.” Stay in extremely well-lit rooms or intermittently use a light box that produces between 2,000 and 10,000 lux.

    Prepare for 4 a.m. to 5 a.m. Banking sleep will get you only so far through the night, however. “You can’t escape the negative effects of the circadian clock,” Drake said. “One is going to be sleepy around 4 a.m. to 5 a.m. because that is the sleepiest time of the day.” Be prepared to feel extremely sleepy in the hours just before dawn and use all possible countermeasures to help you stay awake.

    Adjusting Your Schedule

    Switching to a regular night shift schedule takes more effort. You have to work hard to fool your mind and body, and even then you must expect that it won’t be completely successful. Sleeping during the day is fundamentally different from night sleep.

    Keeping that in mind, people who need to work night shifts should try these strategies:

    Establish a fake day-night cycle. A 2013 study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that night shift nurses were best able to adjust to the schedule if they exposed themselves to extremely bright light during the beginning of their shift and then wore dark glasses after the shift. You can extend this effect by using a sleep mask and earplugs once you’re in bed.

    Don’t try to sleep all at once. Many people make the mistake of trying to replicate night sleep during the day. “Most night shift workers will go to sleep within 10 or 15 minutes, but after four hours, their sleep becomes fragmented,” Drake said. “They fall asleep and wake up and fall asleep and wake up. It’s probably better to use two sleep periods that last three or four hours. Don’t try to stay in bed. Get up and do what you need to do. Run errands. After three or four hours of wakefulness, take another three- or four-hour nap before going back to work.”

    Avoid alcohol. The idea of a nightcap doesn’t work during the day (nor does it work at night). Alcohol may help you fall asleep, but it can cause disturbances that ruin the quality of your sleep.

    When coffee just won’t quite cut it.

    First off, I am a major advocate of getting adequate sleep. Sleep is the way our body restores itself from sickness, enhances cognition and focus, and even helps our bodies maintain a healthy weight, so consistently getting good sleep is probably the single most important step we can take towards health and vitality.

    And as much as I attempt to practice good sleep habits and get a full 8 hours every night, let’s be honest: sometimes it just doesn’t happen. Especially with all the anxiety and uncertainty I’m feeling surrounding COVID-19 that’s keeping me up at night.

    But, this feeling is unfortunately not new for me, either — whether I stayed up too late ticking off my to-do list, took an overnight flight for work, dealt with a toddler who had a nightmare and wet the bed all in the same night, or experienced one of my occasional bouts of insomnia, I’m all too familiar with that foggy feeling of my alarm going off and realizing that I’m headed into a busy workday on far too little sleep. I used to get really anxious when this happened (what if my brain can’t function on that conference call? Am I going to be cranky with the kids all day?), but over time I’ve learned a few hacks that help me get through the occasional missed night’s sleep without missing a beat. Read on for 5 things I always do to help me feel energized when I’m sleep-deprived.

    1 of 5

    How to fake waking up

    Dehydration equals major fatigue, so I try to keep a huge water bottle within arms reach when I’m running on a lack of sleep and refill it throughout the day. It will rehydrate and wake up your organs and generally just make you feel more refreshed. And people: now is not the time to stick to your no caffeine goals unless you’re one of those people who truly doesn’t react well to it. Studies have shown moderate amounts of caffeine to be mood-lifting, stress-reducing, and obviously a quick way to put a pep in your step. If you’re not into coffee, try black tea, matcha, or yerbe maté for smaller yet still potent doses of caffeine. Have a cup in the morning and maybe one around midday, but don’t overdo it and make sure to cut yourself off by 2pm so you don’t have trouble falling asleep that night.

    2 of 5

    How to fake waking up

    On a recent work trip, I had to take the redeye flight from San Francisco that arrived in New York City at 7am the next day. Just enough time to check into my hotel, take a shower, eat breakfast, and then head into a high pressure client meeting! I barely slept on the plane and felt kind of panicky when I arrived at my hotel feeling awful and so sleepy, but thankfully my room service brekkie changed all that. I ordered a clean combination of a kale salad with hazelnuts topped with two soft boiled eggs and an avocado… and I ate it ALL. Good fats, especially avocados, have been shown to repair cognitive function, which we could all use a little help with when we’re sleep-poor, leafy greens flood your body with hydration and minerals, and protein gives energy and makes you feel satisfied. I headed out into my day feeling like a new woman!

