By Rowena Kong
It would be difficult to imagine that anyone in this day and age is unfamiliar with Tylenol and its active ingredient, acetaminophen. Tylenol is the most popular over-the-counter pain-reliever drug, and it should undeniably be present at all times in our medicine cabinets. Some are even hesitant to travel without it in their handy luggage. Our lives would be ‘painful’ without its existence, as it is being the most accessible (and relatively affordable) reliever of our common suffering. For some, it can even be a necessity that enables them to lead a less tormented life. We pride ourselves in the fact that we would never be labelled as ‘addicts’ or ‘abusers’ with our frequent consumption of Tylenol. However, that naggy silent voice of conscience and a natural aversion to all things with the word ‘drug’ attached just bugs me each time I see a loved one popping the pills repeatedly, especially when they describe their aches as rather ‘mild’.
By Rowena Kong
“Dear Miss Summer,
I know you must have answered this common question a number of times, but personally I just can’t seem to get rid of this problem no matter how hard I try. I’ve been losing sleep for quite some time now – spending all night mind-wandering and staring at the clock until dawn. Although my work is not so much affected at present, I deeply fear that one day this huge sleep debt might ruin my life and career. Please help!
I can understand your problem. In spite of it being a common and recurrent problem today, insomnia happens to each person for different reasons and to varying degrees. What matters to Tom may not trouble Harry because every person is a unique individual. To address your question, it sounds like the sleeplessness has been going on for quite a while now. Allow me to say that it is usually not an easy task to tackle a problem once it has reached its climax because it takes a longer process of retrospection and analysis of what has occurred. However, I tried to pick up on your hints and perceived that there has been much going on for you in terms of thoughts, fears, and career. A conscientious person who highly values her work accomplishments would definitely feel vulnerable upon realizing that her circadian rhythms are off. Perhaps you should start considering this area to be of relevance to your ongoing struggle. Try not to be too hard on yourself when things fall short of your expectations and standards, when the report you produced does not receive positive feedback from your supervisor, or clients fail to appreciate you going the extra mile for them. One thing you should also think about is the level of guilt you have due to this sleep loss problem. Be aware that it is not your fault that this is happening. Lastly, I would encourage you to take some time off work to enjoy the world outside and the new season, and even to do more mind-wandering in a non-stressful and health-rejuvenating way, because you deserve it. That way, you can loosen the tight bonds of schedule-consciousness, which might have played a role in your insomnia…
All the best and take care,
Alright, I confess – the above introduction is not an excerpt from a magazine advice column but was taken from a piece of fiction written by me and posted elsewhere. Nevertheless, it kindled an interest that caused me to start researching the topic of insomnia. I get the notion that the term, which describes sleep deprivation and its related problems, is so general and overused that its connotation is one of vagueness and ambiguity. When someone close to me recently complained of the problem, questions started popping up in my restless head of its causes and triggers, onset, duration; and, most of all, how the nature of her job might have exacerbated the condition.
There is a new study looking at vision and perception in prostate cancer patients. The study is a collaborative project between researchers Drs. Alan Kingstone and Richard Wassersug at UBC, and Dr. Jaime Palmer-Hague at Trinity Western University in Langley.
The study will compare the perceptual responses of men with prostate cancer to that of age-matched men without prostate cancer, and more generally, seeks to investigate the ways in which people view, understand, and interact with visual stimuli. The study is especially important for prostate cancer patients on certain drugs that might affect their mood and attention. Continue reading
By Rowena Kong
Which would you do better at: detecting similarities amongst a group of items, or brainstorming an original title for a thriller movie? Chances are, your level of performance on these two representative measures of creativity can be influenced by the social environment around you, and particularly by the behaviour and backgrounds of the people with whom you interact. One study by Ashton-James and Chartrand (2009) showed that the effect of social interaction on creativity occurred through the activation of thinking styles. The authors hypothesised that mimicry of participants’ behaviour without their awareness would induce a convergent thinking style, and that a divergent thinking style would be observed when participants were not mimicked. Indeed, the outcome revealed that the mimicry condition led to higher scores on a convergent thinking task (pattern recognition) while the non-mimicry condition produced better performance on a divergent thinking task (generation of novel product labels).