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Gizi dan Kecerdasan

 

Akankah kini masyarakat miskin kota dapat memenuhi standar gizi sebagaimana yang dituntut dalam konsep empar sehat lima sempurna? Kalau jawabnya ‘ya’, bagaimana caranya memenuhi kebutuhan gizi itu di tengah harga-harga yang kian hari kian melambung. Kalau jawabnya ‘tidak’, niscaya orang-orang miskin kota akan tetaplah sebagai orang miskin, atau miskin permanen.

Orang miskin karena bodoh, orang bodoh karena miskin, ungkapan itu rasanya kini tak terbantah. Mengapa tidak, kecerdasan sangat berkait erat dengan terpenuhinya kebutuhan gizi. Sedangkan gizi – kini – hanya akan dapat terpenuhi dengan kualitas pendapatan yang baik. Harga ikan per kilonya kini tak ada yang di bawah Rp 10 ribu. Lalu, bagaimana nasib orang-orang miskin yang pendapatannya berkisar Rp 200 – 300 ribu per bulan?

Ya, zaman bergerak kawan. Desa-desa – yang empat-lima puluh tahun lalu – tempat kita dilahirkan dalam keniscayaan sejarah, berubah jadi kota-kota yang padat. Alam yang dulu masih ‘berbaik hati’ memberi bangsa manusia dengan gizi, kini pergi dilindas ‘keserakahan kota’.

Masih dengan jelas terpatri di ingatan – dulu – di samping atau belakang rumah kita bertaburan makanan pemberi gizi seperti jamur yang tumbuh di batang-batang pohon tumbang, kemumu, keladi dan umbi-umbian lainnya. Pisang-pisang dan buah-buahan pun berserak begitu rupa. Ya, tongkat kayu dan batu jadi tanaman, sebagaimana dilantunkan Koes Plus dalam lagunya, kini tinggal dalam kenangan. Ketika itu, kita tinggal menggerakkan kaki dan tangan untuk mengutip gizi-gizi tersebut.

Rawa-rawa di samping atau belakang rumah juga memberi gizi seperti ikan-ikan berbagai jenis. Sungai-sungai apalagi: ada udang-udang kecil, ciput, remis, dari ikan timah, lemeduk, baung, sepat, sampai ikan-ikan besar lainnya tersaji buat kita.

Remis dan ciput (seafood), berserak di pasir-pasir sungai, tinggal menjulurkan tangan dan membawa wadah, maka semuanya dapat menjadi tambahan gizi. Tapi kini, sungai-sungai kita di kota, katakanlah Sungai Deli (di kota Medan), yang ada tinggal ikan sapu kaca dengan daging yang nyaris tak ada dan tulang begitu keras. Aduh!

Rumah berhalaman, itu hanya impian masyarakat kota yang miskin. Mengapa tidak, rumah-rumah kecil saja, kini berharga puluhan bahkan ratusan juta. Tinggal di kota, kini semua serba bayar, kecuali – maaf – buang angin. Buang air besar dan kecil saja harus bayar.

Sementara, di buku-buku kita baca, mutu pendidikan tergantung kualitas kesehatan. Maksudnya, jika bangsa ini ingin memacu tingkat pendidikan ke arah yang lebih baik, maka mau tidak mau harus diperhatikan kualitas kesehatannya.

Ya, pembentukan sel-sel otak manusia dimulai dari umur nol hingga lima tahun. Kompenen-kompenen pembentukan sel otak bayi itu hanya dimungkinkan dengan penuhan makanan bergizi seperti susu, madu lebah, ikan, sayur-mayur dan lainnya.

Kesehatan maksimal umpama pepatah Minang: Tak lakang dek paneh tak lapuak dek hujan Artinya, kalau tercapai kesehatan maksimal, kita tak gampang didera penyakit. Dengan gizi yang baik, seseorang tidak gampang lelah dan jenuh. Orang yang tak gampang lelah dan jenuh akan mudah dipacu untuk menguasai ilmu pengetahuan. Jadi perbaikan kualitas pendidikan harus seiring dengan perbaikan kualitas gizi. Akankah itu dapat terselenggara di tengah-tengah masyarakat kota yang miskin? ***

 

Wartawan SKM SUARA MASA

July 4, 2008 Posted by | Education, Health | 3 Comments

5 Reasons to Ride a Bike

Lots of people ride bikes for lots of different reasons. Here are the top five reasons why you should be out there too.

