Maybe i should stay away from coffee

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One of the things i love to do at night is drink some coffee and work on some computer program or interesting problem. Coffee has a really strong effect on me. I can just think that much more clearly when i'm "under the influence" than when i'm not because i'm much more focused. The problem is that my mind begins to race at such a speed that i can't stop thinking and i get very aware of everything and sensitive to stimulus. Then when i try to go to sleep i can't because my mind is so busy, and i get these very realistic dreams, or even if i just close my eyes i see random stuff so clearly. Then i get caught in a state between sleep and awake and i sleepwalk to the most senseless dreams.
Well yesterday, i think i reached some peak state of awareness. I had been thinking about physics, and got to think about life and i got to a point where i thought i understood what was going on. It must sound ridiculous, but to be utterly convinced that you know what life is, even if it was all nonsense, was a pretty scary thing. I was feeling like if i kept on thinking about it life would "stop" and so i made myself to not think about it.
Obviously i was in some state between sleep and awake again (i had been trying to sleep, but thoughts were popping up everywhere, no doubt because of the frickin' coffee), and this nonsense got into my mind and it was a hell of a scary time.
I felt as if my brain was an engine going way faster than it could handle and that it was just about to give. Does anybody else get into a state like this because of coffee? There should be a warning or something.
 

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I drink huge quantities of it, so I don't think I'm anywhere near as sensitive to caffein as you. Then again, I probably have undiagnosed migraines, which coffee is good for. I first noticed this in college: drinking a cup of coffee made my headaches go away. Later, in a book on migraines I read, it said the same thing: caffein alleviates the symptoms.
 
  • #3
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I found this on wiki:
Symptoms of caffeine intoxication include: restlessness, nervousness, excitement, insomnia, flushed face, diuresis, muscle twitching, rambling flow of thought and speech, paranoia, cardiac arrhythmia or tachycardia, and psychomotor agitation, gastrointestinal complaints, increased blood pressure, rapid pulse, vasoconstriction (tightening or constricting of superficial blood vessels) sometimes resulting in cold hands or fingers, increased amounts of fatty acids in the blood, and an increased production of gastric acid. In extreme cases mania, depression, lapses in judgment, disorientation, loss of social inhibition, delusions, hallucinations and psychosis may occur. [3]

It is commonly assumed that only a small proportion of people exposed to caffeine develop symptoms of caffeine intoxication. However, because it mimics organic mental disorders, such as panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, a growing number of medical professionals believe caffeine-intoxicated people are routinely misdiagnosed and unnecessarily medicated. Shannon et al (1998) point out that:

"Caffeine-induced psychosis, whether it be delirium, manic depression, schizophrenia, or merely an anxiety syndrome, in most cases will be hard to differentiate from other organic or non-organic psychoses....The treatment for caffeine-induced psychosis is to withhold further caffeine." A study in the British Journal of Addiction declared that "although infrequently diagnosed, caffeinism is thought to afflict as many as one person in ten of the population" (JE James and KP Stirling, 1983).
I'm definitely going to start to take it easy on coffee. :yuck:
 
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Well, you've revealed the secret of my inspiration when writing Stupid Quetions: caffein induced insanity.
 
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Caffeine before you sleep isn't a good idea. When you do fall asleep, your sleeping patterns are disrupted and you cannot fall into such a deep state of sleep as you usually do. This is true even when you feel tired. I've heard that the effective dose of caffeine in your body is cut in half every six hours....

EDIT: HAHA, one time I got up during the night to get some water and when getting back in bed, I all of a sudden thought I knew everything and wondered "what am I going to do with all this knowledge". I started having thoughts of black holes and such... when I fell asleep and then woke up I started laughing... This is like the times when I used to have a radio wake me up everyday in the morning. Everyday they had some talkshow at that time and several times I found myself talking to the people on the radio because I was so out of it.
 
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moose said:
I all of a sudden thought I knew everything and wondered "what am I going to do with all this knowledge".
LOL, that's funny. :tongue2:
 
  • #7
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I've had dreams like that, where I find the answers to some great mystery of the universe, but when I wake up, I can only remember the question, not the answer. :grumpy:
 
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That's happened to you too? I went through a spate of insomnia last fall, and that's how I spent most of my nights. I'd think I was asleep, but I was mostly awake all night, and I kept discovering the answer to "everything". All of a sudden, "everything" made sense and I couldn't figure out why I hadn't realised it before. I'd get up and out of bed and be on my way to e-mail my new-found information to someone before I'd give my head a shake and go back to bed. It continued for months.

