Is four hour sleep at a time is better than eight hours at a time ?

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by plakhapate, Apr 28, 2006.

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  1. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    I am not well versed in this area, but I suspect you are "growing out of the problem," and that it very improbably you will die of it. I do not know if the reason why some, mainly babies in SID, do die at least in part because of failure to resume breathing is known, but I suspect it does have to do with the failure to sense (or respond to the sensed information, if it is sensed) the build up of CO2 in the blood.

    When a full-term baby is born, it is not yet "fully built," especailly in the neurological systems. Some parts of the brain have not even been connected together yet!* As the most obviously, and well established sensing of CO2 is in the brain, I suspect that the normal sensing of CO2 is marginal in the case of many infants.

    Last time I read any of these things in journals was at least 15 years ago. Then as I recall, there was still considerable debate as to the cause of SIDs, but I had already guessed it was "apnea like" and of the nature I am trying to describe here - inadequately developed neurological sensing of increased CO2 blood levels.

    Please note I am self taught (from the medical literature) and at least 15 years behind the times. Thus take every thing I say with a deep breath of fresh air.

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    *As side note: By the time you are 1 or 2 (I forget exact age) you will have many more neural connections than at any time later in life. (Again I do not remember number exactly but arround 40 or 50% more!) Much of your first years of learning is cutting the less useful connections. Thus, one can argue that more "brain building" occurs AFTER birth than before!

    On your sleeping position questions, I bet that has nothing to do with apnea if my CO2 argument is correct. I sleep on my left side and left leg is both lower than right and often has the weight of right on it, at least in part. I have significant varicos veins in inner part of left leg only (where right leg contacts the left). I do think sleeping position has some thing to do with this.

    Yes - people differ in most everthing, propensity to apnea included, but it does seem to decrease with age, rapidly in the first few years, as I remember what I have read in journals. (Hence my earlier comment about "growing out of it.")
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2006
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  3. valich Registered Senior Member

    Billy T: Asian students, as well as myself, usually stay up late "burning the midnight oil" and get the least amount of sleep possible. However, there is normally a two hour midday break in Asian countries where most students - and professional adults - take a nap: thus, a total of about six hours. The USFD suggests 8 hours.

    Now back in the US, I cannot count on that midday nap, nor ever did: 6-8 seems to be the norm. If you talk to or read about the "diehard" achievers in society, it seems that they average 6 hours.

    With my chronic pain syndrome I have to get eight in order to re-align my vertebrae column while I lie flat on my back. However, I find it necessary to take meds to sleep this long, and they still only put me out for four hours. Your 4 + 4 strategy makes perfect sense to me.
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  5. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Sorry to learn you are still with pain. I do not have that problem, but know about it. - I was involved with some experiments using trans-dural stimulation, even in the operating room at Johns Hopkins Hospital several times.

    Our devices were derived from a rechargeable cardiac pacer, which became unpopular as circuit power requirement dropped and batteries got better. (We were looking for a medical application that required more energy, instead of just supplying a trigger to the body's energy system.)

    Our system worked well for a few months, but unfortunately, the brain is so "clever" that it eventually began to ignore the "electrical acupuncture" we were supplying from the implanted rechargeable system and the pain returned.

    We were working on a two-electrode system when I left APL/JHU. Idea was that approximately every week, the active electrode would be alternated. Our patients were extreme cases - so bad was their chronic pain that their level of sedation made them into "zombies," living in the hospital, but we did "cure" them for a few months. I do not know any results of the two electrode system, or even if it was built and tested.

    Please give some of you first hand impressions of what is currently going on in China.
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  7. rte148 Registered Member

    About 3 times a month, I stay awake at least 100 hours straight. I don't drink, do illegal drugs, although I do smoke cigs. I am falling apart at the seams.

    Due to stress, anxiety, and a host of other psychological abberations I believe. Don't worry, I like people and am not ever going to go postal. I make it a point after 80 hours not to even drive.
  8. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    I did my one long streach without sleep purely because I was forced to be awake for something approaching 50 or 60 hours and then wanted to experience the sleep deprived state.

    I do not want to pry into your problems, but encourage you to get some professional help. - I think that in this day and age, there are compounds that can help you, however do not self medicate excessively with what you can buy over the counter.

    Perhaps you do not really stay awake for "at least 100 hours." Many people in sleep lab studies will swear that the did not sleep the entire night, until they are shown the EEG records and / or video records of their sleeping. They may however sleep poorly and for only an hour or so. Even if you are one of these and not actually staying awake as long as you think, you should still get some help.

