Sleep and depression are related

Sleep Apnea, insomnia, depression could be linked

Sleep Apnea, insomnia, depression could be linked

I hadn’t paid much attention to the sleep for a long time; it had been a long time that I had thought that a five-hour quality sleep was adequate for me.  However, I begin to realize that a seven or eight hours of good sleep is actually quite important in the pursuit of a quality life.  I begin to learn about sleep, insomnia, sleep apnea and hypersomnia.  My learning starts from this quoted article “Sleep and depression are related — here’s the surprising reasons why” by Dan Taylor on September 24, 2015 on this web page


. We often underestimate just how important sleep is to our health. Many try to fit as many awake hours into the day as possible, leaving just a few hours for sleep rather than getting the recommended eight hours that scientists believe the body needs to completely recover and recuperate. And it’s not just the body that needs to rest: the brain also needs sleep in order to function properly, and when it doesn’t get that adequate sleep because of sleep apnea, it begins to affect one’s psyche.

The study [a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine] helps illustrate just how closely intertwined sleep apnea and depression are. People with depression usually suffer from either one end of the extreme or the other: i.e., they are either insomniacs who find it impossible to get to sleep or their are hypersomniacs, who can’t seem to get enough sleep and will spend the day lying in bed. And people can suffer from both; research has found that people who suffer from both hypersomniac and insomnia are more likely to have severe and longer-lasting depression.

. Unlike most feelings of sadness which fade, depression is a persistent sadness that is often accompanied by anxiety and general hopelessness about life and disinterest in things that the person once enjoyed.

. That’s why this recent study on sleep apnea is so important: it indicates that there may be a strong relationship between sleep and depression. In fact, there seems to be a cyclical relationship between the two, as depression can often interfere with consistent, restful sleep while lack of sleep can enhance depressive disorders. Also, some people don’t have a problem with sleep until they come down with depression, but for others, it was the sleep problems that came first.

. Obstructive sleep apnea is characterized by airways that become constricted during deep sleep. It can result in a stoppage of breathing for a few seconds to a few minutes, and then the brain suddenly realizes what is happening and wakes up the body to resume breathing, interrupting sleep. In OSA sufferers, this by definition happens at least five times per night, preventing them from getting the deep REM sleep they need each night. Those that don’t get enough sleep often wake up feeling fatigued.

. Feelings of hopelessness are one of the most common, as well as a loss of interest in activities that were once interesting. Then there is fatigue and a difficulty in concentrating. The aforementioned problems with sleep, whether insomnia or hypersomnia, are also strong signs.

Brian Wilson, the Beach Boys, Pet Sounds (1966) album, Love & Mercy (2015) film

So I just learn about Brian Wilson, the Beach Boys, the Pet Sounds (1966) album and this movie Love & Mercy (2015). A little about Brian Wilson here

Love & Mercy film review on

Love & Mercy (2015) film image on

Love & Mercy (2015) film image on

Phakic IOLs (Implantable Lenses for vision correction)

Insertion of the Verisyse phakic IOL

Insertion of the Verisyse phakic IOL


I could see the tennis ball better, thus perform much better in tennis, when I wear contact lenses while playing tennis in contrast to wearing eyeglasses.  Contact lenses are not expensive, but they require periodical cleaning and maintenance.  I find this quoted article “Phakic IOLs (Implantable Lenses)” by Brian S. Boxer Wachler, MD quite informative to me.  The entire is on this web page

I quote from “Phakic IOLs (Implantable Lenses)” by Brian S. Boxer Wachler, MD.:

. Phakic IOLs (intraocular lenses) are an alternative to LASIK and PRK eye surgery for correcting moderate to severe myopia (nearsightedness), and in some cases produce better and more predictable vision outcomes than laser refractive surgery.

Phakic IOLs are clear implantable lenses that are surgically placed either between the cornea and the iris (the colored portion of your eye) or just behind the iris, without removing your natural lens. Phakic lenses enable light to focus properly on the retina for clearer vision without corrective eyewear.