    3 of 5

    How to fake waking up

    Getting your blood pumping first thing will increase circulation, oxygen, and energy levels, so even a 5 minute round of jumping jacks and burpees in a hotel room will go a long way towards helping you feel more energetic. And bonus points if you can go for a power walk or a run outside: sunlight increases your vitamin D levels, and even more importantly it boosts your mood, helps you focus, and reminds your body that it’s daytime so WAKE THE F UP.

    4 of 5

    How to fake waking up

    A couple years ago, I had a tough bout with insomnia that left me feeling anxious and for the first time ever, a little depressed. The experience made me realize in an entirely new way the importance of solid sleep for total well-being. As I was navigating all this, I realized something: the more I talked about how tired and sleep-deprived I was to the people around me throughout the day, the worse I felt. My talking about it served as a constant reminder that I wasn’t on my A-game, which became a self-fulfilling prophecy. So, I decided to do a little experiment and, even on those nights when I’d slept terribly, I would just show up to work acting like everything was normal and not mentioning my sleepless night. And you know what? Even though I didn’t feel great necessarily, I found that I’d mostly forget how sleep-deprived I was and just get on with the rest of my day!

    5 of 5

    How to fake waking up

    Today is not the day to try and be superwoman. Take a look at your schedule, cross out the things that aren’t essential, and cut yourself some slack. When you’re running on suboptimal sleep, you’re not going to be your most productive, so don’t try to give a suboptimal version of yourself to activities that could wait for another day. I’ve found that making an extra effort to ditch multitasking and focus on a single task at a time goes a long way when I’m feeling tired. Keep it simple and go to bed early tonight!

    Morning people fizzle. Non-morning people get stronger as the day wears on.

    This article was published online on July 30, 2021.

    M e, I can fake it.

    Stale as I may be from the night before, one foot—one leg—stuck in the underworld, I can still crank up the sociability. I can manufacture perkiness at an early hour. Good morning! Good morning! Am I even faking it? Perhaps not. It is good to wake up. I do rejoice in the restoration of consciousness, the grand democracy of daylight. Yes! Good morning!

    You, on the other hand … No faking for you. You’re condemned to a splendid and groaning authenticity. Waking is suffering, humans are intolerable, and you cannot, you will not, hide it. You wince, you flinch, you shuffle around. Should you happen, by some mischance, to encounter another person before you’ve gotten yourself together, you rear back like a scalded troll. The hours of sleep, it appears, have not refreshed you—they have flayed you.

    And that’s what I like about you, non–morning person: your fastidiousness. Your great delicacy of being. You don’t bounce giddily from oblivion to wakefulness, taking it all for granted, confident of finding things more or less as you left them at bedtime. No, no, it’s a change; it’s arduous; it’s real. Deflector shields: gone. Resilience: none. The world is upon you as a pressure, an aesthetic offense, a ghastly payload of noise and glare and babbling, galumphing people. You’ll be okay, you’ll get there, but you need time. Complex operations of personal reassembly are required. There’s an essential, existential honesty to what you’re doing: Every morning, out of old socks and empty bottles of ibuprofen, you build yourself anew.

    Morning person versus non–morning person. It’s a classic duality, isn’t it? It’s Hardy versus Laurel. It’s McCartney versus Lennon: Woke up, fell out of bed, / Dragged a comb across my head versus Please don’t wake me, no, don’t shake me, / Leave me where I am. And, this being America, we’re heavily weighted in favor of productivity and go-get-’em-ness. What politician will confess to having trouble waking up? You’re a bit countercultural, non–morning person, sunk in your vibes, crowned with your bedhead. You’re a subversive.

    And here’s a truth: Morning people fizzle. They front-load the day, they burn all their energy before 10 o’clock, and the remaining hours are just a kind of higher zombiedom. By mid-afternoon, a morning person is wan and sugar-starved. But you non–morning people get stronger: Like Antaeus, whose power increased every time Hercules took him down, you are nourished by contact with the Earth. You run on heavy fuel. You draw your strength from the slumbering core of the planet, where morning never breaks.

    This article appears in the September 2021 print edition with the headline “Ode to Not Being a Morning Person.”

