There are two things that your bedroom is designed for: sleep and sex.
But are they good for one another? Or does one interfere with the other?
The rather wonderful news is that the two actions are, in fact, mutually beneficial. More sex helps you sleep, and more shut eye boosts your sex drive.
It’s a classic win-win scenario.
The act of love makes it easier to fall asleep due to the hormones it releases into the bloodstream. It boosts your levels of oxytocin (sometimes referred to as the ‘cuddle hormone’) and lowers those of cortisol (a stress related hormone). Assuming it’s late in the evening, these hormones combine with another hormone melatonin (which promotes sleep and builds up naturally over the course of the day) to produce an irresistible desire to sleep.
On top of this, a man having an orgasm causes another hormone prolactin to be released, which makes him feel sleepy and relaxed. Prolactin isn’t produced in nearly as great a quantity in women in this scenario and may explain why the male partner is so quick to nod off.
When you’re tired, you’ll notice that your mind and body are incapable of performing at their best. This is because sleep performs so many vital functions that even the smallest amount of sleep deprivation can have dire consequences.
As well as impacting your ability to concentrate and remember things, you’ll also notice how it impacts your mood and your ability to regulate your emotions. How many times have you caught yourself lashing out at someone only to later apologise because you were tired and not thinking straight?
Most importantly, if your partner is sleep deprived they will be less likely to be in the mood for sex. A 2015 study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that a woman’s sex drive is directly correlated to how much deep sleep she gets. For every extra hour of sleep, there’s a 14 percent increase in the likelihood that she’ll want to have sex the next day.
The lesson here is simple. If you want more sex, don’t make your partner feel guilty about having an afternoon nap.
As a baggage handler, he had been loading bags hours before, only to fall asleep on account of exhaustion. Panicking, Willa first called his company. The person at the other end immediately hung up assuming it was a prank call.
As the plane climbed higher and higher, he became increasingly concerned for his safety. He placed a 911 call and then texted his mother. However, as the plane was already too high in the sky, it failed to go through.
Desperate, Willa resorted to shouting and banging on the roof of the cargo hold. Eventually, a member of the flight crew heard him and the plane was diverted to the nearest airport. Fortunately, he survived with no injuries but this story could well have had a different ending.
The consequences of poor sleep are numerous.
As Willa’s story above illustrates, a lack of sleep leads to accidents. For example, more people die from sleep related car crashes every year than from alcohol and drug related ones combined.
Doctors and nurses who are sleep deprived will make poor decisions regarding their patients care which, in some cases, leads to serious injury or death.
Recent medical research has also revealed that a lack of sleep is associated with weight gain, cancer and other types of diseases. In the case of weight gain, a 2004 study showed that production of the ‘hunger hormone’ ghrelin increases as sleep duration goes down, increasing the likelihood of overeating and obesity.
Sadly, the implications on our health aren’t just physical.
Poor sleep also affects our mental health. Indeed, it has been linked to conditions such as anxiety, depression and schizophrenia. In the case of Alzheimer’s disease, this is likely related to the fact that one of the vital functions that sleep performs is to rid the brain of toxins via the glymphatic system.
As the writer Thomas Dekker once said, “Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.”
Do you feel like you had enough sleep in the last week?
If you’re anything like the rest of us, the answer is probably no. Indeed, according to the UK Sleep Council, we are getting one to two hours less sleep today versus the 1950s. How has it got this bad? And why do we seem to live in a culture that sees sleep as the enemy?
Whether we like it or not, sleep is non-negotiable and the consequences of not getting enough sleep can be serious. The good news is that attitudes appear to be changing in favour of making it a priority rather than a luxury.
Below are five great books to get you started on the fascinating world of slumber.
This book is written from the heart. The author became inspired to write it after a 2007 burnout as she was building her online news empire The Huffington Post. After many months with next to no sleep, things eventually caught up with her. She suffered a serious fall breaking her cheek bone. It was the wake up call that spurred her mission to encourage us all to urgently reconnect with sleep.
The book is packed full of quotes, science and helpful summaries of other’s work. It’s written mostly from an American perspective but there are references to the state of sleep around the world. Encouragingly, she makes the case that we have a better understanding of sleep than ever before and that’s allowing us to properly challenge the foolish ‘sleep is for wimps’ work ethic.
Littlehales is a former sales and marketing director for Slumberland, the largest sleeping comfort group. A chance encounter took his career in a different direction and he ended up becoming a sleep coach for some of the world’s most elite athletes. The author’s CV makes for impressive reading as he counts Olympians, the football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo and the Tour De France winning Sky cycling team amongst his former clients.
