The mind at night

The Mind at Night Summary, Review PDF

by Andrea Rock

Has The Mind at Night by Andrea Rock been sitting on your reading list? Pick up the key ideas in the book with this quick summary.

Many of us pulled all-nighters in college while cramming for exams or writing a last-minute paper – and, probably, it was no big deal. As we get older, though, it becomes more obvious how devastating a messed-up sleep schedule can be. Indeed, a sleepless night often leaves us feeling frazzled, sad and slightly out of control.

But why is this, exactly? What does our brain do while we’re asleep? You might be surprised to learn that, far from being turned off, it’s as active as when we’re awake, and that sleep and dreams are an essential part of our survival and self-understanding.

In this summary of The Mind at Night by Andrea Rock, you’ll learn

  • what depressed people’s dreams are like;
  • that dreams provide insights into real problems; and
  • how to train yourself to fly.

Considering that we spend a third of our life asleep, it makes sense to know about what’s going on when we’re sleeping.

It all starts with a period of pre-sleep, when our mind settles down, stops trying to make decisions and plans, and enters an almost meditative state to prepare the mind for sleep.

From there, we enter light sleep, which covers the first two stages.

During the first stage, or sleep onset as it’s known, we often see flashes of disjointed images, known as hypnagogic imagery. This is the brain’s way of sorting through the day’s experiences and deciding what to trash and what to stash. Some things get forgotten, while others are deemed important enough to store in our long-term memory.

Then stage two begins and our brain winds down further to make way for the stages of deep sleep that follow.

These deep third and fourth sleep stages are characterized by slow brain waves, and we generally cycle through the first stages once again before arriving at the fifth and final stage, which is marked by REM – or rapid eye movement – sleep.

It takes between fifty and seventy minutes to get through the first four sleep stages, and the REM period can be as short as ten minutes. So, altogether, the process lasts about ninety minutes, with the combined stages of deep sleep and REM usually accounting for a quarter of our total sleep during any given night.

While all five stages have their own important functions, it’s at the fifth REM stage when we experience our most vivid dreams and when our mind goes through its internal processes.

In the book summarys that follow, we’ll take a closer look at how important these dreams have been and continue to be.

Dreaming can occur at any time while we’re asleep – but dreams are at their most intense during REM because our emotions also become involved at this stage.

In this fifth stage of sleep, the limbic system, which is home to our emotional memory, becomes 15 percent more active than when we’re awake.

The most active part of the limbic system is the anterior cingulate gyrus, which some scientists consider to be directly related to our consciousness and sense of free will and self-awareness. Another vital part of the limbic system is the hippocampus, which connects our emotions with past memories in order to make new ones.

All of this is happening as, over the course of the night, the periods of REM grow longer, providing these areas of the brain with the necessary time to do their work.

The first period of REM can be as short as ten minutes, and our dreams will usually deal with current emotions. But the final REM periods can last nearly an hour and the narratives of these dreams will incorporate long-term memories.

During REM, our brain’s prefrontal cortex is almost entirely shut off. This is why our dreams are often utterly bizarre; the prefrontal cortex is largely responsible for our logical reasoning.

The areas of the cortex that do function during sleep are connected to our amygdala, another part of the limbic system that controls our fight or flight instinct. Thankfully, due to the fact that we’re more or less paralyzed during REM, we don’t hurt ourselves by acting out our dreams.

But why is it important for us to dream in the first place? In the next book summary, we’ll take a closer look at how strongly dreams are connected to our survival.

We read dozens of other great books like The Mind at Night, and summarised their ideas in this article called Depression
Check it out here!

Many people attempt to interpret their dreams and infuse them with meaning and significance. This can be a fruitful activity. But beyond potentially providing insight into our emotional lives, dreams also allow us to evolve as a species.

By enabling us to practice our survival skills, dreams have kept us learning and adapting, millennium after millennium.

One of the best examples is the recurring dream of being chased, which, no matter their circumstances or where they’re from, people have had for centuries – indeed, ever since the first person had to run from a dangerous predator.

While most of us no longer have to worry about finding a tree in order to escape a charging tiger, such dreams still have benefits for getting us out of life-threatening situations.

