The Stages of Sleep Deprivation

The Stages of Sleep Deprivation

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The stages of sleep deprivation as told by someone currently sleep deprived.

There is little time to sleep in the beginning of a new semester, you are getting used to new professors and a new schedule as well as trying to have a social life and catch up with all of your friends you’ve been away from. Throw in sorority recruitment on top of that and there is a guarantee of sleep deprivation. Everyone experiences sleep deprivation differently, but the list that follows are the stages I have personally experienced this as well as what I have seen some of my sorority sisters go through in the past week or so.

1. You are tired, want to sleep but cant. You have a hard time keeping your eyes open as you yawn and search for the closest coffee shop. Your body craves sleep but you do your best to fight it with a semi-constant intake of caffeine.

2. The laughing stage, usually experienced with other over-tired friends. You will laugh at anything and everything. This is the kind of laughter that once it starts it is close to impossible to make it stop. You are convinced that you and any of your other sleep deprived friends will all have a six pack after laughing uncontrollably together for such a long period of time.

3. The crying stage. You begin to cry in the middle of normal conversations, your friends start to question if you are okay. You reassure them that you are and that you have no idea why there are tears flowing from your eyes as you are not sad in any way.

4. Delirious, there isn't much to say about this stage as people now know why you can barely function. Deliriousness is the most obvious form of sleep deprivation, people don’t make much sense and have a hard time preforming every day tasks and holding simple conversations. This stage can also be a combination of the laughing and crying stages as you often find yourself both laughing and crying for no reason.

5. Pure exhaustion. You can no longer function properly as you go about your life. Your personality is nonexistent and when people address you directly it is best to just look back at them silently because you know that if you open your mouth to have a conversation they will understand about as much as if you were speaking a foreign language.

6. The crash. There is not much to say about the inevitable crash. You are about to experience one of the best sleeps of your life. You pass out hard and you pass out fast and there is little that can be done to wake you up.

For as much as most college students value sleep it seems to be the first thing we are willing to give up when we get overwhelmed with school or when we want to stretch ourselves thin between a social life, school, and work. Sleep deprivation is as inevitable in your college career as the final crash after multiple sleepless nights.

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Are Magic Mushrooms The Key To Understanding The Brain?

An Academic Perspective
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Mushrooms that, when ingested, induce “mind-manifesting” effects are categorized as psychedelic. They are colloquially referred to as “Magic Mushrooms." The main psychoactive component of these fungi is psilocybin. Here, the term psychedelic is describing the compound’s ability to manifest underlying aspects of the mind; it’s etymology deriving from the Greek words psychē and dclôsē, meaning “mind” or “soul” and “to manifest,” respectively. Western countries first became aware of the “magic mushroom” in the first half of the 20th century when a western traveler came across one in Central America. Psychedelics became popular with the generation of Americans who were disillusioned with government, as the Vietnam War broadcasted on television and had forced conscription. The government targeted anti-war protesters, often identified as hippies through the illegalization of psychedelic drugs. As with many illegal substances, the “magic mushroom” continues to be abused for recreational purposes. Non-western nations, specifically those indigenous to the Americas, have an ancient history with psilocybin, which was often used in sacred ceremonies, as well as for healing purposes. Whilst it is often implied that western medicine is more legitimate, that narrative is founded in cultural biases held by the people who invaded and settled on this land. Nevertheless, this paper focuses on current western research into psilocybin, as interest in the therapeutic aspects of psychedelics have had a resurgence in these countries. It induces a similar state to Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. Unlike experiments performed during REM, however, those performed under psychedelic influence can be mechanistically and scientifically controlled. Inspired by the mysteries of the brain, this article explores the possibility that psilocybin may be the catalyst for marrying analysis of the brain on the cellular level and on the metacognitive, conscious one. It is the first part in a series of academic articles on the topic.