1. For Your Body

Riding a bike offers many health benefits. Here are just a few:

 

  • increased cardiovascular fitness
  • increased strength
  • increased balance and flexibility
  • increased endurance and stamina
  • increased calories burned

 

It can be done by people of all ages, from childhood up even through the adult years when achy joints don’t allow for more stressful exercise like jogging.

2. For Your State of Mind

Riding a bike is a proven stress releaser. Regardless of if you are riding purely for pleasure or for a specific purpose, you will arrive at your destination feeling relaxed, energized and happier about the world and yourself.

Plus, being out on your bike is just flat-out fun. The more time you spend on two wheels, the harder it is to take yourself too seriously.

3. For Your Community

Being out on your bike is good for the people around you as well. You are able to go the places you want to go and yet put one less car on the road.

You don’t bring with you the noise that a car generates and are actually able to interaction with people as you move. From my bike I can wave to a neighbor, say hi to a kid, smell someone’s dinner cooking and be a warm and friendly human presence on the streets.

Also, not insignificant: operating a bicycling does not harm the environment. There is no polluting exhaust released, no oil or gas consumed. And the energy and materials used to manufacture one automobile could be used to created a hundred bikes.

4. For Convenience

There is an undeniable convenience factor you’ll discover when riding a bike. Front row parking spaces are guaranteed no matter where you go. Traffic jams are also irrelevant.

Though cars will certainly make better time on long trips, you’ll find for many short trips or through heavy traffic, you can travel just as fast or faster on your bike.

Have you ever been to a massive festival or concert in a park somewhere, the type of event that draws so many people that just getting there is a problem? Going in on a bike is a perfect solution. Zip in, zip out. You don’t have to get there hours early to get a parking spot or else face parking miles away from the event. And you won’t have to wait hours in traffic to get out once it’s over.

5. For Your Pocketbook

It costs between 20 and 30 cents per mile to operate a car, depending on the vehicle. This is based on expenses like gas, oil, maintenance, etc., that go up when you drive more. This figure doesn’t include the hidden costs of vehicle ownership like depreciation, taxes, and insurance. These factors make the actual per mile cost to operate a car much higher.

When you start multiplying cost per mile to operate a car by the distance you ride, you can easily calculate how much money you save by riding a bike.

For example: my daily roundtrip commute is 16 miles. If I do that just twice a week, I will save over $400 in operating costs alone in the course of a year. (16 miles x 2 trips per week x 52 weeks x .25 cents per mile.)

And if you would otherwise have to pay for parking, tolls, and the like, don’t forget to factor that in too. It can add up quickly.

Ride For You

When you ride your bike, you are doing a lot of good things, many of which are for the benefit of others. But ultimately, the one who benefits the most is you, through better health, peace of mind, increased confidence and self-reliance, heck, even through a fatter bank account.

So for all these reasons, get out there on your bike today. Even if you don’t save the world in the process, you’ll still have fun trying!

By David Fiedler, About.com

June 27, 2008 Posted by | Health, Life Style | Leave a comment

How to Avoid Six Dieting Mistakes

Are dieting mistakes keeping you from getting to your goal weight? You’re not alone; many of us are guilty of one if not several of these dieting faux pas. Learn why they are a problem … and how to avoid them!

 

  1. Mistake: Gulping Down Extra Calories

    Do you start each morning with a couple glasses of orange juice? How about a frothy coffee drink on the way to work? Was that you hitting the vending machine for a sports drink at the gym?If this sounds familiar, take note: What you drink can be as important to weight loss as what you eat.

    Some beverages provide as many — if not more — calories than a full plate of food. Liquid calories don’t satisfy you like food does, and many beverages bring no nutrition benefit. Even if you were to drink 1,500 calories of beverages a day, you would still feel hungry and then overeat.

     

    Solution: Cut Liquid Calories

    Just say no to the followng: sugar-sweetened sodas and other sweetened canned and bottled drinks; flavored and sweetened coffee beverages, such as frappes, lattes and frozen coffee; sweetened tea (hot or iced); and smoothies.
    While juice is healthier than all these choices, whole fruit is preferable to a glass of juice; it has fewer calories and more fiber and is more filling. Water and herbal tea (without adding sugar) are ideal replacements for high-calorie beverages.

