Wednesday/ sleeping in Seattle

TIME (1981) by Electric Light Orchestra

The Electric Light Orchestra sings that a cure’s been found for good old rocket lag (in 2095) in their song ‘Here is the News’.  But hey – it’s only 2012. So travelers jetting across the world and I still have to make do with sleep remedies that are no silver bullet. Melatonin does not work for me – at least not the recommended 5 mg.  I now use prescription zolpidem (generic ‘Ambien’) which is definitely effective to putting one to sleep, but for no more than 4 hours. I take it only for two or three nights, get up when I can no longer sleep, and then take a 2 hour nap later in those first few days.  After that my body is up to its own devices to get fully adjusted! And how does the stuff work, anyway? Well, it’s a short-acting hypnotic that inhibits neurotransmission – brain activity – by binding at the same site as the brain’s natural inhibitor called GABA.

Zolpidem, as made by Israeli drug manufacturer TEVA

The stuff works quickly : in 15 mins! So not long before you start to drag and  g  o   t o   s  l   e   e  e  p ..

I thought this picture below of a neuron was very cool (picture from Wikipedia’s entry for ‘neuron’). A neuron is an electrically excitable nerve cell that transmits signals. The connections between nerve cells are called synapses.

Diagram of a typical myelinated vertebrate motoneuron from Wikipedia's entry for 'neuron'.



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