It only seems appropriate to close out Insomnia Awareness Month by interviewing neuroscientist and certified sleep medicine specialist, Dr. Edward O’Malley of Fairfield, Connecticut. He has utilized NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback as a cornerstone of his practice for many years now. Basically, Dr. O’Malley is so good at his job that he puts people to sleep; and that’s a good thing. The vast majority of clients who darken his doors are staring at the ceiling most of the night.
So, three castles: the first is built of stone on the traditional model. Same slits for arrows, a little crenellation and a nice moat with ducks.
A contingent of serfs and knights, sitting around eating turkey legs and repeating the jester’s jokes. Badly. Second castle’s really big, heavy with redundancies. Two moats, a couple of extra walls. Still on the traditional model, just more of everything. Third castle? Same. Except it’s clearly cleverer. Someone’s an improver, learning new things. The knights and serfs, well, they’re doing calisthenics and mock-jousting and trying new ways to smoke turkeys so they keep longer. They work smart.
Who would have guessed that monks were keen cerebral strategists against aging and cognitive impairment? As a way to keep their minds sharp amidst requisite isolation, medieval monks often stored memories in so called “memory-houses” they “built” inside their brains. They furnished each “room” with a kind of memory and when they wanted to retrieve it, they mentally walked themselves to the right room and got what they needed.
In effect, they created about a geography of memory — a google maps-like server where memories are warehoused, indexed, and organized. And they did it a millennium BEFORE the hard drive was even invented.
Let’s say you’re the world’s worst farmer. You have a gigantic stable. You have, conservatively speaking, a billion cows. You don’t clean the stable for thirty years. Thirty. Years. Who do you call?
Hercules, of course.
And Hercules has to help. As half-God, half-human, he’s constantly screwing up. He must atone. So he dams a river, digs some trenches, lets the water loose in the building to wash all the gunk away. Sparkling clean it was, after that.
Come summer, cake is not your friend. For months you’ve been avoiding that rum-spiced coconut gelato cake someone keeps posting on Facebook. You gain weight just looking at it. Then, just as you’re about to give in and raid the local gourmand patisserie, you stop and remember: warm, body-bearing weather is coming. While that crème fraiche looks great on a top of berries, it won’t look so good on top of your thighs. Ugh.
INTRODUCING NEUROPTIMAL’S NEW, AFFORDABLE PERSONAL TRAINER
Most folks have a love/hate relationship with their personal trainer. S/he makes them do things you don’t necessarily want to do. Like Cardio Barre at 6AM before that wake up shot of Nespresso. Like that extra rep when biceps are screaming with lactic acid. That personal trainer is probably the only person outside of their immediate family who keeps bringing the pain, but still gets an invite to the house a couple times a week.