     

  2. Mistake: Depriving Yourself

    So you’ve sworn to lose weight this time around. You rid your pantry of your favorite fattening foods. You sweep the fridge and all bad foods make their way to the trash can. You do okay for a few days. Then, one night, you lose it and eat everything left in the house that isn’t a fruit or vegetable.
    No matter how resolved we are to lose weight, we crave treats (especially sweet ones) we are accustomed to. You will eventually get the urge to indulge no matter how well those first few days go.

     

    Solution: Giving in … a Little

    Swearing off foods you enjoy is a surefire way to set yourself up for failure. It’s like a form of torture: Everyone else can eat the things you love while you can’t even taste them. How’s that going to help you stick to your diet? It won’t. Allow yourself a special treat every now and then. Keep your portion sizes in check and you can still have your favorite foods in moderation

  3. Mistake: Believing Your Genes are to Blame

    You take a look in the mirror and you see your mom. It’s not her hair or even her eyes. It’s your body. And there’s nothing you can do about it. After all, it’s hereditary. 

    The Solution: Get Real!

    Genes do play a role in some cases of obesity. Often you will see family members who share the same body type. But for many of us, the most important factor in weight loss is calories in vs. calories out … how many calories we eat and how much exercise we get. Even if family members are heavy, there are steps you can take so that you do not share their fate. Working out and strength-training will build muscle and give your metabolism a boost, both of which will help you head off the propensity for weight gain your genes might bring. 

  4. Mistake: Meal Skipping

    It only stands to reason: If the key to losing weight is cutting calories then why not cut a bunch at once by skipping a meal? If you skip meals when you’re trying to lose weight, you’re doing yourself more harm than good. Meal-skipping can cause your metabolism to nosedive. That will set you up for sluggish calorie-burning all day long and ravenous hunger and overeating at night. 

    Solution: Don’t Be a Skipper

    Most meal-skippers forgo breakfast. It seems to be the easiest meal to do without. But in reality, breakfast may influence weight loss more than any other meal! If you aren’t hungry first thing in the morning, have something small. Do you actually forget to eat in the a.m. hustle and bustle? Set an alarm to go off some time after you normally rise to remind you to stop, take a breath … and eat. 

  5. Mistake: Giving in to a Food-Pusher

    You’ve met her. She pushes doughnuts on unsuspecting office mates. She brings cupcakes for the bookgroup while only tasting the icing herself. She hands you the takeout menu when you’ve already told her you brought a brown bag. Who is she? She’s a pusher! A food pusher, that is. 

    Solution: Put Yourself First

    Whether office baked goods temptress or the well-meaning Mom who suggests seconds of her best dishes, some people just refuse to take “no” as an answer. They probably don’t even realize they are making your weight loss efforts that much harder. Learn how to say no in a way that works. You may have to distance yourself from the “pusher” for the time being. Sometimes it’s better for all parties concerned. 

  6. Mistake: Giving Up On Losing Weight Your Way

    Sometimes, telling your friends and family you are on a diet can actually backfire. If they don’t understand your diet or think they know a better way to lose weight, it can lead to unwelcome input or even arguments. You get to the point that you want to throw in the towel. 

    Solution: Keep it Under Wraps

    Only you know what works for you. So keep doing what works for you. There’s no rule that says you have to tell friends or family that you’re trying to lose weight. Weight is a personal issue. It’s your prerogative to keep it that way.

By Jennifer R. Scott, About.com

June 27, 2008 Posted by | Health, Life Style | Leave a comment

Recognizing the Symptoms of Phobias

A phobia is defined as an irrational and intense fear of a specific object or situation. Phobias are classified as anxiety disorders by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (4th Ed; DSM-IV), and are the leading type of mental illness in adult women. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, between 8.7% and 18.1% of Americans suffer from a phobia.

Phobias vary in severity from person to person. Some people are able to manage their symptoms and face the feared object, albeit with a great sense of terror. Others are motivated by the phobia to avoid the feared situation, sometimes at great personal cost.

 

Common Symptoms

Phobias can be divided into three types: specific phobia, social phobia and agoraphobia. Although the symptoms of each type will vary, there are some symptoms common to all phobias. These include:

Terror: A persistent and overwhelming fear of the object or situation.
Physical Symptoms: Dizziness, shaking, palpitations.
Obsessive Thoughts: Difficulty thinking about anything other than the fear.
Desire to Flee: An intense instinct to leave the situation.
Anticipatory Anxiety: Persistent worrying about upcoming events that involve the phobic object or situation.

