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The Science of Sleep and Sleep Deprivation

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Sleep deprivation can have a number of health effects and ramifications, ranging from mild to devastating. The 2015 National Geographic video, “Science of Sleep,” starts out with the story of third mate Gregory Cousins, whose sleep deprivation led to one of the greatest environmental catastrophes in history.

Cousins had slept only six hours in the past 48 hours when he ran the supertanker Exxon Valdez aground, causing the 11 million gallons of crude oil to spill into Prince Williams Sound, devastating 23 species of wildlife and nearly 13,000 miles of shoreline habitat.

Indeed, research shows getting less than six hours of sleep in any given 24-hour period will slow your reaction time and leave you cognitively impaired, unable to make rational decisions. This is a devastating combination, and accident statistics offer sobering reminders of the seriousness of the situation.

In 2013 alone, drowsy drivers caused 72,000 car accidents in which 800 Americans were killed and 44,000 were injured.1 This is more than died from those texting and drunk drivers combined.

Sleep Deprivation Is a Recipe for Serious Accidents and Puts Lives at Risk

According to the American Sleep Association,2 nearly 40 percent of people report unintentionally falling asleep during the day at least once a month, and nearly 5 percent have nodded off while driving. Most people skimp on sleep because they feel they have to “get things done.” However, the evidence clearly shows that what you end up with is the complete opposite of productivity.

Sleep deprivation is actually costing the U.S. economy $411 billion each year in accidents and lost productivity3 — an amount equivalent to 2.28 percent of the gross domestic product. An estimated 1.2 million working days are also lost.

In worst case scenarios such as the Valdez oil spill and the space shuttle Challenger accident, life is lost. The latter is described in the 1988 paper “Catastrophes, Sleep and Public Policy: Consensus Report,” published in the journal Sleep.4 Other costly accidents caused by sleep-deprived personnel include the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant accident and the Mir space station collision.

Polls show 63 percent of people do not get enough sleep to be healthy, 69 percent struggle with frequent sleep problems and 22 percent are so sleepy during the day it affects their quality of life. Still, most say they will simply push through their sleepiness in order to complete whatever it is that needs to be done.

But when construction workers, nurses, doctors, mechanics, pilots or truck drivers, for example, go to work and “push through,” it can have lethal consequences for those around them. Needless to say, sleep deprivation itself is also hazardous to your health and is perhaps one of the fastest ways to break down your immune function and make yourself sick.

Research by Eve Van Cauter, director of the Sleep, Metabolism and Health Center at the University of Chicago, also shows that sleeping less than six hours a night dramatically increases your risk of insulin resistance, which is at the core of most chronic diseases.

As noted in “Science of Sleep,” research conducted in the 1980s discovered that depriving mice of sleep for 17 days straight led to certain death. Two contributing causes were immune system breakdown and blood poisoning.

Lack of Sleep Ages Your Heart

Studies have linked poor sleep with a variety of health problems, including excessive aging of your heart. People who got seven hours of sleep each night had hearts showing signs of being 3.7 years older, based on biological age, than their chronological age.5

People who regularly slept either six or eight hours had hearts that were on average 4.5 years older than their chronological age, while those who got just five hours or less of sleep each night had the oldest biological heart age — 5.1 years older than their chronological age.

As noted by lead author Quanhe Yang, senior scientist in the Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:6

“The difference between a person’s estimated heart age and his or her chronological age is ‘excess heart age.’ Higher excess heart age indicates a higher risk of developing heart disease.

For example, if a 40-year-old man has a heart age of 44 years based on his cardiovascular risk profile — the personal risk of having a heart disease — then his excess heart age is 4 years. In effect, his heart is four years older than it should be, for a typical man his age. The concept of heart age helps to simplify risk communication.”