Implantable lenses function like contact lenses to correct nearsightedness. The difference is that phakic IOLs work from within your eye instead of sitting on the surface of your eye.

. Two FDA-approved phakic IOLs currently are available in the United States. Your eye surgeon will recommend the most appropriate implantable lens for you.

Visian ICL. The Visian ICL (Implantable Collamer Lens) marketed by Staar Surgical is a posterior chamber phakic IOL, meaning it is positioned behind the iris and in front of your natural lens. It received FDA approval in 2005 for correcting nearsightedness ranging from -3.00 to -20.00 D.

Because the Visian ICL is placed behind the iris, it is undetectable to the naked eye and can only be seen through a microscope.

The Visian ICL is made of a soft, biocompatible collagen copolymer. Due to its flexibilty, the lens is able to be folded during implantation, allowing for a much smaller surgical incision.

Verisyse. The Verisyse (Abbott Medical Optics) is an anterior chamber phakic IOL, meaning it is positioned in front of the iris. In 2004, the Verisyse phakic IOL received FDA approval for correcting moderate to severe nearsightedness within the range of -5.00 to -20.00 diopters (D).

The Verisyse lens is made of medical-grade plastic (polymethylmethacrylate, or PMMA) and is rigid in form. In Europe, it is approved and marketed under the trade name Artisan.

Verisyse IOLs typically aren’t noticeable in the eye, though you may see the lens if you look closely in the mirror.

. Are You a Candidate for Phakic IOLs?

Not all patients are candidates for phakic intraocular lens implantation, just like not all patients are candidates for LASIK.

Some questions to help determine whether phakic IOLs are right for you include:

1. Is your myopia within the range for which the phakic IOL has been approved (up to around -20.00 D)?

2. Have you had a comprehensive eye exam to determine that your eye can safely accommodate an implantable lens? Of particular importance is the depth of the anterior chamber of your eye and the health of the corneal endothelium.

3. Are you between the ages of 21 and 40? Even if you are outside this age range, you may still be a candidate for a phakic IOL and should discuss with your eye surgeon. While a phakic IOL does not treat blurry near vision due to presbyopia, a normal age-related condition that generally starts in your early 40s, monovision IOL surgery can help.

4. Has your eyeglass or contact lens prescription changed in the past year? For vision correction surgeries, you must have had stable vision for at least a year.

5. Are your eyes healthy? Conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma and untreated eye infections generally will prevent you from having a phakic IOL.

6. Are you in good health? Certain degenerative or autoimmune diseases such as Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, HIV and AIDS, as well as certain medications such as steroids and immunosuppressants may interfere with healing and final outcomes.

7. Will the cost of phakic IOLs — from pre-screening to ongoing regular check-ups — be covered by your vision insurance?

Phakic IOLs: What to Expect

Before. If you wear contact lenses, you should stop wearing them at least one week before your pre-operative eye exam and/or consultation. Contacts can alter the shape of your cornea and therefore make your refractive error reading less accurate.

A week or two before your phakic IOL surgery, your eye surgeon may perform a laser iridotomy on each eye to prepare your eye for lens implantation. An iridotomy creates a small opening at the outer edge of your iris, allowing fluid to circulate and helps to prevent a possible increase of intraocular pressure after phakic IOL surgery.

The iridotomy procedure typically is performed in-office and is relatively quick, taking only a few minutes for each eye. It is important that you follow your surgeon’s instructions after the procedure to minimize any possible complications.

Some surgeons have incorporated the iridotomy procedure on the same day as the phakic IOL surgery.

Insertion of the Verisyse phakic IOL.

During. Numbing eye drops are first applied to your eye to alleviate any discomfort during the procedure. Your doctor may also give you some medication to help you relax.

An instrument called a lid speculum is used to keep your eyelids open and a tiny incision is made in the cornea. The incision length for a Verisyse lens is around 6 mm; the Visian ICL incision is as little as 3.2 mm due to the flexible and foldable material of the lens.