This is because the human brain exhibits the same neural patterns in these dreams as it would when awake – which means that dreams function much like real-life practice, preparing us for real-life events.

Other species also have the ability to practice their skills during sleep, but humans have the advantage of being able to distinguish between dream and reality.

Without recognizing the difference, dreams actually make other animals vulnerable, such as a cat that dreams that the neighboring dog has moved away. It might wake up and go safely prancing into the yard next door, only to find the dog lying in wait, as usual.

We can thank our parents – and our ability to learn and comprehend – for our ability to differentiate between the dreamworld and the real world.

When we’re children, we wake up from a nightmare crying, confused about an experience that seemed very real. Fortunately, our parents are there throughout our childhood to remind us that it wasn’t real, that we were only dreaming – and, eventually, we learn to remind ourselves.

However, since the parents of animals don’t have the ability to communicate as well as we do, they continue to believe their dreams are real, leaving them less protected.

In the next book summary, we’ll have a look at the other ways we can learn while we sleep.

Sleep is generally considered one of the best ways to take a break from working, but, as far as our brains are concerned, sleep isn’t time off.

When we fall asleep at night, it’s time for the brain to get busy storing the information we’ve learned during the day in the memory bank.

In a paper published in 2001, MIT neuroscientist Matthew Wilson demonstrated this process in a lab experiment involving rats that continued learning how to navigate the pattern of a maze in their sleep.

By monitoring the rats’ brain activity as they ran through a maze, and then monitoring it as they slept, researchers learned an interesting fact: the rats’ brain functions while running through the maze were exactly the same during REM sleep. It was so precise that, while the rats dreamed, the scientists could see exactly where they “were” in the maze, and it was clear that they were still learning and trying to commit the right path to memory.

And it’s the same for us. Even though we think we’re resting our mind when we sleep, it’s still firing the exact same neurons during REM as when we’re awake. But in our case, the mind uses metaphors in dreams to help us solve our real-world problems.

A good example of this can be seen in an experiment conducted by William Dement, a prolific scientist who specializes in dreaming.

He asked his subjects to go to sleep while thinking about what the letters “HIJKLMNO” represent.

Upon waking, no one thought they had the answer, yet one subject mentioned that there was a lot of water imagery in his dream.

Dement then explained how the water imagery was the brain leading him to the answer, which was that HIJKLMNO are the letters H to O, or h30, the chemical composition of water.

Dreams help us memorize things and draw connections, and are thus crucial to our intellectual growth. And, as we’ll see next, they play a big part in our emotional growth as well.

You don’t have to interpret your dreams, or even remember them, in order to benefit from them. Simply dreaming keeps the mind emotionally healthy.

If you’ve ever experienced a psychotherapy session, you probably know that part of this treatment involves connecting a current negative emotion with a past event that led to a similar feeling. Since this is exactly what happens in dreams, dreaming could be seen as a form of self-therapy.

When our dreams connect negative emotions like fear and anxiety to our memories of difficult situations that worked out fine, they’re trying to show us that, eventually, everything will be okay. We can take comfort in reminding ourselves that we’ve survived something similar in the past.

However, when we try to reflect on our dreams, they can often seem randomly disconnected, and you might wonder what someone from your past has to do with the present. But it’s not random at all since our brain has labeled all our memories with certain emotions, enabling it to bring up the ones that are currently relevant.

By casting these memories in a positive light, our dreams give us confidence that we can overcome our current situation.

Sometimes our dreams malfunction, however, and this can lead, or contribute, to depression.

The average person will reach their longest period of REM sleep just before morning, and it will usually involve a vivid and exciting dream, full of past memories, to help us wake up in a good mood.

However, for those with depression, this is not the case. Nor is it the case that they suffer from sad or melancholic dreams. The dreams of the depressed are often like their waking mind – dull and bogged down by the weight of the world.

This is one way in which antidepressant medications can help; many of these medications keep people from experiencing REM sleep, which helps prevent their dreams from reinforcing their depression.

Many artists have turned to their dreams for inspiration, and others were just lucky enough to remember a particularly striking moment.