Of the 12,755 participants in this study, 13 percent slept just five hours or less per night; 24 percent got six hours; 31 percent got seven hours; 26 percent slept for eight; and about 5 percent got nine or more hours of sleep each night. Considering the ideal sleep time is between seven and nine hours, these statistics reveal at least 37 percent of American adults aren’t getting anywhere near healthy amounts of sleep.

Sleep Quality Also Affects Blood Pressure and Heart Disease Risk

Other recent research7 strengthens the link between sleep problems and heart disease. While this link has been previously noted, recent research found that even if you sleep a healthy number of hours, the quality of that sleep can have a significant impact on your risk for high blood pressure and vascular inflammation associated with heart disease.

Women who had mild sleep disturbance such as taking longer to fall asleep or waking up one or more times during the night were “significantly more likely to have high blood pressure than those who fell asleep quickly and slept soundly,” Forbes reports.8 According to the researchers:9

“Systolic blood pressure was associated directly with poor sleep quality, and diastolic blood pressure was of borderline significance with obstructive sleep apnea risk after adjusting for confounders. Poor sleep quality was associated with endothelial nuclear factor kappa B activation.

Insomnia and longer sleep onset latency were also associated with endothelial nuclear factor kappa B activation … These findings provide direct evidence that common but frequently neglected sleep disturbances such as poor sleep quality and insomnia are associated with increased blood pressure and vascular inflammation even in the absence of inadequate sleep duration in women.”

Different Stages of Sleep and Their Importance

Sleep is not a single state. Healthy sleep consists of several stages,10 each stage lasting five to 15 minutes, with a complete cycle (light, deep and rapid eye movement or REM sleep) taking between 90 and 120 minutes.

A full sleep cycle starts out in light sleep and progresses through to deep sleep, then reverses back from deep to light sleep before entering REM. You cycle through each of these stages four to five times during the night, and this cycling is tremendously important, from both a biological and psychological perspective.

Stages 1 and 2 (light sleep; non-REM) — During the initial stages of sleep, biological processes in your body slow down but your brain remains active as it begins the editing process where decisions are made about which memories to store and which to discard.

Stages 3 and 4 (deep sleep; non-REM) — In these deeper sleep stages you enter into a near coma-like state, during which physiological cleansing and detoxification processes in the brain11 take place. Your brain cells actually shrink by about 60 percent during this deep sleep phase. This creates more space in-between the cells, giving your cerebrospinal fluid more space to flush out the debris.

Stage 5 (REM) — During this last phase, you enter rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, where dreaming takes place. In this phase, your brain is as active as it is during wakefulness, but your body is paralyzed, which prevents you from acting out your dreams.

The frightening experience of sleep paralysis occurs when you awaken during this phase and find your body unresponsive. The “treatment” for this disorder is knowledge. As noted in “Science of Sleep,” you simply need to be educated about what’s happening so that you can calmly ride out the episode, which typically will not last more than a few minutes.

All of these stages are important, and it’s important to cycle through them enough times each night — especially the deeper stages. When stages 3 and 4 are missing or interrupted, your brain gets clogged with debris associated with Alzheimer’s disease and, indeed, sleep deprivation is a risk factor for severe dementia. Stages 1 through 4 are also what allow you to feel refreshed in the morning, while stage 5 is important for memory.

Sleep Deprivation Takes a Toll on Mental Health

Forgoing REM sleep for extended periods of time may also lead to a state where you actually start dreaming while you’re awake, resulting in delusions and wild hallucinations. “Science of Sleep” features Dr. William Dement, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford, who in 1963 oversaw a sleep deprivation experiment by a young man named Randy Gardner.

“We were waiting to see if he would become psychotic,” Dement says. Gardner stayed awake for a record 264 hours — 63 hours longer than Peter Tripp, a disc jockey who, in 1959, tried to break the world record for sleeplessness. Tripp stayed awake for 201 hours straight, doing a continuous broadcast from Times Square.

For Tripp, hallucinations set in on Day Three. He saw spiders in his shoes and became desperately paranoid, convinced people were trying to poison him. He also became belligerent and abusive, and according to one of the attending psychiatrists, “clearly psychotic.”

