Insomnia, 5

mingyeow 47 minutes ago [-]

I had signs of insomnia in the last couple of years. Tried all the usual techniques, and I realized those just do not work for one simple reason – that the moment I do not fall asleep, I become frustrated. And that frustration in turn makes sleeping much harder.

So, I tried doing the exact opposite, and my sleep has been tremendously better since.

Essentially, I force myself to keep my eyes open. When I catch myself falling asleep, I actually force myself to keep them often again. Before I know it, it is morning.

It sounds counter-intuitive, but all my insomnia problems are over, including on a plane. Would love to know if it works for others, or if it is just a silly thing that works for only me.

— Insomnia: To Pursue Sleep So Hard You Become Invigorated by the Chase

— Hacker News



2018.11.20 Tuesday ACHK

A pretty girl, 2

Women are directly fitted for acting as the nurses and teachers of our early childhood by the fact that they are themselves childish, frivolous and short-sighted; in a word, they are big children all their life long–a kind of intermediate stage between the child and the full-grown man, who is man in the strict sense of the word. See how a girl will fondle a child for days together, dance with it and sing to it; and then think what a man, with the best will in the world, could do if he were put in her place.

— Of Women

— Arthur Schopenhauer


When the elderly Schopenhauer sat for a sculpture portrait by the Prussian sculptor Elisabet Ney in 1859, he was much impressed by the young woman’s wit and independence, as well as by her skill as a visual artist. After his time with Ney, he told Richard Wagner’s friend Malwida von Meysenbug, “I have not yet spoken my last word about women. I believe that if a woman succeeds in withdrawing from the mass, or rather raising herself above the mass, she grows ceaselessly and more than a man.

— Wikipedia on Arthur Schopenhauer


Anybody can look at a pretty girl and see a pretty girl. An artist can look at a pretty girl and see the old woman she will become. A better artist can look at an old woman and see the pretty girl that she used to be. But a great artist — a master — and that is what Auguste Rodin was — can look at an old woman, portray her exactly as she is… and force the viewer to see the pretty girl she used to be…. and more than that, he can make anyone with the sensitivity of an armadillo, or even you, see that this lovely young girl is still alive, not old and ugly at all, but simply prisoned inside her ruined body. He can make you feel the quiet, endless tragedy that there was never a girl born who ever grew older than eighteen in her heart…. no matter what the merciless hours have done to her. Look at her, Ben. Growing old doesn’t matter to you and me; we were never meant to be admired — but it does to them. Look at her! (UC)

— Robert A. Heinlein



2018.10.27 Saturday ACHK


如夢初醒 4.2 | 讀書與睡眠 4.2


DrPhish 5 months ago [-]

This is exactly the Zen moment that fixed my lifelong insomnia: lying in bed relaxed with my eyes closed, even if I’m not asleep, leaves me feeling worlds better in the morning than fretting about not being able to sleep. It’s something that happened when I forgot about it completely. Once I realized I could literally just lie in bed for 8 hours and be OK, I was able to let go.

It’s like a trap that closes tighter about you the more you struggle, and releases if you allow yourself to relax[.]

Once I really got that, sleep became regular and uninterrupted[.]

laumars 5 months ago [-]

I discovered this recently too. Even in the instances when I still don’t get to sleep (eg my 1 year old coming into bed and wriggling in her sleep waking me) I’ve still felt more refreshed when I’ve relaxed rather than laid in bed wound up. I’m not into new age / whatever stuff but I like to think of it as night time meditation as while it’s still not as good as sleep it’s still a great deal better than full blown insomnia! And best of all, sometimes it clears your mind enough to actually sleep.


— Thinking of yourself as an insomniac may be a part of the problem

— Hacker News



2018.10.11 Thursday ACHK


trowawee 4 months ago

I’m a little frustrated at the tossed-off reference to Plato and Aristotle at the beginning – “The good life may have sufficed for Plato and Aristotle, but it is no longer enough.” – because I feel like that ignores the fact that both Plato and Aristotle, along with a lot of philosophers, actually had a lot to say about physical fitness. Plato was a champion wrestler, and both he and Aristotle viewed physical education as a fundamental component to living the good life. Xenophon quotes Socrates saying this:

“For in everything that men do the body is useful; and in all uses of the body it is of great importance to be in as high a state of physical efficiency as possible. Why, even in the process of thinking, in which the use of the body seems to be reduced to a minimum, it is matter of common knowledge that grave mistakes may often be traced to bad health.”

