The mysteries of Rapid eye movement dreams

Novel methodologies are helping scientists unravel the mysteries of our brains, providing a better understanding of sleep cycles, dreams and brain activity.

Read on to find out about the known facts as of 2020.

As modern neuroscience has discovered, sleep follows a very precise mechanism and evolves in 90 minutes cycles on average. Each of these sleep cycles includes three clearly identified phases: calm awakening or light sleep, then deep sleep and finally REMS.

REMS (Rapid eye movement sleep), as amazing as it may sound, is truly occurring multiple times every night! This is the phase when neuroscientists belive our most exciting dreams occur.

For now scientific experimentation cannot yet prove a subject in a period of REMS is dreaming. But empirical experience shows 85% of people remember their dream when awakened during this phase, versus only 10% to 15% during deep sleep.

It is estimated that humans dream 100 minutes on average every night. Thus a 60 year old will have spent about 5 years of his or her life dreaming within a total of 20 years sleeping!

Dream duration

These sleep cycles differ as the night progresses: initially slow and deep sleep phases are longer and REM sleep is at its shortest. Later during the night the slow sleep and deep cycles shorten, whereas the REM phase becomes longer.

This is why the length of our consecutive nightly dreams increases. Our first dream in the night lasts just about ten minutes, then the second one about twenty minutes, while the following dreams last half an hour. These last dreams are the ones best remembered, as they take place at the end of the night, when we are about to awake.

We always best remember our dreams when we just awake, as they are still in our short-term memory, which only keeps the very recent past in our mind. For us to really remember a dream, it must reach the long-term memory part of our brain, which normally does not happen. It will only happen when we write down the story of the dream, so has to have a record of it. By thinking about a dream we had, it will then more easily be remembered.

Another notable fact is that the first hours of the night provide more rest, where both the body and the brain are mainly resting and dreaming less. As if the biological priority was to rest at first, and only dream if time permits after the body is rested.

Dreaming and remembering it

Humans are not all equal when it comes to dreaming. As a matter of fact we don’t all have the same capability for dreaming or for remembering our dreams.

Thus, women seem to dream more than men. Waking up during a REMS phase, 95% of them remember what they were dreaming, compared to only 80% of men. They are also able to give a more detailed account of the events, which seem to last longer. Women are also more prone to nightmares than their male counterparts.

Researchers today have no scientific explanation for this phenomenon. At most, one can draw a parallel with the fact that women are often endowed with a greater emotional imagination than men and therefore may be more inclined to dream in a rich and detailed manner.

We don’t dream the same way at all ages.

It is very complicated to determine from what age a child begins to dream and specialists do not agree on that. It seems that in the first months, even the first years of life, the baby and the child are rather victims of night terrors, a phenomenon which is not akin to dreams and which occurs during slow sleep rather than during sleep within REMS.

For a child to begin to dream, he must have the maturity necessary to realize that it is a dream and that he has the vocabulary to tell it. Otherwise he cannot interpret his dreams.

Age and ability to dream

It therefore seems that the ability to dream increases in the first months of our life, as does all of an individual’s cognitive abilities. Conversely, this ability to dream would also decrease with age and seniors would have fewer dreams than adults in full bloom of age. Again, impossible to generalize or have certainties, but two elements support this hypothesis.

Seniors often sleep for shorter durations than younger people. However, as was said, REM sleep lengthens over the night, during the third and fourth cycles. It is therefore likely that the elderly simply have less REM sleep available to them to dream.

Like other organs, the brain ages and rusts with age. Neuronal plasticity decreases, that is to say that the neurons become less adaptable, the connections between them are sometimes less potent. This is why it is more difficult to learn new things as you get older than when you are a high school student or a student. In the same way, this lack of plasticity could play a role on the imagination and dreams.

Serious research on dreams began in the 1950s, which made it possible to highlight the particularities of REM sleep as well as its functioning. The majority of researchers believe nowadays that most of the dream in its successful form takes place during the REM phase.