Gardner, on the other hand, claims he was feeling all right up until the eighth or ninth day, and didn’t start having hallucinatory experiences until the very end. Once the experiment ended, after 11 days of wakefulness followed by 14 hours of sleep, a comprehensive exam and mental health check was performed. Gardner was found to be completely normal.

According to Dement, Gardner’s experiment proved extended sleep loss did not cause psychosis. Tripp’s experiment, on the other hand, revealed that even though he was awake — walking around and talking — his brainwaves showed he was asleep, and it was during the REM cycles that he was most likely to hallucinate. Essentially, he was experiencing his nightmares in an awake state.

What’s more, while Tripp had no signs of psychosis after the experiment ended and he’d slept for 24 hours, many insisted his personality had permanently changed for the worse. He was no longer as cheerful and easygoing as he’d been before, and those who knew him best insist those eight days of sleep deprivation damaged his psyche long-term.

In all likelihood, the effects of sleep deprivation will affect different people in different ways, depending on a variety of biological, environmental and perhaps even genetic factors.

The Influence of Genetics, Jet Lag and Stress Chemicals on Sleep

Sleep deprivation can be worsened by jet lag. Also known as flight fatigue, time zone change syndrome or desynchronosis, jet lag occurs when travel across time zones disrupts your internal body clock, resulting in daytime sleepiness and lethargy, nighttime insomnia, irritability, confusion and poor concentration.12,13

Interestingly, researchers have found that people with a genetically inherited sleep disorder called familial advanced sleep phase syndrome have a circadian body clock that runs about three hours faster than normal. According to “Science of Sleep,” scientists are trying to determine the protein associated with this gene, in the hopes that it might be used to develop “jet lag drugs.”

Whether or not such drugs will ever be realized, there are other, more natural ways to minimize the effects of jet lag. For tips and tricks, see “Can You Decrease Jet Lag With Exposure to Light?

“Science of Sleep” also discusses research showing the role of stress chemicals in waking. Tests have revealed your body will begin to release certain stress chemicals about an hour before your intended wakeup hour, and that this occurs through mental expectation or intention alone. In other words, the stress chemicals act as a sort of internal alarm clock, readying your body to wake up at the time you mentally prepared yourself to get up.

General Sleep Guidelines

So, how much sleep do you need to optimize your mental and physical health? According to a scientific review of more than 300 studies published between 2004 and 2014, a panel of experts came up with the following recommendations. Keep in mind that if you’re sick, injured or pregnant, you may need a bit more than normal.










Age Group Hours of sleep needed for health

Newborns (0 to 3 months)

14 to 17 hours

Infants (4 to 11 months)

12 to 15 hours

Toddlers (1 to 2 years)

11 to 14 hours

Preschoolers (3 to 5)

10 to 13 hours

School-age children (6 to 13)

9 to 11 hours

Teenagers (14 to 17)

8 to 10 hours

Adults (18 to 64)

7 to 9 hours

Seniors (65 and older)

7 to 8 hours

There’s simply no doubt that sleep needs to be a priority in your life if you intend to live a long and healthy life. For many, this means forgoing night-owl tendencies and getting to bed at a reasonable time.

If you need to be up at 6 a.m., you have to have a lights-out deadline of 9:30 or 10 p.m., depending on how quickly you tend to fall asleep. As for how to improve your sleep if you’re having trouble falling or staying asleep, see “Sleep — Why You Need It and 50 Ways to Improve It.”

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Bill Gates: Third Shot May Be Needed to Combat Coronavirus Variants

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With more than 40 million Americans having received at least the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, a third dose may be needed to prevent the spread of new variants of the disease, Bill Gates told CBS News Tuesday.

Gates’ comments come amid growing concern that the current vaccines are not effective against the more contagious Brazilian and South African variants.