The whole article feels a little too mired in presentism, and ignorant of the history of self-improvement ideas.


coldtea 4 months ago

>Plato was a champion wrestler

And the name Plato is a nickname — meaning “the broad/wide one” given to him for his broad shoulders because of that training and physical appearance. Real name: Aristocles.


kernelbandwidth 4 months ago

It’s funny to consider that one of the canonically great philosophers in history is known essentially by the equivalent of his WWE wrestling name. It’s like if in the future there were classes taught on the philosophical ideas of “The Rock”.


coldtea 4 months ago

Some other amusing related stuff: so, Plato, was called for for the ancient greek word for broad/wide.

Modern [English] words that stem from the same root: plateau, platitude, plat, plate — via French and Latin (plattus) from Greek (platis “flat, wide, broad”).


danohu 4 months ago

Well, the first Pope was literally called The Rock (Peter). Jesus appointed him by saying “you are The Rock, and I’ll build my church on this rock”.

Exactly what he meant has led to centuries of debate between protestants and catholics.


acangiano 4 months ago

“No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.”

― Socrates


— Improving Ourselves to Death

— Hacker News



2018.06.01 Friday ACHK

Sleep apnea

erentz 3 months ago

Slightly tangential to the study here but I’ve been going down the sleep apnea rabbit hole in recent months and I strongly encourage folks to investigate their sleep. A lot of people have sleep apnea and don’t realize it. You don’t have to snore to have it. A surprising statistic I found was 20-30% of people with ADHD have sleep apnea. A lot of people may be treating symptoms of sleep apnea like ADHD and high blood pressure with medications while ignoring the root cause. My experience with this has been that doctors are surprisingly ignorant. They’ll happy prescribe you medications for anxiety, ADHD, blood pressure for years, and never think to ask you about your sleep. Do some of your own investigations or ask about it if you have any suspicions.


copperx 3 months ago

I’m going to add myself as a data point. After suffering years of feeling sleepy regardless of how much I slept and frequently unmotivated and withdrawn, I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea. A few years ago I was given Dexedrine, Ritalin, Adderall, and I even tried self-medicating with modafinil to ameliorate the symptoms of what doctors thought was ADHD with varying levels of success; but the drug-free treatment of sleep apnea with a BiPAP machine got rid of all of these issues; in addition, I feel about ten years younger.

— Sleep and Mortality: A Population-Based 22-Year Follow-Up Study (2007)

— Hacker News



2018.05.09 Wednesday ACHK

Eyes on me

dziungles 14 days ago

Hey, this is really cool to see natural eyesight topic on the hacker news.
I practice this for more than 10 years. Each day I work with computer for ~10 h., drive a car and do other things, and never wear glasses, even though the traditional ophtalmologic measures clearly indicate that I need strong glasses and I shouldn’t see even the biggest letter on the Snellen chart, but I see not only the biggest, but sometimes even the 20/20.

Doctors can’t explain this, and only congrats me on my achievement. Of course, the eyesight is not perfect. I see clearly in the daytime, but in the nighttime or low light conditions it becomes much harder to distinguish faces.

The best book I found so far is “Relearning to See” by Thomas R. Quackenbush. The originator of this theory was William Bates.

Actually, there is no clear unified theory on how to achieve this. Everyone interprets it differently and the results are inconsistent. There is also a lot of criticism from the medical establishment.

Natural eyesight improvement really works. And the unified theory, in a form of an app, or a good book, maybe including findings from neuroplasticity, would be a great gift for humanity.


bsder 14 days ago

Natural eyesight improvement really works. And the unified theory, in a form of an app, or a good book, maybe including findings from neuroplasticity, would be a great gift for humanity.

It SORT OF works in stable and predictable situations.

What seems to be happening is that your brain, in all of its neuroplastic glory, is learning to make better inferences from the broken information it receives.

