Sleep

The real science of dream research

Publication: MSNBC.com   Date: July 16, 2010   View Article

Movie director Chris Nolan is famous for his unorthodox spin on thrillers ranging from “Memento” and “The Prestige” to “The Dark Knight.” Nolan’s latest movie, “Inception,” takes viewers on a sci-fi trip to a novel frontier: the visions of the sleeping mind.

The cerebral adventure introduces the concept of “extraction,” where corporate thieves enter people’s dreams and steal their ideas. Master extractor Dom Cobb – played by Leonardo DiCaprio, – is given the task of planting a dream instead.

Are our dreams really vulnerable to manipulation? Click ahead for a reality check on these ideas and more in the world of dream research

Early Risers Have Mutated Gene, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 30, 2005   View Article

If the early bird gets the worm, Susan Middlebrook should be well fed. Whether she wants to or not, she’s ready to start each day between 1:30 and 3:00 a.m.

“I’m wide awake and ready to paint the house,” the 49-year-old Colchester, Vermont, resident said. “I don’t need a cup of coffee to get going, not at all. But between 4:00 and 5:00 [p.m.] you might have to nudge me with an elbow.”

Middlebrook suffers from what is known as familial advanced sleep phase syndrome, or FASPS. Her body’s clock is out of sync with the sleep-wake rhythm most of the world lives by.

“Sleeping Dragon” Fossil May Link Dinosaurs, Birds

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 13, 2004   View Article

Paleontologists have discovered a duck-size dinosaur they believe died while catching some z’s. Researchers found the creature’s fossilized remains curled up with its head tucked under a forelimb, a pose that today is unique to sleeping and resting birds.

“I never expected we’d find a sleeping dinosaur in general, let alone with the tuck-in position,” said Xu Xing, a curator at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology in Beijing, China.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach