Archive for February, 2011

Sleepyti.me

Log this site into your favorites: www.sleepyti.me That’s right: www.sleepyti.me

You have an early morning meeting for which you must be in tip-top shape.

You have a critical exam scheduled for 10:00 a.m..

In either case, you already know that a good night’s sleep is essential for your best possible performance.

But, you should also know that an alarm clock going-off while your in the middle of a sleep cycle may actually lower your performance.

Research shows that most of us sleep on roughly 90 minute cycles and we do better with only four cycles rather than four-and-a-half or five cycles instead of five-and-a-half – even though that might seem counter-intuitive to some.

Sleepyti.me will help you figure out the best time to turn out the light tonight in order to get the best possible performance tomorrow.

Dr. Francis J. (Skip) Flynn, Psy. D.

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How Important Is Sleep To Memory?

For the brain it may play a critical role in picking the good stuff and getting rid of the garbage, or “if you don’t get enough sleep it’ll be garbage in and garbage out the next time you take a test.”

And, if you’re a student – from the youngest ages through graduate school and beyond, after a good night’s sleep you will remember information better if you already know it will be useful in the future.

That’s the word from a research time led by Jan Born, PhD, of the University of Lubeck (Germany) and published in the February 2, 2011 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.

The researchers found that the brain evaluates memories during sleep and preferentially retains the ones that are most relevant.

Just imagine all of the information the brain takes in every day – from all of the noise (commercials on TV and the radio) to spam and just plain misinformation on the Internet; useless phone numbers, meaningless comments by coworkers or classmates, and the critical little phrase from a professor: “This will be on the final exam.” Retaining all of it would make picking and choosing what is important much more difficult, especially when you sit down to a critical test or important board meeting.

The German researchers attempted to discover how the brain decides what to keep and what to ditch. “Our results show that memory consolidation during sleep involves a basic selection process that determines which of the many pieces of the day’s information is sent to long-term storage,” reports Born. “[I]nformation relevant for future demands is selected foremost for storage.”

Researchers set up two experiments to test memory retrieval in a total of 191 volunteers. In the first experiment, participants were asked to learn 40 pairs of words; in the second participants played a card game matching pictures of animals and objects – similar to the game “Concentration” – and practiced sequences of finger taps.

Half the volunteers were told immediately that they would be tested in 10 hours; in the end, all participants were tested on how well they recalled their tasks. People who were allowed to sleep between the time they learned the tasks and the tests performed better than those who did not sleep. More importantly, only the volunteers who slept and knew they would be tested had substantially improved memory recall.

Researchers also found that “The more slow wave (brain) activity the sleeping participants had, the better their memory was during the recall test 10 hours later,” according to Born. As a result of this study, the authors suggest that the brain’s prefrontal cortex “tags” memories deemed relevant while awake and the hippocampus consolidates these memories during sleep.

“These results suggest that sleep is critical to this memory enhancement,” notes Gilles Einstein, PhD, an expert in memory at Furman University. The new study helps to explain why a student is more likely to remember material from a lecture than small talk on the way to class. “This benefit extends to both declarative memories (memories about a lecture) and procedural memories (memory for a new dance step.”

-Dr. Francis Flynn


Posted in: Sleep Issues

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Today in Brain Training: February 25th, 2011

Geoff Cole | Brain Training Centers Of Florida | Masters III CertificationThe past three weeks have been very eventful at The Brain training Centers of Florida. We have been utilizing our brain wave optimization (aka brain state conditioning) technology licensed through Brain State technologies and cognitive behavioral therapy to help our clients overcome their issues.

These issues include but are not limited to; Alcohol/cocaine addiction, anxiety, panic attacks, ADD/ADHD, depression, weight loss, auditory processing issues, anger, and sleep issues.

We also performed stress and anxiety reduction protocol at the NewLife Expo. It has been another great couple of weeks here at The Brain Training Centers of Florida.

