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How Sleep Helps Us Deal With Stress
During the REM stage of sleep, the brain's stress chemicals shut down while the mind processes the day's emotional experiences which we witness as dreams as we doze.
What's the Latest Development?
Scientists are discovering that our bodies have a built-in way of dealing with stressful emotions and bad memories that is closely tied to sleeping. In the REM stage of sleep, which is when dreams occur, levels of stress hormones decrease. "During REM sleep, memories are being reactivated, put in perspective and connected and integrated, but in a state where stress neurochemicals are beneficially suppressed," said Els van der Helm, a doctoral student in psychology at UC Berkeley and lead author of a recent study on dreams.
What's the Big Idea?
UC Berkeley researchers first hypothesized that REM sleep helps to manage difficult emotional experiences when they learned of a blood pressure drug that was unexpectedly reducing the occurrence of nightmares in PTSD sufferers. A side effect of the drug was the suppression of norepinephrine, a stress chemical located in the brain. Researchers found that REM sleep also reduces levels of norepinephrine while dreams help to sort through the day's events. The discovery may open new avenues of treatment.
Photo credit: shutterstock.com
Inventions with revolutionary potential made by a mysterious aerospace engineer for the U.S. Navy come to light.
- U.S. Navy holds patents for enigmatic inventions by aerospace engineer Dr. Salvatore Pais.
- Pais came up with technology that can "engineer" reality, devising an ultrafast craft, a fusion reactor, and more.
- While mostly theoretical at this point, the inventions could transform energy, space, and military sectors.
High frequency gravitational wave generator.
Credit: Dr. Salvatore Pais
A craft using an inertial mass reduction device.
Credit: Salvatore Pais
Laser Augmented Turbojet Propulsion System
Credit: Dr. Salvatore Pais
The world's 10 most affected countries are spending up to 59% of their GDP on the effects of violence.
- Conflict and violence cost the world more than $14 trillion a year.
- That's the equivalent of $5 a day for every person on the planet.
- Research shows that peace brings prosperity, lower inflation and more jobs.
- Just a 2% reduction in conflict would free up as much money as the global aid budget.
- Report urges governments to improve peacefulness, especially amid COVID-19.
The lush biodiversity of South America's rainforests is rooted in one of the most cataclysmic events that ever struck Earth.
- One especially mysterious thing about the asteroid impact, which killed the dinosaurs, is how it transformed Earth's tropical rainforests.
- A recent study analyzed ancient fossils collected in modern-day Colombia to determine how tropical rainforests changed after the bolide impact.
- The results highlight how nature is able to recover from cataclysmic events, though it may take millions of years.