Pfizer and Moderna have stated that their vaccines are 95% and 99% effective, respectively, against the initial strain of COVID. However, some scientists have questioned those statements. Additionally, the World Health Organization and vaccine companies have conceded that the vaccines do not prevent people from being infected with COVID or from transmitting it, but are only effective at reducing symptoms.

Gates told CBS Evening News:

“The discussion now is do we just need to get a super high coverage of the current vaccine, or do we need a third dose that’s just the same, or do we need a modified vaccine?”

U.S. vaccine companies are looking at making modifications, which Gates refers to as “tuning.”

People who have had two shots may need to get a third shot and people who have not yet been vaccinated would need the modified vaccine, explained Gates. When asked whether the coronavirus vaccine would be similar to the flu vaccine, which requires yearly boosters, Gates couldn’t rule that out. Until the virus is eradicated from all humans, Gates said, additional shots may be needed in the future.

AstraZeneca in particular has a challenge with the variant,” Gates explained. “And the other two, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax, are slightly less effective, but still effective enough that we absolutely should get them out as fast as we can while we study this idea of tuning the vaccine.”

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funding the studies being conducted in Brazil and South Africa, CBS News said. The foundation has also invested in the AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and the Novavax vaccines, which are being tested against new variants. Once the AstraZeneca vaccine is approved, the Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative or GAVI, founded by Gates, will distribute it globally.

“Gates continues to move the goalposts,” said Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., chairman and chief legal counsel of Children’s Health Defense. “Meanwhile the strategies he and others have promoted are obliterating the global economy, demolishing the middle class, making the rich richer and censoring vaccine safety advocates, like me.”

Kennedy said that the exclusive focus on vaccines has prevented the kind of progress required to actually address and recover from the pandemic:

“From the pandemic’s outset, clear-headed people familiar with the challenges inherent in the vaccine model have understood that the path out of crisis would require multiple steps. Those steps would need to include the development and/or identification of therapeutic drugs, the sharing of information among doctors to hone improved treatment models that reduce infection mortality rates below those for flu, and the kind of broad-spectrum long-term herd immunity that protects against mutant strains and that only derives from natural infection.”

Instead, Gates and vaccine makers are proposing a lifetime of boosters, supporting insufficient testing to determine safety and failing to address the inadequate monitoring of vaccine injuries, Kennedy said.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Children’s Health Defense.

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Young nurse suffers from hemorrhage and brain swelling after second dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine

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(Natural News) A 28-year-old healthcare worker from the Swedish American Hospital, in Beloit, Wisconsin was recently admitted to the ICU just five days after receiving a second dose of Pfizer’s experimental mRNA vaccine. The previously healthy young woman was pronounced brain dead after cerebral angiography confirmed a severe hemorrhage stroke in her brain stem.

Her family members confirmed that she was “breaking out in rashes” after the vaccine. She also suffered from sudden migraine headaches, and got “sick” after taking the second dose of the vaccine. At the very end, she lost the ability to speak and went unconscious. The migraines, nausea, and loss of speech were all symptoms of a brain bleed and brain swelling, something her family did not understand at the time, and something nobody would expect after vaccination.

While on life support, neurologists used angiography to image the damage inside the brain. They found a subarachnoid hemorrhage, whereas a bulging blood vessel burst in the brain, bleeding out in the space between the brain and the tissue covering the brain. The ensuing swelling cut off oxygen to the brain and caused brain death. On February 10, 2021, Sarah reportedly had “no brain activity.” Some of the woman’s organs are now being procured, so they can be donated to other people around the world.

Doctors warn FDA about COVID vaccines causing autoimmune attacks in the heart and brain

Experimental COVID-19 vaccines may cause inflammation along the cardiovascular system, leading to heart attack and/or stroke. This serious issue was brought forth to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by Dr. J. Patrick Whelan, M.D., Ph.D. and further confirmed by cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Hooman Noorchashm, M.D., Ph.D. The two doctors warned that a recently-infected patient who is subject to COVID-19 vaccination is likely to suffer from autoimmune attacks along the ACE-2 receptors present in the heart, and in the microvasculature of the brain, liver and kidney. If viral antigens are present in the tissues of recipients at the time of vaccination, the vaccine-augmented immune response will turn the immune system against those tissues, causing inflammation that can lead to blood clot formation.