    PS - Since I am in the mood for giving out free advice - AFTER you get your sleeping more normal, give up the cigs.

    PS2 - Partially just to engage you in conversation, but also as I am courious: What does "go postal" mean? Did you make this expression up?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 17, 2006
  9. valich Registered Senior Member

    How does transdural motor cortex stimulation work? Is it for patients who are in a coma? Don't know anything about it.

    When my right upper quadrant became paralyzed I used a TENS unit (tactile electro-neural stimulator) to help keep the motor neurns active and to prevent muscle atrophy, but after the pain syndrome set in, the TENS unit increased the nerve pain and I had to stop using it.

    You ask about advances in China. I think I posted a reply on another link to you about the benefits of acupuncture? I'm not well versed in how it works, but I swear by it for physical pain. It does not work for nerve pain. In China, when they use acupuncture they poke the needle in to the nerve sites and then place an herbal substance on the tip of the needle that is then burned. I have no idea what this is supposed to do. As I stated on the other thread, I injured my ankle in a previous motorcycle accident and no medication could stop the excrutiating pain. The acupuncture helped but what really worked is the metal clip that the acupuncturist put on my right ear lobe. It was only a quarter-inch sized clip that he clamped onto the bottom of my right ear lobe. The pain was in my left ankle. He told me that whenever I had the pain that I should squeeze the clamp. Now this really worked! There is no bullshit here. This guy was considered the best acupuncturist in the Taipei area when I lived in Taiwan. He tried his best to relieve the nerve pain, but since acupuncture works on the nerve system, nothing that he tried worked, and I constantly tried to convince him that nothing probably would, but he persisted in trying everything that he knew. One technique that he used is to put your body into a steam bath. Your head is always above the square enclosed polyethylene tent so there's no reason to worry. It's like a sauna or steam bath: feels great, very soothing, but no effect on nerve pain.
  10. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    The transdural stimulation was applied to the lower spinal cord, Lumbar section. Although it might be possible to apply it in some parts of the brain, it would never be applied to motor cortex. If that were done you would either have spasms or if the pulse frequency was more than about 2000 Hz, you probably would be paralized by it. Just anterior to the motor cortex is a motor related cortex. (If you remove a small section of the motor cortex, it can often learn to resume the damaged function - I have no idea what would happen if applied there with intact motor cortex.)
    I think electrical stimulation has been used in many, if not most, other brain areas. I have made electrodes that were applied to the cerebral cortex of monkeys in a study of a possible therapy for epilepsy and a Dr. Cooper in Boston area was already implanting his in humans. (Epilepsy is a very tricky problem with considerable placebo effect in some cases, so we were not confident in his positive results.)

    No one knows how acupuncture works. I have little belief in the theories associated with it, but the emprical information about there to apply it seems to be generally useful, if not "valid" by western science standards. I have seen films of very major abdomenal surgery on a obviously very alert patient who according to the film narration (and I believe it - although it might have been trick with high spinal block) only acupuncture for pain control.

    I think it is still true that most western doctors have a low opinion of acupuncture, but I do not. It is sort of the medical communities version of the "not invented here syndrome" which makes it almost impossible to sell your technical invention to a major company. - Many will not even give your description to their scientist to consider it merits but send it to the legal department for them to issue their "we do not evaluator or read external submissions" letter - they correctly fear that if they are working on anything even vaguely related that comes to market later, the inventor will sue them for royalties, etc.) This line of thought does not to me, seem to apply in the case of acupuncture so I do not understand why Western Doctors reject it as strongly as they do - may have to do with the potential for reduction of drugs etc.

    I called our transdural stimulation "electrical acupuncture" but that is not official. I suspect that both it and traditional acupuncture work basicly by the mechanism that Ben Gay (and other) mussel pain relievers work - a "counter irritations" or "distraction" continuous neural "assault" on the brain - I.e. a lot of neural input for it to process makes it less efficient in giving you pain. That is just my view, but perhaps others share it. It would explain why our transdural stimulation did permit great reduction in the sedatives etc for a few months and then failed to provide relief as the brain learned to not even bring to near conscious level the neural pulses provoked by the stimulation.

    I have a patent in this field. Read remainder onlyif interested in that. - The dural electrode is somewhat flexible and long (still less than 1cm) but narrow so it can be slide down thru a rather large needle (type routinely used for "spinal taps"). Once it is in place, the needle is pulled back along the wires that will connect it to the implanted package that drives the electrode. To make this connection, the doctor had to solder the connector to the end of these wires in the sterile operating field. - it was a mess and took 10 or 15 minutes and was not a very reliable connection, but necessary as if the connector were already attached to these wires, you could still slide the electrode down thru the needle, but then could not pull the needle back as connector was much larger than the needle and stopped it.