At the end of the 19th century, Edmond Goblot launched an inverse theory, taken up more recently by neurobiologist Jean-Pol Tassin: we would dream during short periods of wakefulness, between two sleep cycles. A theory that they defend thanks to the existence of the famous alarm clock dreams where the external stimuli, which eventually wake us up, are integrated into the dream.

Evolution and the ability to remember as well as the ability to tell our dreams come from the effectiveness of these neurons that we all have by the billions. This neural mechanism varies according to age and sex, but everyone goes through the same sleep.

Diets Can Have an Effect on the Quality of Sleep

sleeping wellThere are a number of connections that link diet and sleep and we all know that eating too much or even not eating can cause a disruption of our sleep patterns. Light snacks before you sleep can assist in sleep, but heavy food can cause discomfort in the digestive system and lead to a person remaining awake.

It is also known that large amounts of alcohol can make insomnia worse and impairs REM sleep when the body is in its most restorative phase. Alcohol also causes dehydration and this can disrupt sleep when you feel thirsty, and also result in tiredness on the next day. At the same time, it has been known that small amounts of alcohol can actually act as a sopoforic and help you to get to sleep. Caffeine disturbs sleep especially if you are sensitive to it, so coffee must be avoided before bedtime.

High-fat meals that lead to heartburn and indigestion can also lead to a disturbed pattern of sleep. It is also well established that your bed-time must be a couple of hours after you have eaten, as when you have a full stomach, gastric juices will flow into the esophagus when you are lying down and this can lead to heartburn which then interrupts sleep. Drinking of water or other fluids closer to bedtime can make your bladder full, and require you to interrupt your sleep to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

A combination of milk and honey can help in promoting sleep. The tryptophan which is a part of milk does induce sleep, as it increases the brain’s level of serotonin, a natural sedative. The honey is a natural sugar and this carbohydrate facilitates the entry of the tryptophan into the brain. There are also other foods that can act as natural sedatives, and every culture around the world has its own well-established dietary aids to sleep. There are a number of herbs that can also help in inducing sleep, like the root, valerian.

Studies have indicated that there is a lot of association between dietary patterns and sleep. High intakes of confectionery and noodles lead to poor sleep quality. Vegetables and fish, on the other hand, lead to better sleep. Poor eating habits, like skipping breakfast or eating meals at irregular hours can also lead to poor quality of sleep.

Adequate sleep is necessary for good health so that the body organs and tissues get enough rest. It can also have an effect on learning and memory. Sleep is also greatly affected by body structures like obesity, that often lead to sleep apnea, a great disturber of a sound sleep. But then most obesity problems are directly linked to diets and eating and can be overcome when you lose weight and eat and exercise sensibly. Also, a good tip is to get a comfortable mattress, here is a discounted one we found.

Poor diets can often cause acid reflux, which has been known to cause nighttime heartburn that can disturb sleep patterns. Sleeping well can put you on the road to good health if it is combined with a sensible diet and exercise regime. Eating healthy allows the body to absorb nutrients adequately and this, in turn, provides the brain with the right chemical environment that produces the neurotransmitters that are needed to maintain the right pattern of sleep.

There are certain amino acids involved in the act of sleeping and these are created from the nutrients that we can get from food to act as building blocks for the proteins and minerals that are needed for the creation of these amino acids. Less fiber, more saturated fat and sugar throughout the day, that is typical of fast food, can lead to lighter and disturbed sleep during the night.

Food waste in the world

Did you know that one third of the food produced in the world each year ends up in the trash. And the problem will only get worse, reveals a new study. Many companies have taken effective initiatives to reduce this waste.

Every year, 1.6 billion tons of food go to the junkyard all over the world, a third of everything produced on Earth. Some figures from FAO are sufficient to give an idea of ​​the scale of the phenomenon. For example, consider that one third of cereal crops and nearly half of all fruits and vegetables are lost in the food chain. 35% of the fish and seafood caught are discarded and 20% of the milk produced is finally discarded. A waste all the more outrageous that at the same time, 870 million people suffer from malnutrition and that such production thrown away generates 8% of greenhouse gas emissions.