    Katy Perry

    You gotta help me out
    It’s all a blur last night
    We need a taxi
    ‘Cause you’re hungover and I’m broke
    I lost my fake ID
    But you lost the motel key
    Spare me your freaking dirty looks now
    Don’t blame me

    You wanna cash out
    And get the hell outta town
    Don’t be a baby
    Remember what you told me

    Shut up, and put your money where your mouth is
    That’s what you get for waking up in Vegas
    Get up, and shake the glitter off your clothes now
    That’s what you get for waking up in Vegas

    Why are those lights so bright?
    Oh, did we get hitched last night?
    Dressed up like Elvis
    Why am I wearing your class ring?

    Don’t call your mother
    ‘Cause now we’re partners in crime
    Don’t be a baby
    Remember what you told me

    Shut up, and put your money where your mouth is
    That’s what you get for waking up in Vegas
    Get up, and shake the glitter off your clothes now
    That’s what you get for waking up in Vegas

    You got me into this
    Information overload, situation lost control
    Send out an S.O.S
    Ha, and get some cash out
    We’re gonna tear up the town
    No, don’t be a baby
    Remember what you told me
    Remember what you told me
    Remember what you told me, told me, told me

    Shut up, and put your money where your mouth is
    That’s what you get for waking up in Vegas
    Get up, and shake the glitter off your clothes now
    That’s what you get for waking up in Vegas

    That’s what you get, baby
    Shake the glitter
    Shake, shake, shake the glitter
    Gimme some cash out, baby
    Gimme some cash out, baby

    Você tem que me ajudar
    Não lembro nada da noite passada
    Precisamos de um táxi
    Porque você está de ressaca e eu estou dura
    Perdi minha identidade falsa
    Mas você perdeu a chave do motel
    Me poupe desses olhares agora
    Não me culpe

    Você quer pegar a grana
    E dar o fora da cidade
    Não seja infantil
    Lembre do que você me disse

    Pare de falar e tome alguma atitude
    É isso que dá acordar em Las Vegas
    Agora levante e tire o glitter das suas roupas
    É isso que dá acordar em Las Vegas

    Por que essas luzes brilham tanto?
    Será que nos casamos noite passada?
    Vestidos de Elvis
    E por que estou usando seu anel de formatura?

    Não chame sua mãe
    Porque agora somos parceiros no crime
    Não seja infantil
    Lembre do que você me disse

    Pare de falar e tome alguma atitude
    É isso que dá acordar em Las Vegas
    Agora levante e tire o glitter das suas roupas
    É isso que dá acordar em Las Vegas

    Você me meteu nessa
    Sobrecarga de informação, a situação perdeu o controle
    Mande um socorro
    Ha, e arrume uma grana
    Vamos detonar a cidade
    Não, não seja infantil
    Lembre do que você me disse
    Lembre do que você me disse
    Lembre do que você me disse, me disse, me disse

    Pare de falar e tome alguma atitude
    É isso que dá acordar em Las Vegas
    Agora levante e tire o glitter das suas roupas
    É isso que dá acordar em Las Vegas

    É nisso que dá, amor
    Tire o glitter
    Tire, tire, tire o glitter
    Me dê algum dinheiro, querido
    Me dê algum dinheiro, querido

    “Space can wait: magnate gives to end extreme poverty.” It’s the kind of headline that many wish they were waking up to, but unfortunately this is fake news. Concern Worldwide, a non-profit dedicated to helping the world’s poorest people, has teamed up with global creative agency Fred & Farid Los Angeles in its first-ever US campaign. The series calls out income inequality and puts the heat on the world’s wealthiest individuals and organizations to do more in the fight against poverty.

    According to the charity, around 150 million people are trying to survive on less than $1.90 per day. Meanwhile, billionaires including Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson are racing to space.

    The hard-hitting spot has generated over 50 made-up headlines that focus on real, tangible things affluent and powerful members of society could do to help the world’s most vulnerable people.

    Utilizing the language, sentence structure, typography and layout design typical of a major news corporation, each headline appears to be real until it lands upon the genuine call to action: ‘#UnfortunatelyFakeNews. Until it’s real, please donate.’

    Social media platforms are a notorious breeding ground for fake news, which Fred & Farid has cleverly played on for a good cause.

    “No one person, government or organization can solve income inequality and extreme poverty on their own – we must all work together,” said Colleen Kelly, Concern Worldwide US’s chief executive officer.