By Lisa Fritscher, About.com

June 26, 2008 Posted by | Health | Leave a comment

Top 10 Common Specific Phobias

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 8.7% of people, or about 19.2 million American adults, suffer from one or more specific phobias. Although researchers have not yet determined exactly what causes a phobia to develop, we know that phobias are rooted in the normal fear response.

The full list of phobias is almost limitless, consisting of anything that someone could fear. However, some phobias are much more common than others. Here are ten of the most common specific phobias.

 

Acrophobia – Fear of Heights

Acrophobia is a generalized fear of all heights. This distinguishes it from aerophobia (fear of flying) and other more specified phobias.

Acrophobia is sometimes confused with vertigo. Vertigo is a physical condition that causes dizziness or disorientation when looking down from a great height. A fear of developing vertigo symptoms at height is not acrophobia.

Claustrophobia – Fear of Enclosed Spaces

Claustrophobia can range from mild to severe. In severe cases, the sufferer may develop anxiety from simply closing a bedroom door.

Many sufferers find that their claustrophobia is specifically triggered by certain common situations such as entering an elevator or riding in an airplane. Some people discover undiagnosed claustrophobia when undergoing an MRI.

Nyctophobia – Fear of the Dark

This fear is common and generally transient in children. If it persists for longer than six months and causes extreme anxiety, however, it may be diagnosed as a phobia. It is less common in adults.

Ophidiophobia – Fear of Snakes

Ophidiophobia refers specifically to snakes. If other reptiles are also feared, then the more general herpetophobia (fear of reptiles) is used.

People who suffer from this phobia are not only afraid of touching snakes. They also show fear when viewing pictures of snakes or even talking about them.

Arachnophobia – Fear of Spiders

This is an extremely common animal phobia. Sufferers generally fear spider webs and other signs that a spider may be in the vicinity. They also fear pictures of spiders.

Trypanophobia – Fear of Injection or Medical Needles

Trypanophobia is a medical phobia. A more general fear of non-medical needles is known as aichmophobia.

Trypanophobia may result in serious physiological responses including very low blood pressure and fainting. In some cases, severe trypanophobia may lead the sufferer to avoid all medical care.

Astraphobia – Fear of Thunder and Lightning

This is a common fear among children. If it is severe and continues for longer than six months, however, then a phobia may be diagnosed.

Both adults and children tend to deal with the fear by seeking “shelter,” securing themselves in windowless areas where the storm cannot be seen.

Nosophobia – Fear of Having a Disease

Nosophobia is the irrational fear of developing a specific disease. Hypochondriasis is a related disorder marked by the persistent fear of having an unspecified disease. Sufferers of either disorder may become frequent visitors of the doctor’s office, or may instead develop an avoidance of doctors for fear of hearing bad news.

“Medical student’s disease” and “cyberchondria” are forms of nosophobia. These conditions develop when the sufferer researches a disease and then starts to believe that he or she has the symptoms of that disease.

Mysophobia AKA Germophobia – Fear of Germs

This is an intense fear of becoming contaminated by germs. It is related to obsessive-compulsive disorder, which is often marked by repetitive hand-washing. However, for OCD sufferers the focus is on the act of hand-washing itself, while mysophobia sufferers wash hands to remove the contamination.

Triskaidekaphobia – Fear of the Number 13

There is some controversy regarding triskaidekaphobia, as many experts see it as a superstition rather than a legitimate phobia. Nonetheless, triskaidekaphobia is so pervasive in Western culture that it has actually influenced the modern world.

For example, it is rare to see a 13th floor in a hotel or office building. Many people refuse to live in homes with a 13 in the address. Even public transportation is affected, with airplanes skipping over the 13th row.

By Lisa Fritscher, About.com

June 26, 2008 Posted by | Health | Leave a comment

Sneaking Vegetables into Your Kids’ Meals

I wish I knew the secret of parents whose kids love vegetables. We tried everything to get ours to learn to love their vegetables, but we were never really successful. If you need to find ways to get vegetables into your picky eater’s diet while they are developing their taste for healthy foods, try these ideas.

The Blender Is Your Ally

Kids can spot an onion at first glance; and heaven forbid that they should bite into a something that is slightly crunchy. Here’s a trick. When you add vegetables to a soup or dish such as lasagne, saute the veggies until soft and puree the cooked vegetables before adding to the dish.