Alas the problem is not going to go away by itself. According to projections by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the volume of annual food waste will continue to increase by 1.9% per year by 2030, or 2.1 billion tonnes by that date. That’s 66 tons of food thrown away every second. Asia will be the most affected region. As people get richer, they increase their consumption and demand for more varied foods, often not produced locally, according to the study.

There is waste at all levels

Losses add up all along the supply chain. The biggest source of waste is at the production level, with for example rodents or parasites eating crops or mechanical damage that damages fruits during harvesting. In the supply chain where 350 million tonnes are lost each year, the problem is mainly the lack of adequate infrastructure (cold chain does not exist in many countries) or industrial processes that are more concerned with efficiency and speed rather than reducing losses. Finally at the marketing level, the different standards in different countries and the imposition of too strict expiry dates result in wastage equivalent to 110 billion dollars, estimates the BCG.

Consumers often have a misconception of what to do. They think for example that fresh fruits and vegetables are healthier than frozen foods, while the opposite is true. Fresh foods lose their nutrients during transport and increase the risk of waste. Another drift to mention is promotions that encourage the purchase of large quantities and lead the consumer to throw away food that he has not had the time to eat before it is damaged. In total solving all the problems in the food chain would save 700 billion dollars per year in food, estimates the BCG.

Companies want to reduce this waste

If governments and consumers have a role to play, businesses must be the spearhead of the fight against waste. Many have already launched initiatives:

  • large seed companies (BASF, Bayer, Syngenta or Monsanto) have trained more than three million small farmers in good agricultural practices to control pests and reduce losses during harvesting
  • with its “ugly fruits and vegetables” initiative launched in 2014, Intermarché is giving a chance to poorly calibrated products
  • in England, Marks & Spencer sells its strawberries in a special ethylene-absorbent package, extending shelf life by 50%
  • in Taiwan, Carrefour opened a restaurant where unsold products from its suppliers or stores are cooked
  • in California a San Diego dumpster rental company offers roll-off dumpsters to supermarkets
  • Sodexo and Ikea have partnered with start-up LeanPath to measure and analyze waste and educate staff in collective eating places
  • in Kenya the Rockefeller Foundation is working with the company TechnoServe to provide small farmers with solar-powered cold storage units to store their fruits and vegetables
  • UK retailer Tesco recycles stale foods to animal feed and used oil to biodiesel
  • PepsiCo has revised its supply of fruits and vegetables to favor local suppliers and reduce transportation losses

Ane one of us can help reduce food waste, from the small consumer to the largest corporations. Let’s help save our planet and reduce pollution.

Best Teas for Weight Loss

A hot cup of tea is a perfect drink to soothe a sore throat, keeping us warm during cold nights or drinking while watching your TV show. However, there are also particular kinds of teas which are beneficial especially when you are trying to lose some extra weight.

Teas contain a flavonoid known as catechins that allow to boost metabolism and assist the body in breaking down fats so easily and quickly. And the caffeine content in several teas intensifies energy use, making the body more effective in burning calories. These two elements perhaps work best together in the course of losing weight.

So, here are some teas that are going to make you lose weight.

Green Tea

Nights on winter months can be freezing without sipping a hot cup of green tea. Somehow, it helps in shedding those extra fats. Green teas do contain fat-burning properties which go through catechins, a cluster of antioxidants that mark the body tissue significant in storing fats. So, what you are waiting for now? Get rid of your coffee, and start drinking green tea every morning before you begin your day. You must consistently do it to quicken weight loss.

Lemon Tea

You might already know that lemons can drop excess water in our body which is causing us to gain more weight. Consuming a high amount of carbohydrates or salty foods causes the body to retain excess water within the cells. This excess water weight is merely the reason why we are a few pounds heftier at night as compared in the morning.

Lemon tea has d-limonene, an element found in citrus oil that has strong diuretic effects. Lemon tea is popular with its benefits on relieving water-related bloating.