The issue is that this works as long as the inferences are correct. That’s fine when you are reading a newspaper, using the computer, etc. as the situation is stable and predictable.

The problem is that when you are suddenly confronted by a situation where the inferences are NOT correct–such as a nighttime emergency situation while driving. Now you are relying on the “uninferenced” data coming in from your eyes and that data is subpar with all the resultant problems.

The best solution is both: fix the data coming in with corrective lenses for unpredictable situations, and train your brain to make better inferences so you can deal with predictable situations better.


dziungles 14 days ago

Before, I also had this theory in my mind for a year or so.
But for example, right now I’m in Thailand, traveling here for the first time. Everything is new, unfamiliar and unpredictable, daytime, nightime. I have no problems seeing things, everything is almost perfectly clear and sharp. I needed some time to adapt to a smaller screen of my laptop (I was using 24 inch before), but now I’m doing fine.

Actually, the more you look, the better you see. Like in Aaron Swartz blog post, if you want to retrain your weak legs, you need to walk more. Same with eyes.



2018.02.09 Friday ACHK

Zooming out

In this morning’s dream, I had seen an ultra zooming out of the universe, where in the end the universe became a particle of a super-universe.

Perhaps the afterlife (or near-death experience) is like this kind of bizarre feeling.

— Me@2011.08.17 

It is a fractal.

— Me@2011.08.22

Note: This kind of feeling is unhealthy, since it is induced by eating too little food.

— Me@2017.01.09

Several months ago, I had another this kind of super-feeling dream, in which I could get a time traveling feeling.

— Me@2011.08.17 

2017.01.14 Saturday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

End-of-history illusion

The end-of-history illusion is a psychological illusion in which individuals believe that they have experienced significant personal growth and changes in tastes up to the present moment, but will not substantially grow or mature in the future. Despite recognizing that their perceptions have evolved, individuals predict that their perceptions will remain roughly the same in the future.

The illusion is based in the fact that at any given developmental stage, an individual can observe a relatively low level of maturity in previous stages. The phenomenon affects teenagers, middle-aged individuals, and seniors. In general, people tend to see significant changes in hindsight, but fail to predict that these changes will continue.

— Wikipedia on End-of-history illusion

2015.03.29 Sunday ACHK

Fasting creates new brain cells

So, what’s going on?

Well, when they examined the brains of the fasting mice.

They found something extraordinary. 

These green objects are newborn brain cells.   

These three here are brand new?

Sporadic bouts of hunger actually trigger new neurons to grow.

Why should a brain start to generate new nerve cells when you stop feeding it?

If you think about this in evolutionary terms, it makes sense.

If you’re hungry, you’d better increase your cognitive ability.   

That will give you a survival advantage, if you can remember where the location of the food is and so on.

It seems that fasting stresses your grey matter the way that exercise stresses your muscles.

So hunger really does make you sharper?

Yes. We think so.   

Mark’s research is starting to point towards a simple conclusion.

Alternate day fasting has better effects on the brain than does a lower-amount-of-daily-calorie restriction.

It’s true of mice, but he needs to do proper human trials to prove it’s true in us.   

I’ve come to the end of my search to find out how to eat, fast and live longer.

The official advice is, eat at least 2,000 calories a day, and if you really want to fast, even on an intermittent basis, see your doctor first, because there are people it could harm such as pregnant women or those who are already underweight.

— Eat, Fast and Live Longer

— BBC Horizon

— Me@2013-10-05 1:06 AM

2014.11.13 Thursday ACHK







— Me@2014-08-20 01:42:40 PM

2014.08.20 Wednesday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

如夢初醒 4.1

讀書與睡眠 4.1

這段改編自 2010 年 7 月 20 日的對話。





「把手緊握 什麼都沒有  把手放開 你得到一切  — 臥虎藏龍」





— Me@2013.09.11

2013.09.12 Thursday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK


Health care providers often call exercise the “miracle” or “wonder” drug — alluding to the wide variety of proven benefits that it provides.

— Wikipedia on Physical exercise

Doing physics (for my mind) and doing physical exercises (for my body) are my panaceas (for health). 

— Me@2011.10.10

— Me@2013.02.16

2013.02.16 Saturday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK