Archives for posts with tag: sleep

Some genes are expressed on a 24-hour cycle – night shifts and mistimed sleep cycles change these patterns.

Another reason why sleep is important – it seems to clear your brain of toxins. During sleep, the flow of fluid around the brain increases, washing away any buildup of waste proteins. This could explain the link between sleep disorders and brain disease such as Alzheimer’s disease.

The research was published in Science.

You can learn while you are asleep. Israeli researchers wafted pleasant or unpleasant odours over sleeping volunteers, making them sniff,  and then played a tone more than a second later. They were careful to make sure that the volunteers didn’t wake. In the morning, they played the same tones and the volunteers sniffed but weren’t aware why.

There have been experiments showing that you can learn to link two stimuli together (such as a sound and a puff of air) during sleep, in classical conditioning.  This experiment is known as trace conditioning because of the time delay, and is the most advanced form of learning demonstrated during sleep – so I’m afraid it doesn’t mean you can stop revising for exams quite yet.
The original paper is in Nature.

Getting less than six hours sleep a night makes you more likely to be overweight. This could be because it affects the way you regulate your appetite. It can also increase your chance of developing high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. So go to bed!

Someone asleep in a field

Read the abstract in the American Journal of Human Biology.

Animals do dream – and they seem to go through the same stages of sleep as us.

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