With the Verisyse, the lens is positioned in the anterior eye chamber behind the cornea and attached to the front of the iris. Tiny dissolvable stitches often are used to close the wound and an eye shield is placed over your eye.

The Visian ICL is positioned in the posterior chamber of the eye behind the iris and pupil and in front of your natural lens. Once inserted, the artificial lens unfolds to its full width and typically does not require any stitches. An eye shield is then placed over your eye which needs to be worn for a day or two after the procedure.

The phakic IOL procedure typically takes 10 to 30 minutes and is performed on an outpatient basis, although you will need to organize someone to drive you home after surgery. Your doctor will prescribe antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drops for you to use at home.

After. Most people notice improved vision immediately following the phakic IOL procedure, but vision may be hazy or blurry with an increased sensitivity to light for the first few days. For some people, it can take two to four weeks for their vision to stabilize.

Vision with the Visian ICL tends to stabilize in about 1 to 7 days, which can be quicker than with the Verisyse lens.

There typically is minimal discomfort after phakic IOL surgery but you may have a mild scratching sensation, like something is in your eye. If required, your doctor can prescribe medication to make you more comfortable during the first few days following surgery.

You will need to return for a follow-up visit with your doctor the next day. It’s essential that you follow your eye surgeon’s post-operative instructions carefully and attend frequent check-ups to help avoid any complications.

Refrain from rubbing or squeezing your eye, lifting heavy objects and participating in strenuous activities until your eye has completely healed, which could take several weeks.

Most people can return to work and resume driving within a couple of days, once you are given the okay from your doctor.

Risks and Complications

As with any type of surgical procedure, phakic IOL surgery has certain risks. Fortunately, these risks are low. Possible short-term and long-term complications of phakic IOL surgery include:

  • Retinal detachment, a serious and sight-threatening emergency situation.
  • Glaucoma, increased eye pressure that can damage the eye’s optic nerve and cause permanent vision loss.
  • Loss of cells in the thin layer inside the cornea (endothelium) that could cause corneal edema and progressive clouding of vision (your doctor will measure your endothelial cell count at regular intervals).
  • Inflammation or infection of the eye.
  • Distorted vision such as halos or glare, especially while driving at night, and blurry vision.
  • Cataracts, a clouding of your natural lens which can eventually cause blindness if left untreated.
  • Distortion of the pupil, which increases the potential for glare and blurry vision.

Cinderella (2105): my favorite. See NY Times review by Manohla Dargis

Image of Cinderella: A Disney film in 2015. Image source:

Image of Cinderella: A Disney film in 2015. Image source:

Lily James – A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes (from Disney’s “Cinderella”):

I love this Disney film Cinderella (2015) for its being beautifully made, and these words: “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes.” and “Have courage and be kind.”  I quote some sentences from this film review “Review: In ‘Cinderella,’ Disney Polishes Its Glass Slippers” by Manohla Dargis on the NY Times on March 12, 2015.  The entire article is on this web page

The film details can be found on IMDb

Director: Kenneth Branagh, Screenplay: Chris Weitz

Film locations include Taplow, Iver Heath in Buckinghamshire, England.

I quote:

And here she is again, pretty as a picture, with flowing blond hair, a flashing smile, a fabulous gown — a bewitchingly blue number from the costume wizard Sandy Powell — and that go-good-girl triumphalism. First, though, here’s the once upon a time: “Cinderella” opens in an indeterminate past with long frocks, horse-drawn carriages and no cellphones, in one of those lavish soundstage countries. (The movie was partly shot in the Pinewood Studios in Britain.)

Linux OS’s file systems: ext3 is standard

Ubuntu logo: It is made up of a custom designed font (wordmark), carefully spaced with a re-drawn ‘Circle of Friends’ placed within a roundel.

Ubuntu logo: It is made up of a custom designed font (wordmark), carefully spaced with a re-drawn ‘Circle of Friends’ placed within a roundel.

