Tag Archives: sleep

The Bionic Girl

20 Jan

A 7-year-old that hardly sleeps and eats. It sounds like a nightmare for any parent. However, it seems like the British Olivia Farnsworth doesn’t even feel hunger or pain. Olivia looks like a normal, healthy child, but you couldn’t be more wrong. Olivia suffers from a rare disease. She sleeps only two hours a night and is never tired. She can also go days without eating and feels no pain. Doctors can’t figure out how to heal her disease and call her ‘ the Bionic girl ‘.

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Her mother discovered that there was something wrong when Olivia was only a few months old. After many doctor visits they found out that Olivia has an abnormality in chromosome 6. The condition is so rare that there is no name for it. As far as we know, she is the only person in the world that has all of the three symptoms.

It seems to be the dream of every child that wants to be superhero when they grow up, but Olivia’s mother Niki has her concerns. Because she doesn’t know any pain, she wouldn’t notice if there’s something wrong with her. Once, she fell and ripped a piece of her lip, but she said nothing about it. There was plastic surgery needed to restore it, Niki said. Also, once she war ran over by a car and she was carried away by it for a few meters. Everyone was creaming and in shock, but Olivia just got up and said ‘what happened?’

Some other remarkable things are that the little girl’s hair didn’t grew for the first 4,5 years of her life and nowadays she still has serious anger attacks. She hit me, kicked me, and sometimes she begins to call me names and curse, even when there are other people around, says Niki.

Niki is collecting money for further research to her daughter’s disease, but until now, they haven’t found a medicine yet.

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I can’t really empathize with this girl and I surely can’t imagine how she’d see her own Quality of Life. Because she’s the only person in the world with this strange disease, there isn’t really anyone she could discuss it with. I think this could make her feel lonely, but at the same time I can imagine that she thinks it’s awesome because she’s some kind of superhero. Or maybe she isn’t even aware of it. But what I’m pretty sure of, is that, even though it seems cool for her now, in the future she’ll suffer from it. Maybe it’s breaking her up, or something might happen to her when she doesn’t notice because her danger level is a little higher. I just hope that someday someone will find a cure for her so she can live a normal, safe life.






Who would have known.. – dreams

12 Oct

When you were a kid, you probably never wanted to go to sleep. You tried everything to stay awake: very slowly drinking, being as quiet as possible so you’d hope your mom would forget you were even in the room or choosing the longest story in the book, just to stay up a little longer. But now you’re older, sleeping is often the only thing you want to do after a long, exhausting day.

Even though we just love to sleep, which we do about 1/3 of our lives, we don’t know much about it. Because the things we do while sleeping, like dreaming and talking in our sleep, are very complex things.

Let’s start at the beginning. You just went to bed and you are about to fall asleep. But, suddenly it feels like you’re falling down hundreds of meters and you just kick your foot out of nowhere. OK, what just happened..? For a moment you try to figure out what just happened, but within a few seconds you fall asleep.

This weird convulsion after falling down is called a hypnic shock. This is an involuntary convulsion from the muscles, which only happens between the moment of being awake and falling asleep. It all sounds very complicated, but actually it’s just a dream 1neurological struggle between the brains, who are awake, and the muscles, who want to relax so they can go to sleep. This happening is pretty normal, but if it happens more nights in a row, you might have to check for some factors. If you’re overtired or don’t have a comfortable sleeping position, this convulsions can get worse. Also drinking lots of coffee, smoking or medicines like Ritalin can cause this hypnic shock.

Now, after you’ve finally fell asleep, you can start dreaming. Not everyone dreams every night (people who never have dreams have a higher risk on a personality disorder) but when it happens, we try to remember what our dream was about. Unfortunately, five minutes after we woke up, we already forgot half of our dream and within ten minutes, 90% of our dream is gone. But sometimes, when we’re lucky (or better not..) we can still remember some parts of our dreams. Now it happens to be, that some dreams do have actual meanings. Psychologist Dr. William Braun explains the seven most common dreams and their meaning.

  1. Let’s continue falling. Number one is falling into an abyss. One moment you’re standing before an abyss, the next moment you fall over the edge and you start falling.

Dreaming that you’re falling may indicate a feeling of losing control or being overwhelmed or it can mean that you’re feeling unsafe. But also the kind of falling matters. When you’re falling into an abyss means something else than falling because the floor under your feet is been pulled away. It’s important to look at the context when you’re falling.

  1. Screaming without voice. How scary is it to lose your voice so you can’t scream for help..

This might not only be just a dream. It can also be a symptom of sleep paralysis. We’re dreaming while we’re in the REM-sleep. At the same time, our body gets paralyzed to avoid us from moving while we’re dreaming. Between this paralysis phase and the phase of waking up, some people can be ‘half dreaming’. This means that we’re conscious of the fact that we can’t move and talk in our sleep. By the way, did you know that even deaf people do sign language in their sleep.

  1. Being naked in public.

This dream is quiet embarrassing.. And that’s exactly what it means. It means that you’re ashamed and vulnerable. If you don’t feel any shame at all in your dream, it means exactly the opposite. You want to be seen, appreciated and admired by others.

  1. Suddenly, your teeth are falling out..

This can be related to accumulated anxiety, which can be expressed by this dream. It’s possible that you don’t have enough trust in your own ability to express yourself to the world. This dreams can also mean that there’s a lot of change going on in your life.

  1. You’re being chased by something or someone.

This all depends on what exactly is chasing you. Often, people get chased by a monster. This monster can be a metaphor for clumsiness, an addiction or a debt. If you’re being chased by someone familiar, it has more than one meaning. The association you have with the person who’s chasing you and the feeling that gives you, says more about your dream than about the person. Don’t forget that people in your dreams can be a symbol for other people, or even for parts of ourselves.

  1. Dreams about the day. When you have dreamed about a particular moment of the day or a place where you’ve fallen asleep.

This is a good example of ‘day residue’. Often we process the things that’ve happened during the day in our sleep. These memories come even more alive when we’re asleep. By dreaming, we’re structuring our experiences in our head.

  1. You’re the best! You’re in a mighty position: you’re the boss, president or king.

When you think this dream is all about power, you might be wrong. It often means the opposite: people with these kind of dreams don’t feel in control. The dream is a desire for control and power and it compensates the powerless feeling in real life.

I don’t know about you, but I definitely can relate to some of these dreams. To be honest, I’ve asked myself many times what they could’ve meant, but I really had no idea. After founding out myself, I’m a little more reassured, knowing that I’m not the only one having those dreams.

That’s why I think this post also improves others quality of life. It gives you information about the meaning of some of the most common dream, which I think many of you would’ve had at least once. For me, it certainly did. I hope this post cleared up some things for you so you can go to sleep with a rested feeling.

Sweet dreams!

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