    “Meaningful change requires all of us to recognize our individual responsibility and use our available resources intentionally, so they have a positive impact on the world. With ‘#UnfortunatelyFakeNews’ we hope to bring more awareness to our crucially important mission of ending extreme poverty, whatever it takes.”

    How to fake waking up

    To drive the message even further, ‘#UnfortunatelyFakeNews’ will also appear in high-profile, strategically-placed OOH units in major cities.

    For the best in science + technology!

    How to fake waking up

    How to fake waking up

    Was a “dead” crisis actor caught waking up while Ukrainian TV was broadcasting a live video of civilian casualties?

    Take a look at the viral video, and find out what the facts really are!

    Claim : “Dead” Crisis Actor Caught Waking Up On Ukrainian TV!

    People are sharing a video which they claimed is evidence of Ukrainian fake news.

    It shows a reporter speaking, with rows of black body bags behind him.

    A “dead” man is seen fiddling with his body bag that was blowing in the wind, before a lady went to help cover him up.

    Ukraine live TV supposedly filming dead TV persons killed during the invasion. But during filming one of dead woke up. 🤣🤣🤣

    What nonsense.

    Truth : “Dead” Crisis Actor Was NOT Caught Waking Up On Ukrainian TV!

    This is yet another example of anti-Ukrainian fake news, apparently created and distributed by pro-China activists.

    Fact #1 : TV Broadcast Was In German

    The video has the chyron, WIEN: DEMO GEGEN KLIMAPOLITIK, with one individual holding a sign that said “Aktuell Klimapolitik Nicht“.

    Those are German words, not Ukrainian or Russian; and the reporter was speaking in German.

    This is one of the reasons why I believe this to be a Chinese effort at misinformation, rather than Russian.

    Russians would not waste their time with this video, because they know that most Europeans would be able to identify the German language even if they don’t understand it.

    Fact #2 : oe24TV Is Austrian, Not Ukrainian

    The video identifies the reporter as Marvin Bergauer of oe24TV – a TV channel that belongs to Österreich.

    Österreich, which literally means Austria, is an Austrian newspaper that publishes in the German language.

    Fact #3 : Video Was About A Climate Change Protest

    The video was actually about a climate change protest in Vienna, as these English translations will tell you :

    • WIEN: DEMO GEGEN KLIMAPOLITIK = Vienna: Demo against climate policy
    • Aktuell Klimapolitik Nicht = No to the current climate policy

    The “dead bodies” are not crisis actors, but protesters in 49 climate body bags” outside the Federal Chancellery in Vienna.

    This was what oe24 reporter, Marvin Bergauer, was saying in German :

    No greenhouse gas and reduction targets in Austria for 400 days. That is the official title of this event here, this demonstration.

    It was organised by Fridays For Future… Here you can also see this protest action, which is somewhat macabre. Forty-nine people are lying here on the ground to represent the climate deaths.

    Fact #4 : Video Was Taken Before Russian Invasion Of Ukraine

    This video was recorded on 4 February 2022 – 20 days before Russia invaded Ukraine.

    You can confirm this in the official oe24TV broadcast page for this protest, as well as this tweet by the Fridays for Future group in Vienna.

    Seit 400 Tagen hat Österreich kein wirksames Klimaschutzgesetz.

    Und das mit einer Bundesregierung, die sich „Klimaschutz“ groß auf die Fahnen schreibt.

    Durch jeden Tag (!), an dem Österreich seine Treibhausgasemissionen nicht senkt, werden 49 Menschen zu Tode kommen.

    — Fridays For Future Wien – #DontFuelWar (@ViennaForFuture) February 4, 2022

    Fact #5 : Video Was Also Misused By COVID-19 Deniers

    This video was also misused earlier by COVID-19 deniers who claimed that these are crisis actors in Germany who pretended to be dead COVID-19 patients.

    They were sharing it as evidence that the COVID-19 pandemic was staged or planned, and that people did not actually die from it.

    This video was already circulating in the West since 9 February 2022, so it would be really peculiar for Russian disinformation teams to reuse it.

    This would suggest that the video is being used by Chinese disinformation efforts unfamiliar to its earlier circulation in the West.

    Now that you know the truth, please help us fight fake news by SHARING this article out!

    Please Support My Work!

