NPR Politics presents the Lunchbox List: our favorite campaign news and stories curated from NPR and around the Web in digestible bites (100 words or less!). Look for it every weekday afternoon from now until the conventions.

Convention Countdown

The Republican National Convention is in 4 days in Cleveland.

The Democratic National Convention is in 11 days in Philadelphia.

NASA has released the first picture of Jupiter taken since the Juno spacecraft went into orbit around the planet on July 4.

The picture was taken on July 10. Juno was 2.7 million miles from Jupiter at the time. The color image shows some of the atmospheric features of the planet, including the giant red spot. You can also see three of Jupiter's moons in the picture: Io, Europa and Ganymede.

The Senate is set to approve a bill intended to change the way police and health care workers treat people struggling with opioid addictions.

My husband and I once took great pleasure in preparing meals from scratch. We made pizza dough and sauce. We baked bread. We churned ice cream.

Then we became parents.

Now there are some weeks when pre-chopped veggies and a rotisserie chicken are the only things between us and five nights of Chipotle.

Parents are busy. For some of us, figuring out how to get dinner on the table is a daily struggle. So I reached out to food experts, parents and nutritionists for help. Here is some of their (and my) best advice for making weeknight meals happen.

"O Canada," the national anthem of our neighbors up north, comes in two official versions — English and French. They share a melody, but differ in meaning.

Let the record show: neither version of those lyrics contains the phrase "all lives matter."

But at the 2016 All-Star Game, the song got an unexpected edit.

At Petco Park in San Diego, one member of the Canadian singing group The Tenors — by himself, according to the other members of the group — revised the anthem.

School's out, and a lot of parents are getting through the long summer days with extra helpings of digital devices.

How should we feel about that?

Police in Baton Rouge say they have arrested three people who stole guns with the goal of killing police officers. They are still looking for a fourth suspect in the alleged plot, NPR's Greg Allen reports.

"Police say the thefts were at a Baton Rouge pawn shop early Saturday morning," Greg says. "One person was arrested at the scene. Since then, two others have been arrested and six of the eight stolen handguns have been recovered. Police are still looking for one other man."

A 13-year-old boy is among those arrested, Greg says.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

After an international tribunal invalidated Beijing's claims to the South China Sea, Chinese authorities have declared in no uncertain terms that they will be ignoring the ruling.

The Philippines brought the case to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, objecting to China's claims to maritime rights in the disputed waters. The tribunal agreed that China had no legal authority to claim the waters and was infringing on the sovereign rights of the Philippines.

Donald Trump is firing back at Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after she disparaged him in several media interviews. He tweeted late Tuesday that she "has embarrassed all" with her "very dumb political statements" about the candidate. Trump ended his tweet with "Her mind is shot - resign!":

Pages

'Dreamland': Open Your Eyes To The Science Of Sleep

Aug 7, 2012

Step, if you will, into my bedroom at night. (Don't worry, this is a PG-rated invitation.) At first, all is tranquil: My husband and I, exhausted by our day's labors, slumber, comatose, in our double bed. But, somewhere around 2 a.m., things begin to go bump in the night. My husband's body starts twitching, like Frankenstein's monster receiving his first animating shocks of electricity. Thrashing about, he'll kick me and steal the covers. In his dreams, he's always fighting or being chased; one night he said he dreamt Dick Cheney was gaining on him.

Meanwhile, I'm not a completely innocent bystander; I'm told I sometimes snore, loudly. And then there's the dog, who starts out the night curled at the bottom of the bed, but by dawn has usually crept up to my pillow and snuggled atop my head. She snores, too ... and farts.

Our rock 'em, sock 'em nightly routine, however, appears tame compared with David K. Randall's nocturnal adventures. As he describes in his new book, Dreamland, Randall awoke one night to find himself collapsed in the hallway outside his bedroom, howling in pain because he'd sleepwalked straight into a wall. But Randall's after-midnight mishaps are nothing compared with the accounts in his book of people who've driven cars, committed sexual assault and even murder, all while, supposedly, sound asleep.

Dreamland is a lively overview of recent research into sleep, the activity that occupies nearly a third of our lives, yet whose secrets continue to mystify scientists and laypeople alike. Randall is a reporter at Reuters. His chapters read like magazine articles, and his style sometimes veers toward the glib. But, those flaws noted, Randall's accounts of, among other things, new discoveries about insomnia, the burgeoning business of "fatigue management," and the suggested links between exposure to artificial light and higher rates of diseases like breast cancer among night shift workers are as stimulating as a double shot of espresso.

One particularly fascinating sleep fact that Randall reports is that the sleep rhythms of the human brain have fundamentally changed over the centuries. Medieval literary texts, medical manuscripts and tales make reference to a mysterious "first sleep" and "second sleep." The "first sleep" began shortly after sundown and lasted until after midnight. When people woke up, they would pray, read, have sex, whatever. The "second sleep" then lasted until sunup. In experiments, researchers have found that when people live solely by natural light, they revert back to this ancient "segmented sleep" pattern and that, chemically, the body in that interval between first and second sleep is "in a state equivalent to what you might feel after spending a day at the spa." It seems that, thanks to the light bulb, the entire industrialized world is sleeping unnaturally.

