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neuromorphogenesis:

Why Does Sleeping In Just Make Me More Tired?

We’ve all been there: It’s been a long week at work, so Friday night, you reward yourself by going to bed early and sleeping in. But when you wake up the next morning (or afternoon), light scathes your eyes, and your limbs feel like they’re filled with sand. Your brain is still lying down and you even have faint headache. If too little sleep is a problem, then why is extra sleep a terrible solution?

Oversleeping feels so much like a hangover that scientists call it sleep drunkenness. But, unlike the brute force neurological damage caused by alcohol, your misguided attempt to stock up on rest makes you feel sluggish by confusing the part of your brain that controls your body’s daily cycle.

Your internal rhythms are set by your circadian pacemaker, a group of cells clustered in the hypothalamus, a primitive little part of the brain that also controls hunger, thirst, and sweat. Primarily triggered by light signals from your eye, the pacemaker figures out when it’s morning and sends out chemical messages keeping the rest of the cells in your body on the same clock.

Scientists believe that the pacemaker evolved to tell the cells in our bodies how to regulate their energy on a daily basis. When you sleep too much, you’re throwing off that biological clock, and it starts telling the cells a different story than what they’re actually experiencing, inducing a sense of fatigue. You might be crawling out of bed at 11am, but your cells started using their energy cycle at seven. This is similar to how jet lag works.

But oversleep isn’t just going to ruin your Saturday hike. If you’re oversleeping on the regular, you could be putting yourself at risk for diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Harvard’s massive Nurses Health Study found that people who slept 9 to 11 hours a night developed memory problems and were more likely to develop heart disease than people who slept a solid eight. (Undersleepers are at an even bigger risk). Other studies have linked oversleep to diabetes, obesity, and even early death.

Oversleep doesn’t just happen as a misguided attempt at rewarding yourself. The Harvard Nurses Study estimated that chronic oversleep affects about 4 percent of the population. These are generally people who work odd hours, have an uncomfortable sleep situation, or a sleeping disorder.

People who work early morning or overnight shifts might be oversleeping to compensate for waking up before the sun rises or going to sleep when it’s light out. Doctors recommend using dark curtains and artificial lights to straighten things out rather than medication or supplements. Apps like the University of Michigan’s Entrain can also help people reset their circadian clock by logging the amount and type of light they get throughout the day.

When you go to bed, your body cycles between different sleep stages. Your muscles, bones, and other tissues do their repair work during deep sleep, before you enter REM. However, if your bed or bedroom is uncomfortable—too hot or cold, messy, or lumpy—your body will spend more time in light, superficial sleep. Craving rest, you’ll sleep longer.

If everything’s just fine with your sleep zone but you still can’t get under the eight hour mark, you might need to go see a doctor. It could be a symptom of narcolepsy, which makes it hard for your body to regulate fatigue and makes you sleep in more. Sleep apnea is a potentially more serious disorder where you stop breathing while you slumber. It’s typically caused by an obstructed airway, which leads to snoring. However, in a small number of sufferers, the brain simply stops telling the muscles to breathe, starving the brain and eventually forcing a gasping response. In addition to all the other terrifying aspects of this disease, it’s not doing your quality of sleep any favors.

No surprise, drugs and alcohol might also be causing you to sleep too much, as does being depressed (In fact, oversleep can contribute to even more depression). But no matter what’s causing it, too much sleep is not good for your long term health. Rather than kicking the can down the road, try getting some equilibrium between your weekend and weekday sleep.

futurescope:

Zoobotics is developing modular animal-like robots made from paper, wood or plastics that can be assembled with a few tools

A startup from Hamburg (Germany) is experimenting with tetra- and hexapods, made from cardboard and paper. All technical functions are controlled by an Arduino Uno. Estimated base price incl all parts and reusable components atm around 300 €. They’re aiming for a crowdfunding release at the end of 2014. Count me in.

Description of Zuri 01:

ZURI is a programmable robot made from paper and grey cardboard. This motion machine, conceived of as a kit, can be assembled with a few tools (cutter, ruler, cutting mat, bone folder, glue and screwdriver). In addition to a distance sensor, the Paper Robot has servo motors, servo controllers and a Bluetooth module for wireless control via PC or smartphone.

ZURI is a modular robotic system. It is based on two leg variants (2DOF / 3DOF) and two different body modules (1M / 2M). The combination of leg and body modules allows for a lot of robot variations. This results in different degrees of difficulty regarding programming and coordination of the running gaits.

The ZURI-PAPERBOT-SYSTEM combines disciplines such as modeling, the use of electronics and programming. It is perfect for use in the classroom.

[Zoobotics] [long feature in german on golem] [all pictures by zoobotics]

futurescope:

Harvard researchers have created an unthethered jumping soft robot

A soft robot that uses an “explosive actuator” to propel itself? Yes, please. IEEE features a weird flesh-tone silicone robot, created by Harvard researchers, that could come straight out of a Cronenberg/Gilliam/Carpenter Mashup. Fortunately, the jumps are still very imprecise. Nevertheless, robotic facehuggers!!!11!

The robot’s three legs can be inflated pneumatically, which allows it to orient itself to control the direction of launch. Once it’s pointing the right way, butane (from an internal canister) and oxygen (generated from a mixture of manganese and hydrogen peroxide) are injected into the springy looking appendage at the bottom. A spark is produced, which ignites the mixture, causing an explosion that launches the robot 0.6 meter (7.5 times its body height) into the air. It’s important to note that everything required for the robot to orient and jump is on-board: this is completely untethered and independent of any external infrastructure.

[read more]

futurescope:

Medicine 2064 with Dr. Daniel Kraft

The video is part of the new Conversations with Tomorrow series from Alger. Not that bad. Looking forward to more.

Curing half of the world’s known cancers, granting movement to the paralyzed, preventing Alzheimer’s. Visionary medical expert Dr. Daniel Kraft believes all of this and more can happen by 2064. In this first film in our “Conversations with Tomorrow” series, take a glimpse at the future of medicine and its impact on our lives.

read more on nextbigfuture Think Further

archatlas:

Coffee Drip Brew Machines  Dutch Lab

"Dutch Lab, our main business, with the professional barista Jaewoong Kwak working together with global designers, is MZDB’s coffee brand. In Dutch Lab, you can see the works of the best designers from countries around the world. As in-house designers, we have architectural, industrial, graphical designers from Hong-Ik University who are engaged in various design activities. We have participated in various numbers of design exhibitions such as The Stockholm Furniture Fair 2009, Maison & Objet 2013 in Paris to enhance the value of Dutch Lab‘s unique design.”

This is gosh darn beautiful.

Analysts Say Telemedicine Can Cut Costs, Boost Productivity by Reducing Doctor Visits

telemedicine-today:

By Caryn Freeman

An increasing number of employers are looking to offer telemedicine—non-emergency health care treatment accessed from a remote location, such as the workplace, via electronic means—as an alternative to time-consuming employee doctor visits, according to new analysis from…

Why Heat The Building When You Can Heat The Person?

txchnologist:

image

by Michael Keller

Fall is rapidly approaching and temperatures have already started to drop in some areas of the country. It’s time to figure out where the jackets got hidden at the end of last winter and whether the heater is up for the task this year. 

Residential and commercial buildings were responsible for 40 percent of all the energy consumed in the U.S. in 2013. That total makes the lighting, heating and cooling of indoor residential and commercial spaces the most power hungry of all users, beating industrial and transportation consumption by more than 10 percent each. Buildings also contribute almost 40 percent of all U.S. carbon dioxide emissions. 

Focusing in, it turns out that space heating is the biggest energy hog and accounts for 37 percent of the total power consumed by U.S. buildings in 2010, according to the Buildings Energy Data Book

Why isn’t there a smarter way than heating rooms regardless of whether people are in them or that the living things that occupy a space take up only a fraction of the conditioned area?

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