Paul McCartney has often explained how shocked he was to have come up with the melody for the song “Yesterday” in a dream. At first, he believed he’d dreamed about it because he’d heard it elsewhere first while he was awake.

There are many stories like this. And the explanation is simple: our brain is at its most creative when it’s dreaming.

At this time, both the barriers of logic and the sensory boundaries of reality are gone. Our brain is free to do whatever it can imagine.

While many artists, including musicians and painters, have gained inspiration from a dream, it’s the visual artists who are especially prone to nocturnal epiphanies, since dreams are primarily a visual experience.

One way to really tap into the creative potential of dreams is to train yourself to experience lucid dreaming – that is, to realize you’re dreaming while you’re dreaming, and to stay asleep.

If you can do this, you might be able to then take control of your dream and do things that you can’t do while you’re awake, like take to the sky and fly.

This isn’t always possible, but there are a few techniques to increase your chances.

While you’re awake, stop from time to time to ask yourself whether what you’re seeing is reality or a dream. This will make it easier to raise this question in your dream without waking up, which is the key trigger to achieving lucidity.

You can also increase your chances by imagining yourself in a dream-like state before you fall asleep, this is said to make lucid dreaming 150 percent more likely, according scientist Stephen LaBerge.

To interact with your dream is to inhabit a fantasy world of your own creation, which not only makes for a fun time, but can also be a limitless source of creative inspiration. So never let anyone tell you that sleep is a waste of time!

The key message in this book:

Dreaming is an incredibly important function of the human mind that has, in many different ways, helped us get to where we are as a species today. Although remembering your dreams isn’t that important, knowing how and why you dream most certainly is.

Suggested further reading: Find more great ideas like those contained in this summary in this article we wrote on Depression

The Mind at Night: The New Science of How and Why We Dream : Andrea Rock : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

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Andrea Rock

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dreams, Psychology

Over the past few decades, there has been a revolution in scientific knowledge about why we dream, what's actually happening to the brain when we do, and what the sleeping mind reveals about our waking hours. Beginning with the birth of dream research in the 1950s, award-winning science reporter Andrea Rock traces the brief but fascinating history of this emerging scientific field. She then takes us into modern sleep labs across the country, bringing the scientists to life as she interprets their intellectual breakthroughs and asks the questions that intrigue us all: Why do we remember only a fraction of our dreams? Why are dreams usually accompanied by intense emotion, such as fear or anxiety? Can we really control our dreams without waking up? Are universal dream interpretations valid? Is dreaming our way of consolidating long-term memories and filtering the day's mental detritus? Can dreams truly spark creative thought or help solve problems? Accessible and engaging, The Mind at Night shines a bright light on our nocturnal journeys, while revealing the crucial role dreams could play in penetrating the mystery of consciousness.

2021-02-01 02:54:39
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90,000 Commentaries on Holy Scripture. Interpretations on Ps. 18:3


  • Commentaries on Ps. 18:3

    • St. Athanasius the Great

    • St. John Chrysostom

    • Bl. Theodoret of Kirsky

    • Evfimy Zigaben

    • Archbishop Iriney (Klementievsky)

    • Ep. Irenaeus (Horde)

    • Lopukhin A.P.

    • Prot. Grigory Razumovsky

previous verse to the text of Scripture next verse content

St. Athanasius the Great

Day and day burps the verb, and night of night proclaims reason

Day and day burps the verb, and night... Day and night, he says, sedately and harmoniously prepare for each other, and by the very deed they preach their Creator.

Interpretation of the Psalms.

St. John Chrysostom

Day and day burps the verb, and night of night proclaims reason

See Interpretation on Ps. 18:2

Bl. Theodoret of Kirsky

“Day for days the verb burps, and night of night proclaims reason” : because the established succession of day and night indicates the limits set by the Creator, which an inanimate creature does not dare to cross. Day and night, increasing and decreasing in accordance with the needs of people, borrowing time from each other, and again paying each other's debt, prove the Providence that is watching over them. Same expressions: “belching up the verb, proclaiming the mind, they will tell the glory” not only make it clear that visible creatures are animated; on the contrary, we see a kind of personification, admonishing everyone how the visible can be raised to the invisible God and bring hymns to Him.