    Name : Adrian Wong
    Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
    Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

    Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

    He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

    Recommended Reading

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    • Did Cornell Name Ivermectin Most Effective Drug vs. Omicron?

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    A British teen who slipped into coma before COVID-19 became a pandemic is now showing signs of improvement, regaining consciousness in a world much different from the one he knew.

    Joseph Flavill, 19, fell into a coma March 1, three weeks before the United Kingdom went into lockdown, The Guardian reported. In recent weeks, he has been regaining consciousness, again being able to follow commands, move his legs and communicate through blinking.

    His progress has left his family hopeful, even as they struggle to help him make sense of the world around him.

    “I just don’t know where to start with it,” Flavill’s aunt, Sally Flavill Smith, told the Guardian. “A year ago if someone had told me what was going to happen over the last year, I don’t think I would have believed it. I’ve got no idea how Joseph’s going to come to understand what we’ve all been through.”

    Flavill was hit by a car in the central England county of Staffordshire when the United Kingdom had just 23 reported COVID-19 cases, according to CNN.

    As of Thursday, the country has recorded nearly 3.9 million cases, according to Johns Hopkins University. The teen contracted the virus twice while in a coma, the Guardian reported.

    Because of coronavirus restrictions, most of Flavill’s family have been able to check up on him only via video calls in the past 10 months, during which they have tried to briefly explain why they can’t be with him in person, Flavill Smith told the Guardian.

    His mother has been allowed to visit him, but only at a distance and dressed in protective gear, according to CNN. She is waiting until it’s safe to touch him.

    “That’s a big thing for his mum to emotionally manage, watching him through a screen,” Kate Yarbo, another aunt of Flavill, told CNN. “You want to hold his hand. You want to be there all the time.”

    After a tough recovery journey, which included seizures, Flavill has improved in the past few weeks, Yarbo told CNN.

    “We’ve still got a long journey ahead, but the steps he’s made in the last three weeks have been absolutely incredible,” Flavill Smith told the Guardian.

    The family has set up a website, “Joseph’s Journey,” to raise money for Flavill’s recovery and to raise awareness of traumatic brain injuries.

    As of Sunday, the family raised about $40,000, according to the website.

    In Tibetan Buddhism, the group of tantric techniques known as milam aim to reveal the illusory nature of waking life by having practitioners perform yoga in their dreams. It’s a ritualized version of one of the most mysterious faculties of the human mind: to know that we’re dreaming even while asleep, a state known as lucid dreaming.

    Lucidity (awareness of the dream) is different to control (having power over the parameters of the experience, which can include summoning up objects and people, attaining superpowers, and traveling to fantastic worlds). But the two are closely linked, and many ancient spiritual traditions teach that dreams can yield to us with time and practice. How?

    As a researcher in psychology, I’ve approached this question scientifically. Despite the long history of lucid dreaming in human societies, it wasn’t until 1975 that researchers came up with an ingenious way to verify the phenomenon empirically.

    The first step was the insight that the muscles of the eyes are not paralyzed during sleep, unlike the rest of the body. Inspired by the work of Celia Green, the British hypnotherapist Keith Hearne reasoned that this should allow lucid dreamers to communicate with the outside world. He had an experienced dreamer spend several nights in a sleep lab, and instructed him to flick his eyes left to right with pre-arranged signs when he finally entered a lucid dream. The volunteer succeeded, and Hearne was able to record the movements—which corresponded with the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) phase of sleep. Many later studies have since replicated these findings.

    Yet distilling reliable methods for inducing lucid dreams has proved to be a struggle. Although around 40 studies have been conducted on the subject since the 1970s, most of them reported scant success—in most studies, between around 3% and 13% of attempts resulted in a lucid dream. But when I first started my PhD, I noticed that most of the research was limited by such things as the small sample sizes and unreliable measurements—so I set about trying to address the limitations and investigate some of the more promising methods.

    In the study I published with colleagues at the University of Adelaide, the best technique turned out to be something called Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams (MILD), originally developed in the 1970s by the American psychophysiologist Stephen LaBerge. It involves the following steps:

    1. Set an alarm for five hours after you go to bed.

    2. When the alarm sounds, try to remember a dream from just before you woke up. If you can’t, just recall any dream you had recently.

    3. Lie in a comfortable position with the lights off and repeat the phrase: ‘Next time I’m dreaming, I will remember I’m dreaming.’ Do this silently in your mind. You need to put real meaning into the words and focus on your intention to remember.

