Posted under Anti Depressants-Sleeping Aid
Have you noticed that, even without looking at a watch, we usually wake up at about the same time every morning and feel sleepy and go to bed nearly the same time each night? We do not need to know the time to do all these things. Somehow our body knows the time, as if we have a clock inside. This internal clock is called the biological clock.
It is well known that all living things have a biological clock within them. This is because we live on a planet that rotates once every 24 hours, such that a period of light is followed by a period of darkness within every 24 hour cycle. Our sleep patterns, body temperature, hormonal excretion, body metabolism, and other biological functions fluctuate within this cycle as day becomes night and night becomes day. The biological clock governs our body rhythm repeatedly every day, and this rhythm is known as the arcadian rhythm. Orcadian is a Latin word meaning ‘about a day’.
This circadian rhythm is endogenous and is as if governed by an internal clock which is situated inside our brain. The body functions such as sleep patterns, body temperature, etc. appear to follow this internal clock. This body clock is quite robust and possesses a certain amount of durable inertia, and resetting of this clock may take from a few days to a week to complete. This is illustrated by the interesting case of the fiddler crab.
Scientists have noticed that the fiddler crab of North America changes colour according to whether it is night or day. These crabs are flown by air from New York on the east coast to California on the west coast. Because our earth rotates towards the east, New York on the east coast sees the sunrise many hours earlier than California. When the crabs first arrive in California they continue to change colour as if they were still back in New York; they have
not yet adjusted to the new timing of day and night in California. But after about ft week the crabs adjust to the local time in California and change colour according to this new local time. Obviously the crabs do not wear watches. Their biological clock is gradually reset to the new timing of daylight in California.
Posted under Anti Depressants-Sleeping Aid
It is extraordinary how people tend to give up even before they have started. “Relaxing the body, yes, I can do that; but relaxing my mind, that is impossible; that is why I have come to you.” I hear this almost daily. Yet experience has shown that anyone who can achieve physical relaxation can likewise attain the sensation of relaxation of his mind, if he will only try—and try in the right way.
A common difficulty is that our thoughts seem to become too active. We keep thinking of the problems of the day. All the small inconsequential things of our business keep running through our mind. In an effort to stop it, we consciously turn our thoughts to our home. But the same thing happens again, and we become exasperated by the flow of unwanted thoughts. This particular difficulty is more common in people who have well-developed obsessive traits in their personality. The main problem is the rather vivid awareness of these thoughts, the way they intrude into our consciousness and the way they disturb us. We cope with this difficulty simply by giving our thoughts full rein, as it were, and letting them wander where they will without us worrying about them. We do this in a way similar to what happens in our moments of reverie. In it we are idle, and we daydream. Our thoughts wander far and wide; but it does not disturb us, and we still remain completely relaxed in our mind. This is the approach to the difficulty of active thoughts while we are first trying to relax. We just let the thoughts go. There is no tension. We let them go easily, just where they like, and it does not worry us.
There is another approach to this same problem which is also a help. As we do our exercises we have to maintain the physical reaction of our body. We do this by thinking of different parts of our body in turn, and making sure that each is relaxed.
I can feel my legs relaxed, both of them relaxed.—My body, it is relaxed, and I just feel the weight of it.—My arms relaxed, my face smooth, my jaw loose, the muscles around my eyes relaxed, my forehead relaxed deeply.
The sequence is then repeated easily and leisurely, starting with the legs again. By this simple means the mind is kept occupied so that other thoughts do not get the chance to intrude and worry us.