I was never the same. Fiona is a wordsmith but more like a designer of armor through turns of phrase.
I could put this on and become invincible. Accordingly, disciples of Fiona Apple do not fuck around. We live our lives with the conviction that our personal connection runs deepest. Kanye has long been among our ranks.
The Secrets of Sleep
Like, fuck the industry, man, fuck all this. Later, in , Fiona chopped it up with Kanye for Interview. I have a lot of dreams. Fiona and Kanye are both classic rebel spirits infiltrating pop music. They are eccentrics who offend square America and still remain Great American Songwriters. They also both embody whole sets of principles for living. You could picture him tweeting all of this. Go with yourself. This was a survivor on stage quoting Maya Angelou and telling kids to not buy into the lies and images they are constantly fed—spurred on by a music video of a girl alone in her bedroom singing about manifesting her dreams—aiding us with something that could help us to live.
The strength that requires is superhuman.
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The stoicism it takes to harness your pain and make it dance is as rare as gifts come. Fiona knew what the mirage of perfection was worth: nothing.
As someone whose teenage life was turned upside down by unattainable images, it is hard to overstate how powerful it remains that Fiona did something to claw out the truth. Since late capitalism works on a molecular level to make girls hate themselves—since it thrives on feminine self-loathing, on dysmorphic thinking—many of us lose our innocence young. If you are big, you are not taken seriously. If you are small, you are not taken seriously.
If you are sick, you are insane. If you are fine, you are boring.
Why does Kanye love Fiona so much? Because she is a genius. But perhaps it is because Kanye, too, fights endlessly to be taken seriously. As a teenager, I knew some version of this feeling. All I wanted was to be taken seriously. It just cut straight to the point of everything. It saved me then—a girl with a volatile relationship to herself, a person I left behind.
I loved records and reading the newspaper. I was tough and alone. Growing up online both brought me closer to Fiona and exacerbated my need for her music. Fiona goes to extremes for people who need them in order to survive. How do we know this is so? In one study in my sleep center, healthy young adult participants were divided into two groups to watch a set of emotion-inducing images while inside an MRI scanner.
Twelve hours later, they were shown the same emotional images—but for half the participants, the twelve hours were in the same day, while for the other half the twelve hours were separated by an evening of sleep. Those who slept in between the two sessions reported a significant decrease in how emotional they felt in response to seeing those images again, and their MRI scans showed a significant reduction in reactivity in the amygdala, the emotional center of the brain that creates painful feelings. Moreover, there was a reengagement of the rational prefrontal cortex of the brain after sleep that helped maintain a dampening influence on emotional reactivity.
Why We Sleep, and Why We Often Can’t | The New Yorker
In contrast, those who remained awake across the day showed no such dissolving of emotional reactivity over time. Dreaming has the potential to help people de-escalate emotional reactivity, probably because the emotional content of dreams is paired with a decrease in brain noradrenaline. Support for this idea came from a study done by Murray Raskind on vets with PTSD, who often suffer debilitating nightmares.
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When given the drug Prazosin—a medication that lowers blood pressure and also acts as a blocker of the brain stress chemical noradrenaline—the vets in his study had fewer nightmares and fewer PTSD symptoms than those given a placebo. Newer studies suggest this effect can be shown in children and adolescents with nightmares, as well, though the research on this is still in its infancy. The evidence points toward an important function of dreams: to help us take the sting out of our painful emotional experiences during the hours we are asleep, so that we can learn from them and carry on with our lives.
But REM sleep is when those memories can be fused and blended together in abstract and highly novel ways. During the dreaming state, your brain will cogitate vast swaths of acquired knowledge and then extract overarching rules and commonalties, creating a mindset that can help us divine solutions to previously impenetrable problems.
In one study , we tested this by waking up participants during the night—during both non-REM sleep and dreaming sleep—and gave them very short tests: solving anagram puzzles, where you try to unscramble letters to form a word e. First, participants were tested beforehand, just to familiarize them with the test. Then, we monitored their sleep and woke them up at different points of the night to perform the test.
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When woken during non-REM sleep, they were not particularly creative—they could solve very few puzzles. But, when we woke up participants during REM sleep, they were able to solve percent more puzzles than when they were awake.
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Some may consider this trivial, but it is one of the key operations differentiating your brain from your computer. It also underlies the difference between knowledge retention of individual facts and wisdom knowing what they all mean when you fit them together.
The latter seems to be the work of REM-sleep dreaming. Dreaming improves creative problem solving, too, according to another study. Participants learned to navigate a virtual maze using trial and error and aided by the placement of unique objects—like Christmas trees—at certain junctions in the maze. After this learning session, the group was split in two, with half napping and half watching a video for 90 minutes. Nappers were occasionally awoken to ask about the content of their dreams; those watching a video were also asked about thoughts going through their minds.
Instead, they were cherry-picking salient fragments of the learning experience and attempting to place them within the catalog of preexisting knowledge. This is how dreaming helps us be more creative. While the benefits of dreaming are real, too many of us have problems getting a full eight hours of sleep and lose out on these advantages.
How Dreams Work
But nothing could be further from the truth. Research clearly shows that people who overestimate their ability to get by on less sleep are sadly wrong. So how can we be sure to get enough sleep and experience a dream state? While we may be tempted to use sleeping pills to get to sleep, this has been shown to be detrimental to dreaming. Instead of taking pills, here are some simple ways to enhance your sleep:. Make sure your room is dark and that you are not looking at bright light sources—i.
You may even want to start dimming lights in your house in the earlier parts of the evening, which helps to stimulate sleepiness.
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