Though tomatoes are a fruit, they are a great source of healthy vitamins. Again, picky kids don’t like chunky tomato sauces on spaghetti or pizza. Make your own marinara sauce with fresh or whole canned tomatoes, onions, garlic, and carrots; then give it a whirl in the blender to make a smooth, kid-friendly sauce.

Here’s my recipe for Mom’s Chicken Noodle Soup that your kids will swear is only chicken and noodles.

Mom’s Chicken Noodle Soup

1 small onion, chopped
3 stalks celery including leaves, chopped
1 cup mini-carrots, chopped
3 T oil to saute vegetables
2-3 boneless chicken breasts, boiled in water just to cover chicken
1 32 oz. box chicken broth
8 oz. thin spaghetti

Bring chicken breasts to boil in water seasoned with salt; cover and simmer until done. Saute chopped vegetables in oil until soft. Cool slightly and puree vegetables in blender. Tear chicken into small pieces. Places in soup pot with broth from cooked chicken and 1 box of chicken broth. Add spaghetti noodles and sauteed vegetables. Cover and cook until noodles are done. Season to taste.

You Can’t Hide Green

Dark green vegetables are the healthiest of them all, but you just can’t hide that color from picky kids. Here are three tricks I’ve learned from other moms.

Cut them into tiny pieces. Finely chop broccoli before adding it to rice with cheese. Do the same with spinach and add to pizza or lasagne.

Keep it plain and simple. Picky kids like plain foods. Peas, green beans, asparagus and other green veggie sides served plain in small quantities will sometimes be the first real vegetable that a child will try. Remind them that it takes trying it ten times before people start to like a food.

Make it fun. Serve kids a rainbow of colors every day. Try a salad face with a lettuce leaf head, two cherry tomatoes for eyes, a carrot stick for the nose, and green pepper strip for the mouth. Let them dip the pieces in a kid-friendly dressing such as ranch-style as they eat the face. Or, serve bright green broccoli ‘trees’ dipped in cheese sauce.

Try these sneaky vegetable recipes from around the web…

Macaroni and Cheese made with pureed winter squash
This is a great healthy recipe for macaroni and cheese from Ellie Krieger.

Mashed Cauliflower
Substitute these for mashed potatoes. They’re really delicious! Find the basic recipe from About Low-Carb Diets or see Rachael Ray’s Smashed Cauliflower with Cheese.

Spaghetti Squash
If your kids like spaghetti ‘noodles’, give spaghetti squash a try. We love it with butter, salt and pepper, and parmesan cheese. How to cook spaghetti squash.

Rutabaga Fries
I can’t vouch for these, but I plan to try them soon. Recipe from About Low-Carb Diets

Falafels
Falafels are a great treat made from chickpeas. Recipe from About Middle Eastern Cuisine. For another great chickpea recipe, try hummus.

Carrot Cake and Zucchini Bread
Make them in muffin tins for carrot or zuchini cupcakes. Carrot cake and zucchini bread recipes from About U.S. Southern Cuisine

From Kimberly L. Keith to About.com

June 26, 2008 Posted by | Health | Leave a comment

Why Kids hate Vegetables

Why do kids turn up their noses at broccoli but beg for ice cream? It may be genetic. A study done by researchers at Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia shows that a gene called TAS2R38 may be responsible for children’s aversion to bitter tastes. Every one of us carries two of these genes. There are two different versions of this gene, with one being more sensitive to bitter tastes than the other. If one or both of those bitter-sensitive genes are present, we are more likely to dislike bitter tastes.The study included 143 children and their mothers, and over 79% of the children had one or two copies of the bitter-sensitive gene present. Interestingly, the presence of the bitter-sensitive gene made a bigger impact on the children’s food preferences than their mothers. The mothers tastes seemed to be influenced more by race and ethnicity than the children. In a sense, they grew out of their aversion to bitter foods.

If this study holds true, then about 80% of children aren’t going to be thrilled about eating broccoli and cauliflower. It may be difficult to convince your children to eat more vegetables if they are over-sensitive to bitter flavors.

You don’t need to look longingly at those 20% of youngsters that do like vegetables while cringing at your own bitter-sensitive kids’ reaction. You can disguise the bitter taste, or choose sweeter vegetables. Over time, your children’s aversion to bitter tastes will ease.