The book is organised around his ‘R90 Sleep Recovery Program’ based on the fact that our sleep cycles naturally occur in 90 minute periods. At times, it feels like a bit of a sales pitch for his products. Nonetheless, it is likely to be of particular value to those practising sport at a high level. It might, though, fall short for those that don’t.
The focus of this book is the serious sleep disorder that affects many people around the world: insomnia. Dr. Meadows runs a 5-week programme at the aptly named ‘Sleep School’ to help his clients with this particularly pernicious condition. He explains that mindfulness and awareness are an important part of the solution and that many of the strategies we practice to combat sleeplessness can end up generating their own anxieties.
It’s a touch light on the science of sleep and perhaps isn’t so beneficial for a more general audience. It is, however, likely to be a helpful and practical guide for those who are suffering from this unfortunate sleep disorder.
Wiseman is a great storyteller and this book is packed full of interesting science that busts some of the common myths about sleep. Like the other authors, he makes it clear that despite the advances in science in the last couple of decades, there are still many things we don’t understand about sleep.
Importantly, the author shares studies that show how even a small lack of sleep can have a detrimental effect on both your health and happiness. There are also questionnaires throughout the book making it both a practical and informative guide.
Walker is a professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. His scientific know-how comes through clearly in this international bestseller. It’s not hard to see why as it shares many fascinating insights as to what happens when we don’t get enough shut-eye.
For example, did you know that not getting enough sleep increases sweet and salty cravings by 30-40%? Or that an afternoon nap increases our learning capacity by 15-20%? Overall, this is a very valuable book. If you only have time to read one of the five then pick this one.
Are there any other books on Sleep that you’ve enjoyed reading? Please share them below.
The Luftwaffe first started work on this early type of cruise missile in 1939 but it didn’t enter service until near the end of the war in 1944. It was nicknamed the ‘doodlebug’ by the British because of the buzzing-like sound of its pulse jet engine as it approached.
At its peak, more than one hundred V-1 bombs were launched at Britain every day. Many of them targeted the country’s capital and caused devastation and loss of life on the ground.
Terrified Londoners began to plot the strikes on a map and soon discovered what they believed to be a distinct pattern. This, in turn, gave rise to theories about which parts of the city were the safest and which were at the most risk.
After the war had ended, statistical analysis revealed a very different picture. The impact sites were distributed completely at random.
The V-1’s gyrocompass guidance system was extremely rudimentary and therefore not particularly accurate. Where the bombs were planned to land and where they actually landed were two different things.
The frightened city dwellers’ attempts to infer information from the impact sites is a classic example of ‘narrative fallacy’ in action. This is the human tendency to seek patterns or meaning in things even if they aren’t really there.
Why do we do this?
In basic terms, we have evolved to favour order and predictability. This makes sense. Order and predictability equals safety and therefore an increase in the likelihood of our survival.
As a result, we will do anything to avoid uncertainty. Even if this means making up a story to explain away events that are entirely random. As the social psychologist Timothy D. Wilson says,
“People are masterful spin doctors, rationalisers, and justifiers of threatening information and go to great lengths to maintain a sense of well-being.”
This evolutionary quirk makes us highly susceptible to persuasive stories regardless of their authenticity, which explains how seemingly smart individuals can be co-opted into cults. It also explains why some people are superstitious and why we love things like weather forecasts, despite their frequent inaccuracy.
This readiness to explain away random occurrences as having a ‘story’ behind them is because our minds are primed to create more ‘cause and effect’ scenarios than exist in reality.
Last week our trend continuation bear pennant pattern completed into the take profit zone. Arguably, a long setup could have been considered when closing a short in a support zone and along our immediate trend line support. However, counter-trend trading a bearish weekly engulfing candle has had limited success this year, so our onus should still be on finding a short setup for a possible next leg down to support.
We find values have returned to a range within prices that had previously consolidated in June and recently in August for two weeks. So it’s fair to assume we can expect similar range-bound trading setups. This means shorting $6620 USD to $6650 USD as a 0.382 retrace and prior support-turned-resistance level with stops above the 0.5 Fibonacci level. This is around $6800 . This trade, I’d argue, does require some trade management, as these levels may tend to invite volatile price “jumps” unexpectedly.
So perhaps setting a trailing stop or multiple take profit zones if the trade setup is valid.