White Tea

Not everyone knows that white teas also have a strong capacity to shed the pounds off. Research demonstrates that white tea may make the formation of fat cells slow or entirely stop, instead increase the body’s capability to change existing fat into energy. The nourishing advantages are most available in the loose leaf form.

Oolong Tea

Oolong tea is a Chinese variety of tea. The formulation of this tea begins in heating directly from intense sunlight and then finished in the process of oxidation. Oolong tea contains a high amount of antioxidants, precisely polymerized polyphenols, which researchers demonstrate that it condenses the body’s absorption of fat. Moreover, Oolong tea has caffeine in it which gives a blow; however, it is as well found to help treat some health problems such as diabetes.

Oolong tea can also improve thinking skill and mental alertness.

Black tea

Black tea is the most popular kind of weight loss tea available in the market. This tea contains plant compounds known as polyphenols that are responsible for delaying fat absorption. Research also verifies that drinking a cup of black tea on a daily basis advances cardiovascular function.

Mint tea

Inhaling some scents can help suppress one’s appetite. So, for you to fight hunger and cravings, you have to fill your teacup full of peppermint tea. Doing this technique is going to allow you to see a skinnier you. The minty scent and the freshness of this kind of tea is very delicious and perfect to suppress hunger.

Yerba mate tea

Yerba mate tea is derived from the yerba mate plant specifically from South America. The twigs and leaves of yerba mate plant are dried up through fire and soaked in hot water to make it an herbal tea. Many people have already tried this in losing weight; however, this should be taken with precaution.

Researchers say that drinking Yerba mate tea for a long time may put us at risk of developing some types of cancers such as mouth, esophagus, and lungs. Drinking this kind of tea in moderation is okay.

Does going to the gym help you lose weight

With everybody looking for the perfect body and health, it is easy to get lost in the craze. Most plans you will read will have exercise as part of the recipe to weight loss. If you hate the gym, you might be wondering if you really need it. And if yes, is going to the gym sufficient for optimum weight loss?

This has been for years a controversial topic with many experts coming up with different opinions on this matter. To fully comprehend the process of weight-loss, you must first understand the cell biology and how the body metabolism usually works in response to exercise.

You must also recognize what brings about the unwanted weight to devise ways of getting rid of it.

Cell metabolism

The cell mostly uses two main sources of fuel: fats and carbohydrates. The body prefers these two sources of energy over proteins. Carbohydrates are readily metabolized followed by fats in the body. There exist pathways that interconnect fats and carbohydrates (glucose) in the body.

Excess glucose in the body can be converted to fat; this happens by first breaking down glucose into acetylCoA. Because the glucose is in excess, the body would redirect the AcetylCoA from entering the TCA cycle and producing more ATPs (energy molecules in the body).

It will be then used as building blocks of fatty acids which are then stored in fat cells(adipocytes) in the body. In the absence of enough glucose supply, fats are broken down to produce energy for the cells.

What is the relationship?

During exercise cells become overworked and the metabolism of the body generally increases. This then depletes the glucose stores in the body forcing the cells to find alternate sources of energy. Since fats are second in line in the metabolic pathway as a source of fuel, they become metabolized to produce energy in a process called lipolysis. What this process does is reverse the mechanism of fatty acid formation. AcetylCoA is generated and then enters the TCA cycle to produce ATPs.

The main reason why there have been arguments about the feasibility of exercise as a means of weight loss is that it depends partially on dieting. Exercise alone will hardly make one lose weight if not coupled with correct dieting.

The diet to be adopted should be able to push the body into using up its fat stores as a source of energy. This can only be achieved by minimizing the intake of carbohydrates. Low carbohydrates in the body will lead to a low supply of glucose to the cells which will necessitate the use of the fat stores in the body as a source of cell energy.


Scientifically exercise is an excellent means of weight loss that has been proven not only to be effective in weight reduction but also general health improvement. Its success, however, depends on dieting.