Now I'll have to figure out if I was consuming an inordinate amount of coffee and/or tea at the time.
 
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has anyone here ever solved a problem while asleep? I was talking to a couple of my physics friends, and several people have mentioned at least one occurance.

You're working on some problem late into the night and can't get a hang of it, so you give up and go to sleep and then all of a sudden an hour into sleep the answer suddenly comes to you! And you jolt out of bed with the answer in head scrambling for a piece of a paper and a pencil before you forget everything.

I've done this twice now, the only problem being that both times I was still tired enough that I couldn't really do any of the math competantly, but I could see the entire problem in my head and how it leads to an answer. So I have to write that down and then wait through the entire night before I can get up and actually finish solving the problem.

~Lyuokdea
 
  • #10
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GeorginaS said:
TI'd get up and out of bed and be on my way to e-mail my new-found information to someone before I'd give my head a shake and go back to bed. It continued for months.
Oh, so that's what all those strange emails were that you kept sending me in the middle of the night! :biggrin: :rofl: J/K, but when you said that, it made me wonder, what if you really had sent some emails to people while still half asleep? I bet they'd be pretty hilarious to read.
 
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It would have been hilarious, Moonbear. One occasion, I managed to stumble into the kitchen and jot down my thought before going back to bed, and in the morning, it was something about not trusting people with plastic bags or something along those lines. It was brilliant while I was sleeping/not sleeping, though. :biggrin:

Lyoukdea, I haven't evern solved math problems that way, but I remember writing poetry and waking up a few times through the night with the next few lines in my mind. And, I've come up with solutions to some personal problems while I was asleep. I just awoke with the answer. So, yes, I believe that sometimes you can assign a task for your sub-conscious mind to deal with and it can or will.
 
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I'm actually "under" as we speak. I want to wear it out a bit before i try to go to sleep. I'm so aware, so focused, i love it. :smile:
 
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These experiences with suddenly feeling you understand something perfectly demonstrate that that feeling can be a thing unto itself, independent of the accompanying train of thought. When that feeling is triggered by itself it become erroneously applied to whatever whacky logic is going on in our minds, making it seem like the inspiration of genius.

I have to suspect that this is what's happening in the minds of alot of schizophrenic and manic people: that feeling of having penetrated to the heart of a deep mystery is being constantly triggered, giving them great confidence in whatever nonsensical logic passes through their minds.
 
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zoobyshoe said:
These experiences with suddenly feeling you understand something perfectly demonstrate that that feeling can be a thing unto itself, independent of the accompanying train of thought.
Now that's a fascinating conclusion. So then you're suggesting a misfiring neurochemical. And yes, likely the same one that's misfiring in some the case of some mental illnesses. Thanks zooby. I'm going to mentally munch on this idea for a while.
 
  • #15
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During periods of work stress I have actually performed my work during my dreams, only to find out the next day that I hadn't actually done the work, I had done it all in my sleep and had to do it all again. :cry:
 
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Evo said:
During periods of work stress I have actually performed my work during my dreams, only to find out the next day that I hadn't actually done the work, I had done it all in my sleep and had to do it all again. :cry:
I haven't done my work in my dreams, but I have "woken up," showered, gotten dressed, and headed off to work (or school...I've managed this since being a little kid in gradeschool), only to really wake up and realize I was still in bed and had 5 minutes to get out the door. :grumpy:
 
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I remember a few days in a row during last summer, whenever I would wake up I was able to think and write stuff down.... I wanted to do a math problem a few times but I always woke up before solving it...

One thing that I have found during school, however, is that almost everyday when my alarm sounds for the first time, I am under extreme stress. I keep on thinking that I forgot to do something, omg what am I gonna do, etc etc. Then I get up and think "wtf was I thinking".
 
  • #18
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Moonbear said:
I've had dreams like that, where I find the answers to some great mystery of the universe, but when I wake up, I can only remember the question, not the answer. :grumpy:
The answer is 42. You can now begin your universal takeover.
 
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Evo said:
During periods of work stress I have actually performed my work during my dreams, only to find out the next day that I hadn't actually done the work, I had done it all in my sleep and had to do it all again. :cry:

I hate that!!