    I made a "dural insertion needle" in two pieces. One was "U" shaped and the other a flat "blade" that could be slide down the open edge of the stiff "U" cross-section main body of the needle to close the open side of the needle. After the electrode was in place, the cable was long enough (always was as the implanted driver unit was typically 20 or more cm away in the abdomen) for the needle to be fully withdrawn from the body and then disassemble into the two separate pieces so the cable could be removed from the open side of the part with U shaped cross-section.

    This is a good illustration of why it is important for the medical instrument/ system designers to be in the operating room while the system is being perfected. Also it is a case where some developmental work must use humans who can communicate the results to you. (Hard to get monkey to tell you what set of pulse parameters is best etc., but I have also done a lot of work with monkeys.) I had an interesting 30 year career at APL - they let me do pretty much what I liked (energy and medical research with the doctors at JHU) and only occasionally asked me to do what APL mainly did in that era - help the US Navy solve its problems.
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  11. valich Registered Senior Member

    Billy T: You call "transdural stimulation" a form of "electrical acupunture," "applied to the lower spinal cord." Is this strictly for pain relief? You describe it as a "U shaped insertion," but I don't know what you mean by this.

    Acupunture works! And pity the doctors who disagree with this. I reiterate what I said above regarding my ankle injury. I don't know how it works - segregated nerve pathways throughout the body - but I know that it definitely does work. And it works very well. My own clinic that I go to here in Flagstaff has a special acupuncture session every Saturday morning. We have five doctors that work in this clinic and none disagree. As far as burning the herbal substance on top of the needle - something that most acupuncturists probably don't do in the states - I find that part questionable.

    I want to repeat what I stated above. I was side-swiped by another motorcycly in Taiwan that twisted my ankle. No pain medications available to me in Taiwan would cease the pain. The acupuncturist put a quarter inch clip onto my right ear and told me to squeeze it whenever I felt the pain. This was the only thing that worked to give me reilef! I don't understand it, but I know that it works.

    I used a TENS unit with my arm to prevent the atrophy in my muscles, but once the intense neurological pain syndrome set in, the TENS unit, by electrically stimulating and exciting the nerves, actually started to increase the pain, so I was forced to stop using it. I then had what is called a Dorsal Root Entry Zone (DREZ) laminectomy, by Blain Nashold at Duke University. His motto: "See Blain for the Pain." No one else at the time did this type of surgery in the world. I was given a 70% success rate and a 15-20% risk that I might become a quadrapalegic, because it is so close to hitting the adjacent nerves that could cripple my lower extremeties. He cauterized the nerve endings to stop the neuron signals from branching out to no where - like a short circuit. This eliminated 50% of the pain and enabled me to survive. Over the years that followed, the pain has both physiologically diminished and subsided to the point where I can live with it. C'est la vie.
  12. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Yes, at least at JHU under Dr. Donald Long (Head of the pain clinic at the hospital, as I recall.)
    the needle was long and thin, as all "needles" are, but made of two pieces, instead of one hollow tube. The main rigidity came from the piece "U" shaped IN CROSS-SECETION and as stated earlier, the open side of the needle was closed by the other piece, a thin long blade, to keep the cable captive in the needle during the insertion of the electrode.

    Once the electrode was placed in contact with the Lombar dura, the still fully assembled need was withdrawn form the body (wires for the drive unit still captive inside it). As the connector to the drive unit was already attached to these wires (and fully tested, not soldered on by the doctor in the surgical sterile field) It was necessary to remove the "blade" to open the side of the needle (the open part of the "U") and free the needle from the wires "sideways." I tried to describe this the first time - hope you "get it" now.

    Yes I believe acupunture works. Recall, in prior post I said:
    "I have seen films of very major abdomenal surgery on a obviously very alert patient who according to the film narration (and I believe it - although it might have been trick with high spinal block) only acupuncture for pain control."

    I think you must read too quicky. Re-read prior post. I could have been more clear, but did say:
    "I made a "dural insertion needle" in two pieces. One was "U" shaped and the other a flat "blade" that could be slide down the open edge of the stiff "U" cross-section main body of the needle to close the open side of the needle."

    Thus I do not see why you were confussed about either my views on acupuncture or the needle being "u" shapped in CROSS-SECTION.
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