Low carbohydrate and high protein diet will go a long way in ensuring you lose weight and equally stay healthy. Remember, when it comes to weight loss, calories are the universal currency. You are either adding or subtracting the right amount.

Why Do People Want To Lose Weight

If you ask ten of your friends, family members or colleagues, how many do you think will say yes to the question if they would like to lose some weight? It depends of course, but normally we should not be surprised if half or more of the people wish they could lose some weight.

There is a tranche of the population that is very fit or athletic, people who love a sport or activity like karate or squash, or just running. Most of these people do not need to lose weight as they are fit already and quite happy with their body, but how many people are like that? 10% of the people is a rough guess, it could be a bit more, but not over 20%. Basically we are left with 80% or more of adults that are not particularly in good shape.

For the most part these people are not very enthusiastic about practicing a sport, or they are too busy with their work and personal schedule to find the time to really get into it, except maybe 1 or 2 hours per week at the gym doing some cardio, but this is not going to be enough to make you look gracious. These people wish they had a better looking body, but it is not at the top of their priorities to make it happen.

The other important component of this equation is nutrition, and things have changed a lot in the past hundred years. Nowadays we are all constantly bombarded with commercials about various delicious food temptations here and there. The emphasis is not if such food products promoted by the big food companies are healthy or how healthy they are. No, what is sold is great tasting, juicy, sweet, crunchy pleasures to the tongue. And as we all know there is an epidemic of obesity in this country as a consequence.

In short the way modern life is structured for the majority is that it leads to a lack of exercise combined with an imbalanced diet with too much sugar content. This was not so in the past as physical activity was always a part of life and processed food did not exist. On average people were not that fat in previous centuries, but now they are. And they are not happy about it! It is not their choice to be so obese and so unhealthy, it just happened.

When they realize one day how much weight they have gained since they were younger and fitter, they look all over the Internet to find a quick remedy. But is there such a thing? Or is it a matter of lifestyle change? This is what we will discuss on this blog, so keep posted.

4 Reasons Why You Are Bloated

People nowadays find a bloated stomach bothersome. The causes range from simple cases of lactose intolerance to severe cases of cancer. But not all bloated tummies depict medical conditions.

Eating an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise are usually reasons for a stomach to protrude more than it should. Being overweight can cause this problem as well. If you want to achieve the aesthetics of a lean belly and not worry about wearing tight-fitting clothes, exercise is not the only solution. You must also determine the causes behind it to eliminate the problem for good.

Carbonated Drinks

Every person likes to drink soda once in a while. But soda, like other carbonated drinks, are filled with gas. When you drink them, your digestive system will be filled with it. This is why you burp them out. However, if the gas reaches your intestines, it will take a while for it to pass.

Too Much Salt

Salt is an essential staple in every kitchen. Food does not taste the same without it. However, excessively eating too much salt can make your body hold on to water. On top of that, too much water retention causes health problems such as high blood pressure. Always check your intake of salt and do not forget to lead food labels for sodium levels.

Excessive Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the body’s primary source of energy. But too much of it does not just make you retain water, it also causes you to gain weight. Without proper control, excessive carbohydrates can lead to high blood sugar and even diabetes. Make sure to avoid simple carbs such as pastries, cookies, white bread and white rice. Instead, choose options from the complex carbs list. They could be vegetables, fruits or whole grains.


There are some people who do not experience a regular schedule in the bathroom, which makes them constipated and feel bloated. Lack of water consumption, diet change, and stress causes this problem. Typically, constipation passes on its own. Nevertheless, you can remedy this by taking a laxative.

Most of the time, you can manage the issues of bloating on your own. But if you start to feel weak or experience diarrhea, fever or pain, talk to your doctor right away.

3 Diet Tricks For A Flat Belly

When you are trying to slim down to achieve that slimmer look, cardio exercises can go a long way. However, eating the right diet also play a crucial role in a successful weight loss. In addition to eliminating sugar and drinking lots of water, eating fresh whole foods and healthy fats are particularly good for shrinking your waistline.