An immediate trade one could make, if price fails to manage to enter our uppermost short zone, is a second, more aggressive short condition setup. Should we begin to show price weakness and close a daily candle under $6260 USD or closing outside of the bear pennant formation. If that happens, then look for an intra-day setup to short $6260 USD, stop loss $6410 USD and close the short at approximately $6020 USD. This is a highly aggressive short at these levels, so be prudent with your position size to limit risk.
As of yet, no long condition has activated on Bitcoin, since there are no interesting high time frame bullish divergences in price and oscillators. However, some Alt/BTC pairs have shown movement that can invite some attention, namely Dogecoin and DASH.
Looking at DASH/BTC on the long-term weekly time frame, DASH came right into a historically major demand zone, as prior highs through 2014-2017 that were resistance have become support, and as such, we should trade the trend that it’s beginning to suggest.
Not only that, but the weekly RSI dipped into oversold territory and has exited that zone on bullish price action. The question, now, is where can we enter the trend forming? Price has cleanly bounced and is forming a bullish price structure, making higher highs and higher lows while also invalidating a bearish consolidation zone, which seems to have turned into support (Red/Green Rectangle). To enter this trend while lowering your risk, bidding out the 0.382 Fibonacci at 0.0285 with a stop bellow prior lows at 0.025 should yield a favorable R/R. The daily bearish divergence on the RSI gives us a clue that we can expect a pull back, which can be longed.
For those wanting to ride Doge to a new high, it might be prudent to manage those bullish dreams for now. After consolidating between 35 and 40 satoshis for weeks, Doge exploded upwards while the wider market reclined into bearish price movements. However Doge has come into major resistance, and after forming a bearish RSI daily divergence, it might be the signal to exit a portion of your longs you may have or at least short hedge on Poloniex. A good re-long zone would be 64 satoshis as it shares confluence with a 0.618 Fibonacci and a prior resistance-turned-support zone. If the price does decide to consolidate at these current 90-100 satoshi levels, it’s likely it will push to next resistance at 140-145 satoshis.
The European Union (EU) has released an announcement regarding economic and financial matters. According to the council, cryptocurrency is going to be a focus for the EU.
The press release, dated from 7th September, shows the comments from European Commission Vice-President (VP) Valdis Dombrovskis at the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Ecofin) conference in Vienna. The VP stressed the need to continue to improve the resilience of the financial system. He said that this will be done as a result of putting the post-crisis financial regulatory reforms into effect, as well as working on non-performing loans.
On top of strengthening the financial ecosystem, Dombrovskis also stated:
“We also had a good exchange of views on crypto-assets. We see that crypto-assets are here to stay. Despite the recent turbulence, this market continues to grow.”
He claimed that initial coin offerings (ICOs) have a massive potential to become a feasible form of alternative financing. He stated that “last year, ICOs helped raise over 6 billion dollars in funding and this year this figure will be substantially bigger.”
Owing to this potential in innovative financial technology, Dombrovskis also pointed out that there are risks involved. The unpredictability is especially “linked to a lack of transparency”. This means that there “are risks for investment protection and market integrity, but also in the form of money laundering, potential fraud or hacking”. As a result of these risks, the EU is hoping to continue looking for developments and are doing so cooperatively with international partners at the Financial Stability Board or G20 level.
A key challenge that the EU is facing is the matter of categorizing cryptocurrency assets. The EU needs to classify them and consider the way in which the existing EU financial rules can be applied to these assets or whether new EU rules, especially for the cryptocurrencies, are needed.
For this case, the EU is working with the European SupervisoAuthoritiesies on “regulatory mapping of crypto assets”. According to Dombrovskis, there are the numerous Member States that are in support of this mapping and claims that a conclusion will be met later this year.
Although one could say that about any week in this industry. Prices go up, and prices go down – that’s almost guaranteed. When, or even whether, the prices go up again is something we don’t know for certain.
In this, we are looking to see how altcoin Emercoin has managed to do in the market since the year began.
At the beginning of the year, the token was sitting all the way in the 153rd position of most valuable cryptocurrency by market cap on January 7th and was trading at a value of $40.40 USD. In January, it was totaling a market cap of $181,125,622 USD.
Moving ahead to the current state of affairs, Emercoin has managed to pull in the ranks and is now in 94th position. It is trading at $1.28 USD and has a total market cap of $53,762,159.
Looking at the stats, the network has lost some 71% of its trading value over the past nine months, while its market cap has similarly diminished by 70%.
A wealth of tasty partners
Looking at the network’s site itself, one can see that Emercoin has a number of remarkable companies from cola giant Coca-Cola to mega-banking institution Lloyds. Microsoft is also a massive name that the Emercoin boasts to have dealings with.