Evfimy Zigaben

Day and day burps the verb, and night of night proclaims reason

day days burps the verb

If the world were created, or if it performed its actions by itself, then days and nights could not keep their limits unmixed. But God provides so much for everything that, with the great well-being of creation, the first day always seems to be instructive for the second, the second for the third, and so on, one for the other, according to the very limits and order that God gave to each of them. Because one day, as it were, burps, or speaks a word to another, that is, God's command about him.

And the night of the night proclaims the mind (knowledge)

What he said above about days, he says here about nights. For each night proclaims to another night the knowledge, that is, instruction, of the limit and order that God has appointed for each, so that one does not damage or harm the other, but in a certain order and distinction, sometimes days are more than nights, and sometimes nights are more than days and again, sometimes days and nights and nights and days are equal, while maintaining justice and conformity among themselves. Or in words: the day burps the verb and the night proclaims reason , makes it clear that there is a providence of God in creation, since order is a teacher about providence, i. e. teaches that there is providence. Or you can understand these words still differently: the day is the Father, the day is also the Son, because of the radiance of the one Deity; day by day he spits out a word, that is, the Father spoke to the Son, for this one said: “I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me, he gave me a commandment what to say and what to say” (John 12:49). Again, the night is Christ according to humanity in comparison with Divinity: He proclaims the knowledge of God to people.

Quite decently, some attributed these words to the time when the Son said: Father, glorify Your name, and when a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified and I will glorify again.” And the night announces the knowledge of the night when the darkened Judas betrayed the Lord to the darkened Jews, saying: what will you give me, and I will betray him to you? Very pleasant and beautiful, and what others add. Day after day burps the word—Gabriel speaking to the Virgin the words of the gospel. And the night of the night proclaims knowledge—the serpent advising Eve of disobedience. Also: day after day the word burps—the Mother of God, who said greetings and congratulations to Elizabeth, and vice versa, Elizabeth the Mother of God. And the night of the night proclaims knowledge - Christ, who was in the womb, as in a dark night, gave knowledge of Himself to the Forerunner, who was hovering in the womb of Elizabeth, as in a dark night, why the Forerunner jumped for joy. And deities. Chrysostom : like two sisters who share the paternal inheritance among themselves with the allowance of weights, they do not take one more than the other: so are night and day about an equal measure with each other and about a commensurate circulation; and one of them, exciting us to work, and the other, calming and restoring the vision, through strengthening its greater vivacity to the reception of the rays as before, give each other the proper number of hours. Why Gregory the Theologian was prompted to say about days and nights: so amazing for us is their increase and decrease, and let me say nothing and strange, this equality in inequality itself.

Archbishop Iriney (Klementievsky)

Day and day the verb burps, and night of night proclaims reason.

Truly a marvelous sermon, by which the heavens will proclaim the glory of God! for, firstly, they preach without ceasing, secondly, they preach in the words of all languages, thirdly, they preach to the whole world. This verse shows a preaching that is unceasing, since heaven preaches day and night: for by day the beauty of the sun is seen, and by night the beauty of the stars. And consequently, days and nights do not always remain, but pass, and mutually succeed each other: for this, the Prophet with poetic art represents that the day, after the completion of its course and its preaching, gives the next day the word of preaching: in the same way, the night, after the completion of its course and aka on singing the song, teaches the subsequent night of the post of singing. Thus, without interruption and without any arrangement, days and nights, like creative faces, glorify God with praises.

Commentary on the Psalms, according to the Hebrew and Greek text.

Ep. Irenaeus (Horde)

Day and day burps the verb, and night of night proclaims reason

See Interpretation on Ps. 18:2

Lopukhin A.P.

Day and day burps the verb, and night of night proclaims reason

These luminaries and the entire expanse of the firmament, from day to day, from night to night, constantly and incessantly speak and preach about this greatness of God.

