Wake up and smell the coffee

How many of you enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning? Many people can’t even start their day without their coffee. Scientists now report that simply inhaling the aroma of coffee alters activity of some genes in the brain. Experiments with laboratory rats showed that when exposed to coffee aroma, changes in the activity and expression of genes and protiens helped reduce the stress of sleep derivation. Coffee is also considered a stress reliever. Therefore, scientists incorporated a stress condition via sleep deprivation of 24 hours in our experimental design with or without the presence of coffee bean aroma to see whether coffee can counteract the effects of stress at the level of gene/protein expression. We all know that a cup of coffee gives us the jolt we need to overcome our natural urges to sleep when tired, and now there’s proof that just smelling the coffee is enough to help us “wake up”.  I find it interesting by simply smelling the aroma of something it can effect you.  this makes sense though if you smelt something gross it might make you feel sick, or if you smell an appetizing smell it might make you hungry.  The mind is influenced and effected in many ways we tend to oversee.

Binaural Beats

Binaural beats are beats used to help focus, relax, and sleep.  Binaural beats is when you take two pure tones and play them simultaneously; But one beat must play through the right headphone and the other beat must play through the left headphone.  The two beats must be within 10 Hz; For example, if one tone is 520 Hz, the other must be 520 Hz or 540 Hz.  When the two pure tones are played together, the mind forms a third beat.  The tones play between each other creating an illusory third beat.  These beats are believed to help focus, for instance in a later post I made, I discussed how listening to music while doing homework could be a major distraction, but in this case if one were to listen to binaural beats while doing homework, it might actually help.  The beats do not have any words so there is nothing other than the music to listen to and the tones are pure and actually block out surrounding noises allowing for better concentration.

These beats are also used to help sleep.  For instance, some people need the TV on to go to sleep because they like the noise, but if you’re like me, the conversations on TV and loud noises catch my attention and just keep me up.  With Binaural beats you can kill the silence and enjoy a deep sleep.  Binaural beats are believed to help the REM sleep cycle as well.

I caution if you are to try listening to binaural beats, be careful how loud you have the volume on your headphones.  Also the using headphones are recommended, as listening aloud is not as effective as receive each beat individually through each ear.  I have been trying different ways to help sleep and focus and I came across binaural beats a few years ago, I thought it was an interesting idea and had to try it out for myself. It actually helps me sleep because I need sound when I sleep but the TV is too distracting so it is actually useful for me when sleeping.

How placebos work

 

Sorry for posting two placebo videos in a row. Recently I have been very interested in the way placebos work. If the belief of a medicine can positively effect you, even if the medicine is a placebo, then are we able to control our health? Personally I have had eating issues in which it is hard for me to finish meals and I just fill up extremely fast after just a few bites. I have been to doctors and asked all over and yet I have not come to a clear conclusion of what is wrong with my stomach. I have started to think about how our body reacts to the way we think and I try to change my way of thinking; for intense, now when I feel myself getting full I have almost trained my mind to believe that deep breathes, in threw the nose and out threw the mouth, will calm and relax my stomach allowing me to digest my food better and eat more. My stomach issues have been going on for about two years now and it has been a struggle back and forth trying to eat and trying different medicines to help me eat, but so far the only thing that has helped me is the belief in deep breathing.  I like the idea that by changing our way of thinking, we can change our health or how we feel.

Animal consciousness

The human mind is a wonder of wisdom and amazement.  We are able to analyze, record and relay information with the use of your brain.  But what makes our mind so much greater than an animal’s?  What is the difference between our way of thinking and an animal’s?  I’ve always believed the one thing that truly set us apart from any other species is our brain functioning.  Our mind is capable of doing great things unlike animals.  Part of the reason why I’ve been thinking about this is because I have a cat at my house at school and all we do is tease him with a laser pointer.  It is the cutest thing in the world, but if you take a second a realize it is actually kind of sad; the cat will never get the laser, but he has no idea there is no chance of him getting it.  He physically cannot understand that the laser is just an image and not a physical being that he can catch.  Many animals can not comprehend such things.

check out this video of animals in the mirror:

Multi-tasking effects work performance

In my last post I talked about the struggles that come when trying to multi-task and the common misconception of people multi-tasking.  As I shared before, the brain is clearly capable of multi-tasking because it performs so many functions at one time subconsciously, but for people to consciously multi-task, it is a lot harder than you think.

Growing up I use to try and listen to music while I did my homework.  My parents would always freak out saying how its impossible to do homework when you’re listening to music, but I would argue with them that the music helps me stay focused and helps me complete my homework.

Turns out they were right.  The mind does amazing things and multiple tasks all at once, but it is all subconscious.  The mind can not consciously focus on more than one thing at once.  But we think we can and when we think we are multi-tasking, we’re really not.  We are just bouncing between two ideas and we think we are doing it simultaneously.  but really when you bounce back and forth between two ideas, both ideas start to blend or not make sense or can become construed.  So don’t even try multi-tasking, you might think you’re fine and are good at it, when really you don’t realize you physically can’t do it at all.