Try these tips:

While this study may help us understand why kids don’t like vegetables, remember that vegetables are an important part of our diet. Keep serving them; just add a side dish of patience.

Source : About.com

June 26, 2008 Posted by | Health | Leave a comment

DRINK WATER ON EMPTY STOMACH

It is popular in Japan today to drink water immediately after waking up every morning. Furthermore, scientific tests have proven  its value. We publish below a description of use of water for our readers. For old and serious diseases as well as modern illnesses the water treatment had been found successful by a Japanese medical society as a 100% cure for the following diseases:
Headache, body ache, heart system, arthritis, fast heart beat, epilepsy, excess fatness, bronchitis asthma, TB, meningitis, kidney and urine diseases, vomiting, gastritis, diarrhea, piles, diabetes, constipation, all eye diseases, womb, cancer and menstrual disorders, ear nose and throat diseases.     
METHOD OF TREATMENT
1. As you wake up in the morning before brushing teeth, drink 4 x 160ml glasses of water
2. Brush and clean the mouth but do not eat or drink anything for 45 minute
3. After 45 minutes you may eat and drink as normal.
4. After 15 minutes of breakfast, lunch and dinner do not eat or drink anything for 2 hours
5. Those who are old or sick and are unable to drink 4 glasses of water at the beginning may commence by taking little water and gradually increase it to 4 glasses per day.
6. The above method of treatment will cure diseases of the sick and others can enjoy a healthy life.    METODE TERAPI

The following list gives the number of days of treatment required to cure/control/ reduce main diseases:
1.      High Blood Pressure (30 days)
2.      Gastric (10 days)
3.      Diabetes (30 days)
4.      Constipation (10 days)
5.      Cancer (180 days)
6.      TB (90 days)
7.      Arthritis patients should follow the above treatment only for 3 days in the 1st week, and from 2nd  week onwards – daily.

This treatment method has no side effects, however at the commencement of treatment you may have to urinate a few times.        It is better if we continue this and make this procedure as a routine work in our life. Drink Water and Stay healthy and Active.
This makes sense … The Chinese and Japanese drink hot tea with their meals ..not cold water. Maybe it is time we adopt their drinking habit while eating!!! Nothing to lose, everything to gain….  

For those who like to drink cold water, this article is applicable to you.
It is nice to have a cup of cold drink after a meal.  However, the cold water will solidify the oily stuff that you have just consumed. It will slow down the digestion.
Once this “sludge” reacts with the acid, it will break down and be absorbed by the intestine faster than the solid food. It will line the intestine.
Very soon, this will turn into fats and lead to cancer. It is best to drink hot soup or warm water after a meal.

Serious note about heart attacks:
·         Women should know that not every heart attack symptom is going to be the left arm hurting,
·         Be aware of intense pain in the jaw line.
·         You may never have the first chest pain during the course of a heart attack.
·         Nausea and intense sweating are also common symptoms.
·         60% of people who have a heart attack while they are asleep do not wake up.
·         Pain in the jaw can wake you from a sound sleep. Let’s be careful and be aware. The more we know, the better chance we could survive…

A cardiologist says if everyone who gets this mail sends it to everyone they know, you can be sure that we’ll save at least one life.

Please be a true friend and send this article to all your friends you care about

June 12, 2008 Posted by | Health, Life Style | Leave a comment

10 facts about dreams

10. Blind People Dream9. You Forget 90% of your Dreams

Within 5 minutes of waking, half of your dream if forgotten. Within 10, 90% is gone. The famous poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, woke one morning having had a fantastic dream (likely opium induced) – he put pen to paper and began to describe his “vision in a dream” in what has become one of English’s most famous poems: Kubla Khan. Part way through (54 lines in fact) he was interrupted by a “Person from Porlock“. Coleridge returned to his poem but could not remember the rest of his dream. The poem was never completed.

8. Everybody Dreams

Every human being dreams (except in cases of extreme psychological disorder) but men and women have different dreams and different physical reactions. Men tend to dream more about other men, while women tend to dream equally about men and women. In addition, both men and women experience sexually related physical reactions to their dreams regardless of whether the dream is sexual in nature; males experience erections and females experience increased vaginal blood flow.