Ubuntu is one of the popular free Linux computer operating systems.  I was curious about what computer disk file formats Linux operating systems use, and I find the explanation on this web page:  A quick quote is that ext3 is “ the standard linux file system for many years: best choice for super-standard installation.”  I also learn from this article that Linux cannot be installed on the NTFS file system, that is the default Windows OS file system format.  The common Apple Mac OS X file system is Mac OS X Extended (Journaled).

“… the most common file systems in use with the Linux world: Fat16, Fat32, ext2, ext3, ext4, XFS”

“NTFS-3g is installed by default in Ubuntu, allowing Read/Write support”

I quote the entire article below.

Introduction to File systems

File systems are one of the things any newcomer to linux must become acquainted with. In the world of Microsoft you never really have to worry about it, the default being NTFS. Linux however, being built on a world of open source and differing opinions, is not limited in this way and so the user should have an understanding of what a file system is, and how it affects the computer. 

At the core of a computer, it’s all 1s and 0s, but the organization of that data is not quite as simple. A bit is a 1 or a 0, a byte is composed of 8 bits, a kilobyte is 1024 (i.e. 2^10) bytes, a megabyte is 1024 kilobytes and so on and so forth. All these bits and bytes are permanently stored on a Hard Drive. A hard drive stores all your data, any time you save a file, you’re writing thousands of 1s and 0s to a metallic disc, changing the magnetic properties that can later be read as 1 or 0. There is so much data on a hard drive that there has to be some way to organize it, like a library of books and the old card drawers that indexed all of them, without that index, we’d be lost. Libraries, for the most part, use the Dewey Decimal System to organize their books, but there exist other systems to do so, none of which have attained the same fame as Mr. Dewey’s invention. File systems are the same way. The ones most users are aware of are the ones Windows uses, the vFat or the NTFS systems, these are the Windows default file systems. 

There are several different attributes which are necessary in defining file systems, these include their max file size, max partition size, whether they journal or not. 


A journaling file system is more reliable when it comes to data storage. Journaling file systems do not necessarily prevent corruption, but they do prevent inconsistency and are much faster at file system checks than non-journaled file systems. If a power failure happens while you are saving a file, the save will not complete and you end up with corrupted data and an inconsistent file system. Instead of actually writing directly to the part of the disk where the file is stored, a journaling file system first writes it to another part of the hard drive and notes the necessary changes to a log, then in the background it goes through each entry to the journal and begins to complete the task, and when the task is complete, it checks it off on the list. Thus the file system is always in a consistent state (the file got saved, the journal reports it as not completely saved, or the journal is inconsistent (but can be rebuilt from the file system)). Some journaling file systems can prevent corruption as well by writing data twice. 

Editing Files

Those used to a Windows file system (NTFS, FAT) know that it isn’t normally possible to change files while they are open. This restriction does not exist in a Unix file system. This is because in Unix file systems, files are indexed by a number, called the inode, and each inode has several attributes associated with it, like permissions, name, etc. When you delete a file, what really happens is the inode is unlinked from the filename, but if some other program is using the file, it still has a link open to the OS, and will continue to be updated. A file is not really deleted until all links have been removed (even then, the data is still on the disk, but not indexed in anyway and thus very hard to recover). All of this means that you can delete executing programs while they’re running without crashing and move files before they’re finished downloading without corruption. 


Another common Windows practice that is not needed in Unix is defragmenting the hard drive. When NTFS and FAT write files to the hard drive, they don’t always keep pieces (known as blocks) of files together. Therefore, to maintain the performance of the computer, the hard drive needs to be “defragged” every once in a while. This is unnecessary on Unix File systems due to the way it was designed. When ext3 was developed, it was coded so that it would keep blocks of files together or at least near each other. 

No true defragmenting tools exist for the ext3 file system, but tools for defragmenting will be included with the ext4 file system.

9 Foods That Fight Cataracts

This quoted article “9 Foods That Fight Cataracts” by Sylvia Booth Hubbard on September 17, 2015 lists 9 foods being good for the eye. The article is on this web page

Foods That Fight Cataracts

These 9 foods that fight cataracts are: salmon, orange juice, green tea, walnuts, bilberries, carrots, eggs, avocados, broccoli.