Prot. Grigory Razumovsky

Day and day burps the verb, and night of night proclaims reason

According to the Russian translation: " Day to day conveys the word and night to night reveals knowledge ". The literal understanding of these words is as follows: in the course of days one after another, people, keeping count of days, weeks, months and seasons, know which day, at what time of the year - in summer or winter, and in which month this or that business belongs , this or that appointment, this or that feast in the Christian Orthodox Church. Thus, for example, the farmer knows that in the last days of the month of March he needs to get ready to leave for field work to sow spring crops; and the beekeeper at the end of April observes the state of the day's weather in order to find out and accurately determine on which day it is better for him to plant bee hives from the winter room to the summer place. So, an Orthodox Christian, celebrating, according to the charter of the Holy Church, the days of Great Lent, knows that after 40 days of this fast, namely, on Friday in the sixth week, St. Fortecost ends; on the day following that - Saturday, the Church remembers the great miracle of the Lord Jesus Christ - the resurrection of Lazarus, and following this day of the feast of the Lord's Entry into Jerusalem, the great days of Holy Week come, established to remember the saving sufferings and death on the cross of our Savior and so on. Also with regard to nights, people, in the course of time, determine in advance when bright or dark nights should come, with damage to the moon or with the appearance of a full moon on the horizon, when long and when short nights, when warm and when cold, etc. But since all the days and nights of the whole year, in their constant sequence and correct succession one after the other, are, as it were, depending on the great luminaries placed in the firmament of heaven: the daytime - the sun and the night - the moon, then a person, as a rational being, contemplating this succession, continuity and mutual dependence, cannot but be imbued with a sense of reverence, praise and thanksgiving to the All-Wise Creator and Provider God, who so arranged and favored the days and nights, “ put times and years in your power "(Acts 1:7). The sayings of verse 3, by their mutual connection with the sayings of verse 2, can also be understood as follows: day by day and every night, the heavens and the firmament of heaven proclaim the wise works of the hands of God, and thus unceasingly and vigilantly proclaim the glory of God.

Explanation of the sacred book of Psalms.

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Another academic year has begun in Kaliningrad. In honor of such a cause, the largest school in the region was finally opened on Rassvetnaya Street - for 1725 people. By some miracle, they managed to put it into operation by September 1, 2022, although they originally planned to open it back in 2018. In the fresh walls, there was a place for another innovation - the solemn raising of the flag to the anthem of the Russian Federation. Now all Russian schools are required to start every school week this way. What else happened on September 1 and what to expect next, we tell in the nightly review of Thursday's main news.

The first day of September for Kaliningrad was also marked by the visit of President Vladimir Putin. The first person nobly lingered and arrived in the region after lunch, when the lines in schools were over, and for some time it was even possible to move along the Kaliningrad streets. However, in the evening the situation still became standard for any high visit - everything stopped. The President's visit turned out to be extremely eventful - despite the rather late arrival, he managed to open 5 schools in Tajikistan via video link, visit the new museum center on the Island and the branch of the Nakhimov School, and hold a meeting of the supervisory board of the new state movement of children and youth. Vladimir Putin also found time to tell the children, who courageously spent two weeks in quarantine before meeting with the head of state, “about important things.” The list of important things included, among other things, a presidential digression into the history of Ukraine and condemnation of the Ukrainian education system, as well as recommendations to “feel like a free person.” The guarantor talked about another important thing with the Governor of the Kaliningrad Region Anton Alikhanov. The head of the region asked to transfer free ferries and dry cargo ships from other regions to Kaliningrad in order to somehow alleviate the situation with transit through Lithuania. The head of state promised to do "to make it convenient and economically feasible."

Not only the transit situation remains foggy. The day before, the EU countries agreed to suspend the visa facilitation agreement with Russia. We agreed so far informally, but nevertheless agreed. And, probably, they even chose not the worst option from those offered. An agreement on a simplified visa regime between Russia and the European Union was signed in 2006 in Sochi. Its freeze should reduce the number of visas issued to Russians, complicate the process of issuing them and make it more expensive. The head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell, noted on social networks that the rejection of the visa facilitation agreement is a compromise that "will allow visas to be issued on an individual basis after a thorough assessment of each case." How exactly this will be applied in practice, no one can say for sure yet. Correspondent of "New Kaliningrad" Alla Sumarokova studied the agreement and tells how its freezing will affect Kaliningraders who are accustomed to an accessible Europe.

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