Though these diets tend to differ from one another, there are some similarities to them that you can perhaps look into. Knowing what they are can help you develop a meal plan for your own.


When trying to lose weight, calorie intake needs to be considered for your specific energy expenditure. If you are generally living a passive lifestyle, then counting your calories to a minimum should be done. You will not achieve a lean belly and a slim figure if you do not mind your food portions. Seeking a dietician is the surest way of knowing how much and what kind of food you can consume.


People who have toned stomachs often avoid foods that cause them to bloat. This is why avoiding any salty foods or diets that are high in sodium will help relieve water retention. Dairy or milk products should also be avoided as these can make your stomach appear full or distended. However, if you have food intolerances from soy, milk or gluten, talk to your physician or dietician for guidance in selecting and eliminating foods in your diet.


There are different strategies in every diet. Some prefer to eat small but frequent meals every day, while others choose to go for intermittent fasting. As long as you stay within your calorie limit and avoid overeating, you will lose weight. It also helps to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

There are tons of diet plans to choose from. What matters is to find one plan that will surely work for your lifestyle.

The Amazing Effects of Planking

Effectively working out your core can help reduce injury, improve stability and maintain mobility. Plus, it is also the only way to achieve that flat stomach for a beach-ready body. While crunches are the most common exercise for your abdominal muscles, they are not exactly the only workout that can develop and strengthen your core.

Another exercise that works more effectively in toning your stomach is planking. It is a great alternative to crunches. It can also target your core, without straining your back.

Causes Better Posture

Planks can put your entire core to work, making your midsection more functional. When your trapezius, rhomboids, erector spinae and the other muscles on your core are engaged, you will naturally stand up straighter. When you have a correct posture, your bones are properly aligned and lengthens you out thereby making you look taller and thinner.

Activates More Muscles

Why is planking better in achieving that beach-body and lean belly look? Planks activate more muscles. They target your abs, arms, and legs, making them a total body workout. Continuous crunches, on the other hand, can be hard on your back. This type of exercise pushes your spice against the floor, causing lower back pain later on.

Increases Metabolism

Planking every day is an excellent challenge to your body. When consistently done, you will burn more calories compared to the traditional abdominal exercises like sit-ups and crunches. Because planking builds and strengthens the muscles in your abdomen, arms, and legs, your body will experience an improved muscular metabolism. This ensures that you burn energy efficiently while sedentary.

Planking yields huge improvements in your muscles, posture and metabolic rate, making them effective exercises to perform. There are many variations of this workout to choose from, so you can always select the easiest level first before proceeding to a more advanced planking posture.


Find A Fitness Partner For Your Weight Loss Goals

Going to the gym to burn body fat can be very exciting at the beginning. But after months of routine, it can feel dragging and boring. Many experts believe that one of the most effective ways in losing weight and sustaining its longevity is to find a partner with the same goals. A fitness partner can help you stay on track and lead you down to a successful and long-term weight loss.

Why does a weight loss support system work? Studies show that 95% of people who want to lose weight fail within a year. Furthermore, 70% of gym-goers eventually quit in less than 90 days. Adding a catalyst that would prevent these to occur will lead to a better outcome and a more successful weight loss.

Having a weight loss buddy improves your compliance. People generally enjoy more when they exercise with a friend. Instead of treating exercise as an obligation, it becomes a form of recreation and an opportunity to socialize. People who workout together think less about the time they are spending and are more likely to tolerate strenuous exercises.

On top of compliance, it also improves your accountability. You and your gym buddy are more likely to stick to healthy meals because you feel accountable when you break your promise to avoid overeating. Nobody wants to let their friend down.

You rarely encounter people who can sustain their motivation for long periods of time. Therefore, a little push from someone who is targeting a goal with you can keep you from abandoning ship and push you when your energy is lagging.

Look at famous celebrities. They always have a trainer everytime they go to the gym. It helps them stay on track. a workout partner can pick you up when you fall, cheer you on when you are demotivated and assist you in every step of the way.