Another eye-opener in Randall's book is the chapter on dream research. The camps are split between Freudians, who view dreams as encoded messages from the unconscious, and pragmatists, who regard dreams as a kind of organic byproduct of deep REM sleep. In that latter group are contemporary researchers who've discovered that the average dream tends to be unhappy, anxious and even violent, hence my husband's nightly thrashings.

Researchers, though, are also finding that there's a big payoff to these pillow-time hallucinations. Our dreaming brains consolidate information and develop innovative solutions to our waking problems. Randall tells a story about how, in 1964, the champion golfer Jack Nicklaus was suffering an inexplicable slump. Then, a few nights before he was scheduled to play the British Open, he had a dream in which he held his golf club slightly differently. When he woke up, Nicklaus ran out to the golf course and gave the dream grip a try. Sure enough, he was back in business.

I'm partial to any research that recommends taking a Dagwood nap in response to life's dilemmas. Ironically, though, Dreamland is not a book to read before bedtime. As Randall rightly says, "the more you know about sleep, the more its strangeness unnerves you."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Did you have trouble sleeping last night? Were you tossing and turning, plagued by nightmares? Or maybe awakened by the sound of your own snoring? If so, our book critic Maureen Corrigan has a book to recommend for you.

MAUREEN CORRIGAN, BYLINE: Step, if you will, into my bedroom at night. Don't worry. This is a PG-rated invitation. At first, all is tranquil: My husband and I, exhausted by our day's labors, slumber, comatose in our bed. But somewhere around 2:00 a.m., things begin to go bump in the night.

My husband's body starts twitching, like Frankenstein's monster receiving his first animating shocks of electricity. Thrashing about, he'll kick me and steal the covers. In his dreams, he's always fighting or being chased. One night he said he dreamed Dick Cheney was gaining on him.

Meanwhile, I'm not a completely innocent bystander. I'm told I sometimes snore, loudly. And then there's the dog, who starts out the night curled at the bottom of the bed, but by dawn has usually crept up to my pillow and snuggled atop my head. She snores, too, and farts.

Our rock 'em, sock 'em nightly routine, however, appears tame compared with David K. Randall's nocturnal adventures. As he describes in his new book, "Dreamland," Randall awoke one night to find himself collapsed in the hallway outside his bedroom, howling in pain because he'd sleepwalked straight into a wall. In turn, Randall's after-midnight mishaps are nothing compared with the accounts in his book of people who've driven cars, committed sexual assault and even murder, all while supposedly sound asleep.

"Dreamland" is a lively overview of recent research into sleep, the activity that occupies nearly a third of our lives, yet whose secrets continue to mystify scientists and laypeople alike. Randall is a reporter at Reuters. His chapters here read like magazine articles, and his style sometimes veers toward the glib.

But those flaws noted, Randall's accounts of, among other things, new discoveries about insomnia, the burgeoning business of fatigue management, and the suggested links between exposure to artificial light and higher rates of diseases like breast cancer among night shift workers are as stimulating as a double shot of espresso.

One particularly fascinating sleep fact that Randall reports here is that the sleep rhythms of the human brain have fundamentally changed over the centuries. Medieval literary texts and medical manuscripts and tales make reference to a mysterious first sleep and second sleep. The first sleep began shortly after sundown and lasted till after midnight.

When people woke up, they would pray, read, have sex, whatever. The second sleep then lasted till sunup. In experiments, researchers have found that when people live solely by natural light, they revert back to this ancient, segmented sleep pattern and that, chemically, the body in that interval between first and second sleep is in a state equivalent to what you might feel after spending a day at the spa. It seems that, thanks to the light bulb, the entire industrialized world is sleeping unnaturally.

Another eye-opener in Randall's book is the chapter on dream research. The camps are split between Freudians, who view dreams as encoded messages from the unconscious, and pragmatists, who regard dreams as a kind of organic byproduct of deep, REM sleep. In that latter group are contemporary researchers who've discovered that the average dream tends to be unhappy, anxious and even violent, hence my husband's nightly thrashings.

Researchers, though, are also finding that there's a big payoff to these pillow-time hallucinations. Our dreaming brains consolidate information and develop innovative solutions to our waking problems. Randall tells a story about how, in 1964, the champion golfer Jack Nicklaus was suffering an inexplicable slump. Then, a few nights before he was scheduled to play the British Open, he had a dream in which he held his golf club slightly differently. When he woke up, Nicklaus ran out to the golf course and gave the dream grip a try. Sure enough, he was back in business.

I'm partial to any research that recommends taking a Dagwood nap in response to life's dilemmas. Ironically, though, "Dreamland" is not a book to read before bedtime. As Randall rightly says, the more you know about sleep, the more its strangeness unnerves you.

GROSS: Maureen Corrigan teaches literature at Georgetown University. She reviewed "Dreamland" by David K. Randall. You can read an excerpt on our website, freshair.npr.org, where you can also download podcasts of our show. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.