Earlier this year, Coca-Cola and the US State Department teamed together with Emercoin to find a resolution on the blockchain to combat matters of forced labor. At the time, Coca-Cola’s global head of workplace rights, Brent Wilton had said that they were “partnering with the pilot of this project to further increase transparency and efficiency of the verification process related to labor policies within our supply chain.”
Create our own Certification Authority (or establish a partnership with existing CA) to generate SSL certiﬁcates for WEB-sites, located in the EmerDNS.
Develop our own browser (based on the Chromium engine) to provide a bundle of Emercoin services that are “out of the box” — with a trusted root of our CA, with transparent access to EmerDNS, and more.
Redesign EmerLNX advertisement system for a CPA model.
Into the future
Having started out in December of 2013, as a fork of Peercoin, Emercoin boasts numerous successes, such as cooperative work with the United Nations, listings on exchanges such as HitBTC, Indacoin, BITTREX, USDX, and the partnerships built and maintained.
The token might be worth keeping an eye on, considering its increased attention throughout the year.
A couple of weeks ago, a small informational splash about the sensational way to store private keys spattered the cryptocurrency ecosystem. A startup, Carverr, introduced a unique synthetic DNA system, intended to secure the storage of any digital currencies.
Storing information in DNA has become a trendy topic in the last several years since the amount of data generated by humanity has grown exponentially. For instance, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) and their recent report called Worldwide Quarterly Enterprise Storage Systems Tracker, in the second quarter of 2018 the total data storage capacity sold to enterprises was 111.8 exabytes (+ 70.7% year over year).
As an old (dated by 2003) but highly quoted research from the students of the University of California at Berkeley’s School of Information Management and Systems states: “five exabytes is equivalent to all words ever spoken by humans since the dawn of time.” This means that there’s a growing amount of information that needs to be held.
DNA seems like a perfect medium for it, as it’s been around for the last 3.5 billion years or so (and not forgetting about your floppy disks or USB drives that could store up to a smashing 8 megabytes). Its capacity is impressive: around 10 tons of DNA was needed to store all the world’s data back in 2017, which is something as small as a half of the trailer. Furthermore, it’s capacious, unhackable and won’t become obsolete any time soon.
We won’t be overbore you with details on how the DNA data storing works, but you can check this great video from TED-ed, brilliantly explaining the concept:
It’s clear the potential is enormous. So far, one of the main downsides was the price: storing 12 megabytes of data on DNA may cost up to $100,000 USD. That’s why the developments in the niche were up to giants like Microsoft – who are very bullish on synthetic DNA as a future standard for data storage – but probably solving the riddle of storing private crypto keys is unlikely to be their main priority.
This means that it is quite exciting to observe the efforts of Carverr and company’s CEO, Vishaal Bhuyan. Their value proposition to crypto hodlers is the following: “Send us an encrypted passcode, passphrase or private key. We turn your data into synthetic biology. Once your test tube is ready, it can be shipped back to you, or you can elect to have Carverr store it on your behalf. Currently, your data is best suited for storage in a freezer (4° C). However, a shelf stable version is currently in development.”
Vishaal is a fascinating person and has quite a diverse background. He dedicated many years to investment management. From 2007 to 2015 he worked as the Chief Investment Officer of Nariman Point, LLC, a New York-based firm working with demographic-driven instruments, including areas like insurance and longevity/mortality. He is an author of several books on investing. For instance, he wrote Trading Longevity & Mortality Risk with Life Settlements & Linked Securities and The Esoteric Investor. He also helped his wife Sarina to set up and launch her business – selling Lily Puffs, a snack high in vitamins B, magnesium, and all that good stuff made from puffed highly roasted and seasoned water lily seeds. The couple raised $25,000 USD through Kickstarter campaign.
Although there are some bald spots in his DNA synthesis expertise, Bhuyan still has a solution for that:
“By being involved in crypto I saw that storage is a major concern and that this technology could be a real solution. Moreover, it could be a long-term solution for data storage in general. I see trends, do analysis and build teams of experts. I do not believe you need to apply anything other than common sense to build a business. I spent the majority of my career in finance managing complex swap portfolios created to hedge customers for risk. I am by no means an expert in synthetic DNA. However, I employ experts, including advisor Ellen Jorgensen, a world expert on synthetic biology.”