Because psilocybin is structurally similar to the neurotransmitter 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT, serotonin), it produces psychedelic effects by binding to 5-HT2A receptors. One study suggested that 5-HT2A receptors may live in the plasma membrane of pyramidal cells that project onto interneurons, possibly contributing to the decrease in neural activity associated with higher level thought. A study done in people found a statistically significant increase in the likelihood of layer 5 pyramidal neurons firing after consumption of magic mushrooms. Nevertheless, the former study disagrees on how, proposing that excitation of 5-HT2A receptors has an inverse relationship with that of pyramidal cells. It is notable that 5-HT2A receptors are most densely expressed on pyramidal neurons, specifically in the neural regions associated with cognition and perception, as opposed to ones associated with more basic functions, such as the motor cortex. Whilst the underlying mechanisms of psychedelic effects at the receptor level aren’t clear, the impact on neurobiological mechanisms, believed to be involved in higher-level thinking, have more of a consensus across studies.

One study used arterial spin labeling fMRI and blood-oxygen level-dependent fMRI imaging techniques to look at the changes in cerebral blood flow (CBF) as it correlates to the specific regions of interest in the brain over time, as well as to the subjective intensity of the effects of the psilocybin administered. Associating CBF with neural activity, they found that decreases in CBF were localized to the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), and the thalamus.

All of the aforementioned function as important connector hubs in the brain, associated with high level cognitive functions. Specifically, the PCC is a vital component of the default mode network (DMN), a system of highly correlate brain regions critical for cognition and the perception of self; the ACC is involved in executive function, connecting the emotion-linked limbic system and cognition-linked prefrontal cortex; the mPFC functions in higher order memory and decision-making processes; and the thalamus relays sensory signals to the cerebral cortex and regulates consciousness. The statistically significant correlation between these decreases and perceived potency of psilocybin, as well as the significantly decreased positive coupling of the PCC and the mPFC suggest that classic psychedelics may function by fracturing brain networks to alter a person’s state of waking consciousness.

Consistently receiving greater CBF and energy than all other regions of the brain, the default mode network (DMN) has a functional centrality as it integrates and routes information from different brain networks, excluding sensory. The DMN, in fact, may be the highest level of functional hierarchy, engaging in metacognition that encompasses: self-reflection, theory-of-mind, and mental time-travel. This metacognition, the discernment and/or control of one’s own thoughts and behaviors, is commonly only attributed to humans, and may be thought of as “self” or as “ego” in Freudian terminology. A recent study used fMRI to investigate the medial temporal lobe (MTL), including the hippocampus, which is involved in the formation of long-term memory, and its interaction with the DMN. Functional coupling between the MTL and DMN decreased post-psilocybin delivery into the bloodstream, further supporting the hypothesis that the psychedelic state is a regression from executive control. Studies on meditative states, long thought to be similar to psychedelic ones, have found the same phenomenon.

This desynchronization of cortical activity can be observed via the modulation of alpha oscillations, deduced to be a result of psilocybin-excited 5-HT2A receptors. Related to temporal framing of perception, alpha oscillations were found to regulate both cortical excitation and N170 visual potentials that appear connected to visual hallucinations. The decreased alpha power values post-psilocybin absorption in the body demonstrated a statistically significant relationship with both general increased excitability in the absence of stimuli, as well as the formation of hallucinations, which is consistent with known psychedelic effects. The latter is likely because psilocybin attenuates N170 potentials, which help translate natural images into clear and meaningful structures. Moreover, another study found that this decrease in alpha power positively correlated with subjective ratings on both the disintegration of “self” and the “supernatural” quality of the experience. The presented pharmacophysiological mechanism underlying these results submit that oscillatory rhythms constrain spontaneous firing of individual pyramidal cells, upholding structure to brain activity and supporting the theory of “self-organized criticality.”