-Geoff Cole

Posted in: Brain Training, Brain Wave Optimization

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Today in Brain Training: January 8, 2011

This week at The Brain Training Centers of Florida utilizing Brain Wave Optimization (aka Brain State Conditioning) we have assisted clients recover and overcome the following issues;

Opiate Addiction, opiate withdrawal symptoms, depression, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), Cocaine and XTC abuse and withdrawal, ADD and ADHD, focus, and sleep issues.

It has been another great week here at The Brain Training Centers of Florida!

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In Brain Training Today: December 29th, 2010 – Opiate Withdrawal

The major theme this week has been helping people with Opiate Detox and Withdrawal. We have been amazingly helpful for five different people dealing with various stages of opiate detoxification and withdrawal. If you have been through this or know someone who has, you can begin to understand how important it is that our Brain Wave Optimization (brain state conditioning) technology and cognitive behavioral therapy help reduce the withdrawal symptoms dramatically. The majority of people who try to detox from opiates are unsuccessful. Through our process we are not only helping people to get off the opiates, we are helping them to change their lives, reduce their pain (physical and mental), and are helping them stay off the opiates.

We have also been helping several other people reduce their anxiety and improve their focus, concentration and sleep; as well as their overall wellbeing.

Posted in: Addiction, Brain Wave Optimization

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In Brain Training Today: December 22,2010

We are currently in the process of helping 14 different people with issues including but not limited to;

– Depression

– Eating disorders

– Relationship Issues (Divorce)

– Addiction Issues

– Alcohol Abuse Issues

– Cerebral Palsey

– Excess Anxiety Issues

– Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

– Anxiety and or Panic Attacks

– Opiate Withdrawal

Our clients are enjoying tremendous success and relief from these issues today in The Brain Training Centers of Florida. We utilize Brain Wave Optimization (aka Brain State Conditioning) combined with cognitive behavioral therapy to assist our clients in overcoming their issues. Please client testimonials at youtube (search The Brain Training Centers of Florida), here under “Testimonials” and a new testimonial at http://www.gasparinutrition.com/blog/?p=3270/

Happy Holidays

-Geoff Cole

Posted in: Brain Training, Brain Wave Optimization

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More Information on the Importance of Sleep

According to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, sleep disorders affect between 50 and 70 million Americans and lost productivity and mishaps due to fatigue cost businesses roughly $150 billion, while accidents involving tired drivers cost at least $48 billion a year. In 2007 the American Academy of Sleep Medicine reported on a study by the National Transportation Safety Board on how sleep deprivation affects air traffic controllers and other shift workers. The report noted that in four instances since 2001 in which air traffic controllers who were sleep deprived and were feeling tired made serious, on-the-job mistakes. The NTSB researchers identified three factors that played key roles in sleep loss: poor scheduling and rotating shifts that prevent the body from adapting to a new schedule; short rest periods that left too little time for the seven to eight hours of sleep that most adults need; and bad habits – spending too much time doing something other than sleeping. In September 2010, researchers from Washington State University discovered the mechanism by which the brain switches from a wakeful to a sleeping state. The mechanism is a cascade of chemical transmitters and proteins that they reported that ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the fundamental energy currency of cells, is released by active brain cells to start the molecular events leading to sleep. ATP binds to a receptor responsible for cell processing and the release of cytokines, small signaling proteins involved in sleep regulation.

On of the main things we assist people in doing at the Brain Training Centers of Florida is sleep better without medications.

Francis J. (Skip) Flynn, Psy. D. 7740 Southwest 52 Avenue Miami, Florida 33143

http://www.braintrainingcentersfl.com

Posted in: Sleep Issues

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Another Study on Sleep Issues

Sometimes mother or father really did know best. For example, when they told us “You have school tomorrow. If you want to do well, turn out the light and go to bed.”

Now comes a report from researchers at Ohio State University that may indicate just how right they were. Working with female Siberian hamsters, co-authors Randy Nelson, professor of neuroscience and psychology at Ohio State, and doctoral student Tracy Bedrosian have shown that even a dim night-light may cause physical changes in the brain linked to depression. Presented on November 17 in San Diego at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, it is the first study to definitively show that by itself light at night may be linked to changes in the hippocampus, an area of the brain vital in regulating mood and learning.

The researchers exposed the hamsters to dim light for eight weeks and learned that “Even dim light at night is sufficient to provoke depressive-like behaviors in hamsters, which may be explained by the changes we saw in their brains after eight weeks of exposure,” reported Bedrosian. Most importantly (and surprisingly), the light used was only 5 lux – the same as having a television on in a dark room.

“You would expect to see an impact if we were blasting these hamsters with bright lights, but this was a very low level, something most people could easily encounter every night,” noted Nelson, a member of Ohio State’s Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research.

During the study, half the hamsters lived in 16 hours of daylight at 150 lux and eight hours of light at 5 lux; the other half had a light-dark cycle of 16 hours at 150 lux and eight hours of complete darkness. After eight weeks, the dim-light hamsters displayed more depressive behaviors compared to the control group and the researchers found that the dendritic spines in their hippocampi had far less density. Dendritic spines are hairlike growths on brain cells, which are used to send chemical messages from one cell to another. No differences between the two groups were found in the levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This is important because cortisol had previously been associated with changes in the hippocampus.

“The hippocampus plays a key role in depressive disorders, so finding changes there is significant said Bedrosian. “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to document that light at night is a sufficient stimulus to induce changes in the hippocampus, without changes in cortisol levels.”

It may be that the brain changes are linked to the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps the body know when it is nighttime, and lower levels of melatonin at night may explain the lower density in dendritic spines in the experimental hamsters.

“The moral of this story is simple,” said Francis J. Flynn, Psy.D., CAP, president of the Brain Training Centers of Florida. “Whether you’re a child, an adolescent or an adult, make sure your sleep environment is as absolutely dark as possible, cover up alarm clocks and turn off televisions. And you probably don’t need that nightlight as much as you think – not if you want to avoid depression and learn as well as possible.”

Francis J. (Skip) Flynn, Psy. D.
7740 Southwest 52 Avenue
Miami, Florida 33143
(305) 271-0973

Posted in: Sleep Issues

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Teenage and Young Adult Denial – Adderall

It’s part of being a teenager: To believe that one is immortal and “because you can get a prescription for it, amphetamine-like drugs like Adderall, can’t really hurt you.”

Wrong.

New findings in animal research presented at neuroscience 2010, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience held in San Diego in November, show that amphetamine abuse during adolescence permanently changes brain cells. The study showed that drug exposure during adolescence, but not young adulthood, altered electrical properties of brain cells in the cortex.

While many children and teens with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) benefit from taking these medications when closely supervised by parents and physicians, other teens, particularly adolescents 12 to 17 years old, a period when the brain continues to develop and mature.

Researchers a the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, repeatedly treated adolescent and young adult rats with the drug; in adulthood the rats’ pre-frontal cortex, a region important in memory, decision-making, and impulse control, were examined.

Researchers found abnormal responses to electrical stimulation and insensitivity to the brain chemical dopamine in adolescent – but not young adult – rats. The researchers noted that because brain cells communicate using both electrical and chemical signals, these findings may indicate drug induced disruptions in brain functions.

Earlier research, presented at the October annual meeting of the Society for Neurosciences in Chicago, found deficits in working memory in adult rats exposed to amphetamines in adolescents. “Our new findings reveal that this change in cognitive behavior may be due in part to long-lasting changes in the function of neurons in the pre-frontal cortex,” reported senior author Joshua Gulley, PhD. “We hypothesize that this is due to amphetamine disrupting the normal processes of brain development.”

Gulley, who led an earlier study with graduate student Jessica Stanis, also reported that “Animals that were given the amphetamine during the adolescent time period were worse at tasks requiring working memory than adult animals that were given the same amount of amphetamine as adults. This tells us that their working memory capacity has been significantly altered by that pre-exposure to amphetamine.”

Francis J. (Skip) Flynn, Psy. D.

Posted in: ADD (ADHD)

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