February 03, 2006
i know the feeling
According to the rain gauge in my front yard, more than 3" of rain fell on the Crackerbox yesterday. The weather report predicts more rain today. This monsoon is putting a crimp in my gardening plans, because I can't Roundup the weeds I want to kill until the weather clears.
The steady downpour made for good sleeping last night. I opened one of my bedroom windows so that I could hear the rain fall and lay down to read for a while at 10:00 PM. I didn't do much reading. I fell unconscious before 10:30 and slept until 7:00 this morning. I woke up feeling pretty good, too.
That makes 21 hours of sleep in two days. If I can keep sleeping like that for about another month, I might be close to catching up on what I missed during my struggles with insomnia. I was awfully damned miserable for a while there.
Lack of sleep may never kill me, but it surely does make me feel like shit. After seeing this story, I concluded that my brain must work a lot like the brain of a laboratory rat.
The sleep-deprived rodents had a much harder time remembering how to navigate the maze and learned more slowly than did the rats that were well-rested. In addition, the rats that got enough sleep sprouted neurons in the hippocampus, a part of the brain known for spatial learning, which increased the growth of brain cells. This did not happen in the animals whose sleep was restricted.
That explains why I felt so dull and spaced-out when I couldn't sleep. I wasn't sprouting neurons in my hippocampus! That's bad. If you stop sprouting, you feel like shit, too.
Everybody knows that a hippocampus is a terrible thing to waste...
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