The entropic theory of consciousness, known as the entropic brain hypothesis, relates system entropy in the brain with “self-organized criticality.” Entropy refers to system disorder. “Self-organized criticality” refers to a complex system (the brain), in which the properties as a whole are not those expressed at the level of an individual unit (neuron). The entropic brain hypothesis purports that a mature sense of self-identity or personality, related to metacognition, suppresses entropy in the brain so that humans can have more advantageous control over the natural world. We'll talk more about the entropic theory of consciousness in the second part to this article.

Share if you've learned something new! I've put references below, if you'd like a more thorough understanding.


Disclaimer: The information in this article is not intended to condone the use of illegal substances, or replace individual research. The author takes no responsibility for the actions of readers.


References:

  1. Carhart-Harris, R. L., Hellyer, P., Shanahan, M., Feilding, A., Tagliazucchi, E., Chiavlo, D., Nutt, D., (2014). The entropic brain: a theory of conscious states informed by neuroimaging research with psychedelic drugs Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. U.S.A. 8, 1662-5161, DOI=10.3389/fnhum.2014.00020
  2. Carhart-Harris, R. L., Erritzoe, D., Williams, T., Stone, J. M., Reed, L. J., Colasanti, A., et al. (2012a). Neural correlates of the psychedelic state as determined by fMRI studies with psilocybin. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 109, 2138–2143. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1119598109
  3. Yu A-M. Indolealkylamines: Biotransformations and Potential Drug–Drug Interactions. The AAPS Journal. 2008;10(2):242. doi:10.1208/s12248-008-9028-5.
  4. Dinis-Oliviera, R.J., Drug Metab Rev. 2017 Feb;49(1):84-91. Doi: 10.1080/03602532.2016.1278228. Epub 2017 Jan 31.
  5. Zhu JJ. Maturation of layer 5 neocortical pyramidal neurons: amplifying salient layer 1 and layer 4 inputs by Ca2+ action potentials in adult rat tuft dendrites. The Journal of Physiology. 2000;526(Pt 3):571-587. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7793.2000.00571.x.
  6. Sporns, O., Chialvo, D. R., Kaiser, M., and Hilgetag, C. C. (2004). Organization, development and function of complex brain networks. Trends Cogn. Sci. 8, 418–425. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2004.07.008
  7. Euston DR, Gruber AJ, McNaughton BL. The Role of Medial Prefrontal Cortex in Memory and Decision Making. Neuron. 2012;76(6):1057-1070. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2012.12.002.
  8. Freud, S. (1927). The Ego and the id. London: L. and Virginia Woolf at the Hogarth press, The Institute of psycho-analysis.
  9. Chialvo, D. R., Balenzuela, P., and Fraiman, D. (2007). “The brain: what is critical about it?” in Collective Dynamics: Topics on Competition and Cooperation in the Biosciences, eds L.M. Ricciardi, A. Buonocore, and E. Pirozzi (New York, NY: Vietri sul Mare), 28–45.
  10. Ardila, Alfredo. (2008). On the evolutionary origins of executive functions. Brain and cognition. 68. 92-9. 10.1016/j.bandc.2008.03.003.
Cover Image Credit: cg trader

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Global Insulin Glargine Market Report Till 2021

Global Insulin Glargine Market by Manufacturers, Countries, Type and Application, Forecast to 2021 Report by DecisionDatabases.com
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The latest trending report Global Insulin Glargine Market by Manufacturers, Regions, Type and Application, Forecast to 2021 offered by DecisionDatabases.com is an informative study covering the market with detailed analysis. The report will assist reader with better understanding and decision making.

Insulin glargine, marketed under the names Lantus among others, is a long-acting basal insulin analogue, given once daily to help control the blood sugar level of those with diabetes. It consists of microcrystals that slowly release insulin, giving a long duration of action of 18 to 26 hours, with a “peakless” profile (according to the insulin glargine package insert).

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• Europe (Germany, France, UK, Russia and Italy)
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• Single Dose Vial
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