7. Dreams Prevent Psychosis

In a recent sleep study, students who were awakened at the beginning of each dream, but still allowed their 8 hours of sleep, all experienced difficulty in concentration, irritability, hallucinations, and signs of psychosis after only 3 days. When finally allowed their REM sleep the student’s brains made up for lost time by greatly increasing the percentage of sleep spent in the REM stage. [Source]

6. We Only Dream of What We Know

Our dreams are frequently full of strangers who play out certain parts – did you know that your mind is not inventing those faces – they are real faces of real people that you have seen during your life but may not know or remember? The evil killer in your latest dream may be the guy who pumped petrol in to your Dad’s car when you were just a little kid. We have all seen hundreds of thousands of faces through our lives, so we have an endless supply of characters for our brain to utilize during our dreams.

5. Not Everyone Dreams in Color

A full 12% of sighted people dream exclusively in black and white. The remaining number dream in full color. People also tend to have common themes in dreams, which are situations relating to school, being chased, running slowly/in place, sexual experiences, falling, arriving too late, a person now alive being dead, teeth falling out, flying, failing an examination, or a car accident. It is unknown whether the impact of a dream relating to violence or death is more emotionally charged for a person who dreams in color than one who dreams in black and white. [Source]

4. Dreams are not about what they are about

If you dream about some particular subject it is not often that the dream is about that. Dreams speak in a deeply symbolic language. The unconscious mind tries to compare your dream to something else, which is similar. Its like writing a poem and saying that a group of ants were like machines that never stop. But you would never compare something to itself, for example: “That beautiful sunset was like a beautiful sunset”. So whatever symbol your dream picks on it is most unlikely to be a symbol for itself.

3. Quitters have more vivid dreams

People who have smoked cigarettes for a long time who stop, have reported much more vivid dreams than they would normally experience. Additionally, according to the Journal of Abnormal Psychology: “Among 293 smokers abstinent for between 1 and 4 weeks, 33% reported having at least 1 dream about smoking. In most dreams, subjects caught themselves smoking and felt strong negative emotions, such as panic and guilt. Dreams about smoking were the result of tobacco withdrawal, as 97% of subjects did not have them while smoking, and their occurrence was significantly related to the duration of abstinence. They were rated as more vivid than the usual dreams and were as common as most major tobacco withdrawal symptoms.” [Source]

2. External Stimuli Invade our Dreams

This is called Dream Incorporation and it is the experience that most of us have had where a sound from reality is heard in our dream and incorporated in some way. A similar (though less external) example would be when you are physically thirsty and your mind incorporates that feeling in to your dream. My own experience of this includes repeatedly drinking a large glass of water in the dream which satisfies me, only to find the thirst returning shortly after – this thirst… drink… thirst… loop often recurs until I wake up and have a real drink. The famous painting above (Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening) by Salvador Dali, depicts this concept.

1. You are paralyzed while you sleep

Believe it or not, your body is virtually paralyzed during your sleep – most likely to prevent your body from acting out aspects of your dreams. According to the Wikipedia article on dreaming, “Glands begin to secrete a hormone that helps induce sleep and neurons send signals to the spinal cord which cause the body to relax and later become essentially paralyzed.”

Bonus: Extra Facts

1. When you are snoring, you are not dreaming.
2. Toddlers do not dream about themselves until around the age of 3. From the same age, children typically have many more nightmares than adults do until age 7 or 8.
3. If you are awakened out of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, you are more likely to remember your dream in a more vivid way than you would if you woke from a full night sleep.

“Elle Est Belle” pearl.east15@yahoo.com

People who become blind after birth can see images in their dreams. People who are born blind do not see any images, but have dreams equally vivid involving their other senses of sound, smell, touch and emotion. It is hard for a seeing person to imagine, but the body’s need for sleep is so strong that it is able to handle virtually all physical situations to make it happen.

June 9, 2008 Posted by | Health, Life Style | Leave a comment

Don’t Drink Beer

Scientists for Health Canada have suggested that men should take a look at their beer consumption, considering the results of a recent analysis that revealed the presence of female hormones in beer.

The theory is that drinking beer makes men turn into women.

To test the theory, 100 men were fed six pints of beer each.  It was then observed that 100% of the men gained weight, talked excessively without making sense, became overly emotional, couldn’t drive, failed to think rationally, argued over nothing and refused to apologize when wrong.

No further testing is planned.

June 7, 2008 Posted by | Health, Humor | Leave a comment