Or far worse, I tend to have very realistic dreams, occasionally replaying particular days of my life in very close detail (at least, as close as I can remember, but whose to say the dreams haven't overridden some of my memory and made the similarity seem even closer than it is). Then I wake up thinking it had all happened the day before. I've actually talked to people about something that happened in a dream as if it had really happened. I got more than a few weird looks for that one.
 
  • #20
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Ha, I've had the same experience just last friday the stupid thing was that it was so trivial that I couldn't believe I had dreamed it.

I was sure I had figured out how to open the lid of a centrifuge right after it had stopped spinning (normally it gives all these warning beeps that it is ready, which takes half a minute). I had dreamed that if I pushed a certain button the lid would pop open, so last friday I was pushing all the buttons to open the lid.. which didn't happen.. it only happened in my dream :rolleyes:
 
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GeorginaS said:
Now that's a fascinating conclusion. So then you're suggesting a misfiring neurochemical.
Without getting into "misfiring" and "neurochemicals" what I'm saying is that this feeling is a thing unto itself that can be generated by itself, and isn't locked to any authentic or appropriate trigger. Dreams are full of this sort of thing: strong emotions that seem upon wakening to be attached to strange and nonsensical trains of thought.

The notion that mentally ill people are stuck in a dreamlike state of mentation is speculated about fairly often, and there's a certain amount of imaging studies that support it, like pet scans where a schizophrenics frontal lobes are under-active compared to normal waking subjects.

There is a paranoid schizophrenic from Japan on another forum who posts long tedious descriptions of his epiphany about the fact that executives of the Mitsubishi corporation are employing thought control methods on it's employees. He can't be talked into considering that this may be even partly the product of his imagination, his confidence in it is so unshakable. I suspect the reason is that he always has this feeling of having realized something important and deeply insightful, just like the one you and others had in your dream/hypnagogic state.
 
  • #22
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one of the most horrible experiences in my life was caused by coffe. I had not consumed any coffe for maby 1 year and one night when dieting I just got so pissed of at the hunger that I downed 3 big cups of coffe within 45 minutes. That triggered the most insane panic/anxiety attack I can imagine. I could not sit still. My mind was racing and I had this horrible horrible feeling that something dreadefull was going to happen. I just could not shake it. I spent hours walking around in my apartment shaking out of terror and crying because I thought I had gone mad and was going to feel like that forever. Finaly I took alot of sleep pills and managed to go to sleep.

I would not wish that feeling upon anyone. Ever since I have been VERY carefull with coffe.
 
  • #23
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I semi-routinely have triple espressos in the morning. I haven't noticed being any more insane than normal. Although, I've had a pretty high caffeine intake consistently for over a year now, almost never less than 500mg per week, usually more than 200 mg at a time.
 
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zoobyshoe said:
The notion that mentally ill people are stuck in a dreamlike state of mentation is speculated about fairly often, and there's a certain amount of imaging studies that support it, like pet scans where a schizophrenics frontal lobes are under-active compared to normal waking subjects.
I apologise if I got into using inappropriate or inaccurate terminology, zoobyshoe.

I can see why that would be speculated about fairly often, because that's precisely how it feels. That is: you are stuck in a dreamlike state. I didn't know that that was common speculation. Then again, it's not as if I have access to that sort of speculative information in the first place.

That's my long-winded way of saying, neat! Thanks for telling us that.
 
  • #25
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Monique said:
Ha, I've had the same experience just last friday the stupid thing was that it was so trivial that I couldn't believe I had dreamed it.

I was sure I had figured out how to open the lid of a centrifuge right after it had stopped spinning (normally it gives all these warning beeps that it is ready, which takes half a minute). I had dreamed that if I pushed a certain button the lid would pop open, so last friday I was pushing all the buttons to open the lid.. which didn't happen.. it only happened in my dream :rolleyes:
On the older centrifuges, you can bypass the safety lock with a screwdriver. It's meant to be a way to open the lid if the lock breaks and refuses to open, but it's also been used by many an impatient lab tech and grad student who knows that once it's down to about 100 rpm, you can just stop it by hand without injury and without waiting an additional 5 min for it to decide it's completely done spinning to unlock the safety latch. :uhh: But you didn't hear that from me. (By the way, if you misguage it and try to slow it down by hand before it's slow enough already, it does hurt quite a bit...but I wouldn't know that from experience either...nope, not me. :uhh: o:) :biggrin:)
 

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