    4. Every time you repeat the phrase at step 3, imagine yourself back in the dream you recalled at step 2, and visualize yourself remembering that you are dreaming.

    5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you either fall asleep or are sure that your intention to remember is set. This should be the last thing in your mind before falling asleep. If you find yourself repeatedly coming back to your intention to remember that you’re dreaming, that’s a good sign it’s firm in your mind.

    We relied on data from 169 people from all over Australia, who kept a dream journal so we could measure the effect of induction techniques against their ‘baseline’ tendency. More than half the people who used MILD ended up having at least one lucid dream in the week they started practicing; they also went from experiencing these dreams about one night out of 11 to about one night in six. These findings are very exciting, and are some of the highest success rates reported in the scientific literature.

    Surprisingly, the number of times that people repeated the mantra about remembering that they’re dreaming, or even the amount of time spent on MILD overall, did not predict success. Instead, the most important factor was being able to complete the technique and then go back to sleep quickly. In fact, it proved almost twice as effective when people fell asleep within five minutes after setting their intention. If you want to try this for yourself, you’ll need to experiment in order to get the right level of wakefulness when the alarm goes off—enough to allow you to complete the steps, but not so much that you’ll struggle to doze off again. Doing the technique after five or so hours of sleep is important, too: Most of our dreams occur in the last two to three hours before waking, and you want to minimize the time between finishing the technique and entering REM sleep.

    It takes a bit of practice, but if you’re lucky you might even have a lucid dream using MILD on your first night. If you do become aware that you’re dreaming, it’s important to stay calm, since intense emotions can trigger a premature awakening. And if the dream starts to fade or seems unstable, you can try rubbing your hands together vigorously from within the dream. It sounds strange, but this strategy works by flooding the brain with sensations from within the dream, which decreases the chance of becoming aware of your sleeping physical body, and waking up.

    Aside from the sheer joy of being able to bend an imaginary world to your will, there’s a range of additional psychological benefits to lucid dreaming. For one, it can help with nightmares: Simply knowing that you’re dreaming often brings relief during a nasty episode. You might also be able to use dreams to process trauma: confronting what’s haunting you, making peace with an attacker, escaping the situation by flying away, or even just waking up. Other potential applications include practicing sporting skills by night, having more “active” participants for studies about sleep and dreaming, and the pursuit of creative inspiration. With practice, our dream state can feel almost as vivid to us as the world itself—and leaves you wondering, perhaps, where fantasy ends and reality begins.

    This article was originally published at Aeon and has been republished under Creative Commons. This story is a part of Quartz Ideas, our home for bold arguments and big thinkers.

    It happens in an instant just before you fall asleep. You’re startled by a loud noise — the thud of a book slamming to the floor, or worse, the bang of a shotgun nearby. You a jump up and look around, but everything seems normal. Well it is, but you did hear a noise that wasn’t real. It was in your brain.

    Get the full experience. Choose your plan ArrowRight

    It’s a phenomenon called “exploding head syndrome.”

    “It can sound like explosions, gunshots in your head, giant guitar strings breaking beside you or something heavy being dropped,” Brian Sharpless, assistant professor and director of the psychology clinic at Washington State University, told The Washington Post. He’s also the lead author of a study on the disorder. “A small number of people will see lightning, flashes of light or visual static like you see on a TV screen. It’s scary, and people wake up confused.”

    Exploding head syndrome has received little clinical attention over the years. Scientists have hypothesized the condition is rare and seen mostly in people older than 50. But when Sharpless and his researchers assessed 211 undergraduate students for sleep paralysis as well as exploding head syndrome — which appear to be connected — they found the phenomenon is more common than clinic lore led them to believe. The researchers recently published the findings in the Journal of Sleep Research.

    Its symptoms were first described some 150 years ago. Doctors have noted it in literature as “sensory discharges” and, later, “snapping in the brain.” In 1988, neurologist J.M.S. Pearce dubbed it “exploding head syndrome.”

    Sharpless and his colleagues found that 18 percent of the people they interviewed had experienced the disorder at least once. More than 16 percent had recurring cases. However, when the researchers removed those who had also experienced sleep paralysis, the number fell to 13.5 percent — which is still “shockingly high,” he said.