Day 19 – French uncles, M. Jouvet and mole physiology


As expected I was tired (after oversleeping yesterday) but managed to make it through the morning.  Here’s the quick diary:  (2012/03/26, (3:30, 6, “just woke up”), (3:55, 7.5, “learning, coding”), (5:05, 7, “itchy eyes”), (5:21,6,”yawn, sleepy”), (5:45,4,”nodding off”), (6:41,4, “woke up from light sleep nap”),(7:00,5.5),(7:03,7, “cortisol kick in? sudden wake”),(8:30,7.5),(10:20,5,”light headache, physically tired”),(11:30,7.5), (21:50,7), (22:20,5,”physically very tired light headache”), with the scale (0 to 10) available here.

sleeping phases in everyman sleeping schedule.  Trying to recover from oversleeping

sleeping phases in everyman sleeping schedule. Trying to recover from oversleeping

On another note, I just received this book in the post:

michel jouvet, pourquoi rêvons nous?

michel jouvet, pourquoi rêvons nous?

<<Pourquoi dormons-nous ? pourquoi rêvons-nous ? où, quand, comment ? Michel Jouvet>>
<<Why do we sleep? Why do we dream? where, when and how? Michel Jouvet>>

The author, Dr. Jouvet is a Neurobiologist (Medical doctor by training) who has contributed extensively to sleep research.  In fact he was the first person to describe and measure REM sleep (called paradoxical sleep back then).

I didn’t actually order it.  It was a surprise gift, sent from France with a note.  A note of encouragement, curiosity, scepticism and wonderment.  It was sent by my French uncle Pouch who has also been following this blog.  And it is quite probably thanks to him that this blog exists to begin with.  He is the culprit (and I’m thankful) for my scientific curiosity.  Throughout the years he never lost his sense of wonder for the mysteries of science and has gathered a broad scientific culture (particularly for the contributions of French scientists).  Every time he would visit us in Madrid, a fascinating book would accompany him.  And so I discovered great physics and math thinkers in my teens:  H. Poincaré, Laurent Nottale, W. Heisenberg, L. De Broglie, R. Penrose, Einstein.  A bit later, at university he also lent me great neuroscience by  J. P. Changeux, M. Jouvet, and J. Eccles and Popper among others.

This time he’s sent another one of Jouvet’s books, with lots of interesting facts that will be great to share in this blog.  Thank you!  And I, in turn, will be sharing little “Sleep Trivia” or “Sleep Facts” from the book like this one:

[fact_quote]If moles are blind, can they exhibit rapid eye movement or REM?  The term REM is somewhat unfortunate as blind animals (even without eyes) will also experience what is better named paradoxical sleep. The key is in the frequency of the brain waves, the breathing and the low muscle tone [ref-PDF].  It is paradoxical because the brain seems to be awake, but the body is completely relaxed. [/fact_quote]

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