As previously mentioned, the service is notoriously expensive but CEO of Carverr has so far managed to deliver the product to 28 retails customers for $1,000 USD per head. DNA-related services were already brought to the consumers’ market before. In ordering the product, I personally had experienced some trouble. For instance, once I purchased a 23andMe DNA ancestry testing set and had sent my samples back to the laboratory, I waited six weeks and received an email saying: “Your Analysis was unsuccessful. Our laboratory attempted analysis of your saliva sample but the concentration of DNA was insufficient to produce genotyping results.”
So, I asked Carverr how it works and he responded: “That is different. 23andMe has to analyze a lot more information. Our synthetic strands only contain the password. It’s tested on both sides, and we know how to prevent errors. Synthetic biology is used in many other applications such as medicine and agriculture and percussion is important.”
However, even though cutting the costs and providing no-mistakes services are important for consumers market, the retail customers are not what Vishaal is after: “We are going to stop individual encodings. Our target customers are big funds and banks with millions of passcodes to store and pricing, in this case, will be much different. And the pilot program was created for them to test our service. We raised money from a group of angel Investors in the hedge fund world and now preparing to pre-sell our services to customers. We hope to be in a pilot program with 10-20 banks and funds over the next 12-18 months. Each of these customers could be holding tens of millions of passwords and pass keys. Banks and funds in the pilot program get tokens for free. But the tokens will also be available during the private pre-sale shortly, and the best way to track it would be signing up for the announcements in our Telegram group.”
Defining the real challenge for the company now, Vishaal mentions fundraising up to the point where it will be possible to achieve the optimal costs and service quality ratio. He seems to suggest that he has a plan to solve it, saying:
“It’s about allocating capital to make the technology more user-friendly and cost-effective. We estimate that $20-30 million USD can be directed to certain bottlenecks in the process to bring our encoding costs down tremendously. Above and beyond that it’s about building our infrastructure. We just made some great hires that I will announce very soon, and they have experience working for names like Civic token, Goldman Sachs, Nokia, and cutting-edge biotechs.”
He continued to explain that they are:
“Continuing to build a team of biologists, cybersecurity professionals, financial professionals, and hardware people is very challenging. In addition to that, conveying the power of new technology to large slow moving organizations is always challenging, but that is why the rewards are so high. Advisors like Alex Chung, founder of GIphy, Deepak Hathiramani, whose cybersecurity firm advised a group of intelligence agencies and made $170 million USD a year in sales, and Ellen Jorgensen, who is an expert in synthetic biology, really help guide us and keep us from making expensive mistakes. Also having investors like Michael Thompson, who ran BHR CAPITAL and now Public Venture Capital, a senior partner at a $15 billion USD hedge fund, and some other hedge fund managers allow us to draw on a robust network to solve some of the issues we are facing.”
While the nation of China might be facing increasingly severe regulations in cryptocurrency, Chinese trading will unlikely be entirely banned. This is owing to measures that Chinese traders are taking in order to avoid the ban and continue investing.According to the South China Morning Post, financial and economic news outlet Shanghai Securities Times reported that regulations had banned over 120 foreign cryptocurrency trading exchanges. However, Chinese traders have avoided the ban by simply registering their domain under a new name.
Competition between the country’s trading exchanges has increased, and the ban has added an extra dynamic to the industry which is still flourishing.
Terence Tsang, the COO of TideBit -a cryptocurrency company which runs centralised exchanges in Hong Kong and Taiwan – suggested that the “latest warning and potentially increased monitoring of foreign platforms [has] targeted at a batch of smaller exchanges that had claimed to be foreign entities, but are in fact operating in China claiming they have outsourced their operations to a Chinese company. Those exchanges whose website landing pages are in Chinese have drawn particular scrutiny by regulators.”
Although the trading volumes in China dropped mid-August, about a week ahead of shutting down all blockchain-related events in Beijing it looks as though it will be an impossible task to close down crypto-trading activity entirely. Leaders within the industry have said that moving servers out of China and conducting decentralized peer-to-peer trading is a way in which to avoid the Chinese regulations and continue trading practices.
Another way in which investors are skirting the ban is to convert their Chinese Yuan into stablecoin Tether, a token which is remarkably less volatile than Bitcoin, and then continue to trade other cryptocurrencies through virtual private networks (VPNs).
A source linked to an exchange in China said to South China Morning Post that “Chinese regulators definitely have the technical ability to shut down VPNs, [however], traditionally it takes numerous conversations with different stakeholders to reach a consensus on configuring a firewall, which lengthens the process.”
Currently, there are no restrictions on the use of VPNs in the country, which therefore allows a consistent way for Chinese trading to continue.