This severe adverse event is likely cause of death for the elderly who are vaccinated despite recently being infected. There is no adequate screening process to ensure that this autoimmune attack doesn’t occur. The elderly are not the only people vulnerable to vaccine injury and death. Pfizer’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine could be the main cause behind the sudden death of Sarah Sickles, a 28-year-old nurse from Wisconsin. The Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System has captured five permanent disabilities in Wisconsin, 58 ER visits, and eleven deaths in just one month. This is the first case in Wisconsin of someone under 44 years of age suffering from severe COVID-19 vaccine side effects and death. There are now more than 1,170 deaths recorded in the U.S. related to the experimental mRNA vaccines, a reality that the FDA and CDC continue to ignore.

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Powering hypersonic weapons: US armed forces eyeing dangerous 5G tech

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(Natural News) Much of the conversation surrounding the benefits of 5G is geared toward the consumer side of the technology. People will be able to download videos at lightning speed and will be more connected than ever, proponents claim, although there are serious questions regarding its safety. However, some of the most important 5G applications are not civil at all – the technology will be used extensively in the military domain.

Some of its military uses are outlined in the Defense Applications of 5G Network Technology report, which was published by the Defense Science Board. This federal committee gives scientific advice to the Pentagon. Their report states: “The emergence of 5G technology, now commercially available, offers the Department of Defense the opportunity to take advantage, at minimal cost, of the benefits of this system for its own operational requirements.”

The 5G commercial network that is being built by private companies right now can be used by the American military for a much lower cost than if the network had been set up exclusively for military purposes.

Military experts expect the 5G system to play a pivotal role in using hypersonic weapons. For example, it can be used for new missiles that bear nuclear warheads and travel at speeds superior to Mach 5. These hypersonic weapons, which travel at five times the speed of sound and move a mile per second, will be flying at high altitudes on unpredictable flight paths, making them as hard to guide as they will be to intercept.

Huge quantities of data need to be gathered and transmitted in a very short period in order to maneuver these warheads on variable trajectories and allow them to change direction in milliseconds to avoid interceptor missiles.

5G for defense

This type of technology is also needed to activate defenses should we be attacked by a weapon of this type; 5G automatic systems could theoretically handle decisions that humans won’t have enough time to make on their own. Military bases and even cities will have less than a minute to react to incoming hypersonic missiles, and 5G will make it easier to process real time data on trajectories for decision-making.

There are also important uses of this technology in combat. 5G’s ability to simultaneously link millions of transceivers will undoubtedly facilitate communication among military personnel and allow them to transmit photos, maps and other vital information about operations in progress at dizzying speeds to improve situational awareness.

The military can also take advantage of the high-frequency and short-wavelength millimeter wave spectrum used by 5G. Its short range means that it is well suited for smart military bases and command posts because the signal will not propagate too far, making it less likely that enemies will be able to detect it.

When it comes to special forces and secret services, the benefits of 5G are numerous. Its speed and connectivity will allow espionage systems to reach unprecedented levels of efficiency. It will also make drones more dangerous by allowing them to identify and target people using facial recognition and other methods.

Like all technology, 5G will also make us highly vulnerable. The network itself could become an attractive target for cyber-attacks and other acts of war being carried out with cutting-edge weaponry. In fact, the 5G network is already viewed as critical infrastructure and is being carefully protected before it is even fully built.

While the focus on 5G’s dangers to human health and the environment is absolutely warranted, it is also important not to lose sight of the military implications of 5G. After all, it is not just the United States that is developing this technology for military purposes; our enemies, like China and other countries, are also making great strides in this realm.

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