I quote the entire article here.

Cataracts, which are a clouding of the clear lens part of the eye that helps focus light on the retina, are a common cause of blindness, especially in older people. Removing cataracts is the most common elective operation for adults, and by the age of 80, more than half of Americans have cataracts or have had cataract surgery.

While sunlight is the major source of the lens damage that causes cataracts, there is growing evidence that poor overall nutrition and chronic inflammation in other parts of the body damage the eyes, according to neurosurgeon Dr. Russell Blaylock. “This explains why diabetics have such a high incidence of cataracts, and it also clarifies the strong link between cataracts and cardiovascular disease,” he tells Newsmax Health.

A healthy diet which includes these nine foods will lower your risk of cataracts:

Salmon. Salmon is rich in astaxanthin, a carotenoid that gives salmon and lobster their reddish color. “Astaxanthin protects the eyes from free-radical damage and helps retard the formation of cataracts,” Dr. Joseph Mercola, author of the best-selling The No-Grain Diet, tells Newsmax Health.

Salmon also has generous amounts of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), the main omega-3 fatty acid found in salmon. One study found that women who ate fish three times a week reduced their risk of cataracts by 11 percent when compared to women who only ate fish once a month.

Orange juice. Orange juice contains liberal amounts of vitamin C, and studies have suggested that vitamin C can reduce the risk of cataracts.

A study by scientists at Oregon Health & Science University found that nerve cells in the eye need vitamin C in order to function properly.

A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that high levels of vitamin C reduced the risk of cataracts by 64 percent.

Green tea. Researchers from the University of Scranton found that tea, both black and green, reduced glucose levels in the eye lens of rats and cut their risk of cataracts in half.

In addition, Chinese researchers found that catachins, powerful antioxidants found in green tea, protect eyes from glaucoma. The study, which was published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, found that the effects of a single cup of green tea last for up to 20 hours.

Walnuts. Walnuts contain antioxidants and vitamin E, which work to fight inflammation. Walnuts also help to lower a specific protein called C-reactive protein that’s a measure of inflammation in the body.

Walnuts also contain omega-3 fatty acids which are converted into sight-saving EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) as well as DHA.

Bilberries. Bilberries are a fruit that resemble and are closely related to blueberries and huckleberries. Bilberries, blueberries, and blackberries contain anthocyanins, the chemicals that give the berries their dark purple color. Anthocyanins fight inflammation and keep the arteries and vessels that feed the eyes from narrowing.

A Russian study found that bilberry extract completely prevented cataracts in rats genetically modified to have a 70 percent risk of developing them. A dose of 160 mg daily is recommended.

Carrots. The old wives tale is true: Carrots are good for your eyes. One of the powerful nutrients in carrots is lutein, which is a major component of many yellow and orange fruits and vegetables.

Lutein, along with another carotenoid called zeaxanthin, helps absorb the harmful ultraviolet blue light found in sunlight.

Eggs. Egg yolks contain generous amounts of both leutein and zeanxanthin, both of which protect against the sun’s harmful rays. They also contain the omega-3 fatty acid DHA.

Avocados. Avocados are dense in nutrients. They contain lutein, beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and vitamin E — all great allies in preventing cataracts.

Broccoli. Broccoli is loaded with both lutein and zeaxanthin, powerful nutrients that lower inflammation and prevent free radicals from damaging sight.

Broccoli also contains sulforaphane, an antioxidant that protects eyes from the sun’s damaging rays.

You can also lower your risk of cataracts by limiting your intake of carbohydrates. An Australian study published in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science found that people who ate the most carbohydrates had three times the risk of cataracts than those who ate the fewest.

Another reason to prevent cataracts is to lower your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, another vision-robbing condition that is associated with aging.

“Studies show that those who have had lens replacement to combat cataracts are actually increasing their risk of developing age-related macular degeneration by 